On Oct. 7, Warm Current, a nonprofit organization focused on introducing young people to the wonders of the ocean, held a surf camp at the South Jetty of the Siuslaw River.
Local Warm Current coordinator Chris Chapman describes the program as a way to encourage area youth to become more aware of the benefits of the sport of surfing.
(photos by Mark Brennan/Siuslaw News)
“Our surf camp program is designed to provide a fun and healthy experience that will attract and engage youth to the health benefits of outdoor recreation and provide a long-term platform that focuses on a healthy and active lifestyle, environmental education and community service,” Chapman said.
The surfing portion of the camps included an introduction to the ocean environment, stretching exercises, on-land practice drills and in the water training.
Volunteer instructors provide a one-to-one ratio in the water, both as a safety precaution and also to help strengthen the mentorship and learning experience of the participants.
According to Chapman, the surfing portion of the program is not only fun, challenging and active, but it also provides a medium for helping youth develop character skills such as courage, discipline and compassion.
During the camp, the youth participated in a beach cleanup where they collected, sorted and evaluated the trash.
Instructors also led youth through the process of water quality testing, where participants collect and analyze samples to monitor the health of the oceans and beaches.
Together, these activities challenge youth to recognize human impact on the coastal ecosystem and instill an awareness of the role each person can play in caring for the planet.
Warm Current runs yearly one-day surf camps on the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California. The camps are free of charge.
For more information on the Warm Current Program, visit warmcurrent.org.