Summer Campers looking at water quality

Our Adventures in the Estuary Summer Camps immerse campers in the ocean, beach, estuary, and forest habitats. While investigating how and why the habitats are always changing they will get to experience the rich biodiversity within. Campers will take part in scientific monitoring and stewardship activities very similar to the programs our biologists conduct on site. Each week is defined by a week and age level. Click on the tabs below to read more and begin reserving a spot. Click here to access the Summer Camp waitlist if spots are sold out.

WHO: The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve

WHERE: The GTM Research Reserve's Environmental Education Center (505 Guana River Road, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida 32082)

WHEN: The date depends on the specific camp (click the tabs for specific dates or visit our calendar). Camps (with the exception of the 13-15yr camp) run Monday through Friday. Campers (with the exception of the 13-15yr camp) should arrive by 9:00 a.m. (Monday - Friday), no earlier than 8:50 a.m. unless you have purchased the Earlier Arrival option (available during registration, $25/camper/week). Camper pick-up is at 3:00 p.m., no later than 3:10 p.m. unless you have purchased the Late Pick-up option (available during registration, $50/camper/week).

REFUND POLICY: There are no full refunds. A 50% refund will be issued if you cancel four weeks prior to the start date the summer camp. No refunds will be issued after this deadline.

ADDITIONAL COMMON QUESTIONS
  • Due to the structure of activities and based on experience we try to stick to the age requirements. However, we'll permit campers that are posed to turn the minimum age within ONE MONTH after the camp start date. Meaning if you'd like your 6 year old to attend the 7-9yr camp then we'll allow it if they turn 7 within one month after the camp start date.
  • We will provide snacks throughout the day. The morning will consist of a healthy snack (fruit/nuts/grains) and the afternoon will usually consist of a popsicle (to help cool down).
  • Lunches - Parents/Guardians must provide a lunch for their campers. We try to encourage the campers to bring a litter-less lunch (lots of resuables). We will provide a water bottle and water throughout the day. Campers must bring: insect repellent (strongly encouraged), sunscreen (strongly encouraged), towel, change of clothes, close-toed shoes (no flip flops), sunglasses, hat
  • Your camper(s) will only be allowed to go home with people you have indicated on a list that will be sent around (via email) closer to the start of camp.
  • We usually work on the agenda up until the week before because there's lots of cool activities. We will send that around to registrants closer to the start of camp. Usually (because of the heat) we'll be inside in the morning, conducting experiments or working on projects and then outside in the afternoon (the breeze usually picks up by this time).
The Overnight Camp experience (June 7-9, 2017): Campers will get a more in-depth experience into the research and stewardship activities that occur at the Reserve. There will be a lot of field components, including boat excursions to our research sites within the estuary.

Logistics: The Overnight Camp experience will take place at the Environmental Education Center and utilize the classrooms as dorms (note: males and females will be in separate classrooms, along with chaperones). The Education Center has a shower (if needed) and restrooms. Students will need to bring: toiletries, towel, sleeping bag, pillow (with pillowcase), three sets of clothes, extra set of shoes (including flip-flops for the shower-room), hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and insect repellent. The GTM Research Reserve will provide a water bottle, a continuous supply of water, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

Age Groups: 4-6yr (Plankton) and 7-9yr (Gobies)
Please note the 4-6 year olds and 7-9 year olds will be in two separate camps and most likely not interact throughout the week.

Cost: 4-6yr (Plankton): $145; 7-9yr (Gobies): $160

4-6 year old (Plankton) - There's just so many cool ocean things to discover and explore. This camp is a fun and education way for your child to discover the importance of the coastal community, learn more about the adaptations of animals that call northeast Florida home, explore the many habitats found at the GTM Research Reserve, and even check out some current research projects conducted by our onsite biologists. This week of camp will be focused on the Ocean Habitat. Campers will leave camp understanding: 1) what makes ocean water different from river water, 2) how the ocean is involved with the weather, and 3) the biodiversity of the plants and animals in the ocean.

7-9 year old (Gobies) - Campers will be immersed in the ocean and beach habitats. While investigating how and why the ocean is always changing they will get to experience the rich biodiversity within the ocean and on our beaches. Campers will take part in scientific monitoring activities very similar to the same monitoring programs our biologists conduct on site. Also, campers will be introduced to the chemistry behind ocean water and the underlying issues (ocean acidification, eutrophication or dead zones).

Age Groups: 4-6yr (Plankton) and 10-12yr (Rays)
Please note the 4-6 year olds and 10-12 year olds will be in two separate camps and most likely not interact throughout the week.

Cost: 4-6yr (Plankton): $145; 10-12yr (Rays): $160

4-6 year old (Plankton) - This will be a little different than the first Ocean Week. There's just so many cool ocean things to discover and explore. This camp is a fun and education way for your child to discover the importance of the coastal community, learn more about the adaptations of animals that call northeast Florida home, explore the many habitats found at the GTM Research Reserve, and even check out some current research projects conducted by our onsite biologists. This week of camp will be focused on the Ocean Habitat. Campers will leave camp understanding: 1) what makes ocean water different from river water, 2) how the ocean is involved with the weather, and 3) the biodiversity of the plants and animals in the ocean.

10-12 year old (Rays) - This week will be very similar to the 7-9 year old ocean week, but we're uping the game. We're adding an engineering and technology component to this camp. Underwater remote operated vehicles and 3-D Scanning/Printing! Campers will be immersed in the ocean and beach habitats. While investigating how and why the ocean is always changing they will get to experience the rich biodiversity within the ocean and on our beaches. Campers will take part in scientific monitoring activities very similar to the same monitoring programs our biologists conduct on site. Also, campers will be introduced to the chemistry behind ocean water and the underlying issues (ocean acidification, eutrophication or dead zones).

Age Groups: 4-6yr (Plankton) and 7-9yr (Gobies)
Please note the 4-6 year olds and 7-9 year olds will be in two separate camps and most likely not interact throughout the week.

Cost: 4-6yr (Plankton): $145; 7-9yr (Gobies): $160

4-6 year old (Plankton) - This camp is a fun and education way for your child to discover the importance of the coastal community, learn more about the adaptations of animals that call northeast Florida home, explore the many habitats found at the GTM Research Reserve, and even check out some current research projects conducted by our onsite biologists. This week of camp will be focused on the Estuary Habitat. Campers will leave camp understanding: 1) the estuary system is always changing, 2) the differences between water in the estuary, the river, and the ocean, and 3) the biodiversity of the plants and animals in the estuary.

7-9 year old (Gobies) - Campers will be immersed in the estuary habitat. While investigating how and why the estuary is always changing they will get to experience the rich biodiversity within the estuary (both plants and animals). Campers will take part in scientific monitoring activities very similar to the same monitoring programs our biologists conduct on site. Also, campers will be introduced to the chemistry behind estuary water and the underlying issues our estuary faces (global climate change, marine debris, overfishing).

Age Groups: 4-6yr (Plankton) and 10-12yr (Rays)
Please note the 4-6 year olds and 10-12 year olds will be in two separate camps and most likely not interact throughout the week.

Cost: 4-6yr (Plankton): $145; 10-12yr (Rays): $160

4-6 year old (Plankton) - This week will be a little different from the first Estuary Week. There's so many cool things to see and do in the estuary. This camp is a fun and educational way for your child to discover the importance of the coastal community, learn more about the adaptations of animals that call northeast Florida home, explore the many habitats found at the GTM Research Reserve, and even check out some current research projects conducted by our onsite biologists. This week of camp will be focused on the Estuary Habitat as well except we'll go a little more in depth on: 1) the estuary system is always changing, 2) the differences between water in the estuary, the river, and the ocean, and 3) the biodiversity of the plants and animals in the estuary.

10-12 year old (Rays) - This week will be very similar to the 7-9 year old estuary week, but we're uping the game. We're adding an engineering and technology component to this camp. Underwater remote operated vehicles and 3-D Scanning/Printing! Campers will be immersed in the estuary habitat. While investigating how and why the estuary is always changing they will get to experience the rich biodiversity within the estuary (both plants and animals). Campers will take part in scientific monitoring activities very similar to the same monitoring programs our biologists conduct on site. Also, campers will be introduced to the chemistry behind estuary water and the underlying issues our estuary faces (global climate change, marine debris, overfishing).

Age Groups: 4-6yr (Plankton) , 7-9yr (Gobies), and 10-12yr (Rays)
Please note the 4-6 year olds, 7-9 year olds, and 10-12 year olds will be in three separate camps and most likely not interact throughout the week.

Cost: 4-6yr (Plankton): $145; 7-9yr (Gobies): $160; 10-12yr (Rays): $160

4-6 year old (Plankton) - This camp is a fun and educational way for your child to discover the importance of the coastal community, learn more about the adaptations of animals that call northeast Florida home, explore the many habitats found at the GTM Research Reserve, and even participate in some current research projects just like the biologist who work here. This week of camp will be focused on the Forest Habitat. Campers will leave camp understanding: 1) the forest system and what makes it different from the other habitats, 2) the biodiversity of the many different types of forest animals, and 3) the adaptations those animals use to survive in the forest habitat.

7-9 year old (Gobies) - Campers will be immersed in an extensive experience of the plants and animals inhabiting Northeast Florida. Each day will focus on a new group (e.g., phytoplankton, land plants, invertebrates, reptiles and amphibians, and birds and mammals). Campers will learn common names of plants and animals (and as much as possible some scientific names in order to demonstrate how plants and animals are grouped). They will also become aware of some amazing adaptations these local plants and animals have in order to survive in our surrounding habitats. We will introduce students to multiple resources available to them to assist in their discovery of plants and animals and share with them the cultural history of the Guana Peninsula and how these plants and animals have enhanced the cultures of the peninsula.

10-12 year old (Rays) - Campers will be immersed in an extensive experience of the plants and animals inhabiting Northeast Florida. Each day will focus on a new group (e.g., phytoplankton, land plants, invertebrates, reptiles and amphibians, and birds and mammals). Campers will learn common names of plants and animals (and as much as possible some scientific names in order to demonstrate how plants and animals are grouped). They will also become aware of some amazing adaptations these local plants and animals have in order to survive in our surrounding habitats. We will introduce students to multiple resources available to them to assist in their discovery of plants and animals and share with them the cultural history of the Guana Peninsula and how these plants and animals have enhanced the cultures of the peninsula.

Are you a college student and interested in an exciting summer internship opportunity? Click here to apply. Please note you will need to attach your CV/Resume and complete a personal statement (300 - 500 words) on why you are interested in this opportunity and what you hope to gain from this experience. We recommend typing your personal statement in another program (e.g., Word, Google Docs) and then cutting and pasting into the form.

Description The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM Research Reserve) has three (3) summer internships available for an undergraduate student currently enrolled in an accredited environmental education program, marine science program, or a related field. Strong candidates possess a strong interest in:
  • Environmental education
  • Providing students indoor and outdoor hands-on learning opportunities
  • Learning about the importance of estuarine and coastal ecosystems
Summer camp is held at the GTM Research Reserve’s Education Center (505 Guana River Road, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082). Each day, interns will help lead and assist both campers and staff through indoor and outdoor learning activities. Nearly all of the programs are modeled after field biologists and citizen scientists research occurring within the National Estuarine Research Reserve system. Activities range from beach profiling, kayaking, seining to fish printing, ROV’s, and conservation actions. Each week (pertaining to day-camps) are focused on habitats comprising the estuary (Ocean, Estuary, and Forest). The overnight 13-15 year old camp will be a mixture of all three. Summer camp hours vary depending on the week. Please see below for detailed information. Interns are required to work 40 hours during each Summer Camp week. The exception to this timeframe is the 13-15 year old overnight camp, where Interns will be required to be with campers the full time .

Time Commitment: 40 Hours per week for 6 weeks, over an 8 week period
  • June 7 - 9, 2017 (9:00 a.m., June 7 - 4:00 p.m., June 9)
  • June 12 - 16, 2017 (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., includes 1 hour lunch)
  • June 19 - 23, 2017 (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., includes 1 hour lunch)
  • July 10 - 14 2017 (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., includes 1 hour lunch)
  • July 17 - 21, 2017 (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., includes 1 hour lunch)
  • July 24 - 28, 2017 (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., includes 1 hour lunch)
Selected Interns will...
  • Stay onsite at the GTM Research Reserve Research Dorms (checking in on June 5 through August 5, 2017). You must be able to stay onsite during Summer Camp weeks, and welcome to remain during off-weeks (during the aforementioned timeframe).
  • Receive a grocery allowance per month,
  • Receive a $1,000 scholarship, and
  • Receive one annual parking pass for GTM Research Reserve’s Beach, Dam, and Trailhead parking lots.
Submission Deadline: Friday, March 31, 2017, 5:00 p.m. EST