Calusa Week campers at Sanibel Sea School celebrated Southwest Florida’s earliest known inhabitants – the proud and fierce Calusa Indians. Participants divided into tribes and spent the week discovering what it must have been like to live among these legendary people.

We traded beads and shells, built tools and shelters from natural materials, and learned how to weave plates using palm fronds. The Calusa were known to be outstanding water-people, so we also practiced catching fish in our seine nets, snorkeled, and built our own canoe.

The week ended with a particularly fierce surf paddling competition, complete with ceremonial face paint and tribal chants. “Calusa Week is always a favorite among campers,” said Camp Coordinator Nicole Finnicum, “and this year was no different!”

Sanibel Sea School is a 501c3 nonprofit whose mission is to improve the ocean’s future, one person at a time. To learn more, visit