Where Every Budding Marine Biologist Needs to Go: Catalina Island Camps

"I got up at 4 AM today to stand in line so my kid can get into a summer camp," a friend told me when I ran into him this afternoon. That's how serious getting into a quality summer camp is in Los Angeles.

I never went to summer camp when I was little but the kid across the street would disappear for a couple of weeks every summer. He'd come back with the requisite tales of roasting marshmallows and trying to catch frogs along the shores of some idyllic lake. Meanwhile, I'd tell him how I'd been having fun pulling weeds in the backyard while staying at Camp Chez Moi--which was run by my mom.

I let my 12-year-old go to camp with his elementary school class last year up in the Angeles National Forest and he said the food was terrible but the scenery was incredible. He couldn't believe he was only 30 minutes away from our home because the air was so clean and fresh, and there were no cars. He wants to be a marine biologist so this summer I wish I could send him off to Catalina Island Camp.

Catalina is just off the Los Angeles/Long Beach coast and the camp itself is home to the Jean Michel Cousteau Family Camp. They focus their activities around the "unique marine and land environments" of Catalina. Seriously, Catalina is an incredible hub of marine life. You can even ride on glass bottom boats to see the marine life...or at least you can if you don't barf on boats like I do.

But anyway, on top of getting close and personal with nature, the camp does all sorts of great environmental leadership activities.

Check it out:
So basically, my kid needs to be there for two weeks being immersed in nature. And maybe yours too. One of the reasons I'm writing this post is that my friend Ciaran is helping the camp run a contest where I (pleeeze let it be me!) can win a week there for my kid OR a reader does too. Hmm...maybe if I don't win the contest, whoever won that $600 million in the Powerball will come across this post and help get Mr. O to camp there! Fingers crossed!


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