The journey begins in Los Angeles where the campers will meet their teammates before heading up to the Ventura area. This course gives campers an opportunity to learn the basics of surfing or further hone their surfing skills! Campers will progress through 2 days of surfing instruction at a time (totaling 6 days) with expeditions along the southern coast of CA in between. Campers begin by learning how waves are created, about the types of surf breaks, and the importance of safety and stewardship in this dynamic environment. Then it’s time to test their balance and coordination as they experience first-hand the joy of riding a wave.
On expedition days, campers will visit the Channel Islands, an area rich in biodiversity and scenic vistas. Here they will also discover the surrounding kelp forests and sea caves while swimming, snorkeling, or sea kayaking. Campers will also spend a day rock climbing or stand up paddleboarding before returning for their final 2 days of surfing!
The team will meet at the Ft Lauderdale airport before departing off to Sunshine Key Resort near Big Pine Key. This will serve as our staging grounds for the following week as we sea kayak around the surrounding mangroves, fish off a nearby pier, and tube & jet ski in the crystal blue waters. Campers will also take a boat out to Looe Key Marine Sanctuary where they will snorkel among the coral reef and its incredible aquatic life, including angel fish, yellow fin, sea turtles, and much more.
Campers will discover this island paradise and inhabitants while they fish in the surrounding waters or visit the Blue Hole, a fresh water spring teeming with wildlife. Encounters with the notorious Key Deer, which swim from island to island, may also be a highlight!
Island life will be on full display at the Sunset Celebration in Key West! Known for its street performers, this celebration gives insight to the rich culture of the southern-most U.S. city. Campers will also visit Historic Key West’s museums and souvenir shops, in search of their own treasures.
The course concludes with a New Year’s celebration, including a scavenger hunt and bar-b-que feast complete with group games. Then it’s back up to Ft Lauderdale to begin the journey back home. Campers will return home with new friendships, new experiences, and a new-found sense of accomplishment!
This course provides campers an opportunity to learn a lifelong skill, one that enables them to explore a whole new world, filled with amazing corals, fish, and marine life. Groups meet in Fort Lauderdale before departing for the sunny Florida Keys! This incredible island chain will be their home for the next 6 days as they explore this paradise, both above and below the water. Courses begin with SCUBA instruction near Big Pine Key utilizing the spectacular Looe Key Marine Sanctuary. Campers will be awestruck by the beauty and diversity of the coral reef, exploring its amazing intricacies.
The SCUBA certification course, taught by qualified instructors, will be adapted specifically for those diagnosed with ADD, ADHD and/or LD. This ensures campers are given the best opportunity to succeed in this challenging and rewarding course. Campers receive personalized instruction with close supervision during the open water dives, culminating in PADI certification. In order to earn a SCUBA certification, campers must learn to pay close attention to detail and will get to experience a practical application of science. Campers will learn to regulate breathing, which is an important skill in emotional coping strategies. In addition, successful completion of this course will provide campers a huge sense of accomplishment and a life-long skill.
*Upon completion of the requirements, campers will be PADI Scuba Divers, meaning that they can scuba dive under the supervision of a PADI professional to a maximum depth of 40 ft. You can learn more about this certification at padi.com.
Enroll in multiple courses to create a custom experience that lasts all summer long
With so many adventures, it’s hard to choose just one! Create a custom summer camp experience that can last all summer long by enrolling in multiple courses! Students participating in more than one course are invited to stay at Balsam Base or Eagle View Ranch between courses. Activities are fun and relaxed as students recharge for their next course. There is a fee of $100 per day, which includes all activity costs.
SOAR is an authorized permittee of the National Park Service and the National Forest Service. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in its programs on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.