I was camper in 2016 and one of the experiences I remember most clearly is Shell Key. We kayaked out to Shell Key in partners. The water was so clear and beautiful. Halfway there was a sandbar, allowing us the chance to get out of the kayaks and explore a little bit more. Horseshoe crabs, rays and dolphins surrounded us. Once we got to Shell Key, we began collecting and identifying shells. We wrapped up the day as a group, giving the feeling of a family.
An experience that I will always remember from when I was a camper in 2015 was being able to go on the research vessel. It was the first time I had ever worked in a lab and it was really cool to do small experiments. I really enjoyed being able to test the water and collect water samples. I hadn’t been on a research vessel ever before and I had an amazing time. It opened my eyes to the several different types of jobs and specialities in the area of Oceanography. I was interested in Oceanography before I came to camp, but after camp I knew it was what I was truly passionate about.
OCG is an opportunity to have hands on experience with the ocean through labs, cruises, and trips. It’s also a chance to interact with girls from all over Florida. I especially remember the labs held at the USF College of Marine Science. We were given permission to try expensive machines used for official real-life scientific research. There were microscopes that allowed me to see all the detail on a bee and understand the construction of salt. I thoroughly enjoyed attending this camp and seeing things in a totally different perspective
I was a camper in 2016 and one of the experiences I remember most was kayaking to Shell Key. We launched our tandem boats and headed out to shell key with a partner. It was so much fun and a great way to learn more about the person you were sharing your boat and paddling responsibilities. Since we were assigned to teams, this allowed for an opportunity to work with someone who I might not have met or become friends with otherwise. When we were kayaking, dolphins began swimming next to us and under our kayaks, and we were able to easily see them because the good water clarity. It was truly amazing and is still, and will probably always remain as one of my fondest memories! Once we arrived at Shell Key, we learned about birds, their feeding types, and different characteristics. The experience made me feel connected to nature and made our small beach-up feel even more meaningful.
Returning as a counselor has had me reflect on the many awesome and impacting experiences during my time at camp and I’m looking forward to reliving many of them while sharing my knowledge as a counselor. One of my favorite experiences was being in the beaches activity during our “Concept Rotations” day working with the different layers of the ocean. I’m looking forward to next week being able to help campers learn about the beaches and how tides occur. I was very happy to be a part of another great summer with OCG.