Section 4: Activities

Field Activities & Gear Cleaning

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A couple other notes…


During seining activities, a small fish sample may be retained in a bucket for campers to observe, but do not overload the bucket. One or two species may be kept with each tow, and the remaining fish should be quickly and gently released back into the ocean. If you catch glass minnows, also known as bay anchovies, release them immediately. Seahorses and pipefish should be placed in the “delicate” bucket in the field to be easily observed. These fish must be returned to the ocean before leaving the beach. Some fish may be brought back to Sanibel Sea School and placed in our aquarium with permission from a senior staff member.

Learn how to identify glass minnows in our Sx3 Fish Field Guide. Start to familiarize yourself with some of the other species we may catch!

The amount of oxygen dissolved in water has an inverse relationship with temperature – the warmer the water, the less dissolved oxygen is in the water, and the colder the water, the more oxygen because of the density of the water molecules. During the summer, fish buckets must be aerated with a portable bubbler, and frequent water changes are necessary.

Please take good care of our bubblers – they are battery-operated, are not waterproof, and are easily damaged by saltwater. Wipe them down at the end of the day with a damp cloth, remove the batteries, and store them on a dry towel.


Each day, we will practice surf paddling. This activity aims to engage in physical activity and practice for our surf paddling competition that we hold every Friday. All staff should help gather the surf groups together so we can make it back to the beach on time.

Everyone takes turns carrying the surfboards and buoys to the beach.

Once in the water, CITs should engage the campers in line while waiting their turn. They should also help keep the campers in a group, separate from the other surf groups. Sometimes the current can cause the group to drift, or campers try to migrate to other groups, so it is your job to help keep the campers together.

During the surf paddling competition, remember that the race is for the campers, NOT the educators. Do not use any un-sportsman-like or threatening behavior during these races. Our goal is to teach the campers that there are winners and losers in every race but the most important is to have fun.


Educators should snorkel with the campers in small groups. Large groups of campers snorkeling together usually result in sediment kicked up from the bottom that clouds everyone’s view. It is advantageous to break up into small groups of 3-5 and snorkel away from the other groups.

Many campers will want to remove the snorkel from the mask – this is prohibited! By removing a snorkel from the mask, we often lose the “snorkel keeper” on the beach or in the water, creating unnecessary plastic pollution. It is our job to help the campers learn how to properly use the snorkel and become comfortable in the water. A great alternative is to leave the snorkel out of their mouth and off to the side if they do not wish to use it.