Camp Surf: An honest review and recap

Camp Surf: An honest review and recap

Riley Brown, Staff writer

Hello, Patriots!

 Last week, the freshman class here at Viewpoint went on a three day retreat to the YMCA Camp Surf in San Diego. If you’re a sophomore or older, you probably remember this trip vividly and the memories you made on it. If you’re younger than 9th grade, you’re probably already thinking about who you’ll sit with on the bus. Here’s a little review of how this year’s trip went, from a freshman. 

On the surface, it was a little tumultuous . The heat and humidity were through the rood, even in the rain. Sand was everywhere and you couldn’t get it out of your cabin or clothes, we couldn’t swim in the ocean for two out of the three days because of dangerous sewage from Mexico’s shore, five people got stung by stingrays, the s’more-tillas were controversial, the Queen of England died on our second day, and it rained on our last day. -Don’t even mention the food. 

But I actually really enjoyed the retreat.

First of all, the kitchen had substitutes for all food allergens – anything that wasn’t gluten-free, dairy free, nut free, or vegan had a version that was. So even though the food wasn’t good, everyone could be moderately grossed out together.

Second, the schedule was great. While we did have to wake up early, it gave us time to eat and find out what we’d be participating in that day. Then, we got plenty of time to get ready back at our cabins and head down to wherever our next endeavor was. We could jump between swimming, hanging out on the beach, playing volleyball or gaga ball, or a set activity like bike riding, skateboarding, rock climbing, and archery. 

On both Wednesday and Thursday night, everyone would head down to the “Pirate’s Cove”, which was a little stage surrounded by logs to sit on. On Wednesday, we did a competition where students had to vote on which teacher they guessed had done the amazing feat that was read out by Ms. Russell. Who pulled a shark out of the ocean with their bare hands, Mr. Howie! Who has driven across the country coast-to-coast 12+ times Mr. Dilg!  Then, on Thursday, we had a talent show! It was so much fun to watch our friends perform songs, play musical instruments, or do gymnastics. Anyone could go up and showcase their talents, even if it was just dancing to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” (yes, this did happen).

Even though there were so many activities, we also had lots of downtime in the cabins to call family, take pictures, or just relax. 

And while the cabins were peaceful during the day, at night no one could go to sleep. My cabin consistently got in trouble for treating the “lights out” rule as a mere suggestion, but that was probably my favorite part of the whole trip. Some of the bunk’s windows were screenless, so members of each cabin could pop their heads out and talk to each other. 

Lastly, the bus rides there and home were fine. The buses were super comfortable and had fairly good WiFi (two things no school bus I had ever previously been on had), but they were freezing cold, and the fact that our jackets had been soaked in the rain didn’t help.


If you have the opportunity to go to Camp Surf, you absolutely should. Any new situation may feel uncomfortable at first, but the memories you’ll make with your friends will be unforgettable.