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PG Campers Are Riding High on The WAVE Program

“The imagination of these children has been captured, and their hearts have followed” - Mark Temple

By Michelle Netzloff
Cedar Street Times - July 28, 2017

As the WAVE Program flows to an end on Friday July 28, it has taken 257 campers on an exhilarating ride of self discovery, mastery and fun. Parents and kids alike are raving about the WAVE. It has been a 3 week victory in a multitude of ways, and the website is full of videos and pictures that showcase this incredible program. I caught up with coaches Mark Temple and Chris Morgan, student teacher aide Christina Lucido and the development director, Casey Lucius, and asked them how it went. All of them graciously offered their unique experiences and perspectives on the WAVE Program.

Mark Temple is head swim coach for the WAVE Program, and is an American Swim Coaches Association Level 5 certified coach, the highest level recognized by the ASCA. He has coached high performance swimmers for the last 40 years, including 17 Olympians in 8 different Olympic Games. Here's what he had to say about the WAVE Program:

“This is a very singular program and I do not know of any other community program in America that is like this one. If you understand that the community of Pacific Grove is small, basically an island, and they have 250 + children coming to the program, well that is a huge percentage of the 10-12 year old child base in the area. For them to be able to come and receive sports instruction, especially swim lessons and swim fitness training, from United States coaches is a remarkable opportunity. As an Olympic coach, I know a little bit about sports, and this is a real expert driven system. When you put experts in the process you get the kind of results, enthusiasm and excitement that we're seeing. With each activity, the kids are having experiences they take home every night and get to share with parents. And the goodwill that comes from that, we are putting seeds in the ground. When we see children come in, some are so shy, they won't even look you in the eye. By the end of the first week they are having fun, they look you in the eye and you see they are gaining confidence. Then in the second week, they become engaged with learning and the fitness starts to kick in, and by the third week there's no holding them back. It's all geared to fun, and it's a learning process. The most important word in learning is earning and that's exactly what we have created here; with an experiential series of skills and an opportunity to experience themselves. That's how the mind and body come together, with fun as the integrator. Now all we need is for the community to get all fired up and say we want more of this, because it is the best thing ever. We hope we can sustain this program, but that is going to require some significant resources to come forward to support the foundation.”

Student teacher aide Christina Lucido adds, “This is the first program like this I've been in, and I think this is a really great opportunity for this town to have because it brings the kids together. So many of my girls had no idea what sports they liked until they got to this camp. Every day I ask, 'what did you like today?' And they are excited about every sport. Kids are trying everything out and are getting introduced to them all. The girls are very responsive to all the coaches and are really in to whatever they are doing. The kids are learning how to be taught, which is really good to learn at a young age.”

Chris Morgan, head football coach for the WAVE Program, asserts, “I'm having a blast! I have a unique perspective because I have a daughter that's going through the program and I'm coaching in it, so I see both sides. As a coach, I'm having as much fun as the kids. There's so much opportunity for other things, like dance and art, not just football. I'm meeting new kids whose siblings I've had as students of mine, so I'm getting that expanded family feeling. Kids are able to explore and experience sports that they may not have had a chance to. That's huge because a lot of kids would never try some things they get to do at camp, like picking up a basketball, or dancing or swimming. Here they get a chance to experience it and can now fully say 'hey I don't like it right now' or 'wow, I love volleyball! I think exposing them is one of the biggest things we can do.

As a parent, how can you NOT be overwhelmed with the amount of effort Darryl has put into the program to benefit the kids of this community? To have a 3 week camp that costs the parents nothing? It keeps the kids busy, my daughter is having a blast. She comes home excited about what she made in art, or she'll tell me 'during games we were playing kickball and this happened.' She has started new friendships, and renewed other friendships. She's excited about it all.”

Casey Lucius, Ph.D., is a professional in strategic planning and leadership development. She joined the WAVE Program's Board of Directors and helped set up the program.

“Darryl contacted me in the summer of 2016, and I was in the midst of running for Congress. I was so busy and thought, 'I don't have time for this' but he started telling me about the program. I was so impressed, and I thought 'I don't care how busy I am I'll make time for this because this is a really great thing. ' So I immediately agreed to become a board member. He also asked me if I would be involved in fund raising for the program because we really want this to not only be a successful program for this summer but to keep this going every summer. My goal is to raise enough funding and support so that we have a solid program for at least 10 years. Of course we want this program to go forever and continue to grow. I would love to expand it even further. Darryl's goal was, 'We're going to make it free, and we're not going to turn kids away.' He was not bending on those things, but we do have expenses. So our idea is that there are those who can pitch in, and we hope they do, and there are those who genuinely need this to be free. We already have amazing national organizations and companies that are pitching in, like Clif Bar, Under Armour, Rawlings, Wilson, Verizon, and US Tennis Association. But there's also a website,, and on the website there's a donation link, so it's pretty easy to do.

We just know that this is amazing. There's no other program like this, a free summer camp that provides introduction to a variety of sports, music, dance and art. When I tell people about the WAVE Program, it's incredible how much people and organizations and companies want to help. I feel lucky to be a part of it, and that I can help, even in a small way.”

A big thank you to Darryl Smith, Executive Director of the WAVE Program, for his vision, leadership and enthusiasm!

Please visit for camp information, videos of camp activities, testimonials, and the 'donate now' page to help continue this amazing program.


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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.