Monthly Archives: June 2015

Archery, Skills & Imagination

Take a moment out of your crazy day, close your eyes, clear your mind, and picture yourself or your child at our archery range. What are the first thoughts that come to mind? Possibly…dread of never hitting the target, or feelings of joy and excitement or maybe all you image is Katniss Everdeen. Now remove all your preconceived notions from your mind and remember this fact.

Not only is archery fun but it also teach useful life skills so it doesn’t matter if the target it missed. There are numerous important skills that can be learned from archery however we are going to discuss three of them.

1. Creativity and Imagination – Our archery range isn’t any ordinary place. It is a place where heroes live, where the helpless receive aid, and where dinosaurs roam. Be on the look out for Raptors and if any are seen scaling the 10,000 watt electric fence then use the jeep as a get away or use archery to save yourself. This place where dinosaurs roam is called Jurassic Island and is modeled after the story of Jurassic Park. The story can get as elaborate or as simple as the participants want. The sky and the imaginations of the participants are the only limits.

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2. Concentrations or Focused Attention – Pretend the arrow is already loaded on the bow.  Although most of the time that process only takes a few seconds it also takes concentration. Loaded bow is ready to fire however there are more steps that take concentration. Breath in, breath out, aim and if luck is with you, you can fire. It sounds simple enough however there are several factors that take complete attention. Such as keeping both the bow and arrow steady, aiming, and firing without being distracted by any elements (aka other people, the wind, your arrow slipping from the bow) around you. It is much more difficult than it sounds.

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3. Determination and patience – Archery is a sport that takes time and practice. The more practice given to this sport the better and more accurate the arrows fly. Determination and patience are needed to make successful improvements.


At the end of the day participants leave the archery range with more refined skills, a feeling of accomplishment, and wonderful memories of a great time at Catalina Sea Camp.


My Journey to Catalina Sea Camp

How CIMI and it’s Catalina Sea Camp Changed My Life

By McKenzie Weaver

I was not an ambitious young girl. I wasn’t popular at my school. In fact, I dreaded school. My classes bored me which helped dull the little passion I had for my academics. I accepted that being smart was not “my thing.” This all changed because of CIMI.

I first came to CIMI for a high school weekend field trip when I was thirteen. A friend asked me to join them on a field trip that took place on Catalina Island. I didn’t expect much considering it was technically still school but since it got me out of attending classes on a Friday I agreed to come along. I was so surprised to realize . . . I HAD SO MUCH FUN! I still remember timing our play doe plankton models, eating Oreos on nature hikes, and my first encounter with bioluminescence on a night snorkel! I still remember my instructor Phoebe. She was so cool and funny. This was the first time in my life where someone was actually engaging me with my learning. She pushed me academically and inspired my love of science. As it turned out, I was smart! And it felt so empowering to realize that about myself. When I returned from CIMI, my outlook of school had altered. No longer was I bored in classes, I strived to be my best. I took a marine biology class and fell in love with the mysterious habitats of the deep and the funny creatures that inhabited them. I returned to Catalina for more science-packed field trips throughout my high school career and even went on to found my school’s National Ocean Science Bowl academic decathlon team. With each competition and field trip, I knew that one day I would want to work at CIMI.

After graduating high school I went on to study marine biology for my undergraduate. I later got involved in my university’s scientific research diving minor. I received an email one day that CIMI and it’s Catalina Sea Camp were looking to hire dive staff and was immediately excited. “Could this be the same CIMI that got me here today?” I couldn’t wait to apply. Ten years after my first visit to Toyon Bay I was hired on CIMI’s dive staff and an instructor for the summer at Catalina Sea Camp. This is my favorite job and I love passing on the wonder of the ocean to the next generation.

Come dive with me!

Welcome Camper!

My name is Canon and this is my first summer working at Catalina Sea Camp as a scuba instructor. I never attended a camp when I was younger so it is so exciting for me to be at a new place with new experiences. I had no idea what to expect or what I was getting myself into. To be honest, I was really nervous and now I know what it is like to have summer camp jitters. Although I was nervous on the boat ride over, I met some of the people I was going to be working with and the nerves began to disappear as excitement filled their place. Some staff had worked at camp before and others where just as new and nervous as I. However as everyone addressed my concerns I began to feel confident I made the right choice to come to camp. Comments like “you are going to have so much fun at camp” and “it’s so great at camp you won’t want to leave” helped comfort me. Finally, we docked at Catalina Island in the city of Avalon, it wasn’t my first time being to the island, but something about this time was different.

Driving the roads to Toyon Bay was a whole new adventure in itself; the sights, the history, the bison! Yes the bison, standing right there on the side of the road so close you could reach out and touch it. Amazing, I thought to myself, this was only the beginning to my wonderful summer at Sea Camp. Before descended on the final stretch of road, we were able to see camp in it’s entirety. This wonderful view that we call our back yard, the different shades of ocean blue, the sail boats that glide across the water, and the Catalina flyer off in the distances making its way back to the mainland. It’s official, I made it to my office, to my place of employment; I work on an island now! Yes! What more could I ask for, by now the jitters had vanished. The only feeling remaining in my stomach was the fluttering butterflies that excitement enlists.

As soon as we pulled into camp the lunch bell rang, and I reverted back to being the nervous over thinker I usually am. I thought to myself “oh no, who will I sit with, what if I have to sit alone”. Yet this experience was not like the middle school lunchtime I thought it was going to be. Every person in the lunch line introduced themselves with a smile and a friendly voice. “Huh, this is not so bad,” I thought as I stacked food onto my plate. As I exited the kitchen I saw an empty table, quickly sat, and start eating. One by one new faces start to fill in the empty spots around me. Everyone began speaking to one another, including me as though we had known each other forever. They made me feel like I was already a part of the camp family even though I was there no more than a few hours.

Now, I have been here for almost a month. New friends have been made and so much fun as already been had. Summer hasn’t even started and I love it here already, the staff, the administrators, the games and activities. I have worked so hard to get to Catalina Sea Camp and I am finally here continuing my education in diving and marine science. Now I get to use everything I have learned to educate and excite the younger generation that will be attending camp. I can’t wait to see the excited faces that summer brings. I can only hope that I too can give the comfort and feeling of excitement to the new and old toyon bay campers. I am at home here!

5 Must Haves When Packing for Camp

The first day of camp is almost here! Now, of course that means packing for your child. This can be a stressful and overwhelming process. We want to give you a heads up as to what is really important for your child to bring with them to camp. Here are the 5 simple things your child MUST HAVE.

1. Good Pair of Shoes
Every camper needs a good pair of shoes. It doesn’t matter what color, brand, or how long they have had them. The purpose of a good pair of shoes is to get your child moving, participating, and ready for any adventure that awaits them. Camp is a place where your child can try new things in an environment where they are safe and supported.

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Good shoes have them jumping for joy!

2. Cap – Thinking Cap
A thinking cap isn’t an actual tangible item however it is important to the experience your child will have at camp. Trust me, their thinking cap will get used. Your child isn’t in school, yet there are so many opportunities to learn about the ocean, Catalina Island, and even about themselves. Some of the activities are designed to be fun and entertaining and engage your child’s critical thinking skills in order to accomplish tasks. Not only does your child’s thinking cap help with problem solving, it is also critical in having a positive attitude. No matter what camp your child attends, there is always something that doesn’t go as planned. The weather is bad for a hike or the waves are not big enough to stand up in surf class. Whatever the case may be that things didn’t go as planned; a positive attitude can completely change the experience from so-so to spectacular!

Casi has her thinking cap and she is thinking this is a great place for a nap.

3. Suit – Silly Suit
Camp is the place where you can wear your silly suit the entire time. Wearing your silly suit means singing at random times. It means not being afraid to be yourself. It also means you can actually wear the silliest things you can find and no one will think twice about what you have on. So bring your costumes, wigs, funny hats, and gorilla suits…they will get worn. Oh and since we are surrounded by ocean, bringing an actual swimming suit is a good thing, too.

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4. Goggles – Friendship Goggles or Mask
At camp your child will put their goggles on and open their eyes to all the possibilities of friendship. There will be children at camp from all over the world, so your child has the opportunity to make friends with kids from all backgrounds and walks of life. Differences are a place for common ground at camp and these friendships form quickly. Many of the friendships made as 8-year-olds last a lifetime. The friendship goggles will help them to open their eyes and their heart.

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5. Toothbrush
A toothbrush because everyone needs one or that would be gross.

All kidding aside, this list will ensure your child has a memorable experience this summer. While packing clothes and everything else on the packing list is important, do not panic if something is forgotten. Being willing to try new things (good pair of shoes), having a positive thinking (thinking cap), being silly (Silly suit), and opening your heart (Friendship goggles) to new people is what camp is really all about.


We would like to thank you for visiting our blog. Catalina Sea Camp is a hands-on marine science program with an emphasis on ocean exploration. Our classes and activities are designed to inspire students toward future success in their academic and personal pursuits. This blog is intended to provide you with up-to-date news and information about our camp programs, as well as current science and ocean happenings. This blog has been created by our staff who have at minimum a Bachelors Degree in Marine Science or related subject. We encourage you to also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, and Vine to see even more of our interesting science and ocean information. Feel free to leave comments, questions, or share our blog with others. Please visit for additional information. Happy Reading!