Summer Camp 2016 At Sanibel

We're so excited for your kids to join us for the best summer ever! 

Looking for Summer Camp at Sundial?


$310/ week

June 20-24, 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM*, ages 4-6

Shark Pups Week: Even Chompers Start Out Small

Sharks are either born from eggs or their mom has them. But however they’re born, they’re on their own as soon as they’re out in the water. That means they’ve got teeth and fins and they can swim and they have to catch food. Baby Shark, go get ‘em! What does a little shark eat? Where do they find food? How big are they? Let’s see. And did you know sharks have really strange sand papery skin? You’ll see why. We’re going to pretend we’re shark pups and make our own shark fins! Come fin around in the water with us! We don’t bite!

July 18-22, 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM*, ages 4-6

Shrimpy Shrimp Week

Come along, friends. There’s tiny shrimp out there waiting for us. We’re going to take our nets out and catch shrimp to put in our aquaria. Then we can look at their funny flicking tails and their beady little eyes. We’re going to practice shrimp hiding - you know what that is? Hiding out in the open where everyone can see you..but they don’t! That’s because you’re hard to see and you blend in! We’re going to make corky shrimps. And we’re going to look at the way shrimp jet along in the water by flicking their tails. Let’s be shrimp and see if we can jet too. How? We don’t have tails? You’re right! You’ll just have to come and see how we do it.


*Please note that our camp days are shorter during weeks designed for 4-6 year olds. Our CIT programs will run from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM during Shark Pups and Shrimpy Shrimp weeks.


$310/ week

June 6-10, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Cruising for Sand Dollars Week

Sand dollars are near and dear to Sanibel Sea School’s heart. We like to find ‘em and tag ‘em and watch ‘em move. We like to see who can find the smallest and the biggest and what’s the size of the average Sanibel Sand Dollar? Sand dollars are pretty on the outside, pretty cool on the inside and have you ever seen how fast those sand suckers can move? We might just have to lay on our bellies on a sandbar for this one. Anybody in?

June 13-17, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Glow my Mind! Week

It’s one of the most amazing things EVER that animals can light themselves up at night! How do they do it? Who’s glowing out there in the ocean and why? Why can’t I glow? Hey.. maybe I can glow! Let’s explore the science of bioluminescence and do a little glowing ourselves. Let’s snorkel at night. Let’s do some for-real glow chemistry by day. Let’s talk about catalysts and what makes glowing happen. Let’s make a deep dark room at Sanibel Sea School for our glowmania.

June 27 - July 1, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Life Under a Rock Week

Oh the things that live under rocks! If you only knew what cool creatures are under there, you’d never snorkel in more than a foot of water again! We’ll spend a week turning over rocks to see what teeny-tiny creatures we can find living in the ocean. Marine worms, tiny crabs, tiny crustaceans and nudibranchs and all kinds of algae. We’ll bring some rocks to our tanks to watch more closely. We’ll leave no rock unturned. And since we’re talking about the highly prized wave zone (in wavier places), we’ll crash around in our own splash zone and compete for space to imagine where a limpet or barnacle is supposed to go when all the rocks are full.

July 4-8, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Tiger Shark - Garbage Disposal of the Sea - Week

Bet you didn’t expect that title! Yep these big bad fish don’t care what you think - they’ll eat anything! “Oh, you think that’s too dead to eat? Wrong! Chomp! Hey I found a log with some barnacles on it. Chomp!” Why do they do that? Also, why do the Hawaiians think this shark is sacred and that they have special powers of vision? Let’s see what that’s about. We’re going to scavenge like sharks and make a sculpture out of beach debris. We’re going to make a “sharks eye” amulet to wear and learn about Hawaiian na’aumakua (sacred spirits.)  We’re definitely going to cruise along in the water like the tiger sharks that we are.

July 11-15, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Hermit Crab Crawl-Down Week

“Hey, I like my house... but I like yours more. Think I’ll take it!”  Yep, that’s a hermit crab for you - always taking your stuff!  Let’s capture a few of them and see what shells they prefer and why. Does a hermit prefer a sturdy fortress of a shell or a light easy-to-run with shell? We’ll track them by their trails and see where they go. Then of course, we have to build our own houses - light or sturdy - and protect them from other marauding hermits. And by the way, what’s the difference between an ocean hermit crab and a land hermit crab? And have you ever seen pictures of crazy-big land crabs that use coconuts for shells?!! You will.

July 25-29, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Mighty Calusa Week

Again we celebrate our founding people in SW Florida - the fierce trading tribe - the Calusa. No summer would be complete without our homage to the proud Calusa. When we go Calusan style, it’s awesome off-the-page-into-the-wild history. We learn a lot about how the Calusans lived and traded. Then we divide into tribes, paint our faces with our own ceremonial markings and try to make it through each other’s territory by offering objects to trade! This year we’re also going to all make a giant canoe to celebrate! And if we’re self-respecting water people, it might float!

August 1-5, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Snook if You Know Where to Look Week

Ever noticed that Doc Bruce can see fish when you can’t see anything? We’re going to teach you how to spot a snook. From then on, when all the fisherfolk go out to the sandbar casting for snook, you can smile at the one right in front of you by the beach! After learning to read the water, let’s put on masks and go snook-lookin’ in the mangroves. Let’s talk about how fish swim up and down under pressure and how they sense things around them. Book the snook week.

August 8-12, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Sneaky Sneaky Octopus Week

The original Shape Shifter - I could be right in front of you and you’d never know it. I can fit through the neck of a bottle or cover your whole face. I can change colors and patterns depending on where I am.  And although I’m gooey and sticky and hard to hold onto, ocean people love me because I’m super smart! Join us to explore in this eight-legged, shell-crushing, color-shifting, puzzle-solving, suction cupping kind of a week.

August 15-19, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Jiggly Wiggly Comb Jelly Week

We always get asked if small clear comb jellies sting. The answer is no - instead of using stinging cells they use sticky cells and you can’t get stuck unless you’re a tiny planktonic animal. Let’s explore these super-cool, glow in the dark, barely there jellies of the ocean. Let’s have a floating race using only our fingers fluttering like cilia. Let’s get sticky and capture our own food. Let’s collect plankton (the comb jelly’s favorite food) with a plankton tow and look at it under a microscope. Let’s go on a night beach walk and look for bioluminescence.

August 22-26, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Jumping Mullet Week

One of the questions most commonly asked at Sanibel Sea School is what is that jumping fish?  So, why in the world do mullet jump? Let’s explore that and do a little mullet jumping ourselves this week. Let’s learn how to throw a castnet and maybe catch a happy mullet. What do mullet eat and what does mullet taste like? Old school island mullet fisherman Ralph Woodring might give us some smoked mullet and tell us a few old fishing tales.


July 11-16, camping trip - specific schedule details TBA

Keys Coral Reef Week (ages 11-15)

$550 includes surcharge for food, accommodations, and transportation

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is one of 14 marine protected areas in the U.S. and we are lucky campers to be able to zip out to Looe Key and see sharks and eagle rays and Goliath Groupers and Midnight Parrot Fish, pillar corals, mountainous corals, and the list goes on! And “lucky campers” isn’t just a phrase. We camp in gender and age segregated 8-person tents at the Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge and we study the reef and the Florida Keys habitat. It’s a hot, glorious week of learning, snorkeling with good friends and soon to be good friends, campfires and tent competitions.

July 29 - August 6, overnight

Bahamas Coral Reef Expedition (ages 15-18)

$1800/camper*, all-inclusive

Join Sanibel Sea School in the Bahamas as we immerse ourselves in one of Earth’s most diverse and spectacular ecological systems: the coral reef. For one week we will set up residence at the Forfar Field Station on Andros Island, the largest Bahamian island. With world-class reefs as our classroom, our laboratory, and our backyard, students will identify and study reef inhabitants and learn to interpret their discoveries alongside coral reef ecologists. Ultimately, students will put their new-found knowledge to work collecting and analyzing survey data on fish and invertebrate populations that will be used to better understand and effectively conserve this important ecosystem. Students will earn community service hours for these surveys ‒ and what better community to serve than a coral reef? This summer, dive headfirst into the dynamic world of marine science. You will gain new insights into the field of marine ecology and make a valuable contribution to coral reef research and conservation, all in a setting as breathtaking as it is biologically rich. 

*Combined transportation, food, and lodging costs have increased for our Andros Expedition between 2015 - 2016. Please be reminded that we do everything we can to ensure that cost does not prohibit participation, and that you may contact us at any time to request a scholarship if needed. 

June 13-17 (Paddle Warrior I) and June 20-24 (Paddle Warrior II), 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Have Paddleboard, Will Survive: The Making of Ocean Warriors I and II (ages 13-18)

$350/week, including paddleboarding instruction fees and surcharge for camping trip

How much of Sanibel have you explored? Ever cruised through the canals or traversed the sand bars at low tide? This week will be an adventure to the lesser-known places on Sanibel and we’re going to do it by paddleboard! We’ll leave no shell unturned and inspect every nook and cranny of the mangroves – we’re island explorers! We’ll learn and improve paddleboarding skills, and survival skills that are as useful in the city as on a desert island. Tire-changing, fire-starting, shelter-building, and navigating are all part of the plan. We will become certified in first aid, and figure out how to find food and water in the wilderness. One day, we’ll paddle out to an uninhabited island to test our new skills – the conditions will be primitive, the bugs will be many, and the memories will be fantastic. Each week will be different, so you can attend just one or sign up for both!

July 18-22, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Wahine Toa (ages 13-18)

$350/week, including paddleboarding instruction fees and surcharge for camping trip

Wahine Toa is a Polynesian phrase that means fierce ocean (woman) warrior. This week our women will form a Wahine Toa tribe in our first-ever all female camp. We’ll learn paddleboarding skills, survival skills and celebrate girl power! We’ll learn practical skills like how to change a tire and how to jump-start a car; we’ll build fires from the ground up and learn how to make the best shelter on the beach. We’ll become certified in first aid and think about things you need to know to survive whether you’re in the city or stranded on an island with only a paddle in hand. We’ll paddle out to a small, uninhabited island to spend the night under the stars and practice our new skills - the conditions are primitive, but the memories are fantastic. We then finish out the week by embarking on an epic paddle to a distant island - by the end of the week, these ladies will count themselves among the Wahine Toa.

Counselor in Training (CIT) Program (ages 13-18)

Offered most weeks, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM (CITs arrive at 7:30 AM on Monday)

$200/ week

Our CIT program is a leadership program for older campers to learn and practice the skills needed for their future employment. CITs are a vital link between our younger campers and the staff in our programs. Through theory and practice, we teach our CITs how to be leaders and positive role models to those around them. We assign duties and create and maintain performance expectations for these young leaders. We treat them with gentleness, love and respect, but show them how to carry out the responsibilities they are now capable of and how to use their abilities to become excellent role models. On any given day, it is hard to tell who is having more fun, the campers or the CITs. 


A few important tips regarding registration:

  • Before registering, please check your computer or mobile device to ensure that pop-ups are enabled in your browser settings.
  • If you are unable to reserve spots during the early registration period  for past camp families on Saturday February 6th, 2016, please try again on February 13th, 2016 at 10:00 AM EST - additional spaces will open up at that time. 
  • All wait list requests will be collected via the Active Network registration system this year. If the week you would like to register for is full after the second week of registration, you will be given the option to join the wait list at no cost. 
  • You should receive a confirmation email within 24 hours of completing your camp registration. If you do not receive a confirmation email within this time period, please contact us. 
  • Camp inquiries can be made via phone at (239) 472-8585 or by email, at We are open Monday - Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM.