provided to The Santiva Chronicle
Sanibel Sea School was excited to offer one session of Winter Camp themed New Year, New Ocean during the last week of December.
In order to keep our campers, employees, and the community safe, the staff at Sanibel Sea School implemented several COVID-safe procedures throughout the week. The camp was limited to 20 participants that were split into smaller separate groups, and masks, social distancing, and lots of hand-washing were incorporated throughout the week. With these precautions, the education team was able to pull off a successful and safe winter camp.
This year’s theme celebrated getting back to nature after such a challenging year for all. In addition to just enjoying being outside in the beautiful Sanibel outdoors, counselors shared the importance of environmental conservation and held a camp-wide “bioblitz” to learn what creatures are all around us. They cataloged all of the plants, animals, and even shells that they encountered on the east end of Sanibel.
“It was so nice to get back to a small sense of normalcy, since we weren’t able to hold our summer camps this year,” said Director Nicole Finnicum. “We were thrilled to have campers back in our building and get back to our favorite activities, like surf paddling.”
Campers also participated in Sanibel Sea School’s annual “Give Your Worries to the Sea” ceremony. “Each camper writes down what’s been troubling or worrying them over the past year and then we burn the papers in a small campfire,” said Education Programs Manager Shannon Stainken. “Then we head down to our favorite beach, and each throw a pinch of ashes into the sea, allowing the ocean to wash our worries away.”
After a successful week of winter camp, Sanibel Sea School hopes to implement these procedures during summer camp in 2021. If you are interested in learning more about summer camp options, visit https://www.sanibelseaschool.org/sanibel-camps. Registration will open in February; exact details will be announced later in January.
Part of the SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) Family, Sanibel Sea School’s mission is to improve the ocean’s future, one person at a time.