Calusa campers canoe in San Carlos Bay with counselor Mike. 

Calusa campers canoe in San Carlos Bay with counselor Mike. 

Years ago, our islands were home to a fierce and storied tribe of warriors – the Calusa.  They were an ocean people, scavenging and living off the water. Last week at Sanibel Sea School, we stepped back in time to join them.  

Mask-making at Sanibel Sea School. 

Mask-making at Sanibel Sea School. 

Campers explored the island from a new perspective, imagining they were Calusa warriors as they canoed along the mangroves and seined for fish and other sea creatures. We made bold masks and painted them with ancient ocean symbols, and we used palm material to weave our own rope, plates, and nets!

Campers get creative with palm materials during the annual Calusa Week Totem Competition. 

Campers get creative with palm materials during the annual Calusa Week Totem Competition. 

On Thursday, we held our traditional Calusa Week Totem Competition. Each camp tribe created four totems using natural items collected throughout the week to please the gods of fishing, clothing, cooking, and shelter. To bring the week to a close, we competed in our surf paddling race and played Capture the Fish. Calusa week is always a favorite, and this year’s was definitely one to remember.


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