In 2021, Lobster Jo’s Beach Camp was founded, working with the City of Santa Barbara to bring a spin on a fun, ocean oriented, and educational beach camp to life. We started off with a bang, enrolling 450 kids that maiden summer. In 2023 we were able to partner with the Parks and Recreation Community (PARC) and the Police Activities League (PAL) to award scholarships to a number of kids who were interested in attending camp but needed help to afford it.
All About The KIDS
During that summer, I met a wide variety of kids throughout the local community. Spending time with them led me to learn many things– kids love to spill their guts out and tell you all about themselves. I realized in talking to them that a wide gulf existed between different kids in terms of what opportunities they had, whether recreational or otherwise. I also couldn’t help but notice how much enthusiasm there was among the kids on scholarship and how valuable attending camp was to them.
However, I also became frustrated the times I was reminded that only a small number of campers were able to take advantage of scholarships. On a Monday morning, I was speaking to a mom with three kids. I encouraged all of them to join in and play –everyone is nervous the first day of camp, after all. With a tinge of embarrassment, the mom clarified that only one son was able to join us this week. He was given a scholarship. There were not enough scholarships for the other two kids. Later that evening I looked into the scholarship process and realized there were lots of other kids in that boat with them.
This made my stomach churn.
I know that there are lots more kids who need scholarships than there are scholarships available. Because of that, I’ve been working to expand our scholarship program this season and get more interested kids out on the beach and in the water, hosting fundraisers and getting in touch with foundations all throughout the South Coast. In total, I’d like to raise $40,000 in scholarship revenue, which would cover the costs for about a quarter of our campers this year. If you’re a business, individual, or foundation who’d like to help with that, let me know!
We’re one of the most affordable camps in Santa Barbara, and your money can have a big impact. A week of camp can change a young child's point of view, give them new aspirations, and most importantly give them some much-needed fun in the sun.
Applying for a Scholarship
If you are interested in becoming a camper and want a scholarship, you can reach out to the Santa Barbara Police Activities League (SBPAL) to learn more about eligibility and how to apply. Not anyone can get a scholarship. SBPAL collaborates with us and a number of other camps through their Campership Alliance Program, which distributes funding raised from donations made to the PARC Foundation. They select applicants based on a few criteria, including availability and need. They also provide transportation when necessary. If you are interested in scholarships and you think you qualify, get in touch with SBPAL here!