Beach Camp MMA is a one of a kind marine science & outdoor education summer program located on a sandy protected bay in the Seattle suburb of Edmonds
Summer 2024 Scheduled Dates (Edmonds)
Week 1 - July 7 - 13
Week 2 - July 14 - 20
Week 3 - July 21 - 27
Week 4 - July 28 - August 3
Week 5 - August 4 - 10
Week 6 - August 11 - 17
Week 7 - August 18 - 24
Week 8 - August 25 - Aug 31
Overnight Registration Opens
March 1st - Returning Campers
March 4th - New Students
Day Camp Registration Opens
March 15th - Returning Campers
March 18th - New Students
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Beach Camp MMA
The Beach Camp Marine Mammal Academy outdoor education and environmental science summer program is truly unique in the world of outdoor education and adventure.
The educational component of our summer program is staffed by science and outdoor education majors from universities across the country as well as the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand 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 Orca whales. Beach Camp MMA 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, sailboats, wind surfers, skim boards, zodiacs, beach bikes and more.
Beach Camp MMA Program Overview
Beach Camp consists of 8 one week camp sessions starting each year on the Sunday after Fourth of July and continuing through 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 we endeavor to gameify around various marine science learning projects. Projects include: Measuring and logging in water temperature, salinity, turbidity and PH; Photographing marine mammals and logging individuals based on unique identifiable characteristics; and Using high and low frequency hydrophones to identify and log in communications from porpoises as well as orcas and grey whales. Beach Campers at the Orca and CIT levels may receive Marine Mammal Academy
(MMA) service learning credit for MMA science projects.
Beach Camp offers unique and exciting water based challenge activities not found anywhere else, including our signature over water climbing wall, zipline, trapeze swing, slackline, cliff jump, bubbleheads, and our famous floating blue watermats causeway to the big green dock.
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, 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, and weather permitting, a weekly sea kayak trip across Puget Sound to Whidbey Island. The increased confidence, courage, and self-reliance developed by the Beach Camp experience is especially important for Orca teens who are (or soon to be) navigating the challenges of high school and life outside the home. Orca teens in need of service learning hours are eligible for service learning credit for time spent on Marine Mammal Academy sponsored science projects.
Major activities for Beach Camp Orcas may include sailing, driving zodiacs, wooden boat building, sea kayak trip to Whidbey Island.
Counselors in Training (CIT)
In addition to recruiting nationally and internationally for the best possible staff to inspire our students, we are also committed to developing our own talent through a multi-year progression through high school which allows Beach Camp MMA students to progress through the various levels of knowledge and responsibility necessary for full paid junior counselor/instructor/counselor positions. CITs earn a $100/wk stipend, and are eligible for promotion to full pay $400/wk junior counsel when they turn 18.
Graduating Orcas (entering grade 11 in the fall) with substantial Beach Camp experience and the requisite maturity and responsibility are eligible to apply for CIT status where they work alongside Beach Camp Counselor-Educators to help plan and deliver highest quality and safest Beach Camp program possible.
Day Camp M-F (9:30-4:30)
As a service to the community Beach Camp offers a Monday - Friday day camp program for Minnows (grades 2-3 at time of registration) and Seals (grade 4-5 at time of registration). Day camp is 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 camp only activity groups. 9:30am drop off 4:30pm pickup (sorry early drop off/extended day not available at this time).