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Sunday’s event with Los Courage Camps was an epic success!

Our group surf lesson at Santa Monica Beach was an amazing experience. Every day at the beach is fun, but this one was especially rewarding.

Courage Camps Los Angeles
Courage Camps LA

Los Courage Camps & Aqua Surf

Los Courage Camps is a fantastic charity that provides free surf lessons to the children of Los Angeles.

Its mission is to give every child, regardless of their background, an opportunity to experience the joy of surfing. Founded by a former schoolteacher, Los Courage Camps uses surfing to instill confidence, build resilience, and develop courage.

Los Courage Camps & Aquasurf

Sunday’s lesson started with an epic motivational speech by John Acevedo, a local surf legend.

He shared his story and urged the children to be courageous. Next, the participants gathered on the beach to practice their paddling posture, pop-up technique, and surfing stance. After receiving instruction, they were ready to hit the waves. In the water, all the children received individual coaching from an Aqua Surf instructor. Before long, the children were paddling, standing, and surfing. It was awesome to see their incredible progress. 

The event ended with a discussion about the lessons learned in the water and how to apply them to life. It was phenomenal to listen to how the surfing lesson impacted these children.

Although many participants had never been surfing before, they showed remarkable courage and tenacity in the water. Learning something new, especially in an unfamiliar environment, can be daunting. However, all the smiling faces on Sunday remind us that opening up to new experiences can be a blessing.

Girl Surfing the waves

Surfer Spotlight

Giselle Carrillo Los Courage Camps

Giselle Carrillo

Giselle Carrillo is the founder of Los Courage Camps. In addition to being a surfer, she is a fantastic role model and a powerful force for good in our community. Her passion is admirable, and her positive energy is contagious.

Although she was born and raised in Los Angeles, Giselle did not grow up surfing. As a child of immigrants, she focused on her education and helping her parents. When she was young, Giselle did not know any Latinx surfers and believed surfing might not be for her.

As an adult, Giselle challenged herself and learned to surf in Venice Beach. Despite her lack of surfing role models, she was brave and pushed herself to try. Despite the challenges, surfing became a passion, and she developed a love of the ocean.

Giselle wanted to share the joy she experienced surfing. In particular, she wanted to help children from the community she grew up in connect with the ocean. Los Courage Camps combines her love of surfing with her desire to help others. In addition to surfing, the organization also offers skateboarding, martial arts, fitness, and nutrition classes.

We are proud to call Giselle a friend and are always excited to work with her.

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John Acevedo

John Acevedo

John Acevedo is a Latino surfing pioneer with decades of experience in the water. He frequently volunteers with Los Courage Camps and is a fantastic mentor.

When John first learned to surf, he did not know many Latinx surfers. Some members of his community even doubted if he should be pursuing the sport. Back in the day, it was less common to see people of color in the waves. Despite this, John followed his passion and became a surfer. At Los Courage Camps events, he often shares stories about his surfing adventures.

Beyond his surfing expertise, John is an engaging speaker. He effortlessly connects with the participants and generously shares his knowledge. John always urges them to be courageous and reminds them there is no limit to what they can achieve.

When he is not in the water, John is a family man, nature lover, and real estate agent.

John Acevedo knows first-hand the challenges of surfing and the rewards it can bring. He inspires participants and encourages them to try their best.



Giselle Carrillo Los Courage Camps, Executive Director

Los Courage Camps’ mission is to teach the diverse children of Los Angeles who have never experienced the ocean how to surf and consequently connect them with their courage, potential, inner strength, and leadership. Founded in 2017, we have taught more than 200 children how to surf thanks to our network of community partners.

Aqua Surf School has been one of our most vital community partners for the past few years. In partnership with the Surfrider Foundation, Aqua Surf School has been able to provide surf lessons for up to 30 students at each of our events. The Aqua Surf School Team has always ensured that our students are safe, feel cared for, get excellent ocean education, and gain transformation self development skills via surf lessons. We could not have the impact that we have each year without partners like Aqua Surf School sharing everything they know about the surf, with compassion and professionalism.

We highly recommend that Aqua Surf School continue to be a presence in our Los Angeles beach community.

– Giselle Carrillo, Executive Director

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About Aqua Surf School

At Aqua Surf, our mission is to educate and inspire people through surfing.

We want to share the joy of surfing with the world. Although we believe everyone belongs in the waves, we understand there can be barriers to joining the fun. That is why we have a deep commitment to helping all members of our community.

After two decades of operation, we have gained considerable teaching experience and important ocean safety knowledge. Our instructors are trained to serve a diverse range of students with patience and compassion. It is a joy and honor to use this expertise to help others. In addition, we have wetsuits for all body types and surfboards for all sizes. No matter their background or ability level, we believe all people deserve the opportunity to learn.

As surfers, we are incredibly grateful for the happiness and fulfillment surfing provides. This gratitude inspires us to give back to others.

At Aqua Surf, we serve others with passion and strive to be a positive force in our community.

Like Los Courage Camps, we believe learning to surf can build character and foster positive habits. It is always a pleasure to partner with such a fantastic charity. We are always proud to support Los Courage Camps.

We cannot wait for our next event!

See other ways we are giving back! Read Here