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Events

Fundraising events are held year round to help support a number of causes. Come and join the fun!

Summer Camp 9:00am to 4:00pmMonday - Friday*

Coastal Explorer Camp
Ages 10–12

Explore the beautiful, unique coastline of Dana Point in this activity-packed camp. Throughout the week, explore how scientists use models to study our impact on the coastal ecosystem. 

Use your engineering skills to reconstruct a prototype of a Remotely Operated Vehicle to accomplish a specific mission.   Participate in fun activities focusing on marine animals and their environment. This camp includes a two-hour cruise along the coastline looking for blue whales and a full day of scientific sampling and fishing aboard our R/V Sea Explorer. 

Highlights also include kayaking in Dana Point Harbor, a beach day, and exploring the intertidal zone. 

Summer Camp 9:00am to 4:00pmMonday - Friday

Marine Science Careers / Internship Academy
Ages 14–17

This week-long program introduces you to intertidal ecology, animal husbandry, laboratory investigations, and shipboard research in preparation for a marine science internship or career. Program highlights include a snorkeling field trip, an ROV workshop, a 4-hour research cruise aboard the R/V Sea Explorer, and various leadership/team building activities.

Successful program graduates may apply to intern with one of our departments: Animal Husbandry, R/V Sea Explorer, Marine Conservation Area, Public Programs, or Citizen Science. If selected for an internship, you will work on a research project during the school year and present your findings at a symposium hosted at the Ocean Institute.

Summer Camp 9:00am to 4:00pmMonday - Friday*

Buccaneer Adventure Camp
Ages 7–8

Set a course for adventure exploring the seas, encountering the unknown, learning to sail and becoming true buccaneers! Learn about the life of a pirate at sea and experience the lost arts of the mariners. Each day is filled with hands-on activities including fun crafts, sail handling, rowing, storytelling, treasure hunts, encountering historic characters (perhaps a pirate or two!) and voyaging to sea aboard the R/V Sea Explorer. Little Buccaneers complete their pirate training by the end of week and celebrate with “Dress Like a Pirate Day.” Adventures include dockside activities aboard the tall ship Pilgrim and on the floating Maddie James Seaside Learning Center.

Summer Camp 9:00am to 4:00pmMonday - Friday*

Neptune’s Mysteries Camp
Ages 6–7

Become a detective and solve mysteries each day using scientific tools and techniques.  Investigate new cases from our marine ecosystems right here in Dana Point: tide pools, sandy beaches and the open ocean. Use your scientific detective skills to figure out why Becky Blue Whale is so far from home and who-dun-it in our Mackerel Murder Mystery by exploring the Dana Point Marine Conservation Area, taking a Marine Mammal cruise onboard the R/V Sea Explorer, and exploring habits and adaptations of marine creatures. Join us for a fun-filled week of puzzles, ocean-themed crafts, and onsite marine plants and animals.

Summer Camp 9:00am to 12:00pmMonday - Friday*

Sea Squirts Camp
Ages 5–6

Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a shark, turtle, sea star, or whale? This camp brings to life some of the biggest and smallest animals in the sea. Each day you will sing a song to introduce a new theme for the day’s activities with highlights that include crafts, sand castle building at Baby Beach and a hunt for treasure. Join us for a fun-filled week!

Event

Whale Watching Cruise

Join Ocean Institute scientists on a Whale Watching Cruise aboard the R/V Sea Explorer to view the whales and dolphins that make the coastal waters of Dana Point their home.

Year-round sightings include Fin whales, Minke whales, Bottlenose and Common dolphins. Other marine mammals can be seen during their annual migrations.

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Making Waves

Ocean Institute programs have succeeded brilliantly in the most important mission: reaching and actively engaging the imagination of American youth.
- Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Maritime Education