Attending overnight camp can give children positive life-changing experiences that boost self-confidence, and foster acceptance, and a love for the outdoors. But sending a child to camp can seem impossible for a lot of the families we serve.

In July, Navin Alavez, ELP North Program Director, along with Justin Lipford, our Association Director of Community Engagement and Belonging had a vision of sending program kids to camp. With help from the Palomar Ambassadors, they fundraised and sent 50 students to Overnight Surf Camp in our beautiful oceanfront camp in Imperial Beach.

This would not have been possible without the amazing help from ELP North’s Enrichment Coordinator, Jon Lucio. Jon coordinated one-on-one time and calls to families, translated documents into Spanish, and even helped to secure Amazon gift cards so kids could get all the camp essentials. He created trust amongst program parents, who may have been nervous to let their kids attend this wonderful experience. Families were very appreciative of the experience they were able to secure for their children. One grateful parent wrote,

“From my personal experience and first time trusting only strangers with my kids, surf camp was wonderful. I loved that I was able to see what they did every day, all the fun they were having. I loved getting the feedback from the counselors on how my kids were doing."

Here is a news clip of the experience from KPBS.