Get ready for a summer full of skinned-knees, dirty clothes, untied laces and sun-kissed faces!
Just posting an update to pre-registered as well as yet-to-be registered folks and to run through the camp details, introduce the staff and let you in on an exciting new addition to the camp curriculum, so read along to get caught up on all of the latest COAST Camp news…
But before any of that, we want to first thank everyone for the tremendous early support and registrations so far this spring. It’s been pretty amazing to see!
And for those of you that haven’t yet taken the time to read about our camp, please peak through this letter and see what you think. Spots are filling up fast and some sessions only have one or two openings left, so if you’re interested, head on over to coastprojects.com/camp to register and secure your spaces!
Just the Facts…
Dates: 7 Sessions from early June - August (see below)
Location: COAST, 6404 Front Street, Stock Island
Ages: 6-12 years old
Spaces: 12 campers
Includes: All materials for projects, camp t-shirt, daily lunch, snacks, water and park fees.
Session 1: June 8-12
Session 2: June 15-19
Session 3: June 22-26
Session 4: July 13-17
Session 5: July 20-24
Session 6: July 27-31
Session 7: August 3-7
COAST Camp will introduce the kids to timeless skills and lessons that will prove priceless as they grow up “along the COAST”. Each day, campers will focus on a different, but integral theme that can be used at home, on the beach, or out at sea. The lessons are completely hands-on, are rooted in traditional techniques and are sure to keep them involved and engaged throughout.
The following is a list of themes and activities that we will cover by day. Please note, depending on the weather and other factors, some activities and days may be altered. Also, each day will have a video component that ties in with our daily theme.
Day 1 — The Not-So-Fine Arts: Campers will be introduced to practical arts by screen printing and tie-dying their own COAST Camp t-shirt. We’ll also design, create, write and send postcards to a new pen pal. From there, it’s fun in the sun with old-time outdoor games like capture the flag and kick the can!
Day 2 — The Natural & Marine Environment (*meet & pick up outside Fort Zach): Campers will learn about native ecosystems, sustainability, and the coastal environment by spending a day at the beach. We’ll introduce them to invasive plant, marine and wildlife as well as discuss issues and solutions to current environmental concerns. We’ll also host a beach clean-up and for lunch, we’ll have a barbecue where the kids will learn the finer points of grilling!
Day 3 — Boating & Survival: Campers will be introduced to basic seamanship including knot tying, navigation and man-overboard drills. We’ll also discuss survival skills relevant to “castaway” situations including building a simple, primitive shelter. Additionally, we will teach kids about local, edible fruits including a lesson on the many uses of coconuts! This will all take place on land, though we may offer a half day enrichment session on the water at a later date.
Day 4 — Board Riding: Campers will be introduced to skate, surf and paddle boarding and will design and paint their own skateboard deck during the first half of the day. From there, we will watch a classic surf film and then have a geography lesson on where (and why) you can find the best waves around the world.
Day 5 — COAST Closing Ceremonies: Campers will prepare and display their weekly work. We’ll play our new (old time) games and sing songs that we’ve learned. From 1pm onwards we’ll present everything to the parents with an early happy hour including barbecue, cold drinks and music.
We’re looking forward to another great COAST Camp Summer Session but space is limited, so don’t miss out…
Yeah, the kids made these rad skateboards at camp…
For two weeks this summer, we are going to pilot a new camp format called “Along the COAST Camp”. The idea is pretty simple and we’re pretty excited, so here goes…
The entire week is one single “journey” off the beaten path around 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 and make two or three stops along the way for lessons and play. By week’s end, we make a full 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.
Dates: 2 Sessions (July 13-17 & July 20-24)
Location: Varies by day—see daily itinerary
Ages: 6-12 years old
Spaces: 10 campers
Includes: Includes camp t-shirt and COAST journal.
Includes: Includes camp t-shirt and COAST journal.
The daily treks will involve the following segments…
Cemetery to Cemetery (drop at Key West Cemetery entrance and pick up at Higgs Beach): Cemetery walk and grave rubbings, walk through the back streets of the Meadows for plant identification and fruit tasting. Games at Bayview Park, then walk to the Wildlife Rescue Center for a tour. Pick up at Higgs Beach—the old African cemetery— after a swim.
Beach Combing (drop at Higgs Beach and pick up at Southernmost Beach): Drop at Higgs Beach and walk the shores of Rest Beach for shell collecting and wildlife spotting. Games at the White Street Pier followed by lunch on Higgs Beach. Walk the back streets of Casa Marina area for stories and tree identifications and wind up at Southernmost Beach for a cool down in the water.
Bahama Village (drop at Southernmost Beach and pick up at entrance to Fort Zach): Starting at the Southernmost Beach we’ll weave through the area 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 at Blue Heaven for lunch and music. From there, we’ll walk down through the old military lookouts behind the village and end at the Eco Discovery Center for a film to finish the day.
Fort Zachary Taylor (drop and pick up outside of the park entrance): History lessons in the Fort. Beach walk and snorkeling. Beach clean up and barbecue and practical lessons like “how to hang a hammock”.
Old Town Stroll (drop at Truman Annex and pick up at the Key West Cemetery): Start with a tour of the Coast Guard museum boat. Walk through the Truman Annex and exit onto Eaton Street. Have a special educational movie stop at Tropic Cinema (in the works) and donuts at Glazed Donuts. Continue down towards the harbor for a schooner tour and then on to Nancy Foresters Secret Garden for a parrot tour. We’ll finish with a short walk to the cemetery and the journey comes full-circle!
The kids will feel a sense of accomplishment both in the lessons they’ve learned but also in completing the entire “journey” and what’s more, they’ll be able to tour you around town in the future!
To register, please visit www.coastprojects.com/camp
The backbone of the COAST Camp are the counselors that show up everyday to teach and guide the kiddos and we’re so fortunate to have a fantastic, growing group of dedicated counselors to help COAST Camp grow with each new session.
Many of you know some or all of these folks, but in case you don’t, here goes…
Gabriela Guerrero Tapia —Many of you know Gabriela from the Montessori Charter School where she works as a teacher in the Mahi class. She arrived in Key West last year with her daughter Amaya via Ecuador and Manhattan—where she was raised and educated— and has brought with her a passion for music, science and conservation which she loves to share with her young students.
Caroline Taylor —Caroline has been with COAST Camp from the start, helping to develop and teach the curriculum in last year’s first sessions. She grew up in Africa and has traveled extensively—much of it via sailboat—but has found Key West home for more than a decade. Between camp and family—she has a six-year-old daughter, Samara— Caroline still finds time to star in a host of local plays.
Austin Daly —Austin is a man of many talents. He’s a student in Marine Environmental Technologies at FKCC, works at COAST and still finds time to dive for treasure and help with the local Boy Scouts troop where he serves as an assistant Scoutmaster. He worked as a counselor for the Spring Break camp and the kids seem to love his easy-going style and knowledge in all things having to do with survival.
Billy Kearins —Besides being the founder and creative director for COAST, Billy also works as the COAST Camp director, developing the curriculum and overseeing the daily operations. He tries to keep the lessons totally hands-on and often looks back to his own childhood along the coast for inspiration. From there, he trials the lessons on his seven-year-old son and sidekick Kristian. If Kristian likes it, it stays.