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Sanibel Sea School holds first camp of 2020

By SANIBEL SEA SCHOOL - | Jan 21, 2021

PHOTO PROVIDED Sanibel Sea School campers enjoy surfing in the Gulf during winter camp.

The 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 campers, employees and the community safe, staff implemented several COVID-safe procedures throughout the week. The camp was limited to 20 participants, who were split into smaller groups, and masks, social distancing and lots of hand-washing were incorporated. 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 enjoying being outside, counselors shared the importance of environmental conservation and held a camp-wide “bioblitz” to learn what creatures are all around. They cataloged the plants, animals and even shells that they encountered on Sanibel’s east end.

“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,” Director Nicole Finnicum said. “We were thrilled to have campers back in our building and get back to our favorite activities, like surf paddling.”

Campers also participated in the 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,” Education Programs Manager Shannon Stainken said. “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.”

The Sanibel Sea School hopes to implement the procedures during its summer camp. Registration will open in February, with details announced later in January. For more information, visit https://www.sanibelseaschool.org/sanibel-camps.

Part of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation family, the Sanibel Sea School’s mission is to improve the ocean’s future, one person at a time.