Adventures take them 'sky high'

Boys & Girls Club children enjoy jumping and mid-air dodgeball in Costa Mesa.

August 22, 2011|By Joanna Clay,
(Scott Smeltzer )

COSTA MESA — Staying grounded wasn't an option Thursday for the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach.

Instead, 14 kids opted to jump into foam pits and play dodgeball mid-air while bouncing on trampolines at Sky High Sports in Costa Mesa.

The day was just one of many excursions for members of the Adventure Club, an eight-week camp aimed at "tweens" that gets them to try new things, see new places and have fun at the same time.

"We can literally bounce off the walls," Ellie Sharf, 15, said about Sky High after exiting a trampoline. "It's awesome."

Ellie has been part of the Boys & Girls Club since she was 11, when she moved to Laguna from Newport Beach. She said she's enjoyed watching the younger kids in the camp overcome fears during the trips.

"For a lot of them, it's a new experience," teen director Carla Contreras said of the activities. "We've seen personal growth in them in just the last few weeks."


Past adventures included kayaking in Dana Point and mountain biking. The next trip will be a ropes course and zip line at Irvine Regional Park.

Children 10 and older can join the Adventure Club, which runs from mid-July to the end of August, and many of the participants are from surrounding cities, including Costa Mesa, Newport and Irvine.

"My aunt put me in Boys & Girls Club so I'm not bored all the time," said Armando Olivas, 12. Judging by the smile on his face and sweat on his forehead, Sky High was a good distraction for him.

Armando's sister Clarissa, 13, also enjoys the club.

"I like how we just get out and do things … like the bike riding; everyone was having a good time," said Clarissa, who starts at University High School in Irvine in the fall.

Next week is the last week of the club, and the final destination will be a camping trip on Catalina Island.

The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach has programs all year long for different age groups. For more information, visit or call (949) 494-2535.

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