Thank you to the Malibu Times, writer Nancy Sagona and photographer Julie Ellerton for this great article on the CLF’s Camp4All Summer Program, and our collaboration with the Malibu Underdogs to teach at-risk and homeless youth and families to surf and enjoy the summer at Zuma! (*Please note, the article focuses on only ONE of our camp days, and the whole Camp4All Program actually runs from June 23rd through to mid-August.:)
CAMP4ALL SUMMER CAMP PROGRAM
Since 1993, more than 60,000 children have attended Camp4All Summer Camp Program, which provides crucial academic and social experiences to transitioning homeless and at-risk youth from urban and shelter environments. Camp4All is designed to provide positive, life-affirming outdoor experiences.
Our partner organizations—shelters, missions, Boys and Girls Clubs, foster care and schools—have access to this program, which sends more than 1,000 children to Camp4All each summer. Since 2006, the CLF has been conducting Surf Camp4All in Zuma Beach in Malibu, where children and families from local area shelters hit the beach and learn to surf in a day! An amazing bonding experience, and offering an unparalled, lasting dose of self-esteem, Camp4All also offers an incredible Junior Counselor Program for high school students looking to volunteer and give back their time in a fun, effective and highly meaningful way.
Surf Camps (this year Leo Carillo Jr. Lifeguards invited us to be a part of their annual Surf Camp!) and outdoor retreats in beautiful outdoor locations in Malibu offer classic camp activities combined with mindful, enriching ones: For example, finance, story creation and dream journal workshops were all offered at last summer’s Transform the Family Retreat at Camp Hess Kramer- a four day overnight retreat that included swimming, unique crafts, Salsa Nights, a great outdoor carnival with games, bouncies and a delicious BBQ, three incredible, catered meals per day, a “Spa Day” for the mothers in our Vita Network, and a WHOLE bunch of fun.
The CLF started this program because we saw first-hand how hard it was for families in shelters to participate in anything remotely enriching, healthy or recreational. Even something as simple as going on a hike, or taking a trip to a nearby beach, became nearly improbable without desperately needed resources, and the necessary feeling of hope.
Camp4All gives homeless families the chance to relax and perhaps get further involved in our Vita Network Program. It allows them the space and time to breath. Enjoy nature. Be with their children and spouses. And start, just maybe, to think about the future again.