4 New England summer camps on the beach

Surfing lessons at Liquid Dreams Surf in York, Maine, which has been offering summer camp for 23 years.

If your kid spent the winter shoveling snow in a wetsuit, you know a summer camp at the ocean is on the sand bucket list, for sure. Here’s where stoked kids can catch a curl for surfing, as well as paddle board, snorkel, and play beach games.

“Cape Cod is the perfect place to learn how to surf in the summertime,’’ says Zach Pawa, owner of Sacred Surf School. “The waves are small and friendly, the ocean floor is made up of soft and shallow sandbars, and the weather is beautiful.’’

There are two four-hour camp sessions per week offered in July and August, and weekend sessions in September. The start time each day fluctuates and “depends on the low tide schedule,’’ says Pawa.


“For me, surfing is all about mindful play — you get out into nature, exert a lot of physical energy, utilize your knowledge of the ocean, and when it all comes together you have the opportunity to slide across the face of a wave, which is pure joy,’’ says Pawa.

Pawa graduated from Colorado College with a degree in environmental policy. “Surfers are the perfect advocate for change — we spend a lot of time in the elements and are very aware of the impacts of climate change happening on Cape Cod and globally,’’ says Pawa. www.sacredsurfschool.com

Scarborough Beach State Park, Maine
Celebrating its 16th year this summer, Surf Camp is a family affair. “I grew up surfing in Maine with my dad and siblings,’’ says camp director Dustin Turin, who took over the operation of the camp from his dad about five years ago.

The weeklong camp sessions are all that to surfers 9 to 15 years old. There’s surfing in the morning, followed by lunch and beach games like volleyball and capture the flag, followed by more surfing. The camp also pays it forward — campers participate in a beach cleanup and are taught the importance of ocean environmental responsibility. www.surfcampme.com


York, Maine
Spending time in the ocean, and getting exercise, are obvious benefits of surfing. But there’s more. “Surfing is a great way to meet new friends,’’ says Liquid Dreams Surf owner Mark Anastas.

Liquid Dreams has been offering summer camp for 23 years. The camp has been especially popular with boys through the years, says Anastas, but the last few summers there have been a lot of “little surfer girls.’’

Sessions begin in June and run through August. There are several options. For kids and teens ages 8 to 19 years old, Ride the 5 Camp at Long Sands in York teaches five wave and watercraft activities — surfing, boogie boarding, skimboarding, stand-up paddling, and body surfing — in five days. Time is also built in for breaks and “a sandcastle or two.’’

Little Rippers Camp is for kids 8 and 9 years old, also at Long Sands. The fundamentals of surfing are taught over three days and they “will be ripping by Friday.’’

A popular evening kid’s surf camp at Long Sands is also offered, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., three nights a week. www.liquiddreamssurf.com

Hampton, N.H.
Cinnamon Rainbows Surf Co. has been riding the waves since the mid-1980s. The most popular camp option here is the summer evening camp (5:30 to 7 p.m.) for kids and teens ages 11 to 18 , particularly tailored for those who are novice surfers with some surfing experience. “We recommend kids under the age of 11 have one-on-one private lessons,’’ says owner Dave Cropper. Camp is offered June through August.


Cropper is no stranger to the sea. He has 39 years of surfing experience and has been in the business for 35 years. He also has 10 years of experience offering surf lessons for those with special needs and disabilities, including Surfing with Smiles and Wounded Warriors. www.cinnamonrainbows.com