Seacamp: 45 Years of Immersive Education That Works

The Ocean Doctor on

October 4, 2010: The Ocean Doctor attends the 45th anniversary celebration of Seacamp, a unique marine science summer camp in the Florida Keys that has reached more than 200,000 young hearts and minds through its summer program and its Newfound Harbor Marine Institute program during the rest of the year. We visit old friends, and chat with Irene Hooper, the original director who remains very involved, continuing to impart her leadership and vision to ensure the next generation grows up with a special place in its heart for the oceans. David tells his most famous Seacamp story about a canoe and two mischievous dolphins. And we hear the latest from the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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This Week’s Guest: Irene Hooper

This Week's Guest: Irene Hooper, Executive Director, Seacamp

This Week's Guest: Irene Hooper, Executive Director, Seacamp

Irene Hooper is the founder and executive director of Seacamp Association. Founded in 1966, Seacamp is the first program dedicated to the education of youth in marine science.

Seacamp shows the way to the sense of wonder within you that will last a lifetime, where underwater exploration and study beckon you to a world apart. Seacamp is minutes from the only living coral reef in all America at Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary.

Seacamp’s tropical marine location in the lower Florida Keys enables it to offer a truly unique marine science program. This program is the heart of Seacamp and makes available to campers a variety of activities under the guidance of academically-trained marine science instructors.

Campers discover hands-on the fascinating world beneath the ocean surface. Students work at their own level of interest and learn ecological principles that are pertinent to the future of our natural resources and to the study of marine science. Seacamp offers scuba diving and certifications, snorkeling, kayaking, sailing, windsurfing & more!

Seacamp's fleet of flattop boats in the harbor

Seacamp's fleet of flattop boats in the harbor

During the school year, Seacamp operates as the Newfound Harbor Marine Institute (NHMI) which delivers environmental and marine science education programs to middle and high school students, as well as to university students and teachers. Seacamp is located on Big Pine Key in the Florida Keys, with 450 campers from the United States and around the world participating in three 18-day summer sessions. Campers study the ocean, learn about coral reefs, and share traditional camp activities. More than 10,000 local, state, national, and international students and teachers participate in the NHMI programs each year.

Seacamp? is the result of a cooperative effort of parents, scientists, businessmen and camp leaders. Conservation practices and a respect for the marine environment are at the core of the Seacamp philosophy: “For all the sea has to teach us and all the fun in learning it.” Seacamp is proudly accredited by the American Camp Association


For more information about Seacamp/Newfound Harbor Marine Institute, visit:

Tip of the Week

Send your kids (or yourself) to Seacamp, of course! Three 18-day sessions are available each summer. For details, visit:

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