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5 Tips To Spark A Love For Natural Science In Your Students

  1. Encourage students to keep a field journal.

credit-AnneFMaben82Good science begins with learning how to observe your surroundings methodically, as to notice patterns, ask questions and form theories about what you are researching. Keeping a personal field journal can really empower each student to develop their thoughts and learn how to really think like a scientist.

Once students learn the scientific method, they should begin keeping a field journal immediately. This way they can apply the theoretical side of what they just learned to the practical in-field side, where their ability to interaction with the natural world is greatly enriched.

A field journal is a place where a field scientist can enter data in an organized manner, allowing them to look back over it later to notice patterns and correlations between various elements.

  1. Conduct actual field research on your campus

As a teacher you can very easily set the criteria for conducting a real on-going research project, where you can monitor some area of campus, or something in the class room for a certain period of time every week. Students can enjoy the fresh air and excitement of going outdoors, even if just to an area of their school campus, and learn how to view their surroundings through the eyes of a scientist, how to collect data, and then how to look at it upon leaving the field.

  1. Offer award celebrations, pizza parties, etc. for scientific class achievements.

Offer incentives for participation and excellence in the form of an award system. You can give awards for keeping the most detailed and well organized field journal, the most used and soiled field journal, the most well thought out hypothesis, etc. The sky is the limit for honoring the efforts and achievements of your science students.

  1. Look for opportunities to enter your school or class into local, state-wide and national competitions.

Science fairs and competitions are a great way to boost the morale and engagement in your class, bringing out the natural and healthy competitiveness of children to advance them selves, building high self-esteem and altruistic character. These are the sort of experiences that create life long passion and interest in the incredible world of science.

  1. Bring your students to an overnight outdoor education class trip.

IMG_2387_zps5727e4f8A class trip, such as marine biology camp on Catalina Island, is an awesome opportunity to expose and immerse your students in a life changing educational experience. Students who participate at one of MSA’s youth camps are given the chance to develop a personal love, understanding and passion for marine science through hands on involvement. Each activity also gives them the opportunity to develop an aspect of themselves, work on a new skill, overcome a fear or aversion, and build character traits that make them feel great about themselves before heading back home at the end of the program.

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The Most Affordable And Educational Catalina Sea Camp

MSA has been running their sea camp on Catalina for over 18 years, and excels in providing the highest quality yet most affordable outdoor education experience on Catalina.

When your students attend one of MSA’s Catalina sea camp programs, they are immediately immersed into the exciting world of natural science from the moment they step off the ferry! The camp environment is set in a marine conservation and island nature preserve, which gives your students the opportunity to develop a life long appreciation for the beauty of environment and the importance in preserving it.

MSA’s Catalina Marine Camp at Emerald Bay

10302054_682080205202343_289783729261922074_nMSA’s program focuses on conducting actual field research, as your students understand how to utilize the scientific method through using a field journal to record data, notice patters and develop hypotheses, and eventually a theory.

Each activity, such as snorkeling, hiking and kayaking, has a short lecture before hand to prepare the students for what they will see during the lab. That way they can use their field journals during the activity similar to a scientist using one during monitoring and conducting experiments in the field.

Every student who comes to Catalina sea camp gets to experience putting on a wetsuit, mask and snorkel and following the guidance of our well-trained instructors and lifeguards to see the spectacular beauty of the world beneath the oceans surface with their own eyes. Catalina sea camp is always a life changing experience that stays with every one of MSA’s participants long after their stay. These are the experiences that give birth to future marine biologists, and inspire all students towards a personal appreciation for marine biology. Catalina sea camp is a unique experience for all!

Catalina Island Camps Are An Unforgettable Experience

281818_155722767838092_7562355_nThe camp environment on Catalina is very special, the students feel as if they are on a different continent, yet they are only a few hours from the port of Los Angeles! The wonder and mystery in the air Catalina Island camps creates the perfect environment for children to explore themselves and their abilities, to try out new things, and consider new ideas.

MSA’s Catalina sea camp is a safe place for youth, where they are free from many of the pressures and challenges in their home environment, allowing them to discover their own talents, build altruistic character traits and make long lasting friendships with their peers.

A Fun and Educational Catalina Island Kids Summer Camp

Although most of the year MSA is catering to school groups at their premier location at Emerald Bay, we greatly look forward to the opportunity to play in the sun and ocean during summer time. Catalina island kids summer camp and teens summer camp is an adventurous program unlike any other in California. Come along for one or two weeks and enjoy all the very best that Catalina sea camp has to offer!

IMG_3990_zpse1492c4eLive aboard a 112’ long marine research vessel as we tour around the island and enjoy some of the best snorkeling spots in the world, remote beaches all to our selves, cliff jumping, leaping off the top deck of the ship, surfing on the back side of the island, and lots more!

The ship is fully outfitted with marine research equipment and supplies, making the activities even more fun and exciting, as the students learn how to experience their surroundings through the eyes of a natural scientist.

The Magic of Camping on Catalina Island

Mountain and Sea Adventures (MSA) offers many different packages for a wide range of groups, from schools to families and individual campers during overnight summer camp programs.

Camping on Catalina Island is always a unique opportunity to enjoy being in the peace and quiet of undisturbed nature. You will probably see various wildlife such as deer, bison and the endemic Catalina Island Fox, which can only be found on the island and no where else in the world.

Being constantly surrounded by such awe-inspiring natural beauty leaves a lasting impression, and allows for deep mental and physical peace and rejuvenation. In such an environment, one becomes eager to learn and explore the natural secrets of science all around them.

Enjoy Two Harbors Catalina Camping At The Isthum

10584078_689154487828248_2867922399694497054_nFor the smaller group, or for the group that wants to have a bit more access to amenities, the small village of Two Harbors is a perfect alternative to our more remote location at Emerald Bay.

MSA’s outdoor education program at Two Harbors allows schools to live inside a quaint and beautiful island village with a population of only 300 people. There is a general store, restaurant, coin-op laundry and showers, a large grassy park, and beautiful well maintained beaches. This feels more like a resort, island village and science camp all in one!

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The Top Most Exciting Things To Do At Catalina!

Day Trip to Catalina

Southern California residents need not look any further for the perfect destination for a weekend, or even one day trip to Catalina Island. The high speed ferries from Long Beach, Newport Beach and Dana Point can get you across the channel in as little as sixty minutes!

205989_155784471165255_147005_nOnce you arrive at the quaint and picturesque island town of Avalon you can choose from a variety of activities, attractions, access to beautiful beaches and dive locations, as well as a beautiful downtown boardwalk with shops, cafes and restaurants to unwind after an afternoon exploring the natural beauty of Catalina.

A day trip to Catalina is very feasible, just drop your car at the secured parking structure beside the ferry terminal, and enjoy a day of care free fun snorkeling, kayaking, or just lounging on one of the most famous beaches in southern California.

Things to do in Avalon

As small as this island town of under four thousand residents is, there are plenty of exciting things to do in Avalon. With protected marine estuaries to snorkel and dive in, boat rentals to explore near by coves, beautiful beaches for sun bathing and swimming in the ocean, and plenty of night attractions as well, such as the single cinema movie theatre at the casino, and several well known pubs, clubs and world class restaurants with spectacular island coastal views.

catalina-island-golfRent a golf cart for the day and go see even more of the local attractions such as the Wrigley Memorial Botanical Gardens, the Wrigley mansion (now called the Inn at Mt Ada), or visit the little bit more secluded Descanso Beach and club.

There are a wide range of hotels in Avalon to accommodate everything from the weekend warrior coming to release some steam and enjoy the resort-like night life of Avalon, the serious nature enthusiast, or the love-struck couple looking for a romantic island escape.

Affordable Marine Science Camps on Catalina for Schools

Catalina island offers the most memorable and inspiring outdoor education experiences for schools and private academic groups. The island is one of the largest privately owned and operated nature conservation in the world, and is home to many species not found anywhere else in the world, such as the island fox.

10464029_675917522485278_8122116456323979192_nBringing your school group to Catalina Island gives them the chance to be completely immersed in the world of natural science, where they can discover a personal love for the environment through hands on involvement.

People whom have attended camp at Catalina Island frequently mention it as one of, if not the most memorable and life-changing academic event of their youth.

Mountain and Sea Adventures (MSA) offers school groups the opportunity to come to Catalina Island for five day, four day, three day or even two day programs for schools on a very strict budget. MSA is committed to keeping prices affordable while providing the highest quality marine science camps on Catalina Island.

Family Camps and Group Retreats to Catalina

Bringing your family to Catalina for a short two or three day adventurous program is an awesome way to enjoy quality time together, while enjoying one of the most beautiful and valuable resources in California and making memories you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

Check out our family camp program information for in depth details on all that our family camp and group retreats to Catalina have to offer!

Campgrounds on Catalina Island

10599185_689038871173143_948746590106928615_nCatalina island is an outdoor enthusiasts dream come true. You can access a wide variety of campgrounds. Stay at Hermit Gulch, just outside of Avalon and accessible to all the conveniences that the city has to offer. Or explore the rustic and extremely remote west end, like Parsons Landing, where facilities are at their most basic!

Two Harbors is a nice compromise between too rustic and too urban. Located at the isthmus, the island paradise village of Two Harbors has a population of less than three hundred people, with one restaurant/bar, a general store, fishing and dive shop and a visitors center. The campground is just outside the village, a short walking distance, and has it’s own beach called little fisherman’s cove at the foot of the campground.

Summer Camp

Summer camp on Catalina Island is the highlight of all those whom attend. The magic of Catalina comes alive the most during this season, when kids and teens form bands and explore the natural beauty of all the various coves, beaches, trails and valleys that the island has to offer.

10347611_681061158637581_3025169076392976632_nWith so much life around them, both on land and under the surface of the ocean, their sense of adventure comes to life and gives them the chance to develop them selves through the activities.

Every summer MSA hosts four to six weeks of summer camp on Catalina Island aboard the 112 foot marine research vessel, The Wilderness Explorer. Exploring the best snorkeling locations around the island, surf spots and remote coves to play and learn in.

Mountain Biking and Backpacking Catalina

Mountain biking on Catalina Island is possible, you can either bring your own bike or rent one in either Two Harbors or Avalon. Anyone can ride within city limits of Avalon and two Harbors, but if you want to get out into the interior of the island on the many beautiful trails you will need a permit, which is available to members of the Catalina Island Conservancy.

Image courtesy of catalinaconservancy.org

Image courtesy of catalinaconservancy.org

Backpackers will require a permit, as well, which is easily available at the visitors center at Two Harbors, the Island Plaza in Avalon, or at Hermit Gulch Campground. You should be aware there are not electrical hook ups at any of the campsites and the Catalina Island Conservancy enforces strict fire precautions.

Catalina Island has more to offer to such a wide demographic of people than possible anywhere else in California. You are sure to find what you were looking for the moment you arrive, and can enjoy the comfort of being on a remote island paradise, yet without really having to leave town!

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The Highest Quality Yet Cheap Summer Camps in California

When it comes to having the most memorable and greatest summer of your life, without spending a ton, there is no beating MSA’s adventure summer camps around California.

Locations such as Catalina Island, Newport Beach and San Pedro make this one-of-a-kind program available to all southern California residents! Enjoy one or two weeks attending our shipboard summer camp program, where we tour the various coves and beaches of Santa Catalina Island!

1524684_877101105700251_8791859623570677906_nNo other program in California offers so much for so little. Campers enjoy the opportunity to snorkel on some of the most beautiful dive locations in California, surf the breaks on the back side of the island, go on extended kayaking excursions, camp out over night in remote coves, hike the most beautiful trails in the interior and enjoy frequently seeing bison, fox, deer, eagles and a wide array of marine mammals, rare sea birds and an endless plethora of marine life.

Affordable summer camps

Mountain and Sea Adventures (MSA) is committed to providing the highest quality, yet affordable summer camps in the southern California area. The program is focused on hands-on field science, where your child develops an incredibly deep appreciation for the marine environment.

Immersing students in the methods of conducting in-field natural science gives them the rare opportunity to both enjoy the activities more and gain a very real and personal understanding for the Ocean.

Campers have the opportunity to visit salt water aquariums, snorkel in marine protected areas where we frequently see bat rays, leopard sharks (harmless unless you’re a crab!), extremely large kelp bass, sea lions and dolphins, and lots and lots of other fish, invertebrates and sea creatures.

11061997_10205824227599183_9116539140093194264_nOne of the things that makes this program one of the most affordable summer camps, is that the activities are all in and on the ocean. After providing all the gear for enjoying the water, there is not very much more over head that prevents us from having the time of our lives together playing in the ocean!

We leave the ship on a skiff (a small motor boat) with our wet suits on, lunches stored in dry bags and snorkel gear in hand. The students jump off the side of the boat with all their gear on and follow the instructors and lifeguards as they explore the majestic world beneath the ocean’s surface.

Summer Over Night Camps in California

Catalina Island is one of California’s more valuable resources, the Catalina Island Conservation has made great efforts to restore and preserve the natural beauty and ecology of the island. This makes it a very special location to come for your summer over night camp. In California it is rare to be as isolated and remote as Catalina Island, even though it is merely 19.6 miles across the channel from Long Beach!

Some nights we will be staying aboard the 112’ foot long ship, which is a Coast Guard certified marine research vessel that sleeps over fifty people. We are fully equipped with all the toys, gear and equipment to enjoy both an unforgettable educational experience and the best week of your life!

Marine Biology Day Camps for Kids in California

1146512_512020575541641_1564277969_nMSA has two day camps for kids in California, one is located at the Back Bay in Newport Beach, and the other is at Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, California. Both these programs focus on learning marine environmental science through hands on activities both in, on and around the ocean.

Campers learn how to keep a field journal, and learn to think like scientists conducting actual in-field research. This structures the opportunity for them to develop a personal understanding for the marine environment, while enriching their experiences and allowing them to have even more fun during the activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, and exploring the various ecosystems around them.

MSA has been teaching outdoor education since 1997, is committed to building character in youth, teaching environmental stewardship and also has a perfect safety record even after over 18 years.

Both the day camps for kids and the summer overnight camps that MSA offers are not only the most adventurous and exciting camps happening in California – they are also very affordable.

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A Summer Science Camp on Catalina Island Unlike Any Other!

MSA’s Incredibly Unique Summer Science Program

Overnight summer science camp on Catalina Island provides the unique opportunity to completely immerse your self in the amazing world of natural science. Every activity of MSA’s program is designed to impart a personal experience, appreciation and love for the ocean environment. Campers spend 6 days aboard a 112’ marine research vessel, discovering and exploring the various ecologically rich coves of Santa Catalina Island. This is only a part of what makes MSA the most unique summer science camp in California.

IMG_4001_zpsa250d5d3The ship is rigged with trawling cranes and nets, sampling equipment, wetsuits, kayaks and all the other tools and gear needed to dive in with both hands and feet, discovering how much fun science truly is.

By learning the scientific method, and how to keep a field journal, MSA’s campers quickly discover how to think like a marine biologist, as they conduct actual in-field science experiments to come up with various hypotheses and develop a theory. By the time their week is over, they are looking at the world around them with the eyes of wonder that is at the heart of good science.

Science Camps for Kids

Our program is divided in to multiple levels, kids and teens, allowing each group to interact with their peers, while taking the topics they are exploring to deeper and deeper levels together. This way, kids aren’t left behind in the more advanced topics, and teens are held back in the more elementary material.

10599185_689038871173143_948746590106928615_nThe summer science camp for kids allows the younger participants to spend more time playing and learning the concepts they are being exposed to through games and structured activities. They also get a chance to strap on their mask and snorkel, and see the beauty that waits for them beneath the surface with their own eyes.

Science Camps for High School Students

For those seeking a more in depth look and scientific exploration of the ocean environment, MSA also has a program designed to create a highly educational, yet incredibly fun science camps for high school students. With such activities as cliff diving, jumping from the upper deck of the ship, surfing, backpacking the interior of the island, and camping out at a remote campground on the backside of the island, teens have so much fun they quickly forget that they are engaged in a rich educational experience the whole time!

Most science camps for high school students just don’t have as much to offer as MSA’s shipboard program on Catalina Island. Learn more here!

 

 

 

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How Catalina Summer Camp Builds High Self-Esteem

10599185_689038871173143_948746590106928615_nMountain and Sea Adventure’s summer camp on Catalina Island provides youth with the unique opportunity to try new things, push themselves to the boundaries of their comfort zones, break their fears, develop social skills and play in the great outdoors in the sun and water. Apart from giving them the best summer break ever, the experiences your child will have at shipboard camp on Catalina will improve their social skills, self-confidence and overall belief in themselves.

New experiences

Coming to camp on Catalina Island gives youth endless opportunities to experience a wide array of activities. From snorkeling to cliff jumping, squid dissection, handling invertebrates and other sea animals, and living away from home on a marine research vessel off the coast of Catalina Island – the camp experience gives each child the chance to go to the limit of their comfort zones, and discover the excitement which lies beyond.

Breaking fears and inhibitions

Every child has something to gain from the adventurous camp experiences at MSA’s shipboard summer camp program. Our theme at camp is ‘break your fears’, and we are passionate about structuring healthy opportunities for each camper to face their fears and develop the courage to go beyond what they previously thought was possible for themselves.

Meeting friends

With a jam-packed schedule of games, sports, skill sessions and activities both in and on the water – the campers quickly learn teamwork and form tight bonds and friendships, which often last a lifetime. From the very first icebreaker activities upon arrival, the campers learn to interact and enjoy sharing time together without a smart phone or computer screen between each other.

Enjoying the great outdoors together and playing in the sun and water allows each camper the chance to drop their walls and just be kids playing together. Without all their usual distractions from home, each camper is the only entertainment they all have. This allows the children the opportunity to display their personality, sense of humor, and other character traits. Each child enriches the camp experience for all the others.

Teamwork and high morale

The challenges children face at camp structure the opportunity for them to learn teamwork, and to discover that they can achieve more when they work together. When all the campers are cheering each other on to rise above their fears and challenges, it boosts the overall morale and attitude of each participant.

To hear their peers cheering them on gives each child an incredible amount of encouragement to rise above their inhibitions and achieve things they might have never thought they could before. This helps to improve their overall self-image and belief in what they are capable of, even discovering strengths and talents they never knew they had before.

Your camp counselor

The MSA staff is passionate about uplifting the spirits of youth and speaking inner strength and encouragement into their lives. The first step is to face their fears, just this is a huge victory – for then their fears and inhibitions are not ruling them any longer. The camp counselors are all first aid and lifeguard certified, and are always there to assure the campers that they are safe to explore, broaden their horizons and try new things. Your child is guaranteed to come home from their week of summer camp with a strong sense of self, confidence in their traits and talents, and higher self-esteem.

Mountain and Sea Adventures summer camp program on Santa Catalina Island enriches the lives of youth by giving them valuable positive memories, teaching them life skills, imparting strong character traits and improving their self image and overall confidence levels.

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Camp Builds High Self-Esteem and Teaches Social Skills

girlsOne of the best parts of coming to science camp with Mountain and Sea Adventures (MSA) is the bonding that happens between teachers and students, bringing the entire class closer together. This provides the perfect opportunity for classes to break the ice and get comfortable with each other at the beginning of a new school year, or to celebrate their year together before summer break.

Teamwork and high morale

The challenges students face at camp structure the opportunity for them to learn teamwork, and to discover that they can achieve more when they work together. When all the children are cheering each other on to rise above their fears and challenges, it boosts the overall morale and attitude of each student.

To hear their classmates cheering them on gives each child an incredible amount of encouragement to rise above their inhibitions and achieve things they thought they could not before. This helps to improve their self-image and belief in what they are capable of, even discovering strengths and talents they might not of known they had before.

Forming bonds that last a life time

The camp atmosphere is a very magical and special place, it is a safe place for every child to just be a kid and try out new things. This is often a time of tremendous growth and the friendships made during this stage leave a deep impact on the lives of all whom attend. Students often times make friends with people they might not have gotten along with before, and learn to see beyond what ever petty differences might have been coming between them back in their schools and communities.

Close friendships become even more special at camp, and students learn just how valuable each other are in their lives. These bonds last long after the students depart camp, and even far after they graduate from class.

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An Unbelievably Beautiful Science Camp on Catalina Island

With over 54 miles of coastline, 8 miles wide and the highest peak being over 2,000 feet high, the untouched beauty of Santa Catalina Island is comparable to nowhere else on earth. This hidden gem only 20 miles off the coast of Los Angeles has unbelievable natural diversity, being home to a wide variety of plant and wildlife (both marine and terrestrial).

When campers come visit Catalina Island for their science camp experience they have the opportunity to see both bald and golden eagles, red tailed hawks, owls, ravens and an endless variety or marine birds such as cormorant, brown pelican, oyster catchers, arctic turns and many others.

Marine Mammal Sightings On The Boat Ride

10468086_675128572564173_7719934005060252943_nBefore even arriving at camp students have the opportunity to see several species of marine mammals such as sea lions, dolphins and quite often blue and grey whales. For many campers the boat ride to camp is the best part. This is the first time many children have ever been out on the ocean miles off of shore. It feels as if they are ont heir way to a whole new continent! However, at this point the adventure has only begun. Arriving at camp provides another chance to experience many amazing forms of life, from bison to leopard sharks and everything in between.

Endemic Species Native Only To Catalina Island

Catalina Island is also home to over sixty-one species of endemic plants and animals; meaning these species cannot be found anywhere else in the entire world! Only on Catalina Island can students have the opportunity to see Catalina Island fox, Catalina California quail, Catalina Island shrew, Catalina California ground squirrel, and many others.

The incredible diversity of the island does not stop there. A whole new world can be experienced as the campers put on their wetsuits and strap on the mask and snorkel to peer into the world beneath the surface of the water. Campers frequently see bat rays, Garibaldi, sheepshead, kelp bass, lobster, sea cucumbers and many other forms of sea life.

Coming to camp is truly a magical experience and ignites a passion for the world of natural science in the hearts of all whom attend, from students to teachers and chaperones. You are bound to remember your camp experience for years and years to come.

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Catalina Island Summer Camp Is A Kid’s Dream Come True

Catalina Island summer camp is a magical experience full of adventure and excitement. The opportunities that the MSA shipboard program offers are unlike any other in the southwest. Campers get the chance to live aboard a 112-foot marine research vessel, The Wilderness Explorer, and conduct actual marine biology field science while exploring the various coves of Santa Catalina Island.

10386395_682079625202401_7526944308984113303_nRecreational activities include everything from snorkeling, kayaking, and hiking to games, lounging on the beaches of beautiful remote coves, and star gazing in the beautiful night sky far away from the city lights of Los Angeles.

The accommodations aboard the ship are very comfortable, making for a nice personal space during the night. Each stateroom has it’s own private bathroom, offering more privacy than most vessels this size. The general use areas are spacious and very accommodating. With plenty of deck space, and a multi purpose area that quickly becomes our dining hall during meals. We will be enjoying professionally catered food during our incredible week at sea.

Imparting Virtuous Character Traits

From the moment each student arrives at camp they are encouraged to ‘dream big’, ‘persevere’ and ‘break your fears’. The MSA camp staff is passionate about working with empowering youth and making world changers every week with each child that comes out. More often than not, campers return from their week aboard The Wilderness Explorer with expanded horizons, reinvigorated dreams and goals for their future, and a deep sense of self worth and confidence.

catalina island summer camp for kidsWhen asked what they were most looking forward to about Catalina Island summer camp 2015, long time staff member Miranda Prado told us “I am looking forward to another beautiful season with MSA. I love being apart of the MSA team because I know we make a difference in the lives of many, and I am so honored to be apart of this movement of world changers”. This is the sort of passion that the MSA program sparks in the hearts of all whom attend.

The participants quickly recognize that they are somewhere that they are safe and free, able to experiment and develop new traits and skills. They can push themselves to overcome certain fears, inhibitions and limitations, continually hitting new levels of competence and high self-esteem.

A Safe Place For A Kid To Be A Kid!

The camp environment is a safe place to allow the natural strengths and talents of each child to grow. Although only one hour across the channel, Catalina Island feels so isolated and remote, like a whole new world. This element of mystery allows the students minds to be free to imagine and visualize, perceiving a whole new paradigm of possibilities for their future.

As each child becomes more competent in their skills, and confident in themselves, they quickly see their social lives improve. They are able to meet new friends, make a best friend, cheer for each other during activities, and build a bond that can, and often does, last for years.

Coming to camp enriches the lives of each child that participates. The challenges in each event require encouragement from the whole camp, which must work as a team to complete the activity. The overall self image and morale of every camper is uplifted.

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Catalina Island Summer Camp – The Adventure Of A Lifetime!

There is no better opportunity to enjoy your summer holiday and experience all that Catalina Island has to offer than with MSA’s shipboard summer camp. From cliff-jumping, snorkeling at world famous dive spots, kayaking, paddleboarding, surfing, hands-on marine science research and so much more – a week aboard the Wilderness Explorer will impart high self-esteem, inspire your child to discover their limitless potential and give them memories that will uplift them and enrich their lives.

Cliff jumping and jumping off the top deck

11796213_879615565448805_8894998449144628037_nOne of our campers all time favorite things to do is to go up to the top deck and jump in the water, falling about 20 feet through the air and splashing into the water below. This is a real Adrenalin rush, but is completely safe. With lifeguards on the top deck next to where they are jumping, and lifeguards in the water – the kids know they are well protected. This activity gives our campers an awesome opportunity to face their fears and step out of their comfort zones.

Once the campers have gotten comfortable leaping off the top deck of the ship, they get a chance to cliff jump at Little Harbor, this is a little higher (about 30 feet) and seems more of a challenge. Again, we have multiple lifeguards at the top and bottom of the jump to be sure the kids feel safe. This is always a favorite activity for the campers, and leaves them feeling like they have broken their fears and inhibitions.

Playing in the water

10525604_689572731119757_1770868237653312505_nThe Wilderness Explorer has many different floating water toys for campers to play in the water with. We have a large floating raft that the kids can relax on and play with each other on, as well as many tubes for floating, drifting and sunbathing.

We go from cove to cove exploring sea caves, famous dive locations, beautiful sandy beaches and other island attractions allowing the campers to enjoy a wide variety of water based activities.

Kayaking and snorkeling

11825636_879191185491243_1441487347692205831_nWe can see all that the island has to offer with small zodiac skiffs, kayaks and paddleboards. Whether if the kids want to go for an intense half day kayaking safari, play on the skiff, or just paddle around on the kayaks and paddleboards – they can enjoy island life at their own leisure.

Catalina Island is home to some of the best snorkeling locations in the world. From Italian Gardens to Emerald Bay, these are highly sought after places mentioned in international travel magazines due to their wide diversity of marine life. Campers get the chance to see Garibaldi, kelp bass, sheepshead, leopard sharks, bat rays, seals and sea lions, dolphins and often times even whales.

On rare occasion even sea turtles, Rizzo’s dolphins and orca have been spotted off the coast of the island.

Meeting friends for life

When you have this much fun together, the friends you meet during Catalina Island summer camp often become friends for life. Not only are the experiences made during camp treasured memories, but the kids come together as a strong family-like unit to encourage each other to step outside of their comfort zones, dream big and break their fears. There is really nothing like such an adventurous and fun summer camp to empower your child to discover their hidden potential, build high self-esteem, and develop the courage to reach for the stars.

Hands on environmental science

11825199_879448028798892_7912767966385714897_nMany of our attendees discover a deep personal love for the marine environment and the world of natural science after their week aboard a marine research vessel. We do plankton trawls and water sampling, allowing students to look under microscopes and see what the difference is for zooplankton and phytoplankton with their own eyes. This is an extremely valuable opportunity to discover how much fun learning really is, and often ignites a passion for science.

This makes the world of science real living breathing hands-on life, not just book based theory. This is where scientists are born! The kids who go to summer camp on Catalina Island return home with a profound new appreciation for environmental science, and often begin planning their majors and careers.

There is truly nothing like a week at ship aboard Catalina Island summer camp to impart courage, inspire your child to dream big, help them to see their own greatness and limitless potential, and encourage them to dream big and shoot for the stars!

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