What We Do at Camp

Our activities are based on current marine research and have been adapted into games and crafts! All activities have 3 variations and are adapted based on camper age and skill level. 

Shark Camp is split into two days: Boat Day and Beach Day.

Boat Day:

  • 10:15 AM: Sign in and drop off at Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor. Campers get t-shirts and decorate name tags.
  • 10:30 AM: Icebreaker to get to know each other.
  • 10:45 AM: Morning Activities (2 of 3)
    • Prints and Fins: Learn about how shark and whale scientists study sharks from a boat (photo identification, fluke prints, behavior, and questions such as why would it be difficult to study sharks? What can we learn from sharks?)
    • Sharks and Elephant Seals: Game to learn about hunting strategies of Great White Sharks and their relationship to local seals and sea lions. Why do sharks bite? How do they hunt?
    • Whales of Monterey Bay: Join a guest naturalist to learn about the mammals of Monterey including how they feed, how big they are compared to a Shark Camper, and how long they are here to visit.
  • 11:40 AM: Restroom break followed by Boat Safety.
  • 12:00 PM: Head out for an afternoon of whale watching in Monterey Bay.
  • 12:30 PM: Lunch
  • 3:30 PM: Pickup

Note: Seasickness bracelets available by request. Life vests are not required, but are available. You are also welcome to bring your own.

Beach Day: (all camp dates set for optimal tide pool adventures)

  • 10:15 AM: Drop off at Natural Bridges State Beach
  • 10:30 AM: Icebreaker: Octopus Game or Who Am I?
  • 10:45 AM: One or more of the following activities (throughout the day):
    • Myth Busters: How Dangerous Am I? Shark Campers determine which animals are most dangerous to humans while working on communication and critical thinking skills.
    • Super Hero Sharks: Design your own super hero shark, then learn which real shark species matches your super powers.
    • Food Web: Learn about the marine food web.
  • 11:15 AM: Explore the tide pools! Learn about the harsh life of tide pool animals and the special adaptations these animals use to survive. Meet the state park rangers and learn about habitat conservation. Older campers learn to survey the intertidal using quadrat squares.
  • 12:15 PM: Lunch
  • 1:00 PM: Take a behind the scenes tour of Long Marine Lab, complete with dolphins and a Hawaiian monk seal.
  • 1:45 PM: Create shark tooth necklaces using replica teeth. Learn how a shark's diet affects its tooth shape.
  • 2:30 PM: Pet docile swell sharks at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center and explore!
  • 3:30 PM: Pick up at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center.