About our Kids Windsurfing Camps (parents please read this):

Our camps are about Education, Motivation, Participation. Our kid’s camps are a great way for children to experience the ocean in a social and entertaining atmosphere.

Camp Structure

The camp structure is designed to develop the student’s natural desires and curiosity in a non-threatening, and socially interactive atmosphere. Each child will have a mixture of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. The camp will help the individual to develop a set of positive experiences that will become the foundation for their lasting connection to the activity. Our coaches try to identify each student’s comfort levels and constantly adjust the lesson pace and structure to accommodate individuality. Our kids camps always emphasize fun.

Social Development

Young participants are developing their fundamental social skills and relationships with their peers and coaches. Each student is included in a smaller group of students of similar age or ability. Group exercises encourage interaction, communication, and cooperation. Interacting within a dynamic group helps a child to develop their self esteem in the social context.

Tandem Team Building

Tandem sailing is a team building exercise that is fun for the kids and creates a social motivation for their participation. Kids assist each other and switch roles as captain and crew. Play time is learning time for kids. Kids need to have fun to be kids. Doing a fun sports camp like this encourages a positive attitude towards the activity, and will help a child to develop a healthy attitude towards participation in sport. The early experiences in the ocean will shape a child’s attitude for their entire life. So their future success will depend on receiving a gentle, positive, and motivating exposure to the benefits of outdoor exercise.

Parental Interaction

Some parental interaction is encouraged. But it must be positive. The best thing a parent can do is watch from a discreet distance, and be unobtrusive during the lessons. We encourage parents to be present at the end of each session to acknowledge the student’s improvement. We do not believe that it is beneficial to be over-involved in the lesson. It could interrupt the lesson dynamics. Any input and feedback on the lesson can be given to Suzie of David after the lesson unless an urgent situation arises. Sometimes well meaning parents become too pushy and overlook the minor achievements of the student, and forget to be encouraging and supportive. Parents should always try to be supportive of the student’s achievements no matter how small they may seem. All of our students thrive on their parents support and encouragement.

Student Participation

Students are encouraged to attend the entire camp from start to finish. This way they meet a new group on the first day and learn and grow as a team. Each of the students can participate in each others development and see their growth. Each student can then find their comfort level in the group and receive the benefits of the group dynamic. We do not force the students to participate beyond some gentle encouragement. Some students will need some time to get used to the activity & to overcome any shyness or water related anxiety. Through play like “wobbleboard”, and other fun activities they develop confidence and will welcome the chance to participate without any coercion. Kids will often alternate between rest breaks on shore, and on-water play or sailing. Kids will often tell us when they want to rest and when they want to play. We encourage them to think for themselves and express their needs. If kids are cold they may decide to play on shore and warm up a little. Some kids are happy to be chauffeured around on someone’s board, or to do “taxi rides” for each other. It is better to allow the student to take breaks when they want, so that they stay motivated when they want to sail. Forcing any young student to sail when they are tired or cold will de-motivate them very quickly.

Empowerment through Choice

Again I need to stress to well-meaning parents that we encourage the students to decide how much sailing is enough for themselves. During an early camp a new student may be a little more timid, and watchful. Testing the water, and making a few preliminary attempts. Kids are also feeling out the group. Kids will in their own time find their comfort level and the right amount of sailing-time vs. shore-time for them. No one else can decide what is right for the students comfort level. Example: We have seen parents yelling at a child to get back on the board and do more sailing, this doesn’t actually motivate them, in fact it usually does the opposite.

Playtime is learning time

Kids learn through play. Our Kids camp program has been so successful because of the positive, fun and encouraging atmosphere. Kids will discover their world through play, the learning part is just part of the fun. Water confidence, physical coordination and balance skills are naturally acquired. An understanding of the natural elements like the wind and water are assimilated through experience and experimentation. Kids will even learn while they are falling off the boards. If falling off becomes fun they are never discouraged to try new things or make more attempts. The student’s level of enjoyment is directly related to their future success in the sport.

Kids Camp Evolution

The Maui Sports Unlimited Kids Camp has been the basis of many windsurfing athlete’s future careers. Most of our instructor team has grown up with the camps and have stayed connected to the wider windsurfing community.  Our camps are about so much more than just windsurfing. They are about helping kids to develop a healthy and happy attitude toward ocean sports. This will encourage them to choose healthier and more active lifestyles. We believe that sharing our joy for the ocean through these activities is the best way to do this. We enhance the student’s natural affinity for these outdoor sports through positive role models and positive experiences. And this will ultimately assist in their evolution to become lifelong water-lovers.

Happy windsurfing,

David and Suzie Dorn
MSU camp directors.

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