The Maui Surfer Girls surf school is now accepting scholarship applications for their 19th summer teen girls surf camp. With the help of a donation from the Will Smith Foundation, the surf school will award these scholarships to help teens cover the cost of attending the camp.
The camp aims to empower teenage girls through mentorship, water sports, and various camp programs. Some of the campʻs activities include speed boat rides, wakeboarding, snorkeling, and waterfall hikes. The camp is open to teens from across the country and runs for two sessions from July 15 to 21 and from July 22 to 28. According to the surf school, the first session, Pono Camp, will focus on inner strength, while the second session, Mana Camp, will focus on outer strength.
“Our goal for these camps has always been to create strong, independent young women, and with our new themed programs, we can really look at each aspect of strength, whether it’s emotional, physical, or mental, and dive into that throughout the camp,” camp founder Dustin Tester said. “We’re also excited to be bringing in more members of the community as mentors, and taking advantage of all the various experts that live and work in Maui.”
The overnight camps include on-island transportation, oceanfront accommodations, as well as meals and activities. Both camps will provide surf lessons each morning with a professional, all-female surf coaching team. The camps will also offer a service learning project and an evening counsel session. According to the surf school, the word pono is a Hawaiian word that is generally translated as morality or righteousness, while the word mana can be translated as power, typically in the spiritual sense. The Pono camp will include afternoon workshops with life coaches, art therapy, nutritional counseling, and a Hawaiian cultural hike. The Mana camp will include more advanced surf coaching options, junior lifeguard training, personal training sessions, and a “Surf Olympics,” one of the campʻs traditions.
“Our camp counselors are not only excellent surfers and surf instructors, but serve as strong role models as well,” Tester said. “Many of them are even former campers themselves, and truly believe in the power of this program. We love to stay in touch with our alumnae and see what they accomplish. We have Harvard graduates, Stanford students, and even some children of our earliest campers are now attending camp!”
Each session will run for 7 nights and 8 days and costs $2,375 plus tax and registration. The cost to attend both camps is $4,650.
A 10% discount on the camp fee is available for Hawaiʻi residents. Teens requiring financial assistance to attend may apply for scholarships online . The deadline to apply is June 1. Donations to the campʻs scholarship program may also be made on the same page.
In addition to the teen’s camp, the surf school offers a women’s camp for women ages 18 and up. The camp is run as a wellness retreat, with a blend of physical activities and relaxation programs.
“I designed this program for teen girls almost two decades ago,” Tester said. “But the need for strong females bonding together is now greater than ever. The response to this program has been fantastic, with almost all of our camps selling out this past year. Whether it’s facing your fears of the ocean, taking your sport to the next level, or just taking a week to reconnect with yourself, there’s something for everyone at this camp.”
Surf camps are open to beginner and intermediate surfers, as the surf coaching team will be available to help campers improve their skills each day. Besides surfing, the other camp activities include whale watching, snorkeling, hiking, yoga, and massages. The camp costs $1,950 plus tax per camper and includes three meals a day and on-island transportation. Hawaiʻi residents will also receive a 10% discount. Womenʻs camps are currently sold out until October.