Reef Camp: Inspiring Love and Kuleana (Responsibility)
Science, Art, and Culture
During every school break for the last six years, we have operated Reef Camp, our environmental education program for children ages 8-13 at the beach. Campers travel to Anini lagoon from all across Kauaiʻi island—this summer, 130 kids from 37 different schools in five weeks. This is an unforgettable experience of new friendships, amazing science, Hawaiian culture, and art lessons and discoveries.
Making Learning Fun
Reef Guardiansʻ talented and expert staff provide a safe and structured environment for the joy of the campersʻ explorations. Throughout the three-day snorkeling camp, young participants hone their skills while becoming more aware of the life of the near-shore water world.
The lagoon at Anini Beach is an ongoing monitoring site for Reef Guardians. Kilo (observation) of the environment, pono fishing practices, and considering what it means to be a “reef guardian’ are core to the Reef Camp program. A lunchtime ocean joke “comedy club” and active educational games provide more of the fun Reef Camp is known for and that brings campers back year after year.
Teens who have grown up in the program return as interns and this summerʻs interns were loved and appreciated by all. Reef Camp has sparked careers and educational aspirations and fostered dedicated community volunteer participation.
Community Partners Support Reef Camp
Ongoing on-site community partnerships with Surfrider Foundation Kauaʻi and State of Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources connect youth participants to the web of community caring and knowledge—and as Executive Director and Camp Director Robin Mazor, AKA Ms. Mermaid says, “making good choices.”
"Having the opportunity to learn about the ocean, the reef and its creatures in a hands-on setting is a priceless experience for our children … Thank you to all of the awesome scientists, organizers, volunteers, mermaids, merman, and of course the sponsors who make this all happen! …" — rainbowluve, June 2023, Great Nonprofits
Many children attend Reef Camp thanks to the contributions of foundations, government grants, and donors. We proudly thank the County of Kauaʻi Dept. of Parks and Recreation and our inaugural corporate sponsor, The Cliffs at Princeville—we extend a hearty mahalo for making it possible to operate and include all children who would like to attend.