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How Do We Make Marine Biology Camp Fun for Teenagers?

A group of campers in scuba diving gear.

If your teen has a budding interest in marine biology or the oceans, then Catalina Sea Camp is the place for them. We’ll take that seed of curiosity and nurture it so it can grow into a fully formed obsession. Hopefully, they’ll become one of the many scientists of the future who are helping to save our world and the precious life our oceans hold. 

But before we get ahead of ourselves, you might be wondering how we help foster this interest and make marine biology camp fun for your teen. It helps that we have our own private bay, a dedicated staff, and a unique set of activities and programs your teen can explore. 

Toyon Bay

Campers walking on a beach with palm trees in the background.

Home to our three-week sessions for 12 to 17-year-olds, Toyon Bay is located in a beautiful private cove just a few miles from the town of Avalon on Catalina Island. This location is outfitted with the best facilities for your camper to have a life-changing three weeks. 

There’s a marine science lab with aquariums and touch tanks so campers can get up close to the animals they’re studying. Our private dive deck lets your teen get outfitted with scuba or snorkeling gear to do real-life underwater exploring. The Toyon Bay Yacht Club is where all our sailing classes are launched. Plus, there’s an outdoor kitchen so if your teen is more culinary-minded they can whip up new and exciting recipes. 


More than just sweet facilities, our campus has dorm-style housing where they can get some R&R after a long day of science. 

Inspired by old-school stucco house architecture with open-air hallways, our dorms invoke classic southern California vibes. When campers step onto their porches they get a rush of fresh sea air and have panoramic views of the valley.

In addition to a Cali-cool vibe, our dorms let your teen bunk with others their age who share the same interests. This helps them to build a sense of community, make new friends from across the country, and meet new people. 

Marine Biology Summer Camp Programs 

A group of campers in wetsuits, jumping into the water.

Catalina Sea Camp’s three-week sessions are designed for campers 12-17 with more opportunities to build their schedule based on their individual interests. Mirroring a university-style experience, campers will provide their activity preferences prior to camp and will attend those activities multiple times during their camp session to build their skills. We offer lots of different marine biology activities to get your teen excited about camp and science.

NAUI-Certified Scuba Diving Lessons

We offer a wide variety of NAUI-certified scuba lessons for everyone, at any level. If your teen is a new scuba enthusiast, we offer an NAUI Open Water Scuba Diver course where they gain their open water certification that can be used all over the world!

Campers that are looking to grow beyond their open water certification can take advantage of our NAUI Advanced Diver, NAUI Master Diver, NAUI Rescue Diver, and NAUI Night Diver courses. In each of these lessons, divers build on the skills they developed in previous classes.

NAUI Scuba Ecologist

After learning to dive at camp and mastering open water scuba, campers can take our scuba ecologist course to combine the best of both worlds. Divers learn to identify and record local fish, invertebrates, and algae species underwater while comparing different habitats. Underwater survey skills are practiced at different parts of the island—an incredible experience and skill to have for your budding marine biologist!

Underwater ROV

Underwater remote operating vehicles, aka ROVs, are pretty spectacular. But how about an ROV your teen built themselves? Even better. In our Oceanography and ROVs course campers have the opportunity to work in teams and build battery-powered submersible ROVs. They’ll also learn about the physical and biological properties of the sea.

A scuba diver using a GoPro.


We give our campers lots of opportunities to get up close and personal to the fish and diverse ecosystems that they wish to learn more about. 

Night snorkeling

When the sun goes down an incredible array of bioluminescent creatures come out to play. Our campers are able to immerse themselves in these creatures’ worlds and learn about their ability to glow and thrive in the nighttime.

Shore snorkeling

Campers are able to dive into our camp’s private shores and swim with their friends to discover what the ocean has to offer. Bonus: They don’t even have to pack a snorkel and goggles—we’ve got that covered.

Boat snorkeling

Everyone gears up and ventures out of our private coves to go snorkel at one of the close-by coral reefs or lush kelp forests. We want everyone to experience the full beauty and wonder of the island’s underwater wildlife. 

Underwater Photography

In this marine biology camp activity, your teen learns the skills and techniques to dive with real underwater photography equipment. They’ll capture the flourishing life that is waiting just under the surface of our private bays. 

Camp is More Than Just Fun

We love creating dynamic and exciting activities that will make marine biology summer camp fun for teenagers. And we do it not because we are also big science nerds (because we totally are), we do it because we know the positive impact summer camp has on kids

Being away from the comforts of home does wonders for a child. They form a greater sense of independence, making them more willing to try new things, which ultimately leads them to foster their own individual character.

In addition to growing as a person, learning in an outdoor setting is beneficial for teens’ development as well. According to research done by the University of Wisconsin, when students learn in and about nature they have increased standardized test scores, an enhanced attitude about school, improved in-school behavior, improved attendance, and overall enhanced student achievement. 

At Catalina Sea Camp, campers have access to unique activities that cannot be found at other summer camps. Your teen will participate in activities that are the perfect combination of marine science, ocean adventure, and summer camp fun.