Sanibel Sea School Blog

Summer Camp at the Homestead Ends with Pollinator Week

August 9, 2022

From Aug. 1 to 5, Sanibel Sea School held its last week of summer camp at the Bailey Homestead Preserve celebrating pollinators! Pollination, the process of moving genetic material from one flowering plant to another, leads to the creation of seeds and fruit, making it an essential process for plants, wildlife, and people. More than 80% of plants require pollinators, like coffee, almonds, bananas, avocados, and more. Pollination even occurs in the marine environment with seagrasses.

Sea school campers learned all about the pollination process and the creatures we have to thank for most of the food we eat — like bees, birds, bats, and other insects.  We explored both land and sea to find as many pollinators as we could. Campers went on a scavenger hunt throughout SCCFs Native Landscapes & Garden Center, snorkeled in the seagrass, and even explored the Shipley Trail on a night walk!  

“The highlight of the week was the night walk, when we set up a white sheet with lights to attract nighttime pollinators like moths,” said Marine Science Educator Kimberly Bouwkamp. “I especially enjoy experiences like this where everyone is nervously excited. Being out in nature at night is totally different, and for our some of our campers, it’s their first time doing so. It’s fun to watch their reactions to new sounds, smells, and creatures!”

 Campers played hands-on games to gain a better understanding of how pollen is passed, conducted a flower dissection, and made tie dye in the shape of a bullseye to demonstrate how some insects see flowers. And there was plenty of swimming and surfing in the Gulf, of course.

Each week, camp ends with a surf paddle race on Friday morning. Campers spend the week honing their paddling skills in surf teams and then put them to the test in a relay race. The Purple Pollinators won the surf paddle race and were the last team of the summer to place their surf bracelet on the coveted Golden Conch surf paddle trophy at the Bailey Homestead campus.

 Sanibel Sea School will continue to offer summer camps at their Flagship campus on Periwinkle Way through the end of August.

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