Teen Scuba Camp - Marine Biology Surf Camp
North Carolina was rated #1 by Scuba Diving magazine as one of the top diving destinations in North America. Join teens from all over the world for an overnight adventure that will open your eyes to an intimate view of the marine biology in our amazing oceans!
Escape to the vibrant world below the warm, clear waters of the Atlantic. Whether you were born and raised along the coast or have spent your life inland, these marine biology programs are for any teenager who feels drawn to what lies beneath the ocean’s shifting surface. You will be trained by some of the best divers on the East Coast, and by the end of the program, you will receive your SCUBA Certification by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). Get a close-up look at the rays, tropical fish, corals, algae, and other aquatic wildlife found in the waters off Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. You will get to explore the sunken Hyde and Markham ships during your checkout dive. When you’re not spending time on the beach surfing, you’ll be on your way to becoming a certified SCUBA diver!
This adventure is designed for absolute beginner to intermediate surfers ages 13 - 16. SCUBA diving is not only a lifelong passion for many people – it is a door-opening experience to the world of marine biology research.
- Extensive daily surfing instruction at perfect beginner beach breaks
- Earning your PADI SCUBA certification
- Developing a knowledge base about scuba diving and the diving environment
- Taking a marine biology tour of the North Carolina Aquarium
- Discovering how your boards are made during a guided surfboard factory tour
- Learning about turtle rehabilitation at the world renowned Sea Turtle Hospital
- Exploring the Hyde and Markham ships in warm, crystal clear waters
- Swim with a wide variety of marine life such as rays, sea turtles, dolphins, tropical fish, and corals
We also have an Advanced SCUBA Certification Camp available for those teens who already hold their Open Water SCUBA Certification. Please call our office for more details.
Below tuition includes lodging in air-conditioned cabins, all meals, 24-hour same gender adult supervision, shuttle to and from the Wilmington International Airport (ILM), equipment, SCUBA diving materials and instruction, professional surfing instruction (3:1 student to instructor ratio), daily transportation, WB Surf Camp t-shirt, activity fees, Sea Turtle Hospital donation, Surf Camp’s Pre-Surf Stretching Guide, Surfing Etiquette Guide, Sea Turtle/Coastal Conservation Guide, surftificate of achievement, and 8” x 12” group photo. For more specific information about our teen overnight surf camps or to secure your spot now, please call toll free 1.866.844.7873 . Enrollment limited to 10 students per session.
Click here for available dates for our Marine Biology Teen Surf Scuba Camp.
DAY 1-2: CAMP KICK OFF AND INTRO TO SURFING ON TOPSAIL ISLAND
Camp starts off with orientation, team-building games, and visiting the main breaks we’ll be surfing during camp. After covering all the important aspects of learning how to surf, it’s on to catching our first waves!
DAY 3-4: SURF WRIGHTSVILLE & TOPSAIL BEACHES, NC AQUARIUM, SURFBOARD FACTORY
Surfing is the leading activity these first few days, as camper’s skills improve each session. Now we’ll start earning community service hours through beach cleanups. We’ll tour the North Carolina Aquarium with its 200,000 gallon open ocean tank and watch surfboards being designed and built at the SOD Surfboard Factory.
DAY 5-6: TOUR SEA TURTLE HOSPITAL, SURF SESSION, LUAU
We’ll follow our surf sessions up with a special tour of the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital and exploration of the salt marsh where we’ll get hands-on knowledge through clamming, crabbing, and pulling seine nets. We celebrate the first week with an awesome luau cookout in the park with food, games, limbo & hula contests, prize giveaways and more! Next it’s back to camp for a good night’s sleep in preparation for our first day of SCUBA certification classes tomorrow!
DAY 7-8: SURF SESSIONS, SCUBA INTRODUCTION, IN-WATER TRAINING
The day kicks off with a morning surf session and then we begin our first SCUBA class. Safety is always our number one concern when going out in the ocean, and SCUBA diving is no different. We’ll learn the basics of buoyancy, descending, ascending, breathing comfortably underwater, warmth, and efficiency. Now, it’s time for in-water training at one of our local pools where we’ll cover everything from controlling buoyancy to removing, clearing, and replacing our masks and regulators.
Day 9-10: SCUBA SAFETY TRAINING, FINAL EXAM, OPEN-WATER DIVE
We’ll cover a variety of safety exercises including towing a fatigued diver, buddy breathing, and removal/replacement of gear underwater and at the surface. All of this training is practiced over and over to create a calm, trained response to situations that can arise. After completing the final classroom portion of our SCUBA training, we’ll perform an open-water dive in Lake Lemon. Our dive reviews safety/equipment checks, adjustments, followed by buoyancy control and controlled descent/ascent. In the second dive you will partner with a buddy to practice safe emergency techniques.
Day 11-12: SHIPWRECK DIVES, PADI CERTIFICATION, BOWLING
Day 13-14: SUP LESSON, CAMP HIGHLIGHTS, CLOSING FAREWELLS
In the morning we board our vessel and head out to sea. Before descent, we perform a few in-water techniques at the surface. After everyone has proven their abilities it is time for a free descent. At the historic Hyde and Markham shipwrecks you will be in awe of the incredible amount of life that exists in and around these artificial habitats. Using your compass, you will navigate around the underwater structures while being mesmerized by fish and marine life of all shapes and sizes! You’ve worked hard over the past week and experienced the aquatic marine environment like never before. For the first time you’re an official PADI certified Open Water Diver! Tonight we celebrate at the bowling alley, knocking down some pins before heading back to camp.
The day begins with a SUP lesson, as we explore wildlife throughout the salt marsh. We’ll check the surf following our SUP session and enjoy the rest of the day on the beach. Tonight is our final luau celebration where we’ll host a graduation party, honoring our new certifications. We’re getting closer to our last day which means we will go over the highlights for the past two weeks and get our cabins cleaned and packed up. In the morning we will begin to say farewell and exchange contact info from our new friends as parents arrive and airports runs are made. Time to start planning for next year’s WB Surf Camp adventure.
During camp, your home away from home will be Wilmington’s premier KOA Campground. Located just minutes from several of our favorite surf breaks and less than a mile from our WB Surf Camp Headquarters, the KOA is nestled in the woods among the longleaf pines, providing the perfect retreat for our campers after a fun day of surfing and ocean exploration. The KOA offers us many terrific amenities, including an outdoor pavillion, swimming pool, and our own bonfire pit - perfect for cooking up tasty s'mores.
We'll be staying in cozy, air-conditioned cabins, each with their own relaxing porch. Each camper has their own bed, and cabins are gender-specific with counselors rooming in adjacent cabins. Linens are not provided; each camper will need to bring a pillow, set of twin sheets, and either a sleeping bag or blanket.
The KOA is the perfect location as it is centrally located in Wilmington. It sits right at the heart of all of our activities and is an incredible launching pad for everything we do during Teen Overnight Camp from surfing and exploring to hitting our favorite restaurants each night.
Becca, Weston, CT – “My experience at WB Surf Camp was one of the best of my entire life. I had an amazing two weeks. The people I met were incredible, and maybe it was luck that I met such nice people, but I will never forget any of them and we are still in touch. I also learned two very valuable skills that I will definitely use in the future. Surfing was so amazing and it was one of the best experiences ever. I enjoyed scuba diving even more than surfing. This camp is spectacular in every way and every kid should have this experience.”
Carina, Rye, NY – “Surf and Scuba Certification Camp was awesome! The instructors were really fun and caring. Casey was my favorite, because she was the most caring and had a positive attitude. I loved learning to surf and scuba dive. I enjoyed surfing and improving my surf skills. I also really liked scuba diving.”
Andrew, Ontario, CANADA – “Hands down the best camp I’ve ever been to. Everything ran ticketyboo and I didn't feel stressed, unsafe, or homesick at any time. The instructors clearly went to the next level in making our experiences enjoyable while we were learning. The whole thing was amazing. The marsh was great and gave the camp a very good science experience. The aquarium was lots of fun. The turtle hospital was interesting, yet sad, and the board shop was very cool! I honestly can't complain.”
Sam, Weston, CT – “WB Surf Camp was an amazing experience for me. It really helped me develop a passion for surfing and for the ocean and the life within it. The counselors were very helpful and encouraging, and every time I fell down they would tell me what I was doing wrong and what I was doing right, and what I needed to change about my ride and position to catch the next wave. Being without access to the outside world for two weeks really changed me. WB Surf Camp motivated me to get active and ditch my television, as well as spend less time on the internet and less time with my phone. I also became very close with the other campers. I would really recommend this camp for everyone.”
Nick, British Columbia, CANADA – “Surf and scuba camp rocked! It was the best time of my life. From the phenomenal surf, to the sharks and sting rays swimming through the sunken ship, I enjoyed every waking moment. The food was great from delicious pita's to full buffet breakfast's. The instructors were friendly and were very knowledgeable when it came to surf and scuba instruction."
Brianna, San Diego, CA – “Surf Camp was a perfect combination of helpful instructors, good advice, beautiful scenery, and new friends; I would definitely recommend this camp to anyone who wants to learn how to surf in a fun environment.”
Andrea, South Hampton, NY – “My experience at WB Surf Camp was amazing. I got to try new things and make new friends. I love playing sports and to be able to try something that involves the ocean and being able to try something new was amazing. I also loved making new friends that I still talk to after camp was done. Being at Surf Camp created memories that I will remember for the rest of my life.”
Julia, Bel Air, MD – “It was a life-changing experience. I now have a deep passion for surfing and an even greater love for the ocean. Practice will be hard to do but nothing is going to keep me from surfing.”
Brendan, Atlanta, GA – “I always had an interest in the Marine sciences and the vast unknown that is the ocean, but you guys took what was there and molded it into a passion. You guys got me so stoked about the ocean that I couldn’t imagine living the next four years of my life any other way than studying Marine Biology at UNCW and surfing the Carolina shores. So I went and secured such a future by applying and getting accepted to UNCW. I’m joining the freshman class and plan to double major in Marine Biology and International Affairs.”
If I have never surfed before, is this camp for me?
About 90% of our students have never surfed before, let alone held a surfboard. Our program’s dynamic curriculum is tailored for beginners. The only prerequisites are to be ready to have the time of your life and be able to swim.
Where will I be surfing?
We have a choice of three barrier islands 30 minutes or less from the UNCW campus. We surf a wide variety of locations, and we choose the beach with the best conditions for all of our participants.
How much time do we spend in the classroom?
There are only 3 classroom sessions, but we pack a lot into each one along with the final exam.
How many dives do we get to go on?
There will be four separate certification dives performed.
Will we get to SCUBA dive in the ocean?
Yes! Two of your certification dives will be done on two of our premiere shipwreck sites just a few miles offshore including the Hyde and the Markham .
Where will we be diving?
During the certification process we will perform several dives, including 2 freshwater dives in Lake Leamon, and then 2 dives on the Hyde and the Markham . Located just a few miles offshore, these shipwrecks are teaming with so much life you’d think you were in the tropics.
Will there be more surfing or diving?
Half of our time will be spent in class and in the pool training for our certification dives and the other half will be spent surfing.
Where are classes held for the SCUBA portion?
Most of the classroom time is spent in our WB Surf Camp “Board Room” while our pool time is spent at the local YMCA.
How long does the certification last?
Your PADI SCUBA certification will last a lifetime, but if you do not utilize your skills for a long period of time it is always recommended to take a refresher course or complete a SCUBA review with a certified dive master or instructor.
What ages are allowed to become SCUBA certified?
Our Surf & SCUBA program is designed for ages 13-16.
Do I need any previous diving experience?
No previous experience is needed. This program is designed for both the beginner surfer and diver.
What do I need to bring for the SCUBA portion of the program?
All diving gear and class materials will be provided. You will need to purchase your own mask, snorkel, and fins for use during the program.
What kind of non-surfing activities will we be participating in?
- Guided tour of the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher
- Tour of the Sea Turtle Hospital
- Salt Marsh exploration: fishing, seine netting, crabbing, clamming and species ID
- Hands-on marine science and seminars
- Community service project
- A night of movies and bowling
- Volleyball and other beach games
Will there be pictures of me surfing that I can purchase?
Our instructors will be taking some photos throughout the week, but we highly recommend that you bring your own camera. You will receive an email about purchasing Surf Camp’s photos in the weeks following the end of camp.
What are the ages of your overnight campers?
Ages range from 12 to 16 and vary by session. Please check the online schedule for which weeks are dedicated to which ages.
How old are the campers I will be rooming with?
Roommates are grouped together by age in order to enhance the overall level of comfort.
What is the nearest airport and do you have a shuttle service?
The Wilmington International Airport (ILM) is only 15 minutes away. Our counselors meet inbound campers right at baggage claim, then shuttle them back to our Headquarters for lunch. On the way home, counselors stay at the airport until each camper’s flight has taken off. Our office stays attuned to any delays or cancellations to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible.
What if I can’t get in by the set check in time?
In order to avoid missing any planned activities, campers should try to get in by 2:00 pm on the first day and leave between 12:30 – 1:30 pm on the last day of camp. Please contact our Program Coordinator to discuss arrivals and departures outside of our preferred times.
How much spending money should I bring?
We recommend campers bring $50 to $75 per week of camp. This is for souvenirs or gifts they wish to purchase while at camp.
Do you have insurance?
We carry a comprehensive insurance package, including general liability.