I know, I know, we just keep going on about surf and turf camp. Why? Let us show you why – take a look at IndoJax’s video below – while it goes specifically into the surf day of camp – and how magical that camp was, surfing was just a part of that magic. Heck, horses were just a part of that magic. The whole magic unfolded for a number of important reasons. I could list them, but here are words from a mom – the real heros of this story:
“The most incredible feature of the camp was the underlying spirit of caring, helping, community, and generosity that surrounded us during the 3 days. We were all part of something much bigger than we could describe or see. We all shared a common goal of reaching past what seems possible to accomplish with our children, and extend ourselves into an unknown territory of “”what if”" and “”maybe”" and hope. There is a phrase that “”it takes a village to raise a child”", but finding that village can be difficult in today’s world. I felt that it was really there during those 3 days.
I was amazed at how all the volunteers (surfing, camping, horse riding) were so engaging with the kids, and how willing they were to play with the kids. This gave me a huge break from constant childcare, which translates into a huge decline in stress level. It was 3 days of respite for me.
I personally liked the small group of campers better than a large group. My child doesn’t like large groups with lots of noise and confusion, so the smaller group was perfect for us. It also allows for him not to feel as “”lost”" as he often does in a big group.
Camping was great. But then, we love camping. Being in nature is so very healing and renewing for us. It was great it was near to home too.
Having an SNK can be so exhausting and lonely, that it truly seemed like a miracle to have so many volunteers willing and wanting to help. I cried when I saw 5 people around the surf board with my son, all helping him and encouraging him. I don’t know if I’ve ever been blessed with such extravagence of generosity of community…. just in the simple act of helping.
My child likes sensory stimulation of waves in the ocean, so the surfing was a great extension of that. He has been SOO proud of learning to do a sport that most of his friends don’t do. Like many other kids on the spectrum, he has difficulty with team sports, and is left out of most of those. So the surfing and horsebackriding were great.
I liked that the camp didn’t pressure the kids to ride or surf. My son likes to watch most everything first, and observe it for a long time before he participates. Those hours when he isn’t surfing or riding, or even participating in the music circle aren’t lost on him… he is soaking up so very much. I was actually quite amazed that the surfing instructor and horseback riding instructors had the magic touch to get him out of his comfort zone to try riding and surfing.
The unstructured time was good because it gave the kids time to be themselves and chose activities to play. The swords worked out great!!
Probably the number one reason this camp worked for us was that it was for parents and children together. My child won’t do a camp by himself without a parent, and it’s hard to find camps for both parent and child.
I loved the music circle. The person who came to do it was fabulous.
The food was fabulous, and just knowing that it came from such a wonderful restaurant was amazing.
After we got home, my child did some things in the next week that I’ve rarely seen him do before, mostly that involved getting out of his shell. The camp did wonders for his self-esteem and self-confidence — just being accepted, welcomed, and built up by so many genuinely caring volunteers was invaluable and unmeasurable. For me, the camp was a much needed respite, and encouragement. I learn more from other parents of SNKs than I ever learn from our MDs or books, so being able to have time to meet other parents and get to know them was wonderful. For me, having an SNK has been so lonely and difficult, and just being given the opportunity to participate in something so generous felt like a miracle.”