2016 Ocean Institute Summer Programs

Press Release

Dana Point, CA – Registration is now open for the Ocean Institute’s 2016 week-long summer camps that give children ages 5-17 unique, hands-on opportunities to experience ocean science and maritime history.  Programs begin June 20 and will introduce kids to the mysteries of our oceans, from the tiny world of microscopic plankton to the open seas with large sea creatures such as seals and sea lions, dolphins, sunfish and whales.  Maritime history programs take children back in time to experience the Golden Age of Sail. 

Programs offered include:

Sea Squirts for ages 5 to 6.  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.

Neptune’s Mysteries for ages 6 to 7.  Become a detective and solve mysteries 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; take a Marine Mammal cruise onboard the R/V Sea Explorer, and explore habitats and adaptations of marine creatures.

Buccaneer Adventure for ages 7 to 8.  Learn about the life of a pirate at sea and experience the lost arts of the mariners. Each day includes such hands-on activities as 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.

Ocean Discovery for ages 8 to 9.  Immerse yourself in the fun and fascinating world of a marine biologist as you work in our laboratories creating and maintaining an aquarium display. You will also explore the world the animals live in by bringing samples up from the ocean floor, using microscopes to study some of the ocean’s smallest inhabitants, dissecting a squid and using other scientific equipment to reveal the mysteries of the ocean.

Seafarer’s Odyssey for ages 9 to 10.  Children will experience sailing, rowing and the arts of the sailor through fun, hands-on activities.  Seafarer’s adventurers will have the opportunity to crew and set sail aboard the tall ship Spirit of Dana Point, row period longboats, and work traditional maritime equipment on the Maritime Pier of the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center. 

Coastal Explorer for ages 10 to 12.  Participants will explore the unique coastline of Dana Point as they learn how scientists use models to study our impact on the coastal ecosystem.  Construct and operate a Remotely Operated Vehicle, participate in fun activities focusing on marine animals and their environment, kayak through Dana Point Harbor, take a two-hour cruise along the coastline looking for blue whales, and enjoy a full day of scientific sampling and fishing aboard our R/V Sea Explorer.

Sea Tech for ages 12 to 14.  Participants will build and operate a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and use research equipment onboard the R/V Sea Explorer to gather information on water chemistry and the sea floor to understand our ocean environment.  They will test their skills piloting their ROVs in underwater challenges from the floating platform of the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center.

Marine Science Careers/Internship Academy for ages 14 to 17.  Teens will be introduced 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 and team-building activities.  Successful program graduates may apply to intern with the Ocean Institute.

Camps begin at 9 a.m.

The Ocean Institute also offers a multi-day overnight camp and single-day programs.  Single-day programs include Junior Neptunes (ages 6 to 8); Junior Oceanographer (ages 9 to 12); Rocky Seashores, Kelp Forests and the Deep Sea (ages 6 to 8); and Turtles, Sharks, Whales & the Sea (ages 6 to 8); Lil’ Scallywags Half-Day Program (ages 5-6).

 For specific dates, additional details and pricing for the programs, visit the Ocean Institute website at www.ocean-institute.org  


The Ocean Institute is an ocean education center that offers in-depth Marine Science, Maritime History and Outdoor Education programs. The facility includes state-of-the-art teaching labs, the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center, two historic tallships, and an oceanographic research vessel. Immersion-based field trips range from one-hour science labs to multi-day programs at sea. All programs are designed to maximize immersion, spark curiosity, and inspire a deep commitment to learning. Ocean-based exhibits are open to the public seven days a week. Visitors can explore the underwater world while participating in fun activities designed to indulge ocean curiosity. Throughout the year, the Ocean Institute also offers organized family programs, summer camps, cruises, tallship sails, and other unique events including our annual Toshiba Tall Ships Festival and the Festival of Whales.

Address: 24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr., Dana Point, CA 92629
Website: www.ocean-institute.org
Phone: (949) 496-2274

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