Local student experiences 2024 Sanibel Sea School

Lily Parker: ‘After camp, I know how to jump a car, change a tire, perform CPR safely and use a paddle board.’

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  • | 3:18 p.m. June 26, 2024
  • West Orange Times & Observer
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Sanibel Sea School is where many learn about the wonders of the Sanibel beaches and wildlife. Last week, I attended one of their many camps called Wahine Toa (Wha-hean-ee-towa). The term “Wahine Toa” means Ocean Warrior, and each camper leaves feeling just like one.

Campers learn how to use a paddle board and about valuable island skills which are a great help for their end-of-the-week overnight stay at Picnic Island. In the morning, they use their paddleboard skills to go from the island to Fort Myers Beach. This journey is a four-mile experience, and it allows for the campers to bond and understand the importance of knowing how to survive on an island.

Now that the camp is over, I can successfully jump a car, change a tire, hook a trailer to a car, spend a night on an island with a small number of supplies, perform CPR safely and use a paddleboard most effectively.

At the start of the week, we learned how to use our paddles to go forward, backward and turn as quickly as we needed to. We paddled through the canals of Sanibel and saw wildlife all over. Toward the middle of the week, we learned how to attach the paddle boards onto the trailer so they wouldn’t fall off on the drive back to Sea School. At this time, we also explored the various mangrove trails across Sanibel and Fort Myers.

Lily Parker learned the ins and outs of paddle boarding.

On Thursday, we headed over to the fire station and took a four-hour class to ensure we got CPR certified. Then, we packed up all of our gear and headed over to Picnic Island. There, we explored the small island and set up camp to prepare for our upcoming night.

We created a bonfire and started our cookout with hotdogs and smores. On Friday, we woke up bright and early to pack up camp and head over to Fort Myers Beach. After our long trip, we were treated to Doc Ford's for lunch.

Wahine Toa was a fantastic camp where I got to meet people from all over the country and spend a week on the ocean. I learned things I never would have learned, and I discovered that I can spend the night on a remote island — if I ever get stuck — with a minimal amount of supplies.

Sanibel Sea School has always been one of my favorite places to go during the summer. I will never forget this camp and the important lessons I have learned.


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