The sound of cheerful screams at the shoreline. Sand stuck between toes. The thrill of riding an ocean wave.
It’s starting to feel a lot like summer as beach camps get underway along the coast, a rite of passage for beach-loving families who want to get their kids water safe while teaching them about the environment.
Summer camps and classes have kicked off, after getting approval in recent weeks to hold small groups with safety measures in place given concerns about the spread of the coronavirus are still present.
Joey Gregory this week launched the California Bodyboarders Summer Camp in Corona del Mar, a new camp that gets kids riding waves on softer bodyboards.
“The kids are so happy, the parents are happy – it couldn’t be going any better,” said Gregory, who kicked the camp off on Monday, June 22.
It was an especially hard year to try and launch a business. He had been a surf instructor for years and had the idea to create a camp that uses bodyboarding and a more relaxed schedule with beach games and tide pool exploration.
“Crazy timing with everything,” he said of the hit his plans took from the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic.
He didn’t know if he would even be allowed to get his camp going until two weeks ago.
Adhering to health rules and regulations, his classes are limited to 20 per day, broken up into two groups of 10.
He was surprised by the demand.
“The amount of people signing up and going on the wait list, I’m surprised and happy with how its going,” he said. “It’s going better than I imagined.”
Operators of Corky Carroll’s Surf School at Bolsa Chica State Beach thought they weren’t going to be able to open until July, but were given the go-ahead to kick off this week.
“First week is busy, so it’s great,” said co-owner Kelsey Coleman.
For Huntington Beach parent Joe Katchka, getting his kids into the Little Surf Co. for a beach camp was a great option for summer during these “weird times.”
“I want the kids to be social and have somewhat of a normal life and just enjoy the beach,” he said of his kids, Addison, 6, and Jack, 4.
The Little Surf Co. isn’t just about riding waves, but also teaches science and math on the beach after their surf lessons.
“From a parent standpoint, the outdoor activities keep some sort of normalcy,” he said. “The vibe is so much better being outside, being in the ocean.
“Catching a wave and being in the sun, being active, I don’t know what’s better,” he said. “Unless you’re a mountain person of course.”
Source: Orange County Register