FAQs

When should I sign up?

With a return rate of 75%, Sea Camp can fill up very quickly! Registration opens September 1st with early registration incentives available until December 24th. Registration is always subject to availability and we recommend that you sign up as soon as possible to reserve a spot in your preferred session. Please call 1-800-645-1423 when you are ready to enroll and the Sea Camp Registrars will let you know if space is available.

Do you offer scholarships and/or financial aid? 

Yes, a limited amount of need-based financial aid is available. Applications for financial aid should be received prior to March 1 for that year’s summer program. Please contact the Sea Camp Registrar at 1-800-645-1423 for an application or more information.

My camper will be flying in from out of state. How will they get to Sea Camp?

Sea Camp counselors will meet your camper at their gate, help them get their luggage and load them onto a charter bus that takes them to the boat terminal where they will meet their counselor and travel to the island. 

At the conclusion of camp, Sea Camp Counselors will accompany your camper on a bus to the airport, check them in and wait at the gate with your camper until their plane departs.

Approximately 40% of our campers fly in each summer.

Can I write or e-mail my camper while they are at camp?

You can e-mail your camper by using our email system.

You can write a letter to your camper at:

Camper’s Name
Team Number (You will receive this at check-in)
c/o Catalina Sea Camp
P.O. Box 796
Avalon, CA 90704

Care Packages are discouraged and will be returned to you unopened. The Food Service Staff does a great job of changing the menu often and providing the campers with a wide variety of meals during the session. The food is high quality and there is always plenty of it. Please do not send additional food and/or snacks with, or to, your camper as these attract insects and rodents in the dormitories.

Can I call my camper while they are at camp?

You cannot call your camper while they are at camp. However, if there is an emergency or if you want a report on how your camper is doing, we encourage you to call the Camp Director at camp at 310.510.1622.

Can my camper call/write/e-mail me from camp?

Campers are encouraged to write you letters and postcards. Many choose to bring stamps, envelopes and stationary with them to camp. Additionally, stamps, postcards and stationary are available in the camp store. Sea Camp does not have the resources or infrastructure to allow 200 campers to call or e-mail their families from camp. Thank you for understanding.

Can I visit my camper at camp?

Yes, but only on Parents Day. Parents Day is always held on the last Sunday of each 3-week session. Parents and guests must RSVP by calling the Sea Camp Office at 310.510.1622. We usually expect about 300 guests on Parents Day. Because of these large numbers, we must limit each camper to three guests. Additionally, to help defray the cost of shoreboat transportation and lunch, there is a $30 charge per guest. Due to safety concerns, Sea Camp is not open to visitors at any other time.

Parents Day is a wonderful opportunity for you to visit your camper, meet our incredible counselors and instructors and to see the Sea Camp program and campus. The day will include a luncheon and all guests will have the opportunity to snorkel, kayak, sport climb and visit our marine science labs in the afternoon.

Please Note: You must arrange your own travel to and from Avalon.

You should make your reservation early (we recommend at least two weeks prior to Parents Day). Plan to arrive in Avalon no later than 11 a.m. to catch the shoreboats to camp. Shoreboats will begin departing the Avalon Boat Dock (called “the Mole”) as soon as people arrive via Catalina Express and depart for camp every 20 minutes. Please arrive at the Mole no later than 11 a.m. to ensure that all guests get to camp as soon as possible. Shoreboats will leave Toyon Bay for the return trip to Avalon starting at approximately 3 p.m. and run until 4:30 p.m. The shoreboat ride takes about 20 minutes, so please allow plenty of time to catch your return transportation to the mainland.

For Boat Transportation to Avalon call: Catalina Express at 310.510.1212.

For Helicopter Transportation to Avalon call: Island Express at 310.510.2525.

If my camper has special needs, how are they accommodated?

We will make every effort to accommodate any special needs your camper may have. Please contact the Summer Camp Director, Paul Kupferman, as soon as possible and he will discuss any needs and issues with you. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Sea Camp Registrar or Summer Camp Director at the business office: 1.800.645.1423 or 909.625.6194.

How does the Camp Store work?

Before camp, you can set a camp store limit against a credit card, or by sending a check, separate from the tuition check, to the mainland office. We recommend a maximum of $100. The store then works on a debit system against the camper’s store credit. Your credit card is charged at the end of camp for any purchases made during camp up to the limit you set. For accounts paid by check, any money left in the store account once the session ends is returned. The store contains a variety of snacks, bottled water, and soda as well as Sea Camp themed shirts and sweatshirts, hats and personal hygiene items.

Are there laundry facilities available?

We have campers’ laundry professionally cleaned by a laundry service in the town of Avalon twice during the 3-week camp session. However, an individual camper’s laundry can be done at the laundry facilities in camp in case of emergency.

What if there is a family emergency?

In case of an emergency or any essential communication, we are happy to arrange a time for your camper to be near a phone, as appropriate. Our camp secretary is on duty from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Monday-Friday and a counselor staffs the phone every night from 6:30-9 p.m. and on weekends. Additionally, the directors have a camp phone on in their house 24 hours a day. Our number is 310.510.1622.

What is the daily camp schedule?

The general Sea Camp schedule is outlined below. Campers find this schedule rather easy to follow and usually get used to it within the first few days. Classes may start earlier or end later on certain days, and the schedule may change slightly due to any number of factors, but announcements about schedule and class changes will be made at each meal.

7 a.m. – Rise and Shine
7:30 a.m. – Announcements & Breakfast
8:15 a.m.                Dorm Cleanup & Get Ready for Morning Classes
9 a.m. – 12:15pm  Morning Classes
12:30 p.m. – Lunch
1 – 2 p.m. – Chill Time & Camp Store
2 – 5 p.m. – Afternoon Classes
5 – 6 p.m. – Shower, Rest, & Relax
6 p.m. – Dinner
6:30 – 8 p.m. – Rec Time & Camp Store
8 – 9:15 p.m. – Evening Program (i.e. Crew Nights, Carnival, Dance, etc.)
9:30 – 10:30 p.m. – Dorm Time
10:30 p.m. – Lights Out
10 – 11 p.m. – Extended Hours for “C” Campers

What is the Sea Camp Dining Hall like?

Our Food Service staff provides three high-quality, well-balanced meals per day. Meals always include a variety of options, including vegetarian items and a salad bar. Campers eat family-style in our dining hall with a counselor at the head of each table.

We also often dine in our Barbecue area, where campers sit at picnic tables and eat buffet-style. Barbecues are favorites among campers and staff alike, where the Food Service Staff freshly prepares amazing meals like grilled chicken, hamburgers, ribs, fajitas, stir fry, even eggs and pancakes at breakfast, right in front of the campers and staff!  The Food Service Staff does a great job of changing the menu often and providing the campers with a wide variety of meals during the session. The food is high quality and there is always plenty of it! The kitchen also provides a variety of snacks and beverages to campers throughout the day and at night.

We do our utmost to accommodate food allergies and special dietary needs. If this is an issue, you are encouraged to contact the Summer Camp Director, Paul Kupferman at 909.625.6194.

Please DO NOT send additional food and/or snacks with your camper as these attract insects and rodents in the dormitories.

How is the staff hired and trained at Sea Camp?

We take pride in employing a well-trained staff of the highest quality. All staff must have a background check and pass a drug test before being hired.

Counselors: All cabin counselors are current college students who have a background working with children. Applicants go through a rigorous hiring process, including multiple interviews, a background check and drug testing. Additionally, many cabin counselors were Sea Campers themselves.

Counselors go through an intensive 8-day training program before any campers arrive at camp. They are trained in team building, group leadership, child development, and safety. All of this trains them to be sensitive to individual campers’ needs and life experiences. Camp logistics and programs are also covered during training. Additionally, counselors participate in a number of role-playing activities to prepare for situations that could arise during the summer.

Instructional Staff: The Diving, Sailing, and Science & Adventure instructors all have at least a Bachelor’s Degree, usually in the Sciences, and are trained and certified in their particular specialty. All of our diving instructors are certified by NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors) and our sailing instructors are certified by the ASA (American Sailing Association).

Additionally, all of our instructors have a background working with children and many work full-time during the year as teachers for our CIMI (Catalina Island Marine Institute) Marine Science education program. Specialty instructors also participate in the 8-day training program prior to camp. During this intensive training program they learn the specifics of teaching their particular specialty and how to tailor their teaching style and activities to children and teenagers. Specialty instructors also are trained in emergency procedures, first aid/CPR and lifesaving.