Hawaii Sea Turtle Marine Biology Adventure

Cover_4Come join in the aloha spirit while learning about Hawaiian sea turtles and other marine life in tropical paradise. With both state and federal protection, the population of green sea turtles (known locally as honu) appears to be on the rebound, giving you numerous opportunities to work with them on land and in the water. We’ll even get to work as part of a long-term research project examining the feeding habits of the green sea turtles.

Working closely with the team of veterinarians and aquarists at Sea Life Park Hawaii, we’ll study the life histories of the honu and collect valuable data. With an active breeding program on-site we’ll get to see the turtles as hatchlings before they’re released into the wild. Sea Life Park Hawaii is also home to exhibits focusing on dolphins, sea lions, tropical fish, and invertebrates – and we’ll have a chance to work with them all.

Join other teens on a journey through the incredible island of Oahu for an adventure you will never forget. When not working with turtles, we’ll immerse you in some of the most beautiful, famous and treasured landmarks the island has to offer. We’ll surf the breaks of the North Shore, paddle the waters of Waikiki, snorkel over beautiful coral reefs and even dine at an authentic Hawaiian luau. While on the island we’ll also soak up the history and culture by hiking Diamond Head Crater, learning about Native Hawaiians at the Polynesian Cultural Center and going on a guided tour of the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.

This program is designed for teens ages 13-17 that are passionate about sea turtle conservation and looking for a tropical adventure abroad. Join us on our next trip as we:

  • Volunteer with sea turtle vets at Sea Life Park Hawaii
  • Learn about the life history of the honu from the experts
  • Collect data as part of green sea turtle research
  • Learn tips from the marine mammal trainers
  • Dine at an authentic Hawaiian luau
  • Surf the waves at the North Shore
  • Snorkel the coral reefs that fringe the island
  • Experience cartilaginous fish up close on an underwater Shark Trek
  • Earn thirty hours of community service credit

Camp tuition includes: all lodging, meals, 24-hour same gender adult supervision, shuttle to and from the Honolulu International Airport (HNL), equipment, daily transportation, t-shirt, activity fees, community service certificate, and group photo. Campers are responsible for round trip airfare to Honolulu and additional money for souvenirs.


Tuition: $3595

2016 Hawaii Camp Dates:

July 17-30

Click Below to Sign Up!

Returning Families Enroll Here

Future Families Enroll Here

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Day 1 – 2

Your Sea Turtle Camp trip leaders are excitedly awaiting your arrival at the Honolulu International Airport. You’ve waited all summer and now you’re adventure in Hawaii can finally begin! After settling into our rooms at the University of Hawaii Manoa we’ll go through orientation, talk about camp rules, and discuss our schedule for the next two weeks. These upcoming weeks will be full of sea turtles, fish, and dolphins, in addition to exciting cultural explorations, and it will all start early the next day with our first session at Sea Life Park Hawaii. We’ll meet some of the adult turtles that we’ll be working with, in addition to getting a tour of the hatchery to see the hatchling honus.

Day 3 – 5

Our explorations of Oahu continue as we explore the island from above and below the water. After snorkeling at Waimea Bay, we’ll learn about the green sea turtles that bask on the beach at Laniakea Beach. Hawaii is one of the few places that turtles will come out of the water to do something other than nest. This will give us the chance to see them out in the wild and maybe in the water. After exploring the coastline during a Stand Up Paddleboard lesson, we’ll travel inland to hike through the mountains and visit an authentic fish farm.

Day 6 – 8

Our work with the turtles at Sea Life Park Hawaii continues as we study what the composition of the green sea turtle diets. We’ll be able to weigh and measure them to better understand their nutrition. In addition to the turtles, we’ll also work with some of the other inhabitants at the facility. We’ll step behind the scenes and become aquarist apprentices, helping to care for the tropical fish and invertebrates that reside at the facility. We’ll even learn some tips from the trainers.

Day 9 – 11

We couldn’t travel all the way to the Hawaii without participating in some of their cultural heritage. We’ll travel to the North Shore for surf lessons at one of the most famous surfing breaks in the world. Then we’ll visit the tidepools to uncover some of the animals that are residing there. We’ll learn about the history of the island during WWII during our guided tours of the USS Arizona and USS Missouri at Pearl Harbor. After busy days, we’ll need to refuel at local restaurants, but tonight will be extra special when we attend an authentic Hawaiian luau.

Days 12 -14

With only a few days left, we have to pack in a lot of activity. We’ll spend a few more sessions at Sea Life Park Hawaii working with the dolphins and swimming with the stingrays in their exhibit. We’ll log a few more sessions in the water with another snorkel session, and a final surf lesson. Once we leave our boards at the beach we’ll travel what may arguably be Oahu’s most recognizable landmark, Diamond Head Crater. We’ll have a special last night together, sharing lots of memories from the summer. The next day it’s off to the airport where you and your fellow campers will plan where you want to go next summer for Sea Turtle Camp!



Hawaii Honu Adventure

Click on any picture below to enlarge.



Oahu is home to some of the most diverse marine ecosystems and tropical rainforest habitats, and we will have the opportunity to explore it all from the waves of the North Shore to the reefs along the southern side of the island. We provide teenagers with the opportunity to learn more about marine biology through hands-on, feet-wet experiential educational. Campers get the extraordinary opportunity to work with live sea turtles as well as participate in some amazing daily activities designed to teach them through experience instead of out of a textbook.

During this 14-day adventure we will:

  • Work behind the scenes at Sea Life Park Hawaii
  • Collect data on green sea turtle feeding
  • Volunteer in the hatchery and see newly emerged green turtles
  • Learn tips from the marine mammal trainers
  • Help maintain the fish and invertebrate exhibits with the aquarists
  • Dine at an authentic Hawaiian luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center
  • Surf the waves at the North Shore
  • Snorkel the coral reefs that fringe the island
  • Stand Up Paddleboard tour of the Oahu coastline
  • Explore the exhibits at the Waikiki Aquarium
  • Experience cartilaginous fish up close on an underwater Shark Trek
  • Learn about US history at the USS Arizona Memorial
  • Find hidden animals at the tidepools
  • Earn thirty hours of community service credit



University of Hawaii at Mānoa

hawaii_bicycleFounded in 1907, the University of Hawaii at Mānoa is the flagship campus of the University of Hawaii System. A destination of choice, students and faculty come from across the nation and the world to take advantage of UH Mānoa’s unique research opportunities, diverse community, nationally-ranked Division I athletic program, and beautiful landscape. Located in the stunning Mānoa Valley just outside downtown Honolulu, Hawaii on the island of Oahu, this 320 acre campus serves as home base for our entire stay.

Only a short drive from the South Shore, Hawaii’s most consistent and popular wave riding location in the summers, UH gives us access to all that the South Shore has to offer. We are within only a couple of miles from Diamond Head Crater, one of Oahu’s ancient volcanic relics. Hopping on the H1 Highway will take us straight to Pearl Harbor, the Dole Plantation, and on up to the North Shore which is the most popular surfing destination in the world. Nearly every world champion surfer has been crowned here, which is appropriate since this is where surfing was born. We will explore the reefs by snorkeling and free diving, and enjoy the majesty of the Seven Mile Miracle that is the North Shore from Haleiwa, to Waimea Bay, and on up to Sunset Beach.

No matter what side of the island we are on, the water visibility is incredible and the water temperature is perfect! Each day we’ll ride the waves above and snorkel the depths below to discover all of the life that Hawaii has to offer, then head back to the dorms for a good night’s rest within the beautiful Mānoa Valley.

hawaii_frear photo



Ilia, Decatur, GA – ” I arrived at the camp a little nervous, but from the moment I arrived until the very end, the trip turned out to be a blast. All the other campers were funny and I made friends fast. Just being in Hawaii was awesome. When I signed up I thought 2 weeks would be the right length, but when the camp ended, I had had such a fun time hanging out with all my new friends and being in Hawaii, that I just wanted to stay another 2 weeks.”

Parent from Dallas, TX – ” I wanted to tell you that she had an amazing time and loved everything! She wants to go again next summer. Thanks so much for the wonderful experience you provided. She keeps talking about everything she learned and the great counselors she had.

Megan from Wentzville, MO – “The Sea Turtle Camp is one of the best experiences of my life. It changed my viewpoint on so many things. It was life changing. The counselors were very, very knowledgeable about everything and I trusted them immediately. I loved that camp and working with the sea turtles was like the most awesome thing. Not many people can experience the things that we experienced at that camp. I want to come back next year. And the sea turtles were so adorable you can’t help but get attached. One of the best choices I ever made was to go to the Sea Turtle Camp.

Sadie from Durham, NC – “Sea Turtle Camp was a lot of fun. Before I went I thought I would be homesick, but after I got there we were so busy that I forgot about that. Our instructors were very friendly and a lot of fun. Being that this is a smaller camp you really get to know your instructors and the people around you. It was a lot of fun – a good balance between learning about marine life and fun.”

Matthew from Wilmington, NC – “It was a great experience because I learned a lot and had great activities. I love marine biology and now I know a lot about sea turtles. Also, I met other campers from all over.”

Samantha from St. Cloud, FL – ” Sea Turtle Camp was definitely the most fun camp I have ever been to. The experiences we had were amazing and unforgettable and my interest in marine biology and the environment has increased due to the knowledge I gained here. I would recommend Sea Turtle Camp to anyone.”

Kevin from Atlanta, GA – “Sea Turtle Camp exceeded my expectations by a long shot, because I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about being away from home for 11 days, but by the end of the first couple of days I felt like I was having a blast. This camp got me very interested in marine biology, and it educated me on topics that I didn’t know had such a large effect on how marine species live their lives.”

Callie from Virginia Beach, VA – “I would really recommend this camp to anyone! I did many things that I had never done before. Everyone got along well and I made new friends. I know I will never forget this camp. Because of Sea Turtle Camp I have become more environmentally conscious. It really did change the way I think. It was a wonderful experience and I just wish that everyone could get to see and do the things we did.”



Do I get to see real live sea turtles?

YES!!! We work very closely with Sea Life Park Hawaii and their turtle husbandry specialists. We will be part of a long-term research project looking into the diets of green sea turtles. We will also visit the hatchery to see the recent hatchlings and the medical lab to learn about the treatment of the turtles.

What kind of community service will I be doing?

At Sea Turtle Camp service is the most rewarding part of our program, and we like to think of it as service learning. Everything we do on our rotations at Sea Life Park Hawaii sounds more like enjoyment than service, but it is. We’ll also perform beach clean-ups to remove obstacles for incoming nesting mothers.

Do I need a passport?

No. Travel to Hawaii is within the United States. You just need valid ID for air travel.

Should I bring a friend?

While most participants come alone, you are welcome to come with a friend.

Where do we stay?

Surf Campers stay in suites at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, a beautiful 320-acre campus nestled in a residential neighborhood in Honolulu, less than three miles from the coast.

How old are the campers I will be rooming with?

Roommates are grouped together by age in order to enhance the overall level of comfort.

I am a finicky eater. Can you cater to special diets?

Yes we can. We know how important it is to eat healthy meals when you are outside and at the beach all day long. We’ll ask you in a questionnaire what types of food, snacks, and drinks you prefer.

What do I need to bring?

A complete packing list will be included with your informational registration packet.

What sort of payment do you accept?

We accept checks, money orders, or VISA/MC/AMEX credit cards. All credit card payments are processed online using a secure server. There is a $50 service charge for all returned checks. With the exception of the trip deposit, a 3% credit card surcharge will be assessed to all payments made by credit card. Please review our cancellation policy. Deposits are not refundable after acceptance into a program.

What airport is best to fly into for your program, and do you provide a shuttle service?

The best airport to fly into is the Honolulu International Airport (HNL). Our trip leaders meet inbound campers right at baggage claim, then shuttle them back to the University. On the way home, trip leaders stay at the airport until each camper’s flight has taken off. Our office stays attuned to any delays or cancellations to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible.

What if I can’t get in by the set check in time?

In order to avoid missing any planned activities, campers should try to arrive between 1:00 – 4:00 pm on the first day and depart between 1:00 – 5:00 pm on the last day of camp. Our office staff will be diligent in coordinating your camper’s travel schedule with our trip leaders, should there be any delays or changes in itinerary. Please contact our Program Coordinator to discuss arrivals and departures outside of our preferred times.

What if my luggage doesn’t make it?

Occasionally the airlines will misplace luggage or your suitcases will miss connecting flights. We recommend keeping essentials, such as medications, toiletries, bathing suit, and extra change of clothes, in their carry-on luggage just in case.

What is your cancellation policy?

Sea Turtle Camp is an extremely high quality, tight margined program, with limited space. Therefore, once your student has been accepted into the program, exceptions to this policy cannot be made for any reason, including weather or personal emergencies. Please review the terms of our cancellation policy. In order to enroll in camp you must agree to these terms.

Do you have insurance?

We carry a comprehensive insurance package, including general liability.

How much spending money should I bring?

We recommend campers bring $100 to $150 per week of camp. This is for snacks, souvenirs or gifts you wish to purchase while at camp.

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