VB Sea Camp Details and FAQs

Questions: contact Bob or Laurie at vbseacamp@yahoo.com or 757-323-4212

Times: All Sea Camps run from 9 AM to 4 PM. You need to send your camper with a full lunch, sunscreen and a big water bottle. We provide granola bars for snacks and extra water. All campers get a Sea Camp t-shirt.

Swimming ability: All students will be wearing a properly fitting life jacket when we are in the water. Everyone wears pfd's no matter how shallow the water is. Therefore, your camper does not need to know how to swim, but campers should enjoy being in the water as we will be in the water daily. We will demonstrate how to properly wear a life jacket, and require students to wear them for all activities except surfing where they will use ankle leashes to connect them to their floating surfboards.

Kayak and SUP experience: Your camper does not need to have any previous kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding experience, however they must be interested in learning these activities. We will instruct all campers about kayak and SUP technique and safety. Your child should not be scared to participate in the water based activities and enjoy being on the beach and in the water.

How do I register? Please open the Sea Camp Registration pdf to print out a copy of the registration form and send it to us with your payment. Make checks payable to Oyster Reef Keepers of Virginia, or ORKV. Please send a separate registration form for each camp or child that is attending. You can also contact us and request that we send you the registration form via email. We will send you a confirmation email after receiving your registration form and camp payment. We will send you a full packet of information early in the summer that will include your itinerary, what to bring and what to expect list, contact information etc. Camp payment is refundable minus a $20 admin fee if you cancel by June 1.

Drop-off and Pick-Up Location: We are based in the Shore Drive area near the Lynnhavae Inlet. We use several drop-off and pick-up locations. We will send you a full agenda with detailed directions in June.

Safety and Supervision: Safety is our ultimate goal, and is in the forefront of every decision we make. All Sea Camps are led by a trained outdoor education expert. Bob, Laurie and Kathy are all parents of young children as well, which adds perspective. All Sea Camps have several trained and experienced counselors on hand. Your child will be supervised at all times.

Inclement weather: We do everything possible to run every day of Sea Camp. We continue with programs in the rain as long as students are not cold. We get off the water and off the beach if we hear thunder or see lightning, wait the storm out in a safe location and then resume our outdoor activities when possible. We get rained on at times and this typically leads to fun Sea Camp memories.

Multiple camps: We often have campers attend 2 or 3 weeks of Sea Camp during a summer, and I have yet to see one of these avid youngsters lose interest. Every day and every week is different due to changing tides, currents, weather and group dynamics so each week is unique and there's always something new to see.

Parking Fees: First Landing State Park and the Lynnhaven Inlet boat ramp charge a nominal parking fee if you intend to park and leave your vehicle. There is no charge to simply drop off your camper and pick them up.

What's in the camp names: The different camp names help us keep track of the camps. All Sea Camps work to do as much of the water-based activities as we can given the age range and weather conditions during the different camps. Bob gets a kick out of the camp names as well.

What is different about the gender specific camps: We don't differentiate activities on any camp based on gender. We work to get all campers to do all the activities and go as hard as possible during the day. We do the same activities on all Sea Camps. There is a co-ed camp for our youngest campers, as well as the single gender Mermaid Training Camp and Camp Sea Creature.

Sea Camp Notes for 2018: One thing I have learned leading Sea Camp is that things are going to come up, and you have to deal with unexpected changes as interesting challenges. Kathy McCartan, aka Dragonfly, has been taking on a larger role leading Sea Camps every year. Kathy is what I call an environmental education mercenary because of her vast experience and expertise leading environmental education programs. She is not on the Sea Camp schedule this year because her family is planning some extensive camping out west at some point this summer, but we hope to see her for a few days to hear her unmistakable laugh.

'Real Life' responsibilities have also taken Cat, aka Cat Attack, and Marina off the roster as well. Luckily for Sea Camp, Chloe and Axel are returning full force this summer and will be leading two smaller sized camps on their own with Laurie Sorabellas' assistance.