Did you know that during the summer, Sanibel Sea School offers day summer camps at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa? This summer, kids from 6-13 will be able to learn about mangrove tree crabs, ninja needlefish, and bivalves while exploring the shores and waters of Sundial. Learn more about what these fun and fascinating camps have in store from Leah Biery of Sanibel Sea School.
Photos provided by Sanibel Sea School
Describe a typical camp day.
Check-in is in front of Bailey’s at Sundial at 9:00 am. After campers arrive, they are led to Sanibel Sea School’s classroom next to the pool. We gather for circle time and talk about the topic and activities for the day. Next, we head out into the field for snorkeling, fishing, games, and other fun in or near the water. At noon we eat lunch, reapply our sunscreen, then walk back out to the beach for surfboard paddling practice. If we’re lucky, we will be able to catch a few waves. In the afternoon, we do art projects, science experiments, or board our buses to take a field trip to a different habitat on or near the island.
Describe some of the unique experiences campers can expect.
One of the great things about ocean exploration is that every day is full of surprises, and you can never know exactly what to expect. We promise there will be lots of opportunities to look at creatures up close, get your feet sandy, and make new friends. By the end of the week, you’ll know all about the theme – this summer you can choose from mangrove crabs, needlefish, or bivalves. You will also leave with basic surfing skills and some great shells.
Who comes up with the themes of the different weeks of camp and how were this year’s themes chosen?
Every year, our teaching team brainstorms a list of camp themes. We write them all on a chalkboard, then we discuss potential activities and lessons for each week. Each teacher/counselor chooses 2 or 3 favorites and is responsible for planning the best week possible based on each theme. We always try to pick topics that are new and interesting, and usually things campers may not have studied or heard of before. This summer, mangrove crabs will give us a reason to spend lots of time exploring the mangrove forests, where there is so much life to discover. Needlefish are fantastic creatures that deserve some attention, and bivalves are all over our beaches, but how much do you really know about the animals that live inside?
Could you share some fun memories from camps in previous summers?
Last summer, we encountered some sea turtle volunteers from the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation on the beach and had a chance to look at some very cute turtle hatchlings! We have also built rafts from bamboo and beach trash, then attempted to race them. We’ve had manatees paddle right through our surfboard paddling practice, and we have stood in the shallows while massive schools of cownose rays fluttered by. You can also stop by Sanibel Sea School’s classroom at Sundial to see some of the very cool collaborative art projects we have created together – we always use natural or recycled materials.
What else do you think potential visitors and campers might like to know?
Sundial’s beachfront location makes it an amazing place for summer camp. Our counselors love leading programs there because they are just steps from the ocean, which means less time spent walking or driving and more time exploring. Our camp groups are also smaller at Sundial than at our Flagship Campus on Sanibel’s east end, so we are often able to include activities like canoeing and field trips that are more difficult to organize with a very large camp.
This all sounds great – where do I sign my kids up?
It’s easy – to view our course calendar and to register just click here.