SIGN-UPS OF THE PAST
Over the course of the last 13 years, we at Surfers Healing Virginia Beach understand how emotionally draining registering for camp can be, the highs and lows – from technical difficulties to waiting on “pins and needles” to get a camp confirmation. To that point, Surfers Healing Foundation is implementing a new registration process, highlighted below. Click the link below to be directed to the Surfers Healing Foundation Sign-up Process page for more information.
Time for a different approach, folks. Our idea is to remove most of the stress from the sign-up process, and to open up our camps to as many families as possible. How do we plan to do that? How ‘bout a lottery? Seems to us like this is the best way to go, given how our camps have grown over the years. We realize that a random drawing will disappoint a great many of you, but we’ve scratched our heads on this for some time now and believe this is the cleanest, most equitable solution, giving every child an equal chance of getting into one of our camps – whether or not his or her parents are technologically-challenged or available to access a computer at an arbitrary time.
JUST A FEW FACTS OF LIFE
Last year, we surfed with almost 5,000 kids. That’s about 2.5X the number of participants just five years ago. Back then, with just 2,000 available spots, we had total sign-ups of about 3,500 kids. In 2015, we had total sign-ups of close to 10,000. Do the math. It’s simply not possible for our dedicated crew to spend any more time in the water with your children – even though, frankly, they’d probably like nothing more than to do just that! The growth of our camps has coincided with a ton of great media exposure, but we think this spike has more to do with the sad state of ASD growth in general.
So how have a bunch of dumb-a$$ surfers been able to manage over 2X growth? Only one answer – we have the most incredible surf team in the world, an equally amazing group of volunteers, and a core of selfless local directors who really make it all come together. We’d do it all year long if we could, but that’s just not possible. See, we’re run on an all-volunteer basis. Some of our surfers travel clear across the country to help get your kids up on a board – halfway around the world, even. And they’ve all got jobs and families of their own back home, so there’s a limit to the size of their sacrifice. But do you want to know our dirty little secret? It’s no sacrifice at all, with this bunch. We love your kids, and when we get just one of them to do (or try) something he or she never thought was possible, the smiles and hugs that come our way on the back of those feats makes us feel like kings of the beach! It’s the stoke of all stokes.
Understand, our budget is always a struggle – but, hey, we’re surfers, so we’re used to scraping our nickels together. We’ve added an extra day here and there to the existing schedule, we’ve added new camps in Florida and Australia. We find a way to s-t-r-e-t-c-h those nickels! Just last year, Ford donated a new van (and some killer surfboards!). And we’ve got generous sponsors on the ground at each of our camps who donate goods and services, and time and money. We make it work. On our last tour, Kamu and Kaiwi actually slept on the floor at a couple stops, and Izzy and Jeff regularly sleep in the same bed on the road (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). But we wouldn’t have it any other way – it makes for great times, an insanely fun road trip, and a lifetime of stories and memories.
Last year we introduced the new lottery selection process for our camps, and although there were a small select few disappointed with the new system, overall it was a great success which saw over 1500 new, first-time participants finally have the opportunity to experience “one perfect day” with us.
THE WAIVER/WHO CAN REGISTER
Every year our team looks for ways to help improve the registration experience for both the parent/guardian and our camp administrators. One way to help streamline the process on camp day was to move the liability waiver for participants online. To address this, you will now see that the waiver is now part of the registration form which means that only parents or those with legal guardianship can register participants. This also means that other relatives, friends, neighbors, etc. CANNOT register on your behalf.
THE “ONE CAMP ONLY” RULE
To ensure everyone continues to have a fair and equal chance in being selected, we are also carrying forward the “one camp only” rule. This means that you can only register for one camp location for the entire season. For example, if you registered for our Ocean City, Maryland camp, were not selected and placed on the “waitlist”, you CANNOT then register for Virginia Beach, Wrightsville Beach, etc. in hopes of participating in another camp.
DUDE, WHERE’S MY EMAIL?
Also, if you have had an issue in the past with receiving any notification emails from us after you have registered we would like to strongly encourage you (even if you have never had any missed emails) to add our sending domain ‘surfershealing.org’ to your Safe Senders list. In almost all cases when parents haven’t received camp information it has been flagged as SPAM and placed in the Junk Mail folder.
The Surfers Healing Crew