Sometimes you have to just got to get out and try something new! Some of our campers are nervous to even think about diving in a couple years. Our scuba in a bucket class gives them a small glance into what going diving might be like.
Trying something new like going diving or even coming to Catalina Sea Camp can be a challenging experience. Sometimes even our staff has the same nerves about coming to camp as the campers do. Check out these two stories from our loved international staff.
WOW Surfs Up at Catalina Sea Camp
All my life, I have spent traveling Europe, surfing different spots, going back home to Portugal to see family and close friends. In all that time I never dreamed a place like Toyon Bay and Catalina Sea Camp could exist. I still remember walking out of the airport doors at LAX and thinking to myself; ‘this is a different world’.
I grew up with a bunch of younger cousins (14 to be precise) and I have always had a blast playing with them and coaching them in they’re life experiences. I love it! It’s such a nice feeling to have when you know you have made that small change in a child’s life. Seeing them smile when they have accomplished something like when my little 7 year old cousin, Tiago caught his first wave! His smile was priceless. The feeling is something that cannot be explained, however I knew at that moment I wanted to coach the sport I love which is surfing and I wanted to help kids achieve they’re potential in activities they enjoy. Possibly even show them new sports or activities that they might love the rest of their lives. Thankfully, I am in the right job for that and it’s the job I have here at Catalina Sea Camp.
I got myself through a surfing academy and got my instructors qualification to coach surfing. I have been doing it for a few years now, coaching new students at my university and coaching clients back home in Portugal. But I never knew I would get the opportunity to come to such an amazing place like Catalina Sea Camp to do what I love.
The amount of activities I have done since arriving at Catalina Sea Camp, well I’ve lost count. The amount of times I have had to step out of my comfort zone (eg. Touching sharks for the first time or diving to depths I never thought I could) has been more than I can remember but believe me, I would do it over and over again because CIMI has given me so much in the past month and I will be doing everything to give back to them. It is so much fun playing with the kids out in the water or climbing with them on the climbing wall. It’s a great feeling to have knowing that I am showing them a great time at Toyon Bay and seeing they’re smiles and making new friends is awesome!
My adventure here at Catalina Sea Camp has only just begun, I have met some great and friendly bunch of people who I can call friends. I look forward to so much more learning both for me and the children who attend Catalina Sea Camp. Here’s to summer and here’s to Catalina Sea Camp!
The Girl from Africa, Lands at Catalina Sea Camp.
It all started when I had the urge to travel and go overseas. I went on to the internet and searched…”work at summer camps in the USA”. I came across an agency that ultimately helped me get this job. Paul “Butterkup” Kupferman, contacted me through this agency. When I got the first email from him I was super excited but also very nervous. I had an online interview, because of course, I was in South Africa and he was in California. I knew my skills and qualifications in Culinary Arts and experience with taking care of children would be perfect for the job of the Sea Food Cookery Instructor, and so after a nerve-wracking interview I got the job.
I was ready to leave South Africa to experience the cultures of America, especially Toyon Bay. I said goodbye to my family and off I went. I travelled for 15 hours non-stop to the USA, thinking of what I was going to teach the campers.
I was greeted by Guided Discoveries staff and spent a night at the founders Kristi and Ross Turner’s house. They are amazing, caring, and welcoming people. I am not just saying that because they are the boss, they are genuinely the sweetest people. We took the boat to Catalina Island and off I went to begin my new life at Catalina Sea Camp.
During staff training I got my Sea Food Cookery area ready with a new deep fryer, a new fridge, a new flat top grill, and many more awesome kitchen items. I went snorkeling, kayaking, rock climbing and went on a giant swing. After a week of training the campers arrived. Yay. The joy on the kids faces as well as the instructors was the best view of all.
Today, the campers had guacamole with pita bread, shrimp tempura with noodles, watermelon crush and OREO ICE CREAM! I have been here for more than a month and it has been the best experience yet. Everyone here is amazing. I am so glad I had the courage to come out here to experience this adventure.
Every child should experience the fun and adventure of CIMI Catalina Sea Camp, Toyon Bay.