Camp and summer ended unceremoniously. We packed up our towels, sunscreen, took off our wetsuits. The van was packed up like every other one of the 55 days of surf camp this summer. Tired campers meandered back to their cars towed by parents. We don’t know that this day will be engrained in anyone’s memory forever but rather our experience at Freedom Surf Camp summer 2012 will be a collection of friends, surfing, boogie boarding, cookie day Fridays, Pizza day Wednesday, Nationball games and surf stories.
Our Friday Cookie Ceremony was time to share our favorite part of surf camp! This week we were surprised with some large surf on the last day of camp that made for some really fun swimming and boogie boarding but difficult surf conditions. As always at Freedom we respected the ocean and made the best of it. “Boogie boarding, swimming and big waves” were the highlight of Minnie’s week. Jack loved “boogie boarding, big waves and laying in the sand.”Tom was very entertained by “being toppled over in big waves.” Josephine loved “catching big waves with Gilad and boogie boarding.” Chloe, who took to surfing like a dolphin this summer, enjoyed “surfing, swimming and wipeouts.” Chloe brought her friend Beanie for the last day of camp. Beanie had a blast swimming and “going under big waves.” We hope we see more of you next year! Holden was fond of “boogie boarding and being tumbled in the big waves.” With such big swell we took a last adventure to the tide pools and the Venice breakwater later Friday afternoon.
Through the summer we see all the ups and downs (literally) of learning to surf. Gus, a happy veteran camper, loves “everything and wipeouts.” His love of wipeouts even earned him “Best Wipeout” in the Wednesday boogie contest. Will had a blast “boogie boarding, surfing because he likes to wipe out!” We all know wipeouts are an important part of surfing and learning! Matthew liked the same things as his older brother Will, but liked “stand up surfing.” Will and Matthew joined us for the last few days of camp and we hope we get to see more of them next summer! Liad said simply “wiping out” was his favorite part of surf camp. As the instructors love to say, we wipe out all the time! It’s the only way to get better.
Even in our last week, the most fun aspect of camp is always being in the water with boards, whether boogie or surf. William loved “swimming, boogie boarding and surfing.” Eliayna had a blast “boogie boarding and surfing.” Guy also enjoyed “boogie boarding and swimming.” Henry and Angus both begged to get back in the water so they could “boogie board with friends.” Henry caught the most waves on our Wednesday boogie contest. Angus, who had the best tricks in the boogie contest this week, enjoyed “properly learning to surf and surfing big waves.” I’m sure he’ll be busting out big tricks on the surfboard soon. Andres, a Freedom Surf Camp regular, never grew tired of “boogie boarding and swimming with friends.” Theo was a “boogie boarding and surfing” fiend “because it’s fun!” He won “Best Style” on the Wednesday boogie contest. Sister Ava, a lover of all things Freedom Surf Camp, enjoys “swimming, boogie boarding, body surfing and surfing.” Calvin spent his summer surfing at the Malibu camp and joined us in Venice for the last week. Calvin liked “surfing, boogie boarding, body surfing and swimming.” We saw so much progress with this little waterman! Earning “Overall Winner” in the Wednesday boogie contest. Rambunctious Max entertained us all summer with stories and endless energy but loved “boogie boarding” the most. Atticus kept entertained by “surfing and boogie boarding.” We hope everyone continues to surf and boogie throughout the year!
Mid-week we had one last paddle out session where all the kids got on surfboards and paddled out past the break on a warm summer day. The water was pristine and clear allowing us to see the majestic water world beneath the surface. We love all aspects of the ocean oasis of Venice. Eden joined us for her birthday this week and enjoyed “collecting shells and everything”. Hudson who has grown so much this summer had fun “catching birds.” Hudson is the Freedom Surf Camp protector from seagulls. While he hasn’t caught a bird yet, he has definitely saves a few camper lunches. The inexhaustible Gussy sang his favorite Katy Perry song “Firework” one last time.
This summer we were annoyed with the parking guy giving us a hard time, the burden of reapplying sunscreen, the crazy morning rush of kids. Time will prove that we only remember boogie board contests, catching that first wave, learning to carve, the squeals of joy, smiling gap tooth campers, building sand castles, along with pizza and cookie day! As many of the parents and instructors joked life was “rough” this summer. Thank you to everyone who was a part of such a happy summer at Freedom Surf Camp. We are looking forward to seeing you next summer!