Snorkeling and diving are some of the most awesome experiences campers can immerse themselves in at Catalina Sea Camp. Peach and her dive team are something special to watch. As certified NAUI Dive Masters and Instructors, they offer unique opportunities for campers to encounter nature through adventurous underwater explorations at Sea Camp. She and her team of experienced dive instructors generate excitement and awe through helping campers access a world that is often times completely new to them. Campers often share first-time experiences with their friends, whether it’s the first time they get to touch a sea hare during a snorkel session, or learning how to breathe underwater during Basic SCUBA courses.
For Junior Sea Campers, these programs look like everything from exciting dive-deck demos to opportunities to experiencing these organisms up close and personal on group snorkels. For the Senior Sea Camp programs the curriculum deepens, allowing campers to explore SCUBA through incremental courses that improve dive skills, stress safety, and encourage creativity through photo or video of our underwater world here at Toyon Bay and around the island.
While adventure and education are main focuses for Peach and her team, safety is always at the forefront of courses and activities on the dive deck and in the water. The unique opportunity for campers to practice diving in Toyon’s private bay and have the flexibility to travel across Catalina on our Discovery barge to places like the Avalon Dive Park and Lover’s Cove to see other unique ecosystems is a one-of-a-kind experience for dive students.
Science and Adventure at Catalina Sea Camp is about more than just education – it’s about experience, interaction, and challenges. Campers that come to Catalina Sea Camp get awesome opportunities to experience more than conventional courses in science when they come to Toyon Bay, as Jeff Chace and his team work day in and day out to provide opportunities for campers to go beyond the textbook to experiencing science first hand at our Plankton, Algae, and Fish Labs as well as in our Marine Mammal Hall and through experiences traveling across the island in Catalina Explore and Adventure classes.
Campers in our one-week programs have the opportunity to experience our ocean firsthand by collecting plankton samples to view under the microscope and feeling invertebrates and sharks in our touch tanks. In the three-week programs campers explore Catalina to study endemic species and experience the beauty of Sea Camp’s surroundings.
Through opportunities to adventure, campers participate in activities ranging from archery and the giant swing to rock climbing and stand-up paddle boarding. Activities are dictated by challenge by choice, where campers push themselves to their own personal limits in a safe environment. Regardless of what campers are doing on any given day, Science and Adventure staff make it their mission to engage campers, through sharing the incredible beauty of the nature surrounding Toyon and by encouraging campers to push themselves beyond what they thought possible.
Sailing with the Toyon Bay Yacht Club, or TBYC for short, is a quintessential part of the Catalina Sea Camp experience. From the ‘yachties’ who run activities in the yacht club to the courses taken out on the open water learning to sail single and double hull crafts, the Yacht Club embodies more than just the opportunities for campers to learn to sail. When campers come to the Yacht Club they can be anyone they want. As part of the opening ceremonies out on the yacht deck, campers choose ‘Sail Names’ that are often goofy, sometimes part of the campers past, and always solidified as their new identity over the course of the next few days learning to sail. They then write these sail names on miniature sails to be hung in the roof of the Yacht club, next to those of past campers and amidst memorabilia commemorating the rich, warm history of decades of past yachties. The whole experience is unique for campers, encouraging a light-hearted experience in the midst of challenging learning experiences.
At the helm of the whole enterprise is Cupcake (pictured above), who has spent the last two years as director of the Yacht Club and the last five years as part of its staff (in case you hadn’t guessed, that’s her Sail Name). She picks only the best sailors for her team, looking at a combination of personality and experience to ensure that not only the courses are successful, but also that the experience as a whole is an amazing chance for campers to come and be a part of something special for their time here at camp.
The Toyon Bay Yacht Club encourages campers to be themselves, to learn out on the open water, and relax in good company on the sunny Yacht Deck or in the shady Yacht Club. By pairing together time spent out on the open water and time spent in the unique atmosphere of the yacht club, Cupcake and her team work to ensure that campers can have an incredible, memorable summer.
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 www.catalinaseacamp.org for additional information. Happy Reading!