by Shainna Rosenbaum,
8th Grader at Switzerland Point Middle School
I have always loved the ocean so when I heard about our school’s Marine Science Camp, I decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did.
It was amazing! Every day was a new adventure exploring salt marshes and wave energy, surfing, canoeing, kayaking, finding plankton in the water, fishing, paddle boarding. That and all of the grades go on a trip to a spring somewhere in northern Florida.
Upcoming 6th, 7th, and 8th graders can do the camp. There are 3 sessions for the camp spread out over the summer. The camp offers experiences in a lab or on the field in a day, sometimes both. During the camp you have 2 day rotations with different teachers.
A Typical Day at Marine Science Camp
Waking up bright and early! (Not very fun 6:00 am to be exact) Then you pack your bag for the day if you haven't already. Some things that you would have to put in your bag for the day would be an extra pair of clothes because you will almost always get wet. A big lunch because you will be hungry! SUNSCREEN you will get burned if you don’t use it, also a towel. The last important thing would be paper or a journal because when you get back from what you did that day they have you write a journal entry.
There were many highlights to the camp but my personal favorite was going to Blue Springs State Park located near Deland, Florida. For me the springs visit was on the last day of the camp. At the park you can go tubing, snorkeling or just plain swimming. There are many fish and also manatee. We used snorkels to look under the water and we were able to see the manatee and swim with them. Don’t be scared but the same is true with alligators (they don’t really come in the swim zone though).
Another thing I did that was really cool was go fishing at the Pellicer Creek Estuary with seine nets. We canoed from Favor Dykes Park to Princess Place where we saw marshes, mud flats and oyster beds up close. My friend and I caught a baby puffer fish and a lot of other cool stuff.
Wind surfing was pretty cool but not easy to get up in the air. We were at Anastasia State Park, at an estuary behind the barrier islands. I also learned how to use a Hobie Cat, or a catamaran which is a small sail boat.
If you are a middle schooler, you should definitely try Marine Science Camp – There is nothing quite like the experience!
St. Johns Magazine
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