Surf and Tech Summer Camps – Generation Y Hits the Waves – Games and Tech

Generation Y lives in a media-saturated and pop-inundated world. Consequently the average Gen Y spends several hours each day in front of the TV, whereas in the past this time would have been devoted to physical activities. “Our society has become very sedentary,” said the Surgeon General. “Forty-three percent of adolescents watch more than two hours of television each day…which contribute to children’s inactive lifestyles.”
Tina Humphrey from Southern California saw firsthand how kids today are more tech savvy than athletic. Her children Sophie and Austin were no different. While they biked, hiked and rode horses, Tina wished they’d spend more time outside instead of glued to the TV for hours on end. When surfing the Internet one day, she was excited to discover a unique Surf & Tech program at Pepperdine University through Kanoa Aquatics and iD Tech Camps.Three years ago Kip Jerger, founder of Kanoa Aquatics, partnered with iD Tech Camps to reach more Gen Y kids that wouldn’t typically choose to surf.
And it worked.The weeklong, day and overnight, Surf & Tech summer program allows Gen Y kids to do something fun and physical in the sun, but also lets them focus on their high tech interest. Additionally, through iD Tech Camps, participants turn their video game and Internet passion into an educational experience where they learn how to develop a video game or design web pages. This stimulates their imagination and unleashes their creativity while also getting outside and being active in a fun sport like surfing.
“This program allows kids to find a good balance of academics and physical activities,” said Tina. “Typically if kids are into technology, they’re only into technology. And if kids are into sports, they’re only into sports. This Surf & Tech program makes kids more well-rounded and helps them find new possible passions through things they already enjoy doing.”
Austin and Sophie had previously caught waves, but only on boogie boards. Now they were excited to learn how to surf like pros. During half the day, they surfed on the Pacific Ocean while the other half of the day they spent in the computer lab. By the end of the week, besides surfing Austin learned how to make a video game.”It was super fun, everyone was up by the first day and I caught my wave right away,” said fourteen year old Austin. “And the Multimedia Fusion software made it easy to take my ideas and transform them into a cool, multi level video game all in just one week.”Through learning hands-on the mechanism behind game development, Austin has become more critical when playing video games. “Now it annoys me when I play a game that lacks depth,” says Austin. “I know that the developer was lazy.”Meanwhile, sixth grader Sophie applied her balancing skills from horseback riding and quickly caught waves. “Surfing was so much more fun than just boarding,” said Sophie. “The instructors were super nice and encouraging that each day I couldn’t wait to attack the waves.”During the non-surfing portion, Sophie took the Web Design & Flash® Animation course so she could incorporate her artwork and drawings into a website. “I really liked exploring animations, and with Flash it was super easy to make my drawings come alive in 3D,” said Sophie. “Now when I surf the Internet I can see which pages took a lot of work and which ones were thrown together.”With their new passions, you may see Sophie and Austin surfing at a Maverick’s contest or behind the development scenes of video games and websites. Well maybe not for awhile, but you will see them this summer surfing the Malibu waves and creating projects at Pepperdine University’s computer lab. Sessions run from July 2nd through August 4th.