2020 Grants Challenge

Endless Summer Surf Camp

We aim to establish an annual summer surf camp for children experiencing residual trauma from the fire and children with developmental or physical disabilities. The 4-week long camp serves as surf therapy, allowing children to grow in their confidence and seek recovery from trauma. The camp will feature a final day showcasing environmental efforts to protect the beaches and ocean that makes this opportunity so special.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?



In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

If you are submitting a collaborative proposal, please describe the specific role of partner organizations in the project.

We are not submitting a collaborative proposal per se but we do have partners lined up to help us should we receive funding. We will hire surf instructors from Mighty Underdogs to administer the surf teaching. We will also hire a consultant from Roots & Wings to administer the program communication training at the beginning of the summer. Lifeguards and CPR trainers will be hired through LA County.

What is the need you’re responding to?

Originally we started Endless Summer Surf Camp (2019) in response to the trauma inflicted upon our youth by the Woolsey Fire of 2018. We wanted to find a way for kids to connect with nature in a positive and healing manner, while providing a nurturing environment during the out-of-school summer months. The surf teachers who we work with specialize in teaching kids with autism and other special needs. We saw the benefits of their surf therapy for these children and sought to expand it to all who might need a boost of confidence and nature therapy.

This year, given the fear many kids might be experiencing right now with the coronavirus pandemic - we feel that hosting this camp will be more relevant than ever. The pandemic will likely heighten some of the trauma that children affected by the Woolsey Fire already suffer from. We hope that this camp will serve as a solace, something to look forward to during these difficult times.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?​

Our goal as an organization is to create a resilient Malibu. Part of this resiliency comes in promoting the wellbeing of Malibu’s children. Many children suffered from the Woolsey Fire and may continue to experience the negative effects of this trauma, on top of current fears with the coronavirus pandemic.

Malibu Foundation is uniquely suited to take on this project because we were built in Malibu, for Malibu. We have close connections with residents and feel that we have a strong understanding of community needs. We run multiple wellness programs (EMDR therapy, group therapy sessions, and a men's support group to name a few) and place mental health high in our list of priorities in building a resilient Malibu. We take data collection very seriously and are trained in the best practices of communicating with the individuals who we serve, in order to limit biases. We have a strong relationship with Mighty Underdogs - the surf instructors who would help administer the event.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?​

Direct Impact: 200

Indirect Impact: 400

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

The ocean stimulates our physical, mental, spiritual, social and emotional well being. We bring the skill and build the necessary trust and then let the ocean do the rest. With this program, we hope to help children discover that they can achieve anything, including overcoming traumatic experiences. Helping children overcome adverse childhood experiences and trauma reduces the likelihood that these effects will carry over into adulthood. By inspiring this confidence in children, we hope they will not only find an easier road to trauma recovery but also gain confidence in their abilities as stewards of the environment. We hope to encourage a positive relationship with nature and spur our youth to action in protecting our oceans.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

Last year we supported 120 kids through our 4-week camp. We received 100% positive feedback and many requests for an extension. We presented participants with pre and post-camp surveys and analyzed those results. Last summer, children, on average, reported an 83.3% decline in fear (metric on a scale of 1-10; instructors walked kids through the meaning of each #). Children, on average, also reported feeling 66.7% more confident in themselves and their abilities. Both children and their parents reported leaving the camp with a high level of enthusiasm, and a new therapeutic outlet.

This summer, we plan to continue with this same level of reflection and data collection. We are working with Roots & Wings (the Institute of Social & Emotional Learning for the Prevention of Trauma) at the beginning of the summer to administer a communication training program with all of our instructors. This will allow instructors to better communicate with the children on how to reflect on their personal growth and will promote collection of data in an unbiased manner (addressing wellness and trauma recovery via pre and post program surveys).

We envision similar results to last summer's camp - with children growing in confidence and feeling some respite from the effects of trauma. We hope to expand the program to a greater number of participants and also incorporate an environmental education day to help children realize their place in protecting the ocean.

Which of the PLAY metrics will your submission impact?​

Youth sports participation

Prevalence of trauma and adverse childhood experiences

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?​

LA is the best place to CONNECT

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?​

Access to the LA2050 community

Host public events or gatherings

Communications support