The current red tide bloom presented many challenges for Sanibel Sea School’s summer camp team, with water conditions unsafe for swimming in many locations around the island. During the last four weeks of camp, counselors made frequent last minute changes to the schedule to ensure that campers would have a safe and enjoyable experience. They received an outpouring of support from local businesses and fellow nonprofit organizations to make the end of summer a success.
“We are all about experience based learning at Sanibel Sea School, and most of our summer camp activities are water based,” said Director of Education Nicole Finnicum. “The impacts of red tide made it very difficult to host a great ocean-themed camp, since we couldn’t engage in our usual favorite pastimes like snorkeling and surfing. I am so proud of our staff and our community for making it happen,” she added.
Campers were treated to land-based activities and field trips, including visits to The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge and Visitor Center, and Periwinkle Park. They were also invited to explore some of The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s land, and had a chance to cool off at the Sanibel Recreation Center’s pool facility. A trip to create chalk art for Bailey’s General Store patrons was a favorite among participants, as was a stop at Dairy Queen for some cold, delicious ice cream. “We are so grateful for the support,” said Finnicum. “I can’t believe how lucky we are to live and work in a place where people are there for one another even during the hardest times.”
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 sanibelseaschool.org.