Making Waves In Wrightsville Beach

Many Wrightsville Beach goers are probably familiar with popular juice, smoothie, acai and froyo shop SurfBerry.

The health-food store has been a popular destination for locals and tourists alike since opening five years ago, but what many do not know is that the store is just the tip of the business iceberg for owner and creator Rick Civelli.

Civelli is involved with multiple Wrightsville Beach projects.

Civelli’s Wilmington success did not start with juice. Sixteen years ago while a graduate student at University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Center for Marine Science, Civelli started WB Surf Camp.

Today, Surf Camp has evolved into a portfolio of feeder camps that kids can enter beginning at age 6.

“Our mission is building confidence in kids and getting them stoked on coastal conservation, and we utilize surfing and coastal exploration as a tool. When they love something they’re going to inherently want to take care of it, and that’s our end game,” Civelli said.

All of Surf Camp’s programs have an environmental aspect to them and span from Guppy Camp for young children to advanced surf camps for teens. Surf Camp also runs travel programs to Costa Rica and California, and adults are not left out either – Civelli runs adult surf and yoga retreats in Costa Rica and the Virgin Islands in the wintertime.

Through this, Civelli said, he is able to get back to his true passion of teaching.

Surf Camp also owns a 150-bed ocean-view retreat center on Topsail Island where campers are steps from the ocean.

“It’s a way to get kids to take their first step into an overnight camp environment. Summer camps do so much for kids in terms of building confidence and getting them away from their parents. So we want kids to grow and become their own individuals, and we utilize wave riding as that mechanism,” he said.

Surf Camp has grown significantly from its original home base in Civelli’s double-wide trailer. The camp has had participants from 47 states and 24…

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