Sea Turtle Camp, Wilmington

4.9
#3 of 7 in Parks in Wilmington
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  • Abby Glazener Sea Turtle Camp Essay My adventures in Hawaii’s travel camp, through Sea Turtle Camps, was an experience of a lifetime, that inspired me to pursue a degree in Marine Biology. Marine Biol...  more »
  • When I was accepted to Sea Turtle Camp and knew that I would be flying to North Carolina to spend a week amongst the most beautiful creatures in the world, I was unbelievably excited. Camp was months ...  more »
  • I have always loved animals. I live in the Bronx and my parents took me to the Bronx Zoo all the time since I was a baby. I had a great time seeing all of the different animals. But turtles were, and ...  more »
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  • Sea Turtle Camp has been the highlight of my summer, for two, soon to be three years. Sea turtles and marine biology have always been what I want to devote my life to, so to be able to go to a place surrounded by people who share and respect my love for the ocean is extraordinary. My favorite Sea Turtle Camp memory is vividly deep-seated in my mind. The first year I attended Camp, I saw a momma turtle lay her eggs. At the apartments, we got the call at midnight that she was coming up the beach. All campers and counselors were in the van in four minutes. I remember throwing on dark colored clothes, my nearest shoes, and racing down the hallway, down the stairs, across the street and into the van. When we got to the beach, we watched in silence as she pulled herself up out of the surf and began to dig a hole in the sand. The only noise was the rustling earth and the crashing waves in the dead of night. As I watched, I was emotionally moved, tears streaming down my face as the one thing I was truly passionate about was right in front of me. I didn’t care that it was midnight. I didn’t care that my hair looked like a rat’s nest on top of my head. I didn’t care that my toe was bleeding from tripping up the beach-access stairs. The only thing I cared about, in that moment and forever, is that the turtle laying her eggs-and every turtle after her-was and will be safe, cared for and protected. This experience was single handedly the most life-changing event I’ve participated in. It proved to myself that this is what I was born to do, and although people have told me many things that can go wrong with a marine biology major, it is what I will study in college, as well as dedicate my life to. I cannot even begin to thank Sea Turtle Camp for giving me exposure to the wonderful world of Sea Turtle Conservation.
  • I love sea turtles just as much as the next future marine biologist, or environmentalist may. The thing for me is, I’m from Minnesota so I don’t have a lot of opportunities to study the sea on a regular basis without resorting to google or a documentary. At Sea Turtle Camp, it was a different story for me. All of the amazing creatures that I had read about online, and that made me gasp in awe while on vacations were only miles away from me. One morning my camp counselor, Lauren, woke everyone up early and told us we were going to check out a sea turtle nest that was just about to be marked! I got to see what sea turtle eggs were really like, and even see the whole process behind helping protect them! Later that day I got to get some volunteer hours in, while also being able to help out at a pretty amazing turtle rescue and rehabilitation center. That’s where I met the first sea turtle that I can say without a doubt captured my heart. His name was Alvin. Working with each of the patients at the center was a special experience, but working with Alvin every time we visited was my favorite thing about the hospital. I loved him the most because when all the other sea turtles would flap and freak out if an intern or volunteer tried to do something with them, Alvin would just act so chill and relaxed. He had a personality like my lazy dog back home, Blaze, and it just made him so much cuter. It’s funny how when you are so far from home, something like a sweet unknowing turtle can be what reminds you of all the little things you’ve been missing. Taking a trip so far from home was completley worth it! Going to North Carolina taught me so much about sea turtles, my dreams for the future, and myself. After returning home from my awesome adventure at camp, I will truly never forget Alvin and my greatest ocean memories yet!
  • On our first day I remember sitting down with the rest of the new campers, all awkward and brimming with nervous excitement. Then one of the campers started talking about why we were there: we all loved the ocean, and we wanted to learn how to care for the creatures in it. By the end of that night we already had begun a great friendship. Our counselors shared stories of their experiences that inspired envy and admiration in the the campers. They were friendly and thoughtful, quick to offer helpful advice to campers struggling with a difficult high school or the anatomy of a loggerhead. One of my favorite memories was volunteering at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center and working alongside hospital interns that had attended the very same camp as me just a few years previous. We saw first-hand what it takes to run a wild animal hospital and what it takes to nurse a sick sea turtle back to the wild. Every sea turtle experience was enchanting, bonding with a turtle by learning about their injury, recovery, personality, and how the hospital was helping them was moving. I even got to administer medicine to a sea turtle’s carapace! Later in the week we were able to listen to perhaps the most illuminating and exciting lecture I’ve ever heard. All of the campers were gathered into UNCW classroom and listened to a professor speak passionately about plastics in our ocean. The professor detailed how plastic enters our oceans and upsets things on a very big scale. Everyone in that class, I included, walked off of campus with a new role model. The most fun I had that week was learning to surf and find the thrill of catching a wave. Being out on a board over clear, warm water surrounded by a great view and even better friends gave me a strong sense of contentment. Campers bonded over the ocean and ice-cream cones, a year later we’re still close friends. Sea Turtle Camp was a good time- rich in knowledge and in friendship.
  • I went to Marine Biology Immersion in June 2013. I’m not going to lie, camp started out rough for me. I was shy and further in my shell than a scared hermit crab. I had never been away from my parents for more than a week-and then I was with my grandma. The first night I wanted to go home so badly. Going to the sea turtle hospital was what changed everything. The entire ride there I was so excited; I was going to help take care of real sea turtles! A few months back I adopted Lennie and was excited to meet him. I didn’t know what to expect. When I first saw the hospital I was disappointed, it was just a big garage. I walked through the door and it was a completely different world. Everything else just kind of melted away, from the mural to the tanks, I had never seen anything like it. The smell of salt and squid wafting through the air, the lull and splash of water in turtles’ tanks and the clang and bang of water pumps in the background, I’ll never forget the first time I met a sea turtle. The other campers scattered to various tanks, but I was searching for Lennie’s. He was being a little persnickety at first, hiding underneath the water, but liked getting his butt brushed. When he came up for air I stopped scooping, in that moment I didn’t think I had ever seen something so amazingly beautiful. The texture of his head reminded me of the smooth side of a seashell and the patterns of his shell were better than any piece of art. I knew Lennie was blind, but when he looked up at me, eye to eye, I felt like he could see me. I will never forget that moment. Helping the sea turtles at the hospital was the most rewarding and amazing experience. Even though camp was just 11 days, they were the most unforgettable 11 days of my life. Thank you Sea Turtle Camp for giving me my sea turtle story. ~Taylor Hopkins
  • One of my favorite memories from Sea Turtle Camp was when we were visiting the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital. We visited it 5 times in total. One of the chances we got there was to see the turtles in the sick bay. These turtles were all in worse shape than the other ones, and we were still able to bathe them and clean their tanks, which was a huge surprise. We also got to work with the other turtles, and they were all swimming around in larger tubs. We got to feed them, and clean out their tanks as well. I loved feeding the green sea turtles the lettuce. They were really cute! The last thing that we got to do was also on the last day we visited the hospital. We had some confiscated items, and we stood outside telling people who were coming in or leaving about them. It was fun to be able to teach people about what we learned about the items. It was really cool to see all of the volunteers in action, and it was made even more amazing when I realized that they were all doing it for free. The volunteers were really inspiring to me, and they have furthered my interest in marine biology. This camp was unforgettable, and I recommend it to anyone who is ready to get a little dirty and have a lot of fun.

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