Week-Long Camps

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

Sea Squirts Camp
Ages 5–6

Hop, skip, and dive into the habitats of the sea!  Observe and touch live animals, travel through enchanted kelp forests, and imagine being at the bottom of the deep, dark sea.  A song will introduce the theme for the day’s activities with highlights including daily crafts, crab races at Baby Beach, and a treasure hunt.  Join us for a fun filled week!  Only before care is available 7:30am.

Members only registration March 1st-14th, general registration opens on March 15th
 
Summer Camp 9:00am to 4:00pmMonday - Friday

Neptune’s Mysteries Camp
Ages 6–7

Become a detective as you investigate mysteries from our ecosystems right here in Dana Point!  Using scientific tools and techniques, you will solve a new case each day in one of our marine ecosystems: tide pools, kelp forest, the open ocean, and deep sea.  Get excited about helping the sea otter find her family, discovering what sank the pirate ship, exploring the Dana Point Marine Conservation Area and taking a cruise onboard the Research Vessel Sea Explorer!  Come join us for a fun-filled week of puzzles to solve, ocean-themed crafts and learning about our onsite marine plants and animals.

Members only registration March 1st-14th, general registration opens on March 15th
 
Summer Camp 9:00am to 4:00pmMonday - Friday

Buccaneer Adventure Camp
Ages 7–8

Set course for an adventure exploring the seas, learning to sail, and becoming true buccaneers!  Experience the life of a pirate at sea and the lost arts of the mariners in our maritime facilities and aboard the tall ship Pilgrim.  Hands-on activities include themed crafts, sail handling, rowing, storytelling, treasure hunts, encountering historic characters (perhaps a pirate!) and voyaging to sea aboard the Research Vessel Sea Explorer.  Buccaneers celebrate completing their “Pirate Training” with “Dress like a Pirate Day” at the end of the week.  Join us for an adventure-filled week!

Members only registration March 1st-14th, general registration opens on March 15th

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

Ocean Discovery Camp
Ages 8–9

How do animals survive in the deep sea?  Do fish have a sense of smell?  Why do some objects float in the ocean while other sink?  Investigate these questions and more as you discover how our ocean works!  Assist collecting samples of local organisms, use microscopes to study plankton, dissect a fish, and discover how animals are adapted to live in their environments.  Camp highlights include driving a remotely operated vehicle, a cruise aboard the Research Vessel Sea Explorer, an exploration of the Dana Point Marine Protected Area, and a field trip to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.  

Members only registration March 1st-14th, general registration opens on March 15th
Summer Camp 9:00am to 4:00pmMonday - Friday

Shipwreck Hunter Camp
Ages 9–10

Challenge yourself as a maritime archaeologist to solve the mysteries of shipwrecks off our coast. Each day you solve a different shipwreck mystery using your maritime archaeologist training.  Campers-turned-shipwreck hunters build their own ship, recover artifacts, learn navigation, operate ROVs, and venture to the sea on the tall ship Spirit of Dana Point and the Research Vessel Sea Explorer.

Members only registration March 1st-14th, general registration opens on March 15th

Summer Camp 9:00am to 4:00pmMonday - Friday
Campers go kayaking in Dana Point Harbor

Coastal Explorer Camp
Ages 10–12

Explore the beautiful, unique coastline of Dana Point in this activity-packed camp. Throughout the week, you will attempt desert island survival by studying the science of the surf zone in our laboratory, out in the field, and onboard the Research Vessel Sea Explorer. You’ll also participate in fun activities focusing on sustainable resources and our impact on the environment.  This camp includes a day of cruising along the coastline fishing and looking for blue whales, scientific sampling aboard our research vessel, kayaking in Dana Point Harbor, and exploring the intertidal area.  

Members only registration March 1st-14th, general registration opens on March 15th
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 to spark interest in a career in marine science. Program highlights include a snorkeling field trip, a 4-hour research cruise aboard the Research Vessel Sea Explorer, creating and conducting a research project in the Dana Point Marine Protected Area, and leadership and team building activities.

Successful program graduates may apply to intern in one of our departments: Living Collections, Research Vessel Sea Explorer, Public Programs, or Citizen Science. If selected, participants will work alongside our staff, mastering skills to use for individual research projects. The internship year ends with a symposium presenting the research projects. 

You MUST apply for admission to this program and provide two letters of recommendation.

ALL application parts must be received before application will be reviewed. Complete applications will be accepted on a first come first serve basis.

Members only registration March 1st-14th, general registration opens on March 15th