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Register now for Sea School’s polar region themed winter camp

By Staff | Dec 6, 2017

A past camp with the Sanibel Sea School included penguin relay races. PHOTO PROVIDED

Registration for the Sanibel Sea School’s winter camps, open to 6 to 13 year olds, is promising a week of “cold” while youngsters learn about penguins and polar bears.

“We are just so excited, the one’s who have been planning this camp, because it was a big collaboration with the education department. We have been having lots of fun with planning the activities and looking up all the information that we want to share with the kids,” Sanibel Sea School Sundial Campus Site Manager Megan Duncan said. “There is going to be lots of involvement with ice. It’s not going to be a nice, warm cozy camp because we want to get that polar region feel.”

The winter camp will focus on the polar regions with the first week focusing on penguins and the second week focusing on polar bears.

“A lot of time people think penguins and polar bears live in the same region, but they don’t at all. They never interact. Penguins are always in the southern hemisphere and polar bears are always in the northern,” she said. “We always see little cartoons and things depicting both polar bears and penguins together, but they never live in the same environments, except in zoos.”

The two animals were chosen because they have never been a theme at the Sanibel Sea School before. Duncan said they thought it would be fun to get the kids involved with learning about colder region creatures.

The first week, “Flip Out for Penguins Week,” will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 26, through Friday, Dec. 29. No camp will be held on Monday, Dec. 25, the Christmas holiday. Registration is $310 per camper.

The week will teach youngsters about the many different species – 19 of them.

“We are going to pretend to be penguins and learn about their really intense lifestyle that they have to live with baring their young and incubating their young, diving into the freezing cold water to find food, bring it back and give it to their babies,” Duncan said.

Some fun activities include a polar slip and slide, mimicking penguins sliding on their stomachs into the water; penguin dives from canoes, as well as lots of crafts.

So far, 10 Counselors in Training will help with the first week of camp.

“We are going to have a really great ratio of campers to CIT’s and counselors,” Duncan said.

The second week, “Going Polar for Polar Bears Week,” will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 1, through Friday, Jan. 5. Registration is $310 per camper.

This week will share the polar bear’s environment, diet, foraging for food during the winter and what they do during warm months.

“We are going to learn about how their fur is transparent. It looks white, but it’s actually see through,” Duncan said.

This week will also include the annual tradition of “Giving Our Worries to the Sea.” Campers will write down their worry on a sheet of paper, which will then be thrown into a fire, before the ashes are thrown into the ocean.

“Sometimes there are things that kids need to talk about and write down and let go,” Duncan said.

Registration can be done online at www.sanibelseaschool.org/sanibel-camps, or by calling (230) 472-858. The Sanibel Sea School flagship campus is located at 455 Periwinkle Way.

“Our winter months are usually a little more mellow than our summer camps,” Duncan said. “That’s really nice because it kind of creates a little more intimate camp.”

Duncan encourages the campers to bring their wetsuits. If they do not own one, the Sanibel Sea School will have some available.