Summer Beach Camp

The Beach Camp Marine Science & Outdoor Education summer program is truly unique in the world of outdoor education and adventure.  

The educational component of our summer program known as the Marine Mammal Academy is staffed by 20-30 marine and environmental science majors from universities across the country as well as the U.K., Australia, and New Zeland and attracts students both locally and from around the globe.  

Our location on Puget Sound is just across from its entrance to the Pacific Ocean, and is home to porpoises, seals, seal lions, sea otters, and even pods of resident Orca whales. Beach Camp students learn about and encounter marine mammals on a daily basis. 

Beach Camp students also learn water safety and the fun and exhilaration of engaging with their saltwater marine environment in a wide variety of challenging  and environmentally sustainable activities from sea kayaks, to paddleboards, to sailboats, wind surfers, skim boards, zodiacs, snuba, and beach bikes.

Beach Camp Program Overview

Beach Camp consists of 8 one week camp sessions starting each year on the Sunday after the Fourth of July and continuing to the end of August. Campers are divided into 4 levels based on their grade in school at registration - (not age). Minnows (grade 2-3), Seals (grade 4-5), Dolphin (grade 6-7), Orca (grade 8-9).

Beach Camp promotes self-confidence, teamwork, water and boating safety, and knowledge and respect for marine mammals and the saltwater marine ecosystem through a wide variety of activities which frequently are gameified around various marine science learning projects. Projects include measuring water temperature, salinity, and PH, and performing censuses of aquatic and intertidal zone organisms. Beach Campers at the Orca and CIT levels may receive Save Our Shorelines service learning credit for Beach Camp science projects. Beach Camp offers signature over water challenge activities including a climbing wall, zipline, trapeze swing, tightrope, cliff jump, and our famous floating blue watermats causeway.  

Minnows (Grades 2 & 3)

      Beach Camp’s nurturing environment and family-oriented philosophy is ideal for allowing young Beach Campers to bond with camp friends and counselors and immerse themselves in the Beach Camp experience. Beach Camp Minnows receive close personal attention from 2 hand-picked cabin counselors-educators and one CIT, who guide their group through the week’s activities. Minnow cabin counselors are selected for their experience working with younger children and stay with their same Minnow cabin group throughout the entire week.

      Minnow counselors take the time to understand each child’s interests as well as anxieties in order to create the best possible conditions for increasing self reliance and confidence in a fun teamwork oriented environment. Every Beach Camp Minnow’s individuality is greeted with unconditional acceptance which is what makes Beach Camp a special place that keeps kids coming back year after year.

      Major activities for Beach Camp Minnows may include the Ninja gym, canoeing, paddleboarding, snorkeling, beach combing and exploring the intertidal zone.

Seals (Grades 4 & 5)

      Seals are the golden age for Beach Camp. Old enough to handle a kayak paddle, but young enough for everything to be new and exciting. Seals are challenged to build their water sports skills as well as teamwork and communications skills though a variety of enriching activities where campers learn to understand and assess risks as they accomplish new skills. Seals learn to exercise judgment as they take on new challenges and how to work collaboratively as a group. Each day revolves around fun, friends, and life skills setting the stage for a happy and healthy adolescence.

      Major activities for Beach Camp Seals may include tandem sea kayaking, paddle boarding, skim boarding, and sailing.

Dolphins (Grades 6 & 7)

      Nothing compares to middle school at Beach Camp. Just as Dolphins start to crave independence and adventure, and seek to define themselves in relation to the outside world and their peers, Beach Camp is there to provide endless challenges to be conquered, a supportive peer group, and extreme sports bragging rights to last a lifetime. 

      Dolphins have increased freedom to choose their activities, more flexible schedules, and increased autonomy within the various Beach Camp activities and over the Beach Camp property. Beach Camp Dolphins enjoy a fun filled week away from home, video games, and the pressures of social media, leaving them with wonderful memories and life skills to last a lifetime.  Beach Camp Dolphins come away as stronger, more resilient, and more thoughtful teens who are better equipped to navigate the challenges of middle school.

      Major activities for Beach Camp Dolphins include sea kayaking in singles, sailing sans instructor, beach biking, and Zodiac expeditions.

Orcas (Grades 8-9)

     Orcas are the highest and arguably most important grade level at Beach Camp. Orcas are looked up to as camp leaders and receive increased freedom and responsibility including operation of outboard powered Zodiacs. The increased confidence and self-reliance provided by Beach Camp is especially important for Orca teens who are (or soon to be) navigating the challenges of high school. Orca teens in need of service learning hours are eligible for service learning credit for time spent on Save Our Shorelines sponsored Beach Camp science projects.

      Major activities for Beach Camp Orcas may include solo sailing, operating Zodiacs, overnight camp out.

Counselors in Training (CIT)

Beach Camp recruits nationally and internationally for the best possible staff to instruct and inspire our students, and we are also committed to developing our own talent through a multi-year progression through high school which allows Beach Camp students to progress through the various levels of knowledge and responsibility necessary for full paid counselor/instructor positions when they reach college. 

Campers with substantial Beach Camp experience and the requisite maturity and responsibility are eligible for the for the Beach Camp CIT program where they shadow or work alongside Beach Camp Counselor-Educators to help plan and deliver highest quality and safest Beach Camp program possible. There are 3 CIT levels, CIT 1 (camp tuition continues to apply), CIT 2 (CITs attend camp free of charge), and CIT 3 (CITs earn a stipend).

Day Camp and Short Week M-F Sleepover Camp

As a service to the community Beach Camp offers a Monday - Friday day camp program through the City of Edmonds Parks and Recreation Department for camp age Minnows (grades 2-3) and Seals (grade 4-5) only. Day camp is considered an introduction to the normal Beach Camp overnight program and consists of a sampling of several Beach Camp water activities and an emphasis on beach based fun and learning activities in day camper activity groups.  

Edmonds Parks and Recreation also offers a short week Monday - Friday sleepover camp program intended for kids with can't miss weekend commitments. 

For more information or to register for Day Camp or the Short Week M-F Sleepover Camp call Edmonds Park and Rec at 425-771-0230 or visit their website at www.reczone.org.

Our protected Bay has the biggest nicest warmest sandiest beach on Puget Sound!

There's something for everyone at Beach Camp!

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For more information about the Save Our Shorelines Beach Camp Program Call or Text: 206-324-6715 or email sunsetbay@sunsetbaywharf.com  14725 Norma Beach Road, Edmonds, WA 98026