Back home in Aruba after my trip in Europe I was re-energized and decided to organize a kids camp. Within a week the idea of the camp materialized and together with my friend Jordan we started promoting it. My mom came up with the name “Bela yen”.
Which means “full sail” in Papiamentu and means going “Full throttle” when you do something. The perfect name! Thanks, ma!
The idea for the camp was to teach the kids to windsurf and at the same time get them acquainted with all the activities the beach has to offer.
We live on a beautiful island surrounded by water and I know there are many locals not making use of our biggest asset. Whether it’s Windsurfing, stand up paddling, sailing the hoby cat, kitesurfing or just simply coming to relax at the beach and catching some sunrays…. Aruba has so much to offer!
Besides that, the main thing I remember from when I started windsurfing, is how much FUN I would have going to the beach to hang out with my friends. We came to the beach to learn how to windsurf but “ going windsurfing” meant so much more to me.
It meant adventure time! We’d go and explore the shipwreck, we’d play pirate games, on light wind days we’d go snorkel and count sea stars, we’d try to fish while sailing, collect shells and play games at the beach and so much more.
Oh man. Going windsurfing meant and still means so much more to me!
We split the camp up in two and did 3 days with 12 kids and then a second camp again with another group of 12 kids. Thanks to the gear we have these days everybody could basically lift the sails and get going on the first day. By the last day we were having relay races and it was so much fun to see all the kids cheering for each other.
The extra activities we had were taking a ride on the hoby cat around the fishermen huts where the kids would see turtles and see the coastline from a different perspective. We had a beach clean-up which every time was my favorite activity. The kids knew so much about the environment, plastics, reef friendly sunblock.
In a short time they collected a lot of trash!
By the end of both camps the kids got a good feeling for what windsurfing is and the most important to me it felt like they had all become friends.
I feel like in Aruba the structure to get more kids into windsurfing is missing.
But I hope we can build this up slowly again.
For myself it was a great experience where I learned a lot and definitely would like to do more in the future.
Big thank you to Aruba Aloë, Arubiano, Bula Surfshop for providing all the gear to protect the kids against the sun. And Frasa, Subway and ling and sons for providing all the snacks for the kids.