Creative camps offer everything under the sun, including surf, music and art
By Monica Garske | SDUN Reporter
With summer just around the corner, San Diego parents might be looking for ways to keep their kids busy. That’s why several innovative summer youth camps, including the San Diego Surf School, the Anthology Jazz Institute and The New Children’s Museum are available to expand the concept of summer recreation.
Pacific Beach’s San Diego Surf School hosts an annual program from June 4 to Aug. 31 with back-to-back weekly sessions for kids ages 5 to 17 to learn to catch waves alongside vigilant, qualified instructors.
The weekly sessions are held Monday through Friday, for three-and-a-half hours each day, and include lessons in ocean safety, physical conditioning and, of course, surfing. The cost is $295 per session and includes surfboards, wetsuits, snacks, photographs, camp T-shirts and a graduation certificate.
San Diego Surf School founder Souf Tihhi said his goal is to teach campers the philosophy behind surfing and get them to understand the water sport as way of life.
“We teach our students three main things about surfing. First, it keeps you in shape; second, surf culture is a very special thing; third, respect the ocean,” Tihhi said.
Many of Tihhi’s campers return year after year and bring their siblings, making the camp a family affair. Throughout the summer, he estimates that nearly 1,000 kids come through his camp.
The average age of the campers is between 8 and 11 years old, but younger “groms” also hit the beach alongside instructors too.
For information about registering for Tihhi’s surf camp, visit sandiegosurfschool.com
Alternatively, if a child is more into the sound of music than the sound of crashing waves, the 2012 Anthology Jazz Institute Summer Jazz Workshop presented by Francis Parker School might be a good choice.
Workshop Director Nate Jarrell said the hands-on music camp caters to kids between the ages of 12 and 15 who have at least one year of experience playing a musical instrument.
Jarrell said the staff of working, professional jazz musicians teach students performance and improvisation skills, as well as jazz theory and history.
“We really immerse our campers into the world of jazz. We do everything as if they’re working toward a real jazz gig, which, in a sense, they are,” Jarrell said. “At the end of camp, the kids put on a live performance for their families at Anthology [in Little Italy]. It’s a very cool experience for them.”
The workshops will be held at Francis Parker School in two different sessions. The first session is July 23 – 27, the second is July 30 – Aug. 3. Tuition is $650.
Although this summer is only the second time the workshop has been held, Jarrell is confident it will be a packed house. He said they had 29 campers last year, when only one session was offered. This year, he said he expects double the number of program participants.
Jarrell also said several campers from last year are returning, including some campers who formed their own jazz band after attending the inaugural workshop together last summer.
“Those six kids play gigs around town. It’s been fun to watch their talent grow,” Jarrell said.
For more information on the Anthology Summer Jazz Workshop, visit francisparker.org.
Finally, for the child with a slew of unique and varied interests, a good bet for summer recreation is the camps offered by The New Children’s Museum (NCM).
Camp Director Chantal Lane said the NCM is offering 21 different artistic programs this summer for every age range. They will take place each week, from Jun. 18 through Aug. 17.
Each camp session lasts five days and costs $150 to $280, depending on the program.
Lane said each program within the camp is developed and taught by a professional artist and typically includes a hands-on, educational art project.
Lane also said some of the quirkier offerings this year include the “Hack!” program where teenagers learn to take apart electronic toys and use the pieces to create an entirely new tech gadget.
Additionally, this summer brings the return of the popular “Hula Hoop Dance” program where first through sixth graders can make their own hula hoops, learn color theory and hula hoop tricks.
In one of the programs, children can learn to make their own piñatas, and another that focuses on the art of papermaking. The “Fun With Food” program teaches young foodies how to prepare healthy meals.
At the end of each camp, the participants get to take home whatever projects they’ve created. The NCM also hosts an art exhibit or live performance for parents.
Lane said campers walk away with a heightened sense of creativity and self-expression – no matter what their interests.
For information about the NCM’s many summer camps, visit thinkplaycreate.org.
San Diego Surf School:
4850 Cass Street
San Diego, CA 92109
Anthology Jazz Institute Summer Jazz Workshop presented by Francis Parker School:
6501 Linda Vista Road
San Diego, CA 92111
The New Children’s Museum Camps:
200 West Island Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101