Venice del Play is...
...a day camp that meets summers and most school vacations at locations around Venice and Santa Monica. In a fun, nurturing, family environment we give children their first experiences riding the waves - but that’s not all! We help get our kids in touch with themselves and their world through yoga, gymnastics, tai chi, music, dance, and games that focus on ocean safety and caring for the marine environment!
You’ve been a great influence on luca, and in such a short time. Yoga and the environment - what is better than that? Plus silly camp songs!
- Laurie Lathem
Venice del Play’s creators...
Carmen Thomas has been practicing yoga for over 15 years and trained as a yoga teacher at Hollywood’s Golden Bridge, where she was a disciple of Gurmukh. Carmen’s uplifting energy has led her to share yoga with everyone from preschoolers and kids to prenatal and Mommy ‘n’ Me - even to dogs! Carmen is also a certified massage therapist, working with private clients as well as through the offices of a physical therapist and a chiropractor. And she helps bring new souls into the world as a labor support doula!

A mother of two, Carmen has worked with children for years, teaching theater, music, and yoga. She works at preschools and birthday parties, as well as at Moo Moo Musica at the Electric Lodge. She’s trained in CPR for children and infants. The job that many people still remember her for most, though, is for her long-time role on All My Children.

Co-founder Coach Sydney Lovelace of LA Surf and Swim still visits and helps with water sports some days. A former competitive swim champion, he held the city record for over 10 years in Nashville - where there’s an award named after him and a swim school (Syd’s Kids) that bears his name. He attended Florida State University on a swim scholarship and went on to coach all levels of swimmers from special needs children to Olympic trial qualifiers. Coach Syd is a waterman who has competed in waterskiing, jet skiing, and catamaran regattas, in addition to being a surfer, windsurfer, scuba diver, and underwater photographer.
Since 1991, Coach Syd has been teaching kids full time, as well as teaching surfing and swimming to kids and adults. More than anything, Coach Syd loves helping kids get over their fears and giving them skills to experience a lifetime of pleasure in aquatic environments. He opened his own swim school in 2007.