Recently I had the opportunity to visit Catalina Island on a field trip with my school. Catalina Island Marine Institute (CIMI) had so many activities for us to do during our week-long trip. I was able to enjoy snorkeling, kayaking, hikes, squid dissection, team building exercises, learning labs, hand on activities with some of the sea life in tanks, rock climbing andGaga Ball. My favorite activities were snorkeling, squid dissection and rock climbing.

We snorkeled during three out of the five days we were on the island, and we would have done one additional snorkel, but the sea was too choppy one day. We did an introductory snorkel the first day where we learned how to put on and use snorkeling equipment. Our equipment helped to keep us warm while in the chilly Pacific Ocean. Once we had on our gear, you could not tell who was who! We even got to go on a night snorkel which, apart from being really cold, was amazing because we saw bioluminescent particles that lit up in the water if you moved your hands really fast, and we even saw a baby shark!

For the squid dissection we worked with a partner. We were able to see if our squid was male or female and we even got to eat parts of it if we were up for the challenge. Rock climbing was also really fun because there were rock walls with different levels of difficulty and we got to make our best attempt to climb whichever one we wanted.

While I went to Catalina Island on a school trip, there are other ways to participate in all of the same activities. You can attend camp at CIMI for one week or three weeks, and they have summer camps, too!

If you would like more information about CIMI, the activities on the island, or all the things you can learn go to If you love outdoor activities and don’t mind being a bit chilly, I highly recommend CIMI camps of any kind. If you have already visited the island remember, IT WAS DARK (if you ever go to CIMI, you will find out what this secret code means).

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