Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 4:26 PM on Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Camp experience way undervalued

I just came back from camp. More specifically, from Marine Mammal Camp in Peterson Bay run by the Alaska Center for Coastal Studies. It is a fairly new program probably offered once a year for school students from ages 9-14. I dont know what it costs but whatever it is, it is a real undervalued program judging by the low number of students that came this year.

I went as a volunteer to work on a bone project (sea otter)with the kids. We snuck some bone building time in between a weeks worth of world-class activities. The group did serious tide-pooling and collectively found, identified and learned about 110 species of tide pool critters.

The instructors, most of them enthusiastic, experienced, young marine biology educators, were beyond excellent. The food was good. The yurts were comfortable. The lodge was inspiring. The programs made me want to be 14 again.

Then, they topped it off with a two and one half hour marine mammal cruise in which Captain Karl somehow whale whispered two orca whales to come up and touch the boat-just before two humpback whales swam by, just after we went through a pod of 65 sea otters to get closer to the 10 seals hauled out on some rocks.

It was all a world-class summer camp experience right out of Homer.

Lee Post