To Surf Camp, From A Mom

Today’s heartwarming blog comes from Patti Heath, one of the many amazing parents we had the pleasure of getting to know at our Freedom Surf Camp. We are so thankful for the opportunity to love on families like hers as part of our job description; it is these stories that bring our full-time volunteer staff fresh passion for what we do. Read below to see why!


Just over a year ago we signed my daughter up for Surf Camp with Surfing The Nations.  Since that enrollment, we have attended a total of 3 surf camp sessions!  It’s safe to say that our experience with STN’s camps have been downright amazing because we just keep coming back for more!

The Freedom Surf Camp is a place where the kids can do crafts, learn to swim (or improve their current skills), play beach volleyball, and go SURFING!  The kids are given a structured environment to roll in the sand, slide down the biggest slip n slide ever, or catch waves to their hearts content.  As summarized by my daughter the best part of surf camp is, “It’s just fun mom”.


(Patti and her daughter, Marissa)

As a mom though, the surf camp is more than “just fun”. Not only do the funds raised from surf camp go directly back into the community helping other local families, but the surf camp directly and positively impacts the kids that attend the camp.  My daughter, Marissa, has Down Syndrome and things aren’t always so easy for her.  As her mom, I struggle with worry for her and wonder of what’s to come.  I tentatively signed Marissa up for that 1st surf camp, completely not knowing what to expect for her.

However, the completely and utterly amazing STN crew came out with overwhelming love, compassion, and patience.  Their kindness and care to make surf camp an environment where Marissa felt safe and empowered, helped Marissa do something I never imagined that she could or would do!  They got her ON a board, they got her INTO the ocean, AND they got her STANDING on a surf board, CATCHING WAVES!


Surfing The Nations opened Pandora’s box of dreams for a mom with a child of special needs. And for my little girl, well for her, they gave her the tools she needs to follow her (what we once believed to be) seemingly impossible dreams.  We are forever grateful to STN.  Not only for their surf camp, but their community outreach, their overall mission, and their ability to reach out to a few kids and make the entire family feel welcome.

~Patti J Heath

3 Replies to "To Surf Camp, From A Mom"

  • Dylan
    March 31, 2016 (8:21 pm)

    This makes my heart so happy!!!

  • Jim Thornton Jr.
    April 5, 2016 (4:34 pm)

    Ms. Health, blessings to you, your daughter and family. Thanks for sharing about your positive experience with STN, an organization with which I’m also impressed, and proud to be associated, via monthly financial support & prayer.

  • Hana
    June 22, 2016 (2:04 am)

    Marissa looks so happy in these pictures! You do amazing here at Surfing the Nations and it shows, it’s so hard to get these kids to involve in such activities, they almost always tend to stay on the side.

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