“Surfing the Spectrum” is a short documentary about Natalie Pepper and Spectrum Surf Camps, told through interviews with her, the campers, families and volunteers who participate each year.
Students and staff from UCPNB’s Cypress School have participated in the Spectrum Surf Camps with Natalie Pepper at Stinson Beach since the summer of 2014. The camps provide students with special needs the opportunity to experience the rush of catching a wave on a surfboard, something most of whom have never thought they could do.
The results are amazing and certain to lift the spirits of all who witness it.
Spectrum Surf Camps is a unique therapeutic program that offers one-week surf camps for children with special needs, including, but not limited to, autism spectrum disorder, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, and emotional disturbances. The camp is limited to six (6) campers with a 1:1 and/or 2:1 camper/instructor ratio. Staff includes behavior specialists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, peer volunteers, and surf instructors who have experience working with both children and adults with special needs.
Spectrum Surf Camps’ home base is located in Bolinas, California, just north of San Francisco. Camp sessions take place on both Bolinas Beach and Stinson Beach, which are the perfect settings to introduce children to the sport of surfing. Bolinas and Stinson Beach are well known beginner’s spots that offer consistent wave height and speed during the summer months with gentle rollers and a sandy bottom. While there is no guarantee that each camper will stand up on his/her board, s/he will certainly experience the thrill of the ocean and riding a wave.
Special educator, surfer, and mom, Natalie Pepper, combined her passions for teaching and surfing to create a surf camp to serve children with special needs. She brought together a team of experts that includes behavior specialists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, and seasoned surf instructors to provide a surf camp experience that best meets the needs of children with special needs.