The weather is heating up down here on Navarre Beach, and I find myself more and more busting out the sandals and shorts.
The warm up can only mean one thing, summer is almost upon us. And that means parents are searching out summer camps for their children. While you could stick with the same old cabin in the woods (and don’t get me wrong that is a lot of fun), there is a new kind of summer camp here on Navarre Beach.
Paddle boarding along the beach, touching some of the Gulf of Mexico’s unique wildlife and even getting up close with dolphins could make for some magical summer memories at the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station.
Charlene, Heather and the crew of volunteers at the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station really care about sharing marine science and beach life with children of all ages. As licensed educators they know the tricks to not only teach the kids all the amazing science but to make it fun.
Their yearly summer camps are no exception.
The season kicks off with the fifth annual Autism OdysSea May 6.
This special event spun out of Charlene’s experience vacationing with a neighbor. Her neighbor’s son had autism and while they were visiting Disney World, Charlene was surprised to see the challenges and sideways glances her friend received.
Inspired she and the science station team banded together to create an event specifically catered to these families with sensory stations and wildlife encounters.
As for day camps the station offers a variety of camps that will engage children of all ages in hands on activities and animal encounters during the day and have them back home by night fall.
For younger kids, 4 to 5 years old, the station has added a new camp called Turtle Tots. This camp allows little ones to experience and explore the lives of sea turtles through games, playing “turtle veterinarian” and beach visits.
Possibly the coolest of the camps for the older kids is the Guy Harvey Fishing Camp. For five days your child will learn all there is to know about fishing the Gulf of Mexico’s diverse selection of sporting fish.
Children 9 to 14 will learn best tackling methods and techniques to catch the big one. In addition to learning fishing 101, the kids will get a lesson in respecting the ocean and all that she has to offer and come up close with fish and more.
The highlight of the camp is a deep sea fishing experience aboard the Entertainer charter boat where they get to apply what they learn.
These kids walk away with more than just the knowledge. They receive the gear to get fishing with a custom Guy Harvey tee, tackle box and a fishing pole to apply what they learned.
Because of the Science Station’s unique commitment to ocean conservation and public education they have been selected as the only location in Northwest Florida to partner with the Guy Harvey Foundation for this one of a kind experience.
Here is a schedule of all the camps the station has in store this summer:
May 6, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Families with children on the spectrum
June 12-16, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Students entering third through eighth grade
$275 (private dolphin cruise included)
Students entering first and second grade
Guy Harvey Fishing Camp
$350 (includes deep sea fishing, fishing gear and custom tee)
July 24-28 or July 31- Aug. 4
Students entering third through fifth grade
$300 (include water sports lessons and activities)
Visit www.navarresciencestation.org for more information.
Mom and Dad
Most of the station’s camps will keep the kids occupied for the day, so what are you going to do? Might I recommend toes in the sand, drink in hand and not a care in the world? Walk down to the water from your condominium rental then grab lunch at the water front at Juana’s Pagodas and Sailors Grill at the foot of the beach bridge.
Or for the more adventuresome rent a Jet Ski, go snorkeling on the Navarre Beach near shore reef or even charter your own deep sea fishing trip. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
Slots and accommodations fill up fast. Register your child for camp at navarresciencestation.org, and find yourself a home away from home today. We offer a variety of options to make your trip relaxing and memorable.