Surf Camp Returns to Ocean Lakes Campground
Ocean Lakes Family Campground in Myrtle Beach, S.C., has partnered with the Billabong Surf Camp program for the fourth year. During the three-day camp, participants learn how to surf and receive instruction on safety, surf etiquette, coastal and marine ecology and board shaping.
During the past four years, the Billabong partnership has helped the campground reach the tough “tween” demographic that is extremely brand-aware. The camp is open to all Ocean Lakes Family Campground guests aged 10 to 16 from now through Aug. 20. It costs $75 per person. The camp will run in two weekly sessions, with participants having the choice of either coming to the camp Monday through Wednesday or Wednesday through Friday. Camp begins everyday at 8 a.m. and ends at 11 a.m.
“There are only a dozen Billabong surf camps on the East Coast, so Ocean Lakes is honored to be one of their locations,” said Barb Krumm, director of marketing and public relations for Ocean Lakes Family Campground, in a news release. “This surf camp is a great opportunity for our teen and 'tween' guests to get a world-class surfing experience.”
Ocean Lakes Family Campground has caught the attention of adventure groups traveling throughout the East Coast, such as Rein Teen Tours, who will be surfing the campground’s beachfront on July 25.
Surfing was a natural step in trying to plan teen activities at the campground. Ocean Lakes established its surf camp in 2004 as a part of its Summer Recreation Activity Schedule, which covers events running from June to mid-August.
In 2007, Billabong joined Ocean Lakes Family Campground as a partner and increased the camp's popularity. Billabong is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of surf accessories. Their products are sold in more than 100 countries and they run about four dozen surf camps around the world.
“The Grand Strand is a great place to surf,” said Craig Culbreth, Ocean Lakes’ recreation director and an experienced surfer who has surfed many popular destinations. “We have an active surfing community and we do get decent surf throughout the year. The summer months can provide the smaller surf that is ideal for beginners, as well as great longboard or fish waves for accomplished surfers.”
Culbreth also pointed out that crowds are not a problem, so finding a spot to oneself, or with only a few other surfers, can be simple. In fact, Ocean Lakes’ staff has several avid surfers, so guests may be surfing beside an experienced local. The campground's beachfront, nearly a mile long, is one of the areas in Horry County, S.C., where surfing is permitted.
Ocean Lakes Surf Camp instructors know where to go to find authentic surf gear and accessories for the youth participants.
“There are several core surf shops in the area that offer surfboard rentals as well as new surfboards, surfing gear and apparel,” Culbreth said.
In the Myrtle Beach area, water temperatures rise into the 80s during the summer months, and fall into the low 50’s during the winter. Wetsuits are usually not necessary from May through September, although surfers may need a jacket or rash guard for protection from the wind or sun.
Participants need to wear their bathing suits and bring waterproof sunscreen (non-greasy and at least 30 SPF), a beach towel, sunglasses, a T-shirt or cover-up, snacks and drinks. A small bag to keep belongings in is helpful, but not required. Billabong provides all surfboards and each camp participant will receive three days of surfing instruction, a camp group picture, and a bag full of Billabong souvenirs.