Catalina Island Camps

Two Harbors, California    

Lantern Review of Catalina Island Camps

Not long after departing the marina for an hour-long voyage to Catalina Island Camps, you might realize how idyllic this island oasis is for kids. The southern California sunshine is tempered by the gentle ocean breezes, allowing the camp season to be spent almost entirely outdoors, whether that be kayaking in their protected ocean cove, or dining in their open-air dining hall, or falling asleep to the soothing sounds of the ocean literally steps from a wide-open cabin.

The sky is blue and the water is even bluer, making the ocean an obvious center stage for this beach hideaway. Catalina embraces its environment, both in the activities that it offers, from skin-diving to sailing, kayaking to paddle boarding, and in its philosophy of developing a sense of environmental stewardship among the campers within this marine setting. The counseling and activity staff benefit from a large and devoted full-time supervisory staff that bring expertise in environmental science, marine biology and the select activities offered here. Much of the philosophy is about promoting a fun and exciting program consistent with an exposure to this unique camp environment. They have chosen activities that reflect their setting and that encourage self-exploration. Group dynamics are at home in the cabin and the first part of each session focuses on the development of cabin unity within a greater camp community. The dividends of this early focus on cabin groups emerge as the sessions progress and cabin unity grows, creating meaningful friendships.

It’s an obvious joy to snorkel under the surface among a colorful array of ocean flora and fauna. This sun-soaked retreat amplifies these wonderful moments of awe and wonder by creating a child’s island escape where happiness reigns, subtly but deliberately imparting an appreciation for things bigger than the individual. Here, it’s about perspective.

Fast Facts

  • COED
  • 160 Campers per Session
  • 2-week, 4-week
  • Founded in 1922
  • $$$

Director's Message

Catalina Island Camps develops life long skills though fun and unique outdoor experiences in a community that cultivates respect for self, others and the environment. We are a traditional recreational co-ed summer camp. Camp is like having 150 siblings! Our program builds relationships between cabin mates and then among everyone at camp. We stress the importance of being a valuable part of the community. Being located on an island, right on the ocean, gives us lots of opportunities to teach about the environment during nearly every activity at camp.

Program Highlights

  • 15 Activities
  • Individual Activities
  • Waterfront
  • Remote

Top 5 Activities

  • Skin Diving
  • Ocean Kayaking
  • Stand Up Paddling
  • Ropes Course/Zip Line
  • Gardening/Composting

Travel Information

We travel by chartered boat from San Pedro, California directly to camp. We can pick up campers who fly to Los Angeles at LAX when flight arrangements are made through our travel agent and $75 fee is paid to camp.


Catalina Island Camps

(626) 296-4040

Tom and Maria Horner