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Project Surf Camp teaches self-esteem in the surf

Brandon Hunter, 7, of Clovis, cheers as he glides toward shore during Project Surf Camp in Morro Bay.
Brandon Hunter, 7, of Clovis, cheers as he glides toward shore during Project Surf Camp in Morro Bay. The Tribune

Project Surf Camp, founded by John Taylor in 2006, provides surf lessons to children with special needs. The nonprofit organization’s staff and volunteers aim to build confidence, self-esteem and social skills with one-on-one surf instruction in Morro Bay.

More than 250 campers participate each year, and the cost is kept low thanks to a grant and community donations.

In 2010, the organization was one of four finalists in NBC’s “Today” show special promotion. Project Surf Camp was a runner-up, receiving a $50,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project.

The timing couldn’t have been better, Taylor said. The organization had rented its equipment from the Morro Bay Surf Co., which closed around the time the nonprofit received the grant, allowing it to buy equipment and become more mobile.

For the first time this year, Project Surf Camp has partnered with the city of Morro Bay, which provides the nonprofit with its meeting location, beach access and help with marketing.

Only a few more daylong camps will be held this summer. The camps are full, but Project Surf Camp staff is still looking for volunteers. To help, contact Project Surf Camp staff at 235-1157 or at info@projectsurfcamp.com.

The camps will be Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Azure Street beach access in north Morro Bay; Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Coleman Park in Morro Bay; and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. also at the Azure Street beach access.

Project Surf Camp will hold its annual fundraiser, Rock for Surf, from 2 to 8 p.m. on Sunday at Coleman Park in Morro Bay. The event will include three bands, a beer garden, barbecue, a children’s carnival and a raffle.

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