Just the facts…
Dates: June 19-23 & July 24-28
Location: See daily schedule
Ages: 6-12 years old
Back by popular demand!
This summer, we are expanding our “Along the COAST Camp” offering throughout the summer. For this particular program, the entire week is one single “journey” off the beaten path around Old Town broken up into five daily segments. Each day starts where the previous day ended — so each day, we continue our trek.
The drop off each day is at our daily “starting” point and pick up is at the daily “destination”. Kids pack a lunch and we walk our route, making two or three stops along the way for lessons and play. In the end we will have made a loop around Old Town, with an emphasis on staying along the “coast” as much as possible. Beyond getting familiar with the Key West coastline and historic Old Town landmarks, the real lesson is that “the journey is the destination”. Put simply, we should enjoy the little things along the way as much as making it to the end.
The daily treks will involve the following segments…
Day 1: Starting at the End… of the Road (drop at Southernmost Beach and pick up at EcoDiscovery Center) — Starting at the Southernmost Beach Pier we’ll weave through the southernmost neighborhood pointing out historic landmarks and end up at the Bahama Village pool for a snack and a dip. We’ll stay for an hour and play on the playground and move further into the “village” with a stop on Petronia Street for lunch and music. From there, we’ll walk down to the old military lookouts behind the village and end at the Truman Waterfront for tree climbing and games.
Day 2: Day at the Beach (drop and pick up at EcoDiscovery Center) — We’ll start the day with a trek into Fort Zachary Taylor State Park where we’ll set up camp and, together with the kids, plan our expeditions for the day. From there, we’ll discover the “Secret Beach”, take a dip in the water, beachcomb, and head to the fort for games. We’ll end the day with a journey back to the EcoDiscovery Center for interactive exhibits and a film about growing up around the waters of the Keys.
Day 3: Old Town Stroll (drop at Truman Annex and pick up at the Key West Cemetery) — We’ll start with a bit of navigation and course plotting so the kids know where we are headed and how to read a map. From there, it’s a leisurely stroll through the Truman Annex and an exit onto Eaton Street. We’ll have a snack at Glazed Donuts and continue down towards the harbor for a dip in the water at Simonton Street Beach and a schooner tour. Then onwards to Bill Butler Park for tree and fruit identification. And tree climbing, of course!
Day 4: Cemetery to Cemetery (drop at Key West Cemetery entrance and pick up at Higgs Beach) — The day starts with a cemetery walk and iguana spotting! From there, we’ll walk through the back streets of the Meadows for plant identification and fruit tasting. Then it’s games at Bayview Park, a walk to the Wildlife Rescue Center for a tour and lunch in the shade. We’ll end at Higgs Beach — the old African cemetery — after a swim by the pier.
Day 5: Beach Combing (drop at Higgs Beach and pick up at Southernmost Beach) — We’ll walk the shores of Rest Beach for shell collecting and wildlife spotting—we’ve seen everything from queen conchs to ospreys catching fish. From there, we’ll take a dip at the White Street Pier followed by lunch and lesson at West Martello. Then it’s a walk through the back streets of the Casa Marina neighborhood for stories and tree identifications and we’ll wind up at Southernmost Beach for a cool down in the water where the trek comes full circle!
The kids will feel a huge sense of accomplishment both in the lessons they’ve learned but also in completing the entire “route” and what’s more, they’ll be able to tour you around town in the future!