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Kids Kayak Summer Camp in the Bay Area [2024]

Last Updated on March 2, 2024 by Jess Grigsby

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kids kayak camp

Summers are made for adventure, and what could be more thrilling for your child than a week of kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and exploring the coastal waterways of Santa Cruz, on the Monterey Bay?

Welcome to the 2024 Kids Kayak Summer Camp, an extraordinary experience designed to foster a love for the outdoors and a deep respect for the marine environment in children from all backgrounds.

Led by the expert and friendly guides at Kayak Connection, this camp is not just about paddling— it’s about building awareness, making connections, and learning through experience in a beautiful place.

What’s the Kids Kayak Camp All About?

Kids Kayak Camp is a day camp program for children ages 10-13. The camp runs from Monday to Thursday, from 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM, at Kayak Connection in the Santa Cruz Harbor. Two separate sessions are offerred: June 10-13th and July 22-25th.

This camp offers a fantastic opportunity for your child to learn the fundamentals of kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding. They will also experience the thrill of boogie boarding and explore the scenic trails behind Schwan Lagoon.

Once campers complete the program, they’ll receive a free hat and a coupon for discounted kayak rentals to take their families kayaking and show off their new skills.

Don’t miss out on this exciting adventure! Registration opens February 1 and closes June 3rd.

What Will My Kids Gain at Kayak Camp?

kids kayaking camp

Our kayak camp aims to teach kids about the local marine environment while encouraging them to make new friends and develop new skills under the guidance of expert instructors.

Here’s what we’ll focus on while your kids are kayaking with us:

1. Water Safety and Confidence

Safety is paramount during our Kids Kayak Camp. All campers will be equipped with the gear, knowledge, and skills needed to navigate calm waters safely and responsibly.

Your children will also return with increased situational awareness around water and more sense of connection with marine ecosystems.

2. Fun and Friendships

From our “Kayaking Olympics” extravaganza to the famous Boogie Board Bash, this camp guarantees a week full of laughter and cherished memories.

3. Respect for Local Ecosystems

From the coastal wetlands of Schwan Lake to the vast marine life of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, campers will learn how interconnected our world truly is.

Through interactive games and on-the-water observations, they will see the web of life in action.

4. Knowledge About Ocean Conditions

Tides, winds, and waves are more than just phenomena—they are the elements that shape the water playground that is the Monterey Bay Area.

The instructors at Kayak Connection will educate children about oceanic conditions through interactive and engaging lessons.

The Itinerary

Our camp provides a varied, engaging structure that keeps kids excited about what’s to come each day.

Here’s a glimpse into the daily adventures:

Day One: The Journey Begins

  • We’ll kickstart with some icebreakers, expectations & guidelines to create a safe and fun learning environment.
  • Campers will get acquainted with their trusty Piccolos (closed-deck single kayaks specifically crafted for children), learning basic strokes with some games to practice.
  • After lunch at our dock, we’ll learn basic rescues and have fun capsizing and helping eachother back into the kayaks.

Day Two: Stand Up Paddleboarding and Sit-on-Top Doubles

  • Day two is all about mastering the art of balance on stand-up paddleboards!
  • Campers will learn basic strokes and balance as we explore the North Harbor on SUPs.
  • After lunch we’ll explore the mile long harbor using sit-on-top double kayaks and potentially paddle onto the Monterey Bay if ocean conditions are extremely calm.

Day Three: Schwan Lake and Beyond

  • Day three is dedicated to exploring Schwan Lake, a picturesque haven for local flora and fauna.
  • Campers will embark on a short nature walk, exploring native Oak Woodland habitat & reflecting on indigenous people’s reciprocal relationships with our natural world.
  • Campers learn the basics of “Leave No Trace” principles & practice sitting quietly in nature during a guided “mindful moment.”

Day Four: The Grand Finale

  • We wrap up our camp experience with Olympic-style games in the North Harbor, followed by a choice of vessel paddle through the South Harbor, potentially exiting the harbor onto the Monterey Bay if ocean conditions are extremely calm.
  • The highlight of the day is the Boogie Board Bash at Twin Lakes Beach, where campers ride the waves under the careful guidance & supervision of the camp’s expert instructors.

Each day’s activities offer a mix of adventure, learning, and fun, ensuring that the campers make the most of their time on and off the water.

What to Bring to Kayak Camp

A prepared camper is a happy camper! Make sure to pack these things in your child’s backpack each day:

  • Sack lunch and extra snacks
  • Water bottle
  • Sunscreen
  • Towel & extra change of clothes
  • Bathing suit
  • Sun hat
  • A fleece layer or sweatshirt (weather can change quickly on the Santa Cruz coast)
  • If your child already has a rash guard, it may be a good idea to pack it for extra warmth and protection, but it is optional.

How to Enroll Your Child in the 2024 Kayak Summer Camp

kayak summer camp

To secure your child’s spot in the 2024 Kids Kayak Summer Camp, click here to choose your session and complete the enrollment form.

Early registration is strongly advised, as space is limited. We can’t wait to see your kids at camp!

Join us at Kayak Camp This Summer! Register Today.

The 2024 Kids Kayak Summer Camp promises a week full of joy, new experiences, and lifelong memories. With a focus on safety, fun, and education, this camp offers the perfect blend of recreation and enrichment.

Do you want to learn more about this program or our other kids’ camps and classes? Contact our team today.

Additional Camp Information and Parent FAQs

Is the camp suitable for children with no paddling experience?

Absolutely. The 2024 Kids Kayak Summer Camp is designed to accommodate children of all skill levels. The experienced instructors will tailor their approach to support beginners and challenge those with prior water sports experience. It’s one of the best things to do with kids in the Bay Area.

What is the cancellation policy?

You must cancel seven days or more before the first day of camp for a full refund.

Are wetsuits provided?

Kayak Connection provides 2/3 wetsuits and personal flotation devices (PFDs), but you’re welcome to bring your child’s wetsuit if they own one – preferably 4/3 to be warmer.

Can my child participate if they can’t swim?

Unfortunately, no. For the safety of our campers, every child enrolled in our Kayak Camp needs to be able to swim.

Author: Jess Grigsby

Since 2012, Jess has co-owned and operated Kayak Connection together with her husband Dave. She is a lawyer, coach, avid kayak enthusiast and mother of two teenage girls. At Kayak Connection, Jess oversees a team of experienced kayak guides who are all CPR certified, with many holding advanced Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certifications. Our team is composed of environmental educators, naturalists and classroom teachers with experience working with all kinds of visitors, from school groups to large corporate teams.