The Adventure Surf Club project is run as a weekly extramural activity for disadvantaged youth from one of the local schools. Our main goal is to keep the children occupied and off the streets after school. Volunteers help us teach them valuable life lessons through adventure activities, teamwork, educational classes and sports such as skateboarding, swimming and surfing. The children that cannot swim yet receive swimming lessons. Those that have already mastered this vital skill, are given the opportunity to learn how to surf.
Our Skate Club is an after-school project that is part of the Adventure Surf Club program. Volunteers will learn how to skateboard with a staff member and then assist with teaching the kids how to skate as well as participate in other confidence-building activities. For most of the children this is the highlight of their day, which is why we also use it as an incentive for them to do well in school, giving them a better chance at a brighter future. Those that turn up for school every day, behave themselves in class and study hard will be rewarded by going skateboarding, swimming or surfing after school.
This project offers the volunteers a great way to gain experience working with children and groups, and learn new outdoor activities like surfing and skateboarding - volunteers themselves receive lessons so they can help teach the children. You need to be able to swim to be able to participate in this project, however, you do not need any surfing experience as you will receive a 1-hour surf lesson each week. You can also book extra surf lessons (4+2 hours) to quickly become more confident in the waves.
Learn to surf and teach the children how to surf
Learn to skateboard and teach the children
Spend most of your day outdoors and on the beach
Learn to assist in classrooms
Help the children develop life, sport and educational skills
Gain experience in working with children within an organisation
Provide children with new experiences
Learn about South African culture and way of life
Develop new friendships
About Your Location
The Western Cape, where the program is based, is a very culturally diverse area of South Africa. There is a large integration of the poor with the wealthy. The main cultures that you will be working with are English or Afrikaans South Africans. The children in this program range from 12 to 14 years old and live in the townships in Cape Town such as Dunoon. Most of them can speak English, yet their mother tongue may be Afrikaans or Xhosa. The homes they live in are often built from scrap metal and second-hand wood and usually do not have running water. Forty percent of the families in these areas lack a male head of household and the children often have no one to monitor their educational progress or after-school activities. Furthermore, alcohol and drug abuse is common in the townships where they live and especially at this age they are susceptible to recruitment by local gangs.
Day 1: Welcome to South Africa
You are collected from the airport and taken to your volunteer accommodation. You will be shown around and given a map of the area. Depending on your arrival time, you will meet your volunteer leader and learn more about your project, if you arrive late you will be given a time to meet your leader. You have the day at your own leisure so you can explore the beach, shops, bars and restaurants. In the evening we have a traditional South African BBQ, called a braai, at the hostel.
Day 2: Orientation Tour of Cape Town
Start the day with breakfast and head to SaltyCrax backpackers. A SaltyCrax staff member will teach you about the bus system before you head out to Cape Town city centre. You have two options to choose from:
1) Walking Tour
Do a walking tour visiting historical sites like the Castle of Good Hope and the Grand Parade. Learn about life under apartheid in South Africa at the Parliament buildings and the District Six Museum. Shop for African arts and crafts in Greenmarket Square and St George’s Mall.
2) Hop-on Hop-off Bus Pass
Board this open rooftop bus that takes you to all the sites you need to see such as Camps Bay, the V&A Waterfront and Table Mountain... all from the comfort of your seat!
After one of the above activities you can take a bus or walk to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Sit back and sip a cocktail, enjoy some fresh fish and watch the ships in the busy working harbour or walk around taking in the shops, markets and musicians on the sidewalks. Alternatively, you can take the cable car up Table Mountain and enjoy breathtaking views of the city, or visit the famous Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was held in prison during the apartheid era (own expense).
In the evening head back on the local bus to Table View where you can start planning your next day. We will help you book and arrange all that you need. Later, you can join the staff, guests and the locals at one of the restaurants or bars along the beach front in Table View - all within rolling distance from the hostel where you will be staying the night.
Day 3: Surf Lesson (4 hours) or a Day Off
If you choose to book extra surf lessons at extra cost, on your first Sunday we’ll head down to the beach after breakfast to start your first surfing lesson with our qualified surf instructor. You will be briefed on correct board use, safety as well as the ocean before we hit the first waves. Your instructor will be by your side assisting you and the rest of the group with tips on how to stand and how to go catch a wave.
Alternatively you will have the day at your own leisure to relax and get ready before your project starts.
Weekly Schedule & Activities
Volunteers work 5 days a week from Monday to Friday. Some days volunteers will work a full 8 hours and other days 4 to 5 hours depending on the needs of the project. Working hours are generally from 09:00-15:00. The volunteers’ mornings are spent assisting in one of the schools. In the afternoons volunteers are split into 3 groups that each get a day of surfing, skating and swimming during the week. Volunteers will also have a chance to learn how to surf with an instructor. These surf lessons take place on Fridays without the kids.
In this project volunteers receive a 1-hour surf lesson each week, but you can also book extra surf lessons (4+2 hours) at extra cost. Just inform your travel advisor when making the booking!
If you book the extra lessons, you'll have your first surfing lesson (4 hours) on your first Sunday (day 3) with our qualified surf instructor. On the following Sunday (day 10) we hit the beach again for some more intense surfing lessons (2 hours). By now you should be standing and catching small waves to the shore. You will have the day to practice on your own with our boards or explore some of Cape Town. In the evening we will have dinner and discuss your progress for the day with photo/video coaching.
Volunteers will stay in one of our volunteer houses with bedrooms sleeping 2-5 people. All houses are facilitated with electricity, hot water, a kitchen, one or two toilets, a bathroom with a shower, beds with linen (no towels). Male and female volunteers will share rooms unless otherwise requested. Upgrades to private single or double rooms are available at extra cost.
Volunteers are responsible for keeping their own room and volunteer house tidy. Two to three times a week a cleaning lady will be there to clean the house and change linen. The volunteer houses are at walking distance from shops, restaurants, entertainment, bus stops and the beach. The volunteer accommodation has a pool. Accommodation can be upgraded to private rooms for an additional cost.
Volunteers will be met at Cape Town International airport. On project days the volunteers will be transported by private car or mini bus. The vehicles are roadworthy and have all relevant licenses and liability insurance.
Volunteers will receive 3 meals a day which include:
Breakfast: self-catering breakfast of cereals, fruit, yogurt, toast & spreads
Lunch: self-catering lunch of breads, fruit, cold meats, salad & spreads
Dinner: a hot meal will be served every night. These range from a traditional BBQ, stews, casseroles, fresh vegetable etc.
Tea and coffee will be available all day.
All dinners will include meat, starch and vegetables.
A generous amount of food will always be given so no one will go hungry.
All other drinks will be at own expense.
A refrigerator is available for volunteer’s personal food.
PLEASE NOTE: Participants must advise us on their dietary needs when filling out the application form.
Visas & Insurances:
Visas and insurances are the responsibility of the volunteer.
Winter in South Africa:
Please note that May through to September are our winter months and it can get quite chilly with an average temperature ranging from 5 degrees Celsius at night to 15 degrees Celsius during the day. So, please make sure to pack enough warm clothes if you plan your trip in that period.