Summer Camps Wrap Up
Another season has come and gone for the Greater Cleveland Aquarium summer camps. Knowledge was gained, crafts were constructed, and friends and memories were made. Camps varied greatly in size and topics, but all of them had their own highlights and unique happenings to touch on. If you missed out on GCA camps this year, hopefully this will inspire you to come check us out next summer!
One camp was so important we just had to run it twice. Marine Scientists in Training has always been a popular camp here, and for good reason. A big shout-out to our curation staff, who made many of these experiences possible. The campers had the amazing opportunity to actually feed our shark exhibit. They went behind the scenes and tossed in food to the resident fish such as the Barracuda, the pufferfish, and even a few Sand Tiger sharks, who swam by to check out the commotion. As if that wasn’t cool enough, these campers were able to take home art beautifully painted by our own stingrays. Even the cownose pups contributed a few strokes to the canvases!
Of course, we love all of our animals here at the Aquarium, but we also love our environment outside the Aquarium too. We traveled over to Edgewater beach and did our best to make it spotless, leaving our mark on the war against pollution. All in all, we hope our campers came out of the week with a new passion for their future careers!
On the opposite end of the age spectrum, we ran our first half-day camp for the little ones this year, called Under the Sea. From feeding our Painted Turtle and our stingrays, to going aboard the massive William G. Mather steamship, a lot was packed in to such little time. With this particular camp, we hope to see these campers over and over again until they graduate from Marine Scientists in Training. After attending all of our camps here, there’ll be nothing left to know about the earth’s aquatic life! (kidding)
Another new camp this past year revolved mainly around our neighboring waters, Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River. Come Sail Aboard the Schooner Appledore IV, as the camp was titled, involved boarding a tall ship. The kids took to the open waters and learned all about what’s threatening the lake and even raised the sails of the Appledore IV. The rest of the week’s highlights included trying on SCUBA masks to breathe under water, learning all about shipwrecks in Lake Erie while hearing a firsthand account of someone who has actually dived those, and of course feeding our stingrays.
Our last two camps were returning favorites of years past, Aquatic Adventures and Sharks. Sharks of course entailed the famous sleepover in the sea tube. There’s nothing quite like falling asleep and waking up to magnificent sharks and other sea life swimming right over you. These campers had the ultimate experience of feeding our local fish in the Ohio exhibit, while also feeding the animals in the shark tank, to compare and contrast the vast differences in the fresh and salt water habitats.
Our Aquatic Adventures campers once again had a blast aboard the Nautica Queen, and our fishing trip this year was especially exciting. One of our lucky campers caught a HUGE largemouth bass which actually snapped the fishing pole in two! Miraculously, the fish was still reeled in and caught. I don’t think anyone attending that day will be forgetting that image anytime soon.
As you can see, it was an event-filled summer at the GCA camps. We hope to see everyone come and visit throughout the fall, winter, and spring. Then next summer we’ll be back, bigger and better than ever! If you haven’t already, follow us on social media to keep up to date on all of the happenings around here, because there’s always something exciting going on.