2024 Summer in the Sanctuary

Friends of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary announces its Summer in the Sanctuary Youth Programming for 2024! See below and save the dates for fun-filled, educational activities throughout the summer for kids ages 8-17. Space is limited. Registration is Now Open!

Registration Fees: Scholarships are available upon request. Registration fees are non-refundable within one week of the event.

Underwater Robot Academy
This three-day academy welcomes kids ages 11-14 who want to roll up their sleeves and learn about marine technology through designing and building an underwater ROV (remotely operated vehicle). Once introduced to the world of ROVs, students will pilot their own designs to accomplish tasks in the Marine Technology and Training Tank on the campus of the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center. On the final day they will put their ROVs to the test in competition to win fun prizes. These hands-on learning experiences engage and inspire students to explore the rich maritime and natural resources of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
Dates:
June 11th – 13th, 2024
Time: 9:00AM – 12:00PM (Session Filled)
Time:
1:00PM – 4:00PM
Ages: 11-14 years
Cost: $10

Archaeology Adventure!
This two-day adventure welcomes kids ages 8-10 who are interested in digging into the world of maritime archaeology. Join an archaeologist to learn more about shipwrecks through immersive activities, games, and projects. Participants will learn why shipwrecks are important, what shipwreck scientists do, and get to practice those skills in our exhibits. We will also go on a walking tour to discuss some of the shipwrecks within Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. These hands-on learning experiences will engage and inspire students to explore the rich maritime history of the Great Lakes. All of the activities will be held on campus of the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center and river trail.
Dates: June 25-26, 2024
Time: 9:00am – 12:00pm
Ages: 8-10
Cost: $10

Archaeology Adventure!
This two-day adventure welcomes kids ages 11-13 years old who are interested in digging into the world of maritime archaeology. Join an archaeologist to learn more about shipwrecks through immersive activities, games, and projects. Participants will learn why shipwrecks are important, what shipwreck scientists do, and get to practice those skills in our exhibits. We will also go on a walking tour to discuss some of the shipwrecks within Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. These hands-on learning experiences will engage and inspire students to explore the rich maritime history of the Great Lakes. All of the activities will be held on campus of the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center and river trail.
Dates: June 25-26, 2024
Time: 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Ages: 11-13
Cost: $10

Learn to Snorkel
In this 2-hour program, join sanctuary staff in the Marine Tech Training Tank to learn the basics of snorkeling. Through fun activities, games, and comprehensive instruction, participants will learn breathing and finning techniques, mask defogging and snorkel clearing. Topics will also include respect of the water and marine life and how to stay safe and alert while underwater. Participants will also develop knowledge about Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, its mission, and learn to appreciate the underwater wonders while snorkeling. Equipment (mask, fins, snorkel) is provided. A limited set of wetsuits are available. Participants are encouraged to bring their own equipment if applicable. *This camp does not provide swimming instruction. All participants must be proficient swimmers prior to the event and an initial swim test will be conducted at the beginning of the program.
Dates: July 9th or August 8th
Ages: 13-17 10:00AM – 12:00PM
Ages: 8-12 2:00PM – 4:00PM  (Session Filled)
Cost: $10

Outside and Unplugged
This summer program introduces high school students to the numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation and education within the region of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and encourages them to put down their electronic devices and be present in the moment. Through a stewardship and historical lens, youth will explore the natural and cultural resources that shaped northeast Michigan, and learn ways to participate in and preserve these treasures for future generations.
Dates: July 10th, July 18th, August 9th 2024
Time: 8:00AM – 4:00PM
Ages: Entering 9th-12th grades
Cost per Session: $10
Session 1: July 10th – visit North Point Nature Preserve to explore the beaches and kayak to and snorkel a shipwreck.
Session 2: July 18th – visit Rockport State Recreation Area to swim, hike, and discover its sinkholes.
Session 3: August 9th – visit the Old and New Presque Isle Lighthouses, learn about maritime history and snorkel a shipwreck.