Summer Camps at Historic Pigeon Key

Things to Do — By Julie on May 19, 2011 at 7:04 pm

The tiny island of Pigeon Key, a unique historic site beneath the Florida Keys’ Old Seven Mile Bridge, is offering summer marine science camp opportunities for children age 8 and older. Day camp sessions are set for Monday through Friday, June 20-24, July 18-22 and Aug. 1-5, with an overnight camp session also scheduled Aug. 1-5.

Pigeon Key is nestled beneath the historic Old Seven Mile Bridge, which runs parallel to the new Seven Mile Bridge, an icon of Marathon.

Designed to offer hands-on daily programs, Pigeon Key Marine Science Camp includes workshops on marine mammals, reef fish, coral reef systems and invertebrates as well as hard and soft corals found in Florida and Caribbean waters. In addition, campers can take workshops on underwater photography and the gathering of specimens.

Participants also can get scuba certification during a camp session or take a refresher course if already certified.

The fun is as extensive as the marine education. Underwater obstacle courses, volleyball, snorkeling and day excursions are all part of the camp sessions.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, five-acre Pigeon Key housed laborers building the Oversea Railway that debuted in January 1912, connecting the Florida Keys with the mainland and each other for the first time.

Today the island features restored cottages and a museum spotlighting the railroad’s history. It recently starred as the final destination for contestants of the CBS television show “The Amazing Race.”

Since its inception more than 15 years ago, Pigeon Key Marine Science Camp has provided private, customized programs to more than 30,000 participants from more than 1,000 schools throughout the United States.

Cost for day camp begins at $300 per child, with the overnight session priced at $950.