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Sanibel Sea School to offer free Hurricane Camp

By Staff | Sep 20, 2017

After hearing the community’s need, the Sanibel Sea School stepped up and put together a free hurricane camp to accommodate parent’s needs.

Sanibel Sea School Director of Communication Leah Biery said after they learned that Lee County schools would be closed for another week they decided to put together an impromptu hurricane camp. She said some of their neighbors expressed that their kids were out of school, but they had to return to work.

“It was a perfect opportunity for us to offer something for the community,” Biery said, about the camp that filled on a first come first serve basis.

The initial thought was the Sanibel Sea School would offer a discounted program for the week camp, but instantly had an over pouring need of parents needing scholarships to help pay for the camp.

“We figured let’s just make this free so people don’t have to worry about the expense,” Biery said. “Sanibel Sea School is grateful for donor support of our scholarship fund that allows us to do things like this for the community when the need arises.”

The camp filled almost instantly with 50 kids aged 6 to 13 years old. Ten Counselors in Training, aged 13 to 18, also filled the vacancies.

As a way to accommodate the needs of working parents, they could choose to do a full day of camp, morning half day, or an afternoon half day. In addition early drop off at 8 a.m. was offered, and late pick up at 5 p.m.

“This is a moment we can really step up and do something people need,” Biery said. “We are willing to put in the extra hours and work to make it happen next week.”

To fill the need, the Sanibel Sea School is partnering with the Sanibel Recreation Center by sending the overflow of youngsters to them. Biery said the Sanibel Sea School will offer a little of their content for those kids.

“People that couldn’t sign up for the program can still have a Sea School experience at the Rec Center,” she said.

The City of Sanibel also offered free child care for children grades kindergarten through eighth grade at the Sanibel Recreation Center with Lee County schools being called off. Although there was no cost, registration was required.

The Sanibel Sea School camp, Sept. 18, through Sept. 22, will have a light hearted, fun exploration of hurricanes.

“Everyone has been through a rough week and a half,” Biery said.

Each day two topics will be explored with a mixture of general marine science, creatures and a little bit of hurricane information hurricanes in general and Hurricane Irma specifics.

“We are trying to put a hurricane spin on it, but not make it too overwhelming,” Biery said.

The camp will still be field based, with lots of time spent outdoors.

“Cool group collaborative art projects related to hurricanes, some journaling, snorkeling and seining and beach cleanup because there is a lot of trash washed up on the beach,” Biery said of the activities that will make up the week.