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Catalina Island

Life Transforming Marine Science Summer Camps for Youth in California

Marine Science Summer Camps in California

Mountain and Sea Adventures offers the most interactive and inspiring marine science summer camps in California. Our hands-on field activities reinforce what they have been learning in class through the year, and impart a personal experience of field science, which acts as the foundation for a deeper appreciation for the wonderful world of marine biology and oceanography. This kid of one-on-one encounter with the natural world and resulting love for science is something that cannot be replicated inside the classroom.

Marine Biology Camps in California

When you arrive at camp Emerald Bay, at the west side of Santa Catalina Island, your life is changed forever. There is no going back. Each person who attends is deeply impacted by the raw beauty of nature that surrounds them, and the endless opportunities to develop themselves, which the program affords.

The location of Emerald Bay makes it a unique location for studying marine biology. Camps in California are a dime a dozen, but only one gives you and your students the opportunity to not only visit, but live at the most desirable location on Catalina Island, camp Emerald Bay with Mountain and Sea Adventures!

Campers learn to keep a field journal, and to conduct actual field science during their camp activities. After trawling for plankton on board our pontoon boat, campers look at their samples under high-powered microscopes in the multi million-dollar research center, The Pennington Marine Science Center. There are no other marine biology camps in California that offer so much to local schools and their students!

Oceanography summer camps

During the summer, when schools are not in session, the MSA staff launches our summer program on board our hundred and twelve foot marine research vessel, The Enhydra! This vessel is a floating hotel with all the gear and equipment necessary for the best oceanography summer camp of your life!

Summer Floating Sea Camp program activities include:

  • Jumping off the top deck of the ship!
  • Discover scuba diving
  • Surfing on the backside of the island
  • Live on board a mini cruise ship.
  • Study marine biology and Oceanography
  • Hike, snorkel, kayak, and play together in the water!

Life Transforming Programs for Kids

Being outside of your comfort zones gives you the unique opportunity to push your self to achieve greater heights, to develop various qualities and traits (some of which you may never have known you had!), and to make friendships that often last a life time!

Although it is the time of your life, MSA’s program is challenging – without a doubt! However, it is this opportunity to challenge your self, face your fears and achieve personal victory that makes this program so life transforming.

For the MSA Staff, teaching good solid marine science is important, and we are passionate about it, but not nearly as passionate as we are about building character in youth and helping each individual child expand their horizons and demonstrate to them selves that they are capable of greater than what they had previously thought possible.

Marine Science Adventures in The Matchless Beauty of Catalina Island

Catalina Island is one of the greatest resources for Californians, with miles of breathtaking and undeveloped coastline, remote beaches, hidden sea caves, sandy beaches, and endless island ecosystems.

Just coming to the island imparts a deep personal love and passion for the marine environment. Activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, trawling for plankton and hiking the various trails of the island, give students the opportunity to take what they have learned in the brief lecture before hand and use the scientific method to conduct their own actual field research.

At the end of each program activity campers are encouraged to develop a hypothesis and to observe the findings in their field journals to conclude their thoughts.

Celebrating 20 years of outdoor education, Mountain and Sea Adventures inspires thousands of youth to become environmental stewards and world changers every year. You can attend one of our programs as a school, small or large group, family or individual! No matter where you attend one of our programs you can look forward to an educational adventure you and your group will remember for a life time!

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MSA’s Science Summer Camp Aboard A Marine Research Vessel

MSA’s Science Summer Camp Aboard A Marine Research Vessel!

Mountain and Sea Adventures (MSA) currently offers a one-of-a-kind science summer camp onboard our hundred and twelve foot long marine research vessel, The Enhydra! Our floating sea camp gives youth the rare opportunity to explore the various coves of Catalina Island, and experience the most desired attractions of this valuable natural resource.

What Is Science Camp?

credit-AnneFMaben15Science camp is an adventure and an educational experience all wrapped up in one life transforming experience. The great value of such a program is en demonstrating to youth how much fun learning is, this is a unique aspect of science camp. What is usually only discussed in text books and discussed in lectures in experienced first hand in a hands-on approach, allowing campers to discover for themselves how fascinating the world of natural sciences truly is.

Our program teaches the scientific process and imparts a deep passion for the natural sciences and inquiring more into what is. Science camp is the perfect opportunity to get out into the beauty of nature, away from the distractions of the cyber world, and enjoy a week of playing together in the sun and water!

Learn more about MSA’s Floating Sea Summer Camp here!

California Science Summer Camps for Middle and High School Students

MSA’s science summer camps for middle and high school students are currently offered for youth ages nine to seventeen. They come aboard the ship in Los Angeles Harbor and begin the voyage to Santa Catalina Island, enjoy exciting and adventurous activities day and night for six whole days!

Participants can look forward to learning about local marine life as they experience snorkeling in the most prestigious dive spots around the island. They learn about birds and then go for a kayak tour to local nesting spots. We study terrestrial flora and fauna and then hike the trails of the island. And enjoy many other exciting activities such as surfing, jumping from the top deck of the ship, exploring sea caves and remote island beaches.

The Most Fun and Educational Marine Biology Summer Camp in California

MSA’s floating sea camp is the most interactive marine biology summer camp in California, allowing youth to develop their passion for the ocean environment. MSA currently runs programs for school groups during the school year at their premier location at Emerald Bay, which gives the staff a great amount of experience both learning and teaching marine biology. Summer camps in California are a dime a dozen, but nowhere else in the world will you encounter a program with so much to offer as this one!

A Passion for Building Character in Youth!

943620_493640050713027_1497467656_nMSA is passionate about building character in youth, each camper who attends this life-changing program has the unique opportunity to develop aspects of themselves they may never even knew existed.

Simply coming to camp and being out of their daily environment and comfort zones allows for this chance to build character. Each activity has a character trait that we focus on imparting to the campers, such as courage, perseverance, and stewardship.

MSA’s marine biology science summer camp on Catalina Island is always the highlight of the summer for each person who participates. Campers make new friends, learn social skills, break their fears and inhibitions, and discover a lifelong long and appreciation for the wonderful world of natural sciences.

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Summer Programs for Kids on Catalina Island

Summer Programs for Kids on Catalina Island

When it comes to the most memorable summer programs for kids, Mountain and Sea Adventures (MSA) provides a camp experience unlike any other. Your child spends six days and nights exploring the very best of Santa Catalina Island, while living aboard a fully stocked marine science research vessel, The Enhydra!

The Most Inspiring Local Summer Camps

IMG_6021Living in southern California has many benefits. There is never any shortage of resources and things to do. There is a variety of local summer camps to chose from, however, MSA’s shipboard program is one of the best kept secrets in the heartland. Not only do they get to explore one of the greatest resources in California (Catalina Island), but they get to do it all from a floating hotel fully stocked with all the gear and equipment necessary for a week of fun in the sun!

We depart from Los Angeles Harbor and set our heading directly for Catalina. Upon arriving at this ecological paradise, we immediately begin immersing ourselves in the fascinating world of marine biology and natural sciences. Activities include kayaking, snorkeling, plankton trawls, microscope labs, hiking and stargazing. There are truly no other local summer camps in the southern California area like MSA’s floating sea camp!

High Quality Summer Camps for Low Income Families

Not only does MSA’s floating sea camp have more to offer than any other summer camp around, but it is fairly priced for low income families, allowing all to attend whom have the interest to.

Just do the comparative research and you will see! We are very proud to be able to offer this life changing summer camp for low income families, and are constantly seeking ways to increase the quality of our program and decrease the costs!

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MSA’s Floating Sea Camp Program to Catalina Island

enydra-catalinaOne of the most valuable things MSA has to offer summer campers during summer floating sea camp is a program that is both fun and educational. During the school year we run outdoor education camps for schools coming to the island for their annual field trip. The MSA staff is very knowledgeable and has a tremendous amount of hands-on experience working with youth of all ages and backgrounds.

Our well-trained staff are each lifeguard certified and passionate about imparting a personal love and appreciate for the marine environment.

Floating sea camp is a unique program in that it combines adventure activities with hands-on field science. Students learn the scientific method, how to keep a field journal and how to think like scientists. An educational component before each activity enriches the camper’s experience of the environment they are about to enter into.

Each participant that attends MSA’s floating sea camp aboard the Enhydra learns new skills, develops aspects of themselves, builds character, makes new friends and report that this week was the highlight of the summer, which they will remember the rest of their lives!

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Overnight Summer Camps in California | Mountain And Sea Adventures

Mountain and Sea Adventures offers educational overnight summer camps in California, which allow students to experience the great outdoors and empowers them to develop themselves with altruistic character traits.

Shipboard Camp to Catalina Island!

13680583_1064422693634757_7283978627596290946_nThere is no other program like this one in the world! Your child or teen gets the opportunity to spend an entire week exploring various coves, reefs and other world-class attractions on Catalina Island. Campers enjoy such activities as snorkeling, kayaking, swimming and playing in the water with each other and exploring the majestic beauty of the island.

We spend the nights on the ship and explore the island and various marine ecosystems during the day. Campers during an overnight summer camp are taught marine biology and natural sciences, which enrich their experience during the activities. Before snorkeling, for example, they are given a brief lecture about the various species of fish, rays, invertebrates, marine mammals and any other creatures they may encounter.

The ship, named ‘The Enyhdra’, is fully stocked with surfboards, paddleboards, wetsuits, snorkeling gear, kayaks, floatable islands and other toys for swim recreation time, as well as scientific equipment for conducting actual field biology research.

First Time Away From Home

13690585_1069605329783160_7464570014140360363_nFor many campers, this overnight summer camp program is the first time they have been separated from their homes and families. Although this may cause some initial nervousness and anxiety for both parents and camper, it is an immensely important step in self-development. Your child quickly makes friends and learns just how much fun it is to explore the island and ocean with each other.

Developing a sense of self-achievement and personal pride is one of the most unique benefits about coming to overnight summer camps. California has many beautiful resources, but the ocean is by far the greatest. The chance to get away from their computers, phones and games and simply enjoy being a kid in the great outdoors is an experience every child deserves. This is precisely why our shipboard summer camp program is often said to be the highlight of each camper’s entire year.

Building Self Confidence and Social Skills

13669638_1062928803784146_930617708597381719_nLife begins where our comfort zones end. When youth come to an overnight summer camp program with MSA, in such an exotic location as Catalina Island, they are immediately placed outside their comfort zones, which allows them to develop parts of themselves they may not have had the chance to exercise in their every day domestic environments.

Campers must learn to communicate with each other without a screen interfacing them. They learn how to hold conversations longer, without being distracted with their smart phones and social media status. A week without electronics is often reported as being one of the best things that ever happened to them, and provides an important skill set for real life socializing.

Developing The Untapped Potential In Youth

The various activities at camp push campers to the boundary of what they think they are capable of. Activities like snorkeling through sea caves, or surfing on the back side of the island can be intimidating to many youth. With the encouragement of their peers and counselors, they are able to overcome all self imposed limitations and achieve what they previously believed they could not. This is an extremely empowering breakthrough in the life of an individual, and inspires them to continue setting their sights high and aiming for the stars.

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The Most Life Changing Summer Programs for Kids in California

13770477_1069249726485387_2400846582112116259_nMountain and Sea Adventures (MSA) has been running the most life changing summer programs for kids in California since 1998. The specialize in imparting a personal passion for the marine environment through deep immersion and personal hands-on experience.

During their time at camp, each participant is effectively a field biologist as we conduct actual on-going scientific data from our experiments and activities, and analyze the results. Learning to view the world as a scientist has a life changing effect, and often sparks a life long love and appreciation for the wonderful world of natural sciences.

A Week Aboard A Ship Exploring Catalina Island

enydra-catalinaMSA is currently offering the most unique summer program for kids in California. Campers come and stay for an entire week aboard a one-hundred and twelve foot long marine research vessel, fully stocked and staffed for the best time of your life! The friendships developed during this incredible adventure remain long after the journey, as we explore some one of the natural greatest resources in North America all together.

Cruising around the island allows campers to see all the very best that Catalina has to offer, while having all the comfort and luxury necessary without getting too distracted. There is no Wi-Fi while underway on the ship! So campers are forced to exercise alternative means of communicating and interacting with each other, old school style! This is one of the most valuable and important aspects of what this one-of-a-kind summer program has to offer, as students develop interpersonal communication skills and healthy means of self-expression.

Life Aboard A Fully Equipped and Crewed Marine Research Vessel

The Enhydra can comfortable house, feed and entertain forty-five people in dignified class and style. With all the water toys and gear you can ever imagine, as well as a fully stocked and catered galley, dining area, multiple congregation areas and decks, and private cabins for snug sleeping – campers are supplied with everything they need to enjoy the island and ocean.

Shipboard Catalina Island Summer Camp is the highlight of every participant’s summer! The staff looks forward to greeting returning campers year after year to play in the sun and sea, and begin another series of adventures together!

How Hands-On Field Science Changes Lives

13692517_1062928617117498_275454059398750455_nAll the summer program for kids and teens include a brief lecture to introduce them to the various elements of the habitat they are about to enter, as well as time after each activity to journal and develop their field research projects. Campers quickly discover that science allows them to go deeper into the natural world and notice various patterns and relationships with increasingly greater acuity.

The discovery for the potential of science structures the opportunity for campers to allow their senses to blossom, as they use their own eyes, ears and other faculties as instruments in their scientific observations and investigations. The camp counselors encourage each student to write a conclusion after each session, as well as develop a hypothesis about what ever they have chosen to research.

Summer Day Camps in Southern California

MSA also offers two different locations of day camp summer programs for kids in California.

Newport Beach Summer Day Camp for Kids

MSA is proud to present the Newport Beach community and residents of surrounding cities with the valuable opportunity to send their children to summer day camp at the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s facility in the Newport Back Bay. This facility has everything from salt water aquariums and touch tanks, to high-tech classrooms and labs. This is the ideal location for teaching environmental awareness!

The Newport Back Bay has many other amazing resources, which the staff guide the campers through on kayaks, canoes and outriggers. They also frequently visit the Newport Dunes where they have beach play time, and a barbeque every Friday afternoon.

Cabrillo Beach Summer Day Camp for Kids

The summer day camp program for kids at Cabrillo Beach services residents of San Pedro, Long Beach and the surrounding communities. Programs are held at the prestigious Cabrillo Youth Center; which has a swimming pool, large waterfront and pier, multiple classrooms and lot more!

This summer program for kids in California focuses on environmental stewardship and imparting virtuous character traits such as courage, inspiration and social skills.

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Educational and Inspiring Summer Camp Activities On Catalina Island

13631544_1062929037117456_7422598147543401713_nThe best summer camp activities are both educational and inspiring, uplifting the spirits of all who participate, and creating an atmosphere where campers discover that learning is not only fun, but the most interesting thing they could be doing!

There is something magical about Catalina Island that allows all who visit the opportunity to make contact with the primal elements of nature in one of the most pristing and beautiful natural settings in the world.

Mountain and Sea Adventures (MSA) has been running programs on Catalina for over 20 years, and has developed many of their own popular and exciting science camp and summer camp activities.

Summer Camp Activities on Catalina:

  • Swimming in the ocean.
  • Snorkeling.
  • Kayaking.
  • Surfing, boogie boarding, body surfing!

Summer Camp Activities That Build Character

Summer camp puts youth outside of their comfort zones and in direct contact with each other and the great outdoors. With the creativity of the campers, it doesn’t take much to transform anything in to the greatest adventure of your life! Here are a few things that are among our favorite summer camp activities:

Swimming in the Ocean

13654414_1064422630301430_2036238527660791800_nSounds innocent enough, right? Of course! Unless, that is, you have an imagination that runs wild! The ocean is indeed tremendous, and reminds even the most experienced sea-faring voyagers how small they are in comparison, from time to time.

Swimming in the ocean is a perfectly safe summer camp activity that MSA constantly does throughout the day, especially since their program is based off a fully equipped marine research vessel! This activity gives campers the chance to overcome any self-imposed limitations and irrational fears, while structuring the opportunity for them to enjoy one of California’s greatest of resources.

Snorkeling

13707726_1062928870450806_8114898664202536338_nSomething amazing happens when a first time snorkeler puts their face in the water and opens their eyes, suddenly they see this entire new world before them. The marine world is one of majestic beauty and hidden wonders of every kind. The more you look, the harder it becomes to turn away. That which before seemed mysterious and potentially frightful has now become real and open to further investigation.

The snorkel tours MSA leads as one of their summer camp activities often allows participants to experience more than four marine ecosystems in one session. Campers also get the rare opportunity to snorkel in the oldest protective cove on the island, seeing a plethora of marine life such as bat rays, leopard sharks, Garibaldi, kelp bass and plenty others!

Kayaking

13891944_1080978441979182_2184367501234704489_nExploring Catalina Island on a small one or two man craft is a real joy for everyone, the freedom allows for you to explore and experience the wonder of the island on your own. The MSA instructors often have the campers bring their snorkel gear and a chaser boat with packed lunch as they head off an a kayak adventure to a hidden cove or remote island beach. After beaching the kayaks, the campers have time to snorkel, swim and enjoy some leisure time on the beach.

Kayaking pushes youth to their limits, as it is a lot more work than it looks! It is easy for our arms to get tired easily, and to want to stop paddling – but the camp counselors continually encourage the campers to persevere and keep on going!

Surfing, Boogie Boarding and Body Surfing.

13669627_1062928770450816_2591901303547224579_nVisiting the backside of the island is one of the highlights of the MSA summer camp experience, which has a beautiful oasis like campground called Little Harbor. Beside Little Harbor is Shark Harbor, which is a popular surfing beach for locals and adventure seekers alike. The MSA staff teach the summer campers how to surf first on the beach and then in the water!

Some prefer to boogie board or body surf, which never gets old! I don’t care how you do it, riding a wave is one of the best feelings in the world.

It is always interesting to see how many teens and kids are intimidated by surfing and see it as being outside their skill range. This is the perfect opportunity to show them that they are greater than their fears and limitations, and that each person sets their own boundaries in life!

Summer Camp Activities That Promote Environmental Awareness

Being surrounded by the beauty of immense beauty of nature, such as that experienced on Santa Catalina Island, fosters a deep personal love for the marine and island environment. If it is true that we protect what we love, then a week exploring the numerous adventures and precious resources available on Catalina is one of the most valuable educational experiences a child can have.

Immersing youth in the raw beauty of nature allows them to begin thinking like a scientist.

All of MSA’s summer camp activities have a brief fifteen-minute lecture phase to introduce the campers to any various animals, plants or other habitat factors they may encounter. When they see these creatures in their natural habitat during the activity, knowing some facts about it already drastically enriches the experience.

Keeping a field journal

credit-AnneFMaben8An integral part of the MSA program is keeping a field journal. This allows students to have their own personal research project to develop during their camp experience. They are led to utilize the scientific method as they gather and organize notes and data gathered during the various activities.

Keeping a field journal augments all of the MSA summer camp activities; as the more each student delves into the world of natural science, the more they are able to notice patterns and relationships that inspire further investigation.

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Marine Biology Camps on Catalina Island California

The Most Desirable Cove on Catalina: Camp Emerald Bay

img_2400_zps61378fc9Emerald Bay is on the west end of the island and is home to one of the most popular marine biology camps on Catalina, run by Mountain and Sea Adventures. This cove is naturally protected by a small point and rocky reefs, creating a safe and calm estuary for marine life to thrive. The gentle ocean conditions allow campers with limited experience swimming to safely enjoy such activities as snorkeling, kayaking, and free time playing on the beach.

The facilities at Emerald Bay make it among the most elite marine biology camps on Catalina, with a fully functional salt water aquarium allowing campers to see more than four various local marine ecosystems, as well as the opportunity to pet a shark or ray in the shark touch tanks!

The very first activity upon arriving at class teaches students how to use a field journal and begin organizing their field research notes to form their own hypothesis and conclusions. Each class has a lecture phase and a corresponding field activity, allowing campers to develop a personal understanding and love for the world of natural sciences.

credit-annefmaben89Upon stepping off the boat, students are immediately surrounded in an the awe and beauty of one of California’s most cherished natural resources. The Channel Islands are only a short boat ride away from southern California coastal communities, but is so undeveloped and abundant in wildlife that it feels as if they have arrived to a distant and remote island paradise!

Emerald Bay is the most remote camp on the island and the furthest camp towards the west end. Which means campers staying here often see a lot of wild life, from deer to bison and the endemic Island Fox, found only on Catalina! Also frequently seen are bald and golden eagles, and a plethora of marine mammals, sea birds and other forms of both terrestrial and marine life.

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A Very Unique Catalina Island Camp – Mountain and Sea Adventures

A Life Changing Environmental Education Program

credit-annefmaben12Mountain and Sea Adventures (MSA) has been running Catalina Island camp programs since 1997, and has noticed that a student’s camp experience is one of the most important and transformational programs in their academic career. It is for this reason that the staff have focused a great deal of their efforts on encouraging youth to develop themselves and improve their self image by overcoming any fear or other obstacles they may face.

Being out in the great outdoors during an overnight camping trip to a remote destination such as Catalina Island camp allows youth to become fully immersed in their natural surroundings, where they can explore and learn about natural science.

Building Character In Youth

13631612_1062928540450839_6861299100847111435_nWhen youth come to camp on Catalina Island they are immediately placed outside of their comfort zones. There are no devices to distract their attention away from their incredible surroundings, allowing them to play and learn with each other to a deeper extent then they may have the opportunity to in their schools and homes. Being outside their comfort zones gives them the unique opportunity and challenge to develop various aspects of themselves, overcome limiting self beliefs, and feel safe to just be kids in the great outdoors!

Every class and program MSA teaches focuses on a particular character trait, such as courage, perseverance, and environmental stewardship. The staff and camp counselors are specially trained to inspire and encourage campers to face their fears and gradually overcome their limitations. By the time each student boards the ferry to head back home, they are walking with greater confidence and improved sense of self worth.

The Empowering Impact of a Camp Counselor

The bond that is created between students and their camp counselors is a unique one. Camp staff are usually graduated college students who take a year or two and come life the amazing lifestyle of Catalina Island camp. The fact that they are usually younger in age than most of their teachers makes the staff seem more like peers to the campers than their seniors. This gives the camp counselors a unique chance to inspire and speak greatness into the hearts of the campers in their class who look up to them.

Hands On Field Science Activities

IMG_2396_zps9508f396Another incredibly empowering and life-changing experience that each camper has is the full immersion into the world of marine biology and field science. Each student learns to keep a field journal during their first class upon arriving at camp. They are introduced to the scientific method and begin to engage in real field science research activities during each program session.

Hands on field science activities allow students to see the real magic in scientific research. Science becomes more real to them, and they soon see how it is a tool for observing and understanding their environment more thoroughly. Field biology allows students to engage with the natural world of the great outdoors in a way that fuels their imagination and wonder for life.

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The Most Fun and Educational Science Summer Camps for Kids

A Summer Camp for Kids Unlike Any Other

13680553_1064422520301441_3779876573892777909_nSummer camp is the highlight of the year for many kids whom look forward to this chance to get out into the great outdoors and spend a week exploring, discovering and creating adventures with both old and new friends. Mountain and Sea Adventures (MSA) has been hosting the most fun and educational summer camp for kids in the southern California area for nearly twenty years, and specializes in building character and increasing awareness of the ocean environment.

MSA’s programs are very well balanced between academic learning and exciting outdoor activities, which both reinforce and compliment each other. Campers quickly discover that the learning time before each activity enriches their overall experience, allowing them to appreciate their surroundings even more!

Summer Day Camps for Kids in California

1098447_512041845539514_1001796856_nMSA has multiple day camp locations for southern California residents, including beachfront facilities at Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, as well as the Back Bay in Newport Beach. These programs teach students how to think like marine biologists as they immerse themselves in field research, water sports and games, beach fun time and environmental activities to increase awareness and foster a love and appreciation for the environmental stewardship.

Both of MSA’s summer day camp locations include estuaries with an abundance of sea birds, invertebrates, fish, marine mammals and lots of other marine life. Summer day camp for kids is always such a great opportunity to expand the horizons of youth, and expose them to the exciting world of natural sciences.

Overnight Summer Sleepaway Camps

One of the biggest highlights for MSA’s campers is the overnight summer sleepaway camp onboard their marine research vessel, which explores the various coves of Santa Catalina Island for a full week! Living onboard an actual US Coast Guard certified research vessel while touring Catalina offers youth the chance to experience the marine environment in all it’s splendor and beauty, sparking a lifelong love and appreciation for the ocean and marine biology.

13659051_1062928500450843_8382838857298042155_nDuring their overnight summer sleepaway camp students enjoy such activities as snorkeling, kayaking, sailing, swimming in breathtakingly beautiful island coves, hiking, exploring remote beaches, surfing, camping under the stars and lots more! During this time each camper conducts actual hands-on field science research activities, learns how to keep a field journal as well as how to implement the scientific method towards developing their own hypothesis and theories.

Summer Camp Educational Activities

Before each activity, students are given a brief lecture introducing them to the habitats they are about to go explore and experience. This pre-activity lecture is short but provides students with a wealth of information that allows them to enjoy the activity so much more when they see the various animals they just learned about.

Seeing a cormorant in the wild is a lot more interesting after learning that they can dive down nearly two hundred feet to search for fish. Seeing a brown pelican soar by is always more fun after learning they were nearly extinct only thirty years ago. Seeing a Sheepshead fish while snorkeling is a lot more exciting when you know this fish can change genders from female to male after reaching a certain age. These are just a few examples of how the lecture phase of each activity enriches each campers experience.

Other summer camp educational activities include squid dissections, plankton trawls, observing plankton under microscopes, tide pool explorations, visiting marine bird estuaries and nesting grounds, and more.

Summer Camp Builds Confidence and Self Esteem

10522448_682630775147286_5213538904043867819_nOne of the greatest advantages of sending your child to summer camp is how it builds confidence and self esteem as they step out of their comfort zones, prove to themselves they can break their fears and accomplish great things, and make valuable friendships that last years and even decades.

The central core theme at MSA is ‘break your fears’! Counselors are constantly modeling and structuring the opportunity for youth to develop the courage to push themselves past their own self imposed limitations and inhibitions. By the end of the week each camper has built up so much confidence, their self image is renewed and their belief in themselves empower them to know they can achieve greatness in any area of their life.

Summer Camp Teaches Social Skills

In modern times many people have lost the ability to communicate with each other and make new friends. Kids are constantly distracted from the outer world by their smart phones and tablets, which create an artificial world where interpersonal communications are stifled and people have forgotten how to interact with each other.

Even just a week at camp can do wonders for improving each child’s social skills and ability to make new friends and enjoy each others company. Campers are taught how to work together as a team, encourage each other to break their fears, and enjoy the best summer of their lives together.

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Marine Biology Science Camp at Emerald Bay, Catalina Island

Emerald Bay – The Most Prestigious Cove On Catalina Island

credit-AnneFMaben37Hidden away on the west end of Catalina Island is Emerald Bay, the most desired destination on the island for yachters, divers, campers and nature enthusiasts alike. Emerald Bay has a wide diversity of island terrain and ecosystems. The cove itself is protected by a small point and rocky reef, with a few tiny little islands in the middle of the cove giving boaters protection from the ocean surge. There are multiple small sandy beaches, which are estuaries and habitats for various marine birds and island wildlife.

The Boy Scout camp at Emerald Bay serves as MSA’s premiere location for conducting outdoor education science camps on Catalina Island. Every week hundreds of school groups from across the southland are ferried in by boat from across the channel. During their time at camp students experience a wide variety of marine science activities such as trawling for plankton and then observing their findings under high-powered microscopes, squid dissections, kayaking, snorkeling and more. Each student gets the chance to live as field biologist and conduct actual field science research at one of the most beautiful locations in California.

MSA’s Marine Biology Camp Program At Emerald Bay

281818_155722767838092_7562355_nEmerald Bay is an incredible place to come for marine biology camp, students often time see more ocean wildlife just on the ferry over than in their entire life time. While traveling across the channel, campers get to see sea lions, dolphins and often times even grey and blue whales. Once they arrive at camp students are first taught how to keep a field journal as well as how to implement the scientific method for developing a hypothesis during their camp activities. The field journal becomes a treasured part of their camp experience, allowing them to develop their ideas and experiences during each program activity. The value of learning to keep a field journal is immense, as it takes the ideals of science from an impersonal academic subject to a living breathing aspect of their every day lives which they can use to immerse themselves deeper and deeper in the natural world. Now campers have learned to see the world through the eyes of a marine biologist, and have gained an appreciation for the scientific method and how to implement it for their own investigations.

A Unique Island Experience At Two Harbors, Catalina

For those groups looking for a less rustic and remote camp experience, the nearby island village of Two Harbors, Catalina, is a perfect compromise allowing access to a restaurant, general store and other facilities. Two Harbors has a beautiful long natural sandy beach with multiple snorkeling destinations offering a wide diversity of the marine life of Catalina. Two Harbors is also home to USC’s Wrigley Marine Institute, which has salt-water aquariums and the oldest protected cove on the island. MSA’s special arrangement with USC allows students to visit their resources and facilities for a unique marine biology experience.

natural-history-hike-catalina-islandTwo Harbors is easily accessible by ferry and is one of the lesser known about treasures of Catalina Island. Conveniently located at the isthmus, the back side of the island is less than half a mile away! The cove on back-side of Two Harbors is called Catalina Cove, and is home to the largest mud flats ecosystem in the Channel Island. This is a great place to come study the benthic marine animals, birds, rays and skates, and other marine animals that live in this natural estuary.

Why Bring Your Class To Catalina Island Science Camp

Science camp at Catalina Island is one the most cherished educational experiences youth experience during their academic careers. The memories they make during their time at camp enriches their lives and stays with them forever. Many times we hear back from students whom have gone through one of our programs to learn that they were inspired to become marine biologists or other high science professionals. This kind of amazing feedback is what we live for at MSA!

There is definitely something magical about the time youth spend at Catalina Island science camp, where they are safe to just be a kid and discover the natural world around them and all it’s wonder and beauty. It’s not always easy to remember the various lessons learned at school, but the lessons and experiences had at science camp consistently remain one of the greatest highlights and inspirational moments ever have.

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