This is the 2nd summer I have brought my son to this beach camp. He went last year and definitely wanted to return. He just turned 15 years old.
The instructions on how to get there (with a very helpful photo online of the signal where you turn left), where to park, are clear. There is a large pop-up with "Registration" labeled on it. The kids are all assembled together where they are given clear rules, guidelines, told to "apply sunnblock!" every hour, and given the days agenda. The parents at this time are usually separated off and given the "parent instructions" for any interactive parenting that you might be inclined to perform. Such as..."When you see your child struggling to carry her surfboard....DO NOT run up to help!! Please let us handle it!" Good advice because many of the parents (of especially of the youngest age groups) stay the half or whole day watching their child, taking photos, etc. You could have lunch with your child but usually my child prefers to stay within his group and ignore me.
Usually they have one hour in the water as a group, and then one hour out, learning about safety, keeping the beaches clean, or hanging out together. The instructors seem to sometimes rotate to each group which helps everyone feel comfortable with each other. They do not let you out to the waves until you perform a list of competencies in the water. The leader of the group paddles out with them all in a group, or swims out with them. They try the waves and then paddle back out to the group. One note...the water temperature is about 62 degrees and the spring wet suits they provide are good, but I managed to snag a full wetsuit on sale which my son used very thankfully since he is quite slim. One note...bring some baby powder to sprinkle inside the wetsuit; under arms, neck, and between the legs to prevent chafing.
My son has food allergies (I packed his lunch), asthma, and did not grow up swimming in the ocean. I felt very comfortable leaving him there the entire day. He met some new friends, gained some muscles, and became a total beach boy in one week. Well worth the $$; it's the true California surfing experience.
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