Campers embrace thrill of surfing ‘one wave at a time’

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LAVALLETTE — Dozens of youngsters lined Lavallette’s Newark Avenue beach to soak up some good surf and summer sun at the Waves of Impact Surf Camp for children with special challenges recently.

It was a fun-filled day not only for the 67 registered campers, but also for the many volunteers on hand on Thursday, Aug. 1.

“It’s all about having fun,” said Keith Lovgren, Waves of Impact co-founder. “So riding a wave is fun, and even the kids falling off is fun. It’s not like you blew it if you have a wipeout.”

Mr. Lovgren has been running these camps along with co-founder Josh Harper since they conceived the nonprofit back in 2010. 

“I grew up here, longtime surfer, love the ocean … and I’ve always felt some sort of pull toward community service,” Mr. Lovgren said. “I went in the Marine Corps after high school. But there’s another organization called Surfer’s Healing, and Surfer’s Healing is the one that started all of this. 

“So, myself and Josh, we were volunteering there 15 years ago, and that’s where we met. I love Surfer’s Healing, I’m friends with everybody there still, but Josh and I were like, ‘Okay, we would love to do this a little bit differently, a little bit more our way.’ So from Surfer’s Healing, we started Waves of Impact nine years ago.” Their motto is: “One Wave at a Time.”

This is an excerpt of the print article. For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.