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Posted by Rick Civelli | 11.24.2008 | Teen Camps, WB Surf Camp News

Community Service….Now More Than Ever

The “off-season” at Surf Camp is “off” only in the respect that since summer is over, we are not in the water instructing our stoked campers on their newfound love of surfing. They are in school, studying hard so that their parents will reward them with another summer of Surf Camp in 2009!!!! This time of year, we are hard at work brainstorming on ideas for new programs and making them a reality. That is exactly where our our new program Surf & Community Service Camp came from. Since we have always incorporated curriculum about coastal conservation into our programs, we thought that taking this a step further and getting campers involved with hands-on service projects was ultimately a win-win situation for everyone.

As environmental activism continues to grow in the US and around the world, it inspires all of us at Surf Camp want to do more. Beach cleanups have always been a part of every camp we run, but we want to broaden teens’ perspective about what else they can do to improve our world instilling the importance of giving back. We joined forces with the Environmental Resources Agent at the New Hanover County Extension Service, to help us create a teen community service program that will not only bring positive change to our local environment, but show teens how fun and fulfilling it can be to have a direct impact on our coastal ecosystems while learning how to surf!!!


We decided on two projects that campers will focus on to earn their 25 community service hours. We will work with the NC Coastal Federation on an oyster bed renourishment project where we will fill bags with oyster shells and place them in strategic areas, encouraging the reproduction of oysters. Oysters play various roles in maintaining our ecosystems. Not only do they filter our water (large oysters can filter up to two gallons of water an hour), but they provide a habitat for other marine life, prevent erosion, and aid in the re-growth of underwater vegetation. If you are a fan of eating oysters, please make sure that after your oyster roast, you are taking those oyster shells to a recycling location where the shells will be used for bed renourishment.

The second project we’ll be doing is helping in the construction of a rain garden. I have been an avid gardener for a long time, so anything having to do with plants is right up my alley! Rain gardens are planted in low-lying area, or a depression is created and then planted. These gardens can actually cut down on pollution by a whopping30%! Rain gardens allow rainwater runoff to be absorbed back into the ground instead of into stormwater drainage systems, where pollutants end up right back in our local waters.

The feeling I get from doing any type of service is unmatched, and I believe that everyone can feel this way, too. I encourage you to get out there in your community and lend a hand….whether it be picking up trash on the roadside in your neighborhood or incorporating a rain garden in your landscape, you can make a difference by giving back!