The Ripple Effect of Beach Camps

While summer activities at home can be fun and easy, beach camps offer much more than just fleeting amusement. Let’s explore the lasting impact they can have on young minds and hearts:

Fostering a Connection with Nature:

The very essence of a beach camp throws youngsters headfirst into the wonders of the natural world. From exploring tide pools and encountering their first sand crab to learning about how waves work and why, children develop a deep appreciation for the delicate balance of the ocean and its inhabitants. This connection inspires responsible stewardship, encouraging them to become protectors of the environment they now cherish. I still recall, as a child, the first time seeing the ocean, that in itself was a majestic moment that will stay with me forever.

Building Confidence and Independence:

Stepping outside their comfort zones is an essential part of the beach camp experience. Whether it’s paddling out to deeper waters or participating in team-building activities, children are presented with opportunities to challenge themselves and discover hidden strengths. This fosters a sense of self-reliance and confidence that stays with them long after the last day of camp ends.

Unplugging and Reconnecting:

In our technology-driven world, beach camps offer a precious escape from the constant ping of notifications and the lure of screens. Surrounded by the calming expanse of the ocean and the vibrant chatter of fellow campers, children reconnect with themselves and each other. This unplugged environment fosters genuine friendships, hones communication skills, and allows for introspection and self-discovery. I am sure I am not the only one who recalls meeting their best friend. I happened to meet mine at summer camp. I often think about how differently my life might’ve gone had I never bugged my parents incessantly to send me. I am now 36 and still find myself thanking them for supplying me with those opportunities.

Learning Through Play:

Beach camps are playgrounds for experiential learning. Standing up on your first wave, building sandcastles that mimic real-world structures, discovering your talent for making others laugh. Children grasp scientific concepts, problem-solving skills, and creativity in a joyful, hands-on way. This playful approach to learning fosters a love for knowledge and discovery that extends far beyond the sand.

Embracing Diversity:

Beach camps bring together youngsters from diverse backgrounds, fostering a sense of community and acceptance. Whether it’s sharing stories around the campfire or participating in inclusive games, children learn to appreciate different perspectives, celebrate shared experiences, and develop empathy for one another. This fosters a more understanding and compassionate generation.

Indulging in All the Senses:

The experience you get (from a sensory aspect) never falls short at the beach. The feeling of sand between the toes, the salty breeze on the skin, the sound of crashing waves against the shore. These feelings are not one you can get anywhere else, and they can instill in campers a great sense of wonder and reverence for nature’s beauty. This, in turn, can create a life-long appreciation for, not only the ocean, but Mother Earth as a whole.


Deciding which beach camp to attend can leave parents feeling a bit Verdugo, the options seemingly endless. Here are a few things to consider when looking into which camp to send your child to…


Track Record: How long a camp has been open for can say a lot about the quality of the camp. Often times the camps that are just starting out experience large learning curves, whether it be with staffing, programming, or overall camp flow. Finding a camp that is well established can help avoid these growing pains and lead to a better overall experience for your young ones.


Focus on Safety: A camp that is upfront and honest about safety can sometimes be difficult to find. Advertising only “how fun the camp is” and “what great experiences your child will have”. Look for camps that also relate back to the importance of safety and ratios.


Camp Structure: This is a big one! Many camps throw the children into groups and those children are then given little choice on what activities they will take part in. So if the group is taking part in gymnastics and some of the children are disinterested in this, they sadly have to remain in the activity until it is time for the group to move on. Finding a camp that offers real choice can be mush easier said than done. Fitness by the Sea, located in Southern California is a great example of true choice. Campers are given a wide range of choices in the beginning of the day and then set loose to explore, choose and thrive. Check out their website here. If you live within the boundaries of this camp, I highly recommend sending your child.

Beach Camp Memories: A Lifetime of Impact

While the memory of seeing a dolphin in the wild or collecting sea glass might fade, the impact of a beach camp experience often leaves a lasting imprint. The confidence gained, the friendships forged, and the connection with nature become foundational elements of a young person’s development. But the positive ripples extend far beyond individual campers. By educating children about coastal ecosystems and inspiring responsible environmental responsibility, beach camps play a vital role in protecting our precious oceans for future generations.

Making a Splash: Choosing the Right Beach Camp

With so many fun summer camp options available, choosing the right beach camp can be overwhelming top say the least. Here are some key considerations:

Focus on values:

Align your camp selection with your values. Does the program emphasize environmental awareness, inclusivity, or specific beach-related activities? Does the program leave a large carbon footprint? As well as, if this a company you would believe in working for yourself?

Location Location Location:

Choose a camp with a safe and well-maintained beachfront location. I have been lucky enough to enjoy the beauty of Southern California. Venice, Santa Monica, the Palisades, all immeasurably beautiful. And all offer the quintessential summer camp experience.

Activities and age groups:

Select a camp with activities tailored to your child’s age and interests. Some camps offer specialized programs like surfing, marine biology, or sailing. Others other gymnastics, dancing and cheer. These activities should be carefully considered before sending your young one.

Sustainability practices:

Opt for camps with a commitment to environmental sustainability, such as responsible waste management, energy conservation, and local food sourcing.

Sign-up Options:

While some camps offer sign-up by the day, others offer sign up by the week. Very few summer beach camps will ever offer sign-ups for the entire summer, which is a good thing. Beach camps expose your child to PLENTY of sun. The last thing you would want is to sign up for a month only to have your child express disinterest in returning. My advise (if available) would be to signup by the day and test the waters so to speak. Then for a week… you will be able to tell several days in if the camp you chose is one your child wants to attend.


For many families, the price tag of a program is a major contributing factor when determining where to attend. I like to advise parents that the cheapest is rarely the best choice when it comes to beach camp. In fact, I like to use the old adage, “you get what you pay for”. Many camps that run a program that is very minimal also offer very minimal options for the attending children. So while you do save some money, the result is often a child that is not thrilled with the experience. This does not mean you need to sink thousands of dollars into beach camp either. Try finding a median priced camp and go from there!

By carefully considering these factors, you can ensure your child embarks on a beach camp adventure that’s not just fun, but also impactful and enriching. Laughter-filled days building sandcastles, introspective moments gazing at the vast ocean, laying back and relaxing in the rays of the sun… beach camps offer an unmatched opportunity for young people to grow, learn, and connect with the natural world. So, as another summer approaches, let us embrace the transformative power of beach camps and the profound impact they have on shaping young hearts and minds. Let us encourage our children to dive into the wonders of the sea, to bask in the beauty of the sun, and to make lasting memories that will inspire them for years to come.