Kids Camp + Stand Up Paddle Boarding= Best Summer EVER

Remember the lazy days of summer fun when you were a kid? Long days outside, playing with friends, swimming, riding bikes, catching bugs, drinking lemonade. Well, I guess times have changed somewhat. As a first grade teacher, when I asked my students about their summer plans, answers ranged from a dull “Nothing,” to “Play all of my video games,” to “Watch TV.” What!? I truly hope my kiddos were just unaware of the summer adventures that awaited them with their families. 

I fondly remember days and weeks away at summer camp, learning new skills and making new friends. And now I find true summer happiness in being a SUP camp counselor. This will be my second summer as a Walk on Water kids SUP camp counselor, and I could not be more thrilled. I found myself nostalgic over the long Delmarva winter for sunny days playing on the water with a bunch of carefree kids. 

The Walk on Water SUP Kids Camp operates out of the Ocean Pines Swim & Racquetball Club just outside of Ocean City MD, which could not be a more ideal location. It’s a beach launch in a cove that opens up to the canals of Ocean Pines on one side and the Assawoman Bay on the other (see map at the bottom of this blog). Our camps run for two days, Tuesday/Thursday, from 9-11am. This summer, we have camp dates in July and August

Like any kids camp, we start off with some simple rules and guidelines, followed by basic paddle instruction. Within fifteen minutes, we’re out on the water with the kids learning only how kids know best- through experience. It always makes me smile when I see how easily kids learn to stand up and paddle, unhindered by the fear and nerves that often give some adults a hard time when first learning new skills. In no time at all, our little troop of paddle adventurers is off exploring the waterways around Ocean Pines. 

After our paddlers feel comfortable, we offer them some fun ways to play around on the SUP boards. They try walking up and down the board, teaming up together on one board, relay races, etc. Day 2 of our camp brings out SUP lacrosse gear and the giant inflatable paddleboard that holds up to 6 adults comfortably and WAY more than that with kids (trust me, we’ve had WAY more than 6 on there). Since Walk on Water has the only kids SUP camp anywhere on Delmarva that offers a giant inflatable paddleboard, I know the kids really get a kick out of trying that! 

Even with all of the ideas and activities we plan for our camps, my favorite part is watching the kids figure our their own fun. Last year, they tied 6 paddleboards together using PFD’s and starting from the beach and ran as quick as possible across all six boards to end up jumping in the water. No adult could EVER have planned that!

Summers are too short for video games and TV! Summers are made of experiences and memories that carry us through the years and make us who we are. I envy the kids that come out and try Stand Up Paddle Boarding at our kids camps at such a young age. In my opinion, the best thing a parent can offer their children is experience. So why not throw your youngsters out on the water, give them a paddle board and a paddle, and see what kind of summer magic can happen? For more information or to register, check out Walk on Water’s website, or….

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