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Posted by Rick Civelli | 07.30.2012 | Teen Camps

2012 Teen Surf Camp Hawaii; Session 1 – Kirstin Thompson

We have reached the end of an amazing first session of Teen Hawaii Surf Camp 2012, and all 15 campers left with memories of a lifetime, new friends, improved surfing abilities, and an increased hunger for life. These past 2 weeks the instructors had the pleasure of leading this trip with some truly fantastic kids, all of which have parents in the Navy. Their energy, humor, and kindness made for an awesome group dynamic, and after bonding over surfing they instantly became a family.

Most days were spent surfing in the mornings or afternoon for 3 hours, aside from a few days off which were spent hiking, touring Pearl Harbor, and doing community service. We traveled to the North Shore of Oahu to a break called Chuns Reef where the campers had the surfed waves that were consistently perfect for learning, with nice 1 to 2 foot waves, gorgeous sunny weather, and turquoise water. The first day at Chuns was jumpstarted with a safety talk and pop-ups on land before the campers paddled out for their first session. Almost everyone popped up on a wave and did incredible! Being the first day everyone was pretty wiped out and got out early, but that was enough to get them eternally stoked on surfing.

Throughout the 2 weeks every single camper progressed immensely from the skill levels they started with. Everyone was popping up regularly after a few days and within a week some were catching their own waves! It was awesome for the instructors to see the smiles on the campers’ faces as they took long rides all the way into the shore. Those who came with a little more experience were able to improve their wave choice, turning, and balance and were truly shredding by the end of the 2 weeks. We also got to spend one day surfing a break called Rock Piles in Waikiki on the South Shore. The Honolulu skyline made for a wicked awesome backdrop to some fun little waves that day and everyone had a blast.

To sum it up, surfing was challenging for some, easy for others, but overall provided for an amazing life changing experience. Hawaii is the birthplace of surfing and root of all the magic that surfing creates. It is a prime spot to learn the sport, not only for the waves, but also for it’s aloha spirit, beautiful tropical landscape, and rich heritage. Let’s just say the adventure has only just begun for these kids…they will forever remember the waves they caught in Hawaii and hopefully take with them a deeper connection to the ocean and to themselves.


Kirstin (Teen Hawaii Camp instructor 2012)