Organization plans surf camp



Freedom Is Not Free, a nonprofit organization devoted to aiding wounded soldiers and the families of the fallen, will hold the first Little Warriors Surf Camp from Aug. 10 through 14 at La Jolla Shores.

The camp, for the children of active duty servicemen and woman, will include surf instruction, classes in ocean conservation, meetings with celebrities and wounded servicemen surfers and a free surfboard at the conclusion of the camp.

“Surfing is the kind of sport that any kid can do,” said retired Lt. Col. Jay Kopelman, executive director of FINF. “It provides not only physical fitness, but spiritual and emotional fitness as well, and that’s a key component.”

Kopelman said the experience of being out on the water, alone with your board and riding the waves, can be therapeutic to children whose father or mother has been wounded or killed in action.

“It provides an inner peace,” Kopelman said.

The event is sponsored in part by Surf Diva, INT Softboards, Wahoo’s Fish Tacos, Mitch’s Surf Shop and La Jolla Shores Hotel and is free for participants. Surf Diva will host a Retail Therapy Event the evening before the camp, with 20 percent of proceeds going to FINF.

Designed for children ages 8-15, the camp has room for about 65 more participants. Interested parents can visit

for more information.

“This is something different,” Kopelman said. “We’re doing something for the children, and we’re doing something for fallen servicemen. Combined, that is something that’s really appealing.”