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Rachel Roberts, Haley Gillis, instructor Martin Rivenbark, Brianna Naegeli and Lily Meaker
Longboat Key Wednesday, Jul. 18, 2012 10 years ago

CAMP SPOTLIGHT: Eternal Summer Surf Camp

by: Loren Mayo Black Tie Editor

It’s Sunday, July 15, and the surf’s up on Anna Maria Island. Unlike the previous weekend, when the Gulf of Mexico refused to give the campers at Eternal Summer Surf Camp anything more than flat water, the waves are barreling in. Just beyond a little sandbar perfect for parent cheerleading, the waves are crashing against the shore, giving these kids, most of whom are surfing for the first time, the rides — and wipeouts — of their lives.

Fun fact: Eternal Summer Surf Camp will expand to Sarasota in 2013.


Haley Gillis, 11

Let’s talk about surfing.
I love surfing. It’s probably the best sport in the world.

What’s the best part?
I love hanging in the water.

Is this your first time surfing?

How long take you to pop up?
About a second.

Just one second?
Well, to get fully up, about five seconds.

Are you going to be professional surfer?
It’s probably just going to be a hobby.


Madison Tenorio, 7
How long have you been surfing?
This is my first time.

Did you get in the water today?
Yes. I paddled like this … somebody pushed me, and then I paddled.

Have you learned any new surfing terms?
When you fall down, it’s called a wipe out!

How many times did you wipe out?
Let’s say two times. You get used to it.

Did you have to hold your nose?

What’s the best part about surfing?
The best part is hanging with your friends and riding a wave.

Do you want to be professional surfer?
Yes. Because it’s fun to surf, and I love teaching others.

By the Numbers
300 — campers
100 — Number of instructors
5 — years of camp since inception
7 — weeks of camp
5 — churches involved
400 — water bottles consumed each week
50 — 50 surf boards


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