Summer Camp

Inspired by Carl Hiaasen's book Hoot and our own childhoods, we offer a number of summer camps where kids learn a little biology, a few old school “waterman” skills, and some kid skills. We'll make friends, enjoy the ocean, and have tons of fun!

We keep the size of our camps small and the meaningful experiences big. Typically, the camper to teacher ratio is less than 6 to 1. Most weeks are geared toward campers 6 – 13, although we do have age-specific weeks for students as young as 4 and as old as 18.

We also offer a Counselor-In-Training (CIT) program at each location for kids 13 and older who would like to explore their leadership potential. Learn more in our summer camp program descriptions. 

Each week of camp has its own theme and activities, but there are some things we do every week. We surf each day, and our famous Surf Paddling Competition is held each Friday. In Sanibel Sea School style, every day includes surfing, friendship, macramé and team bonding. Then there’s always artwork, journaling, beach time, seining and snorkeling. Our "Milk and Cookies Slideshow" takes place every Friday at the end of the day. Bring some delicious baked goodies and join us to experience your child's week of camp.

We hope you'll join us for summer fun and learning in our island ecosystem!

Join our Moana Ohana to support our summer camp programs. Click here to learn more. 

Summer Camp 2018 details will be added in early 2018. 

Winter Camp

Each year, we offer a camp session or two during winter break. Our 2017-2018 winter camp programs are listed below. Camps are open to children ages 6-13. A Counselor In Training program will also be available both weeks for teenagers interested in honing their leadership skills in a fun environment. Registration will open Saturday, October 21st, 2017 at 10 AM ET, and will be accessible via the button on this page. 

Flip Out for Penguins Week 12/26/17 – 12/29/17
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Tuesday through Friday
(No camp on Monday 12/25 – Christmas Holiday)
$310 per camper

Was that a flying fish that just jumped out of the water? No, it was a bird! A swimming bird! Early Antarctic explorers thought penguins were some sort of strange fish, but we now know they are birds highly adapted to life in and around the Southern Ocean. Penguins can’t fly like most birds we know, and are rather clumsy on land, but once they hit the water they turn into agile, top speed torpedoes. This week, we’re going to explore all things penguin and learn how these dapper birds forage in subfreezing waters and make expansive journeys across the icy cold desert. We’ll do our very own wetsuit warmth test in the chilly-to-us Gulf of Mexico to get a feel for how penguin blubber works. We’re going to waddle through obstacles, play nest-guarding games, and practice our penguin swimming in the sea. Join us for some flightless fun, surf paddling, macramé-making, and plenty of hot cocoa!

Going Polar for Polar Bears Week 1/1/18 – 1/5/18
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday
$310 per camper

Polar bears are just that – polar! Living on the top of the earth, these massive bears are comfortable on land and in the sea. Who would have thought a 900-pound bear could swim for days on end? They may seem cute and cuddly, but polar bears are quite voracious carnivores that spend their time hunting across the Arctic Circle. This week, we will learn how these bears can store fat on their bellies when food becomes scarce and how they use sea ice to capture prey. We’re going to layer on our own fur to see if we can stay warm, and we’ll have an epic bear crawl race. Get ready to catch fish like these sea bears do and test out our sniffers with the one and only polar bear sniff test! As always at Sanibel Sea School, we’ll enjoy plenty of hot cocoa, macramé, and surf paddling. This week we’ll also celebrate our annual tradition of giving our worries to the sea on New Year’s Day. Come take the polar plunge with us!

Registration will open Saturday, October 21st, 2017 at 10 AM ET.


Monday - Friday, 9 am – 4 pm

(9 am to 2 pm for 4 - 6 year olds)

Schedule varies for Teen Camp Programs, see individual camp week descriptions.


Fees for each week are listed with descriptions.

Refund policy: Cancellations made at least one week prior to the camp start date will receive a refund of all payments made less a $50 administration fee per week per child. Cancellations made less than one week before the camp start date are non-refundable.

If the cost of the program is preventing you from enrolling your child, please call us. We’re happy to work with you to ensure an ocean education for all.

E-mail list

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There’s nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater, you realize that you’ve been missing the whole point of the ocean. Staying on the surface all the time is like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the tent.
– Dave Barry