NP #162: Gnome Surf kicks off Happy Camps in February to help kids with Autism, Down syndrome, Depression, Anxiety; ADD, ADHD, and more

Gnome Surf is back with updates about Happy Camp in CR which starts in February 2023. Here’s the show notes from another great conversation with Mr. Chris Antao:

  • Chris needs shoulder help after 800 lessons
  • Happy Camp happening in February
  • Happy Camp non profit 501c3 autism, ADD ADHD, depression & anxiety
  • families from all over coming
  • gnome traveling to Texas, CR, not just northeast
  • Chris done with investment banking job and now a firefighter due to gnomes growth
  • Gnome doing well was on PBS, the good news movement, more corporate sponsors and hitting sustainability limits for survival
  • used to be 200 to 400 families, now 3000+
  • looking to build camp in NE similar to Happy Camp in CR
  • Rich rants about surfing going from a bad thing to being cool & socially accepted
  • Chris explains how at first surf therapy wasn’t accepted. But now is. Kids aren’t just learning to surf… They are learning to get back up again
  • Chris explains naysayers always existed and some still do. Rich asks chris to explain further
  • Chris says knew surf therapy real because helped him
  • Brown University, Harvard, etc wanting to work with Gnome
  • rich asks if struggle over. Chris says struggle was real but door now closed. CVS & others giving funds and product for Gnome athletes
  • Pharmaceutical bad joke from rich
  • Over 20 paid instructors in US, 4 years ago just chris
  • In US 25 to 40 lessons per day on weekends event days
  • Gnome doesn’t need big waves
  • 50 to 75 passes sold for next season already. Over 10 week long camps out of Rhode Island
  • Gnome is: Inclusion, Love and Kindness for all kids
  • Good PR is foundation for rough times and people knowing Gnome stands for inclusion and acceptance
  • Biking, snowboarding on way
  • In Nosara Chris wants to help local kids with autism, Down syndrome, anxiety, etc
  • Goal is one local camp per year
  • Feb 18th week
  • inquiries coming in about Nosara Happy Camps so need help from locals

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