The WAVE Program is coming in 2024! 

Phone: (408) 960-5194

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Register your child today! Click below


Apply for help for your child today! Click below

A WAVE Breaks in Pacific Grove -

The Free Summer Program for PG Kids Makes its Debut

By Michelle Netzloff
Cedar Street Times - May 19, 2017

Respect. Loyalty. Sportsmanship. Fun. These values will be riding in on The WAVE Program, a new summer camp that is free to all PG kids age 10-12. The WAVE Program launches this July with a goal to provide an active, healthy and positive camp experience for Pacific Grove youngsters. Executive Director Darryl Smith, who enjoyed a 27 year professional career as a High School Physical Education Teacher and distinguished Collegiate Coach, heads up the program. Darryl is known for his skill as a master motivator and his enthusiasm is tangible as he talks about the program.

What is the WAVE Program?
“The WAVE Program is a 3 week program for 5th, 6th and 7th graders that emphasizes sports, swimming, arts and dance. It's designed specifically for the Pacific Grove community with a goal of promoting school pride and putting community pride back into high school through athletics. The program includes basketball, baseball/softball, flag football, volleyball, soccer, tennis, track and field, lacrosse, badminton, art, dance, music, swimming, and health/nutrition. Kids attend eight activities a day, each class is 45 minutes long, Monday through Friday, from 8:30am-4pm. Every kid plays every sport. All coaches on staff are professional head coaches at Pacific Grove High. They're great coaches and leaders. One of the advantages of having PGHS staff teach in this program is that kids get to meet the coaches and their future mentors before they attend school there. And the coaches get to meet every 5th, 6th and 7th grader that's going to be in the High School two years from now. Kids in the program also get to meet the high schoolers who are already playing on PGHS teams, so they get to know the athletes who actually play for the Breakers. My hope is that program kids will say to their parents, ‘Hey Joey's my friend and Joey has a baseball game tonight, I met the coach and I want to go watch.' It's all in perfect concert, a unique, one of a kind program.”

How did the idea of the WAVE Program come about?
“Well, a long time ago when I was head coach at Metro State College, I ran a program for the NCAA called NYSP (National Youth Sports Program) in the Denver area. It was a non-profit that served underprivileged youth, and we bussed over 600 kids into this summer sports program. Because of this experience, I wanted the WAVE Program to not exclude kids for any reason, I wanted all kids to mix. So I loosely based it on that when we started.
Another component for the idea was, as a basketball coach, I watched things change over the last 30 years. Kids don't have the freedom I had when I was a kid, we'd go outside and play all day, not worry about playing in the street. You go by parks now and there's nobody there, kids stay home and play on their iPads because they're almost forced to. I wanted to encourage activity in athletics because I believe the word 'underprivileged' is any kid who doesn't go outside and play.
Another big issue was money, and it's the main purpose we're running this program. Every league a kid plays in now costs $200, or whatever it is, or $500 to go to a basketball camp. You don't know how many parents I've spoken with that tell me 'my son has always wanted to play soccer or my daughter has always wanted to swim, but I'm a single Mom who can't afford it.' There's a lot of people like that here. So I wanted to develop a program that was free for kids. It's about the kids. We're running this program so that at no point for 3 weeks do the kids need to bring one dollar with them to do anything special. I call this a charity, a true charity, even though we have non-profit status. There's no other program like this, not in the county, not in California, not in the nation. We partnered with Under Armour and Clif Bar right away, Fortune 500 companies that said to us, 'Look, nobody's doing this, it's innovative, and we're in with you.' Under Armour is donating back packs, shorts and shirts for each child, and Clif Bars is donating 2 bars a day for snack.
Through generous donations, we have a budget and we pay salaries. Let me tell you about teachers and coaches. They're what makes school districts go. I really felt that in order for our program to be the most successful it could be, I had to do it this way, and offer a salary. You know, people think teachers and coaches should just volunteer their time all the time. As it is now, stipends for coaches are minimal, and teacher's spend money out of their own pocket to do things for kids. So it was important to hire our local teachers and to pay them. I felt this was a nice way to give back to the teachers of the Pacific Grove community. Everything about this program is for Pacific Grove.

What is the one thing you would like to see each of the kids take with them from The WAVE Program?
“I can't say one thing. But it has to do with the intangibles. We're not just turning them loose and letting them play. We're old school. We believe kids want guidance, they want to be taught about discipline, how to be motivated, why you say please and thank you. When they go away I want them to think, 'Hey, when I see a kid not as fortunate as me, maybe I'll go shake his hand and be his friend next year.' Things like that. We want to build our youth into outstanding citizens by developing respect, loyalty, sportsmanship, and a strong work ethic, while having lots of fun!”

Back to Archives

Contact Information

Phone: (408) 960-5194
Address: 1160 Seaview Avenue
Pacific Grove, CA 93950

What is the WAVE Program?

The Wave Program is a two-week summer day camp for girls and boys going into 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th grade. We aim to provide an active, healthy, positive camp environment that sparks interest in team and individual sports and the arts electives offered at Pacific Grove High School.