Worship on Waves (WOW) is an annual surf event for youth ages 11 to 18 held at Lake Echo Fellowship Baptist Church (LEFBC) in Mineville and Martinique Beach, Nova Scotia. This year the teen event will be held on August 20-21.
It all starts Friday night at LEFBC with surf theory; the teens learn about the ocean, waves, wind, surf gear and safety. The teens then watch a surf movie before heading to bed at the church.
Saturday morning comes quick at 7 a.m. with a big breakfast to start the day off and more surf talk before heading to the beach. The day is spent at the beach, starting off with learning how to catch a wave and pop ups.
Instructors take the teens out into the surf and guide them into catching a wave. After they have caught a few waves on their own successfully and are confident, they have the rest of the day to practice.
Everyone is called out of the water for lunch on the beach to take break and refuel. Most continue to surf in the afternoon while some chill on the beach for the remainder of the afternoon.
Late afternoon everyone is called out of the water to pack and everyone loads up and heads back to the church for pick up. There is a $45 fee for the weekend which covers rental fees (board and wetsuit) lodging, meals and transportation to the beach and back.
Anyone can participate in the camp; you don’t have to attend church to be able to attend.
The starting of something new
It was the beginning of something new in 2005 when the first Worship on Waves retreat was held. Not only was it something new for a church to be involved with but was something new for the surf community as well.
It began as a weekend for teens to learn to surf with friends in a safe way and now has become a weekend many teens look forward to year after year. Some come back to get coaching tips, others come to enjoy being in the water with friends who are learning to surf for the first time.
Like any new thing WOW had a small beginning with only three teens coming out to learn to surf at Lawrencetown Beach the first year. But as the sport has grown in interest and participants pass on the news about the WOW retreat, the retreat has doubled each year; last August 23 attended.
Colin and Craig Colson, 14 and 16, have attended WOW retreat for four years now and learned to surf at their first retreat in 2006. Each time they have returned, they have shown strides of improvement and continue to bring more friends with them each year.
“My favorite part is surfing with my friends and being out in the water and learning about God,” said Colin Colson.
The driving force behind the Worship on Waves (WOW) camp is Lawrencetown surfer Bridget Turner. In addition to her efforts with WOW, Turner is helping establish the first Canadian chapter of the Christian Surfers organization here in Nova Scotia.
Christian Surfers is an organization that was started in California in 1984 and has since been established in 18 other countries. WOW is essentially one of the first events of the new Canadian chapter.
Christian Surfers also puts on a “Kids Learn to Surf Day” at Martinique Beach for elementary school ages, which takes place on July 10. There is also a “Ladies Surf Retreat” on July 23-24 in Lawrencetown for all ages.
If you want more information on these events email firstname.lastname@example.org.