COVID Modifications & Protocols – Ocean Explorers

We have modified our Ocean Explorers programs to create a healthy and safe summer camp season for all. Based on guidelines for best practices provided by the CDC, state, and county, we will be strictly following the COVID-19 protocols outlined below.

Please read through our protocols and modifications carefully.

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Group Size, Eating, Activities, and Facilities

  1. Group size is limited to 10 participants.
  2. Students and staff bring their own snacks and lunches. Campers and staff will be distanced from each other by at least 6 feet and must remain sitting while eating. Campers wash their hands/sanitize before and after eating. Surfaces will be sanitized before and after use. Eating will always occur outside.
  3. Most camp activities will be held outdoors. All field excursions will take place within walking distance of the Seymour Center.
  4. On the occasions when time is spent indoors, our camp program has exclusive use of our large, high-ceiling auditorium designed to hold 98 people. Airflow settings in the HVAC system have been maximized. Additionally, the room has multiple doorways and a window that will remain open to further increase fresh airflow.

Daily Arrival and Departure Procedures

Health Screenings

  1. Before arriving each day, an adult/guardian must complete the online UCSC Visitor COVID-19 Symptom Check Questionnaire on behalf of the camper. You will be asked the following questions:
    1. Have you experienced any of the following symptoms in the past 48 hours? Fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose (unrelated to seasonal allergies), nausea or vomiting, diarrhea?
    2. Have you taken any medication for COVID-like symptoms in the past 48 hours?
    3. Within the previous 10 days, are you aware of being exposed to anyone who has been confirmed to have COVID-19 or anyone who is experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19? (Exposure is defined as being within 6 feet of an infected person for more than 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset or, for asymptomatic individuals, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection.)
    4. Have you received a positive test result for COVID-19 in the past 10 days?
  2. After completing the questionnaire, you will receive an email indicating whether the camper has been “cleared” or “not cleared” to attend. The lead Seymour Center staff member will automatically receive a copy of your camper’s clearance status.
  3. Upon a camper’s arrival each day, a staff member will verify that the Visitor Symptom Check Questionnaire was completed and indicates that the camper is “cleared” to attend.
  4. Staff members are required to complete online symptom checks each day to be cleared for work.
  5. If an individual displays any of the previously mentioned screening symptoms, they will be required to isolate and go home. The CDC recommends contacting your medical provider. The individual/adult guardian will be advised to follow all CDC guidelines for what to do
  6. Individuals who displayed potential symptoms may not return to camp unless they provide written medical clearance from their healthcare provider.
  7. Camp staff members are required to follow UCSC return-to-work protocols.

Check-in and Check-out

  1. Upon arrival, the masked participant with their masked parent/guardian will go to the arrival area where a staff member will be stationed. The arrival/departure area will have marks spaced 6 feet apart to indicate where adults can stand with their camper during check-in. After the staff member has verified the visitor questionnaire clearance, the camper will go to the opening activities area where another staff member will be present.
  2. During pick up, adults will go to one of the marks spaced 6 feet apart in the arrival/departure area where a staff member will be stationed to call for the participant to meet their adult and return home.

Mask and Social Distancing Requirements


  1. Campers and staff will be required to wear face masks. Face masks must completely cover the mouth and nose and be securely positioned under the chin. Masks will only be removed outdoors as described below:
    • While eating and drinking – campers must be seated at least 6 feet apart before removing their masks to eat.
    • For a water break – campers must move at least 6 feet away from any activity to take off their mask to drink, or all students must be seated 6 feet apart for a water break.
    • Mask break – if a camper needs some time to breathe with their mask off, or readjust their mask, they will announce that they are taking a mask break and move at least 6 feet away from other students. That camper is responsible for remaining distanced from others while their mask is off.
  2. Staff requirements are the same as camper requirements.
  3. Any adults checking in or checking out campers must wear masks while outside of their vehicles.

Social Distancing

  1. Campers and staff are instructed to keep at least 6 feet* of distance between themselves and others at all times. *Updated CDC guidance for day camps reduces physical distancing from 6 feet down to 3 feet minimum between campers wearing masks in a cohort. Ocean Explorers camps may implement the reduced distancing requirements based on updates to the California Department of Public Health guidelines for day camps if approved by the university.
  2. Exceptions will be made only for campers who live in the same household, or for emergency or first aid purposes.
  3. Only one camper is allowed in a bathroom at a time.

Sanitizing, Hand Washing, and Bathroom Procedures

Surface Sanitizing and Supplies

  1. Staff will clean all surfaces at the beginning and end of each day. EPA-approved disinfectants will be used for sanitizing.
  2. Each camper will have their own set of any supplies that will be used exclusively by them for the week.
  3. If any items are shared, they will be sanitized before and after use.

Handwashing and Sanitizing

  1. Campers and staff will be required to wash or sanitize their hands before and after eating, after using the bathroom, and before and after handling any equipment that will be shared with other participants.
  2. Hand sanitizing will be required for campers and staff upon arrival and departure. Hand sanitation will also be required when entering and exiting the building.
  3. Hand washing will be encouraged as a primary option for cleaning, and each group leader will have hand sanitizer with them at all times.


  1. Custodial staff will sanitize Seymour Center bathrooms before the beginning of each day of camp.
  2. If using any public restrooms, staff will remind campers to wash their hands properly after use.
  3. Staff will provide sanitizer if restroom supplies are inadequate.

Ocean Explorers Session Descriptions
Schedule and Fees
How to Apply
Meet our Instructors


August 15, 2021, 1:30 PM
Join us–online! “Fascinating Fish Bones: Archaeology for the Future of Fishers and Fisheries.” Preregister.

Continue exploring the diversity of mollusks around the world with Mollusk Mates. Find the newest coloring pages, here.

Say hello to the new Seymour Center director — Jonathan Andres Hicken! Starting in mid-August, Jonathan will continue the important work of the Seymour Center. Learn more, here.

Join our teamJOIN OUR TEAM!
The Seymour Center is seeking to hire for multiple positions. Learn about these opportunities, here.

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