Class Descriptions

Class Descriptions

The EBOA offers a wide variety of courses and is committed to working with each school to develop an a la carte menu of NGSS classes that best suites each individual’s needs. Below is a list of the various modules that we offer. To build your own adventure, please contact the Director of Sales and Marketing, Alix Fulham

Take the Lead (Leadership)

Students will be introduced to leadership through small group, problem-solving and interactive team building games. Activities are geared to empower students to be leaders in their communities and families.


Say What? (Logic)

In our ever more complex and rapidly changing world, being able to understand what is being said and by whom is one of the most critical skills for success. Students gain the tools needed to critically assess and understand what is being said to be able to make informed decisions.


Together We Can Do So Much (Team Building)

After a fun icebreaker, students will be divided into teams for various interactive team challenges. Students will be challenged to communicate and collaborate with each member of the team in order to complete the task.


They Blinded Me with Science (Science Literacy)

Derived from curiosity about everyday experiences, students will learn how to ask, find or determine answers to questions. Scientific literacy allows a person to describe, explain and predict natural phenomena. Students will begin to read articles about science with understanding and engage in discussions about those same topics.

Find Your Way at Emerald Bay (Orienteering)

How would you find your way if you lost access to your smart phone? In this course, students learn the basics of using a map and compass so they can always find their way.


Islands: A Whole New World (Island Biogeography)

With over 60 species of plants and animals that can only be found on the island, Catalina provides the perfect backdrop to explore the unique and isolated ecosystems of islands. Students will examine how and why species ended up on the island, how they have adapted to living in their new homes, and how disturbance from humans or foreign pests can pose a significant threat.


Come Fly with Me (Ornithology)

Have you ever wished you had a pair of wings? Students will take a kayak tour of our local bird sanctuary OR a hike among the oak and cherry trees to discover what makes our diverse group of avian friends so exceptional.


Seeds of Life (Botany)

Life’s pretty tough when everything’s out to eat you. Despite this, plants have learned to adapt and endure all over the globe. In the session, students investigate how plants have learned to adapt to dry, fire-prone conditions and how they have responded to life without pressures from grazing animals.

Who’s Hungry? (Food Production/Waste)

Everybody’s gotta eat, right? Students will take a close look at how our food makes its way to our table. The lesson focuses on some best practices of farming, food consumption, and food waste disposal. Session includes a hands-on lesson in composting!


Let’s Rock (Geology)

How often do you get to say you’ve stood on top of an underwater mountain? Students examine the evidence of plate tectonics that formed Catalina and the geologic resources created in the process.


A Balancing Act (Wildlife Conservation)

Human activities and urban development can all have adverse effects on wildlife. Students role play being the decision makers to try to resolve some real issues facing wildlife managers.


Is It Me or Is It Warm in Here? (Climate Change)

Is the world really getting warmer or is the Earth just going through a natural cycle? Students will complete a lab on greenhouse gases to determine their effect, if any, on climate.


Living on the Edge (Intertidal Zonation)

When land meets sea, the changing tide creates dynamic intertidal zones, one of the harshest environments. Students wade in and observe first-hand how ocean life has adapted to survive life on the edge.

Save Some for The Fishes (Water Resource Management)

Did you know that less than 3% of Earth’s water is fresh and only a fraction of that is accessible by humans and other animals? Students will learn practical methods to use water more efficiently and brainstorm ways to save water that would otherwise go to waste.


Let’s Get SoFishticated! (Ichthyology)

Globally, fish provide food for more than 1.5 billion people each year, but most people have never seen a fish in the wild. In the class, students will work closely with a marine biologist to identify features and adaptations during a dissection. Students will also see local fish up close in the camp’s aquarium facility.


CO2 and You! (Ocean Acidification)

What goes in must come out! Watch as students perform Ocean Acidification experiments and discuss their findings to reach a conclusion on climate and how it is linked to the ocean.


Water is Life (The Ocean and You)

Ever wonder why our planet is so special? Students discover the ocean, its major features, why we are inextricably linked to this wondrous and vital feature of the planet.

The Rainforests of the Sea (Kelp Forest Ecology)

One of the world’s most productive and diverse habitats, Giant Kelp beds are home to diverse and thriving communities of fish, invertebrates and understory algae. Students combine adventure and learning while exploring kelp, its life cycle, and the conditions in which it thrives, all from the comfort of a paddleboard.


Would You Like Microplastic With That? (Microplastics)

Working its way up the food chain at alarming rates, microplastics are filling the guts of fish, birds, marine mammals, and even humans. Students run experiments to see if they can find microplastics on the beach, what they can do to reduce plastic waste, and make a positive difference for our oceans.


Take a Deep Breath. You Can Thank Plankton for That! (Plankton)

They may be microscopic, but phytoplankton are responsible for producing up to 50% of Earth’s oxygen. Students collect their own plankton from Emerald Bay, identify and discuss the different groups, talk about their importance for life on Earth, and examine them up close in our plankton lab.


Take a Walk on the Wild Side (Hike)

For those looking for an adventure off the water, our guides will lead you on a hike for wildflowers, birds, bison and more! Hikes range from easy to hard, we have it all.

Bones Are Overrated (Marine Invertebrates)

Often overlooked, invertebrates, although spineless, are the backbone of marine ecosystems and food webs. In this class, students plunge into the world of little things as they snorkel the bay to bring the wonder of the ocean to life.


The Motion of the Ocean (Ocean Circulation)

Go with the flow as we delve into wind, ice caps, gyres and the Coriolis effect, the makings of water movement, and ocean circulation. Students get their hands wet with our interactive experiments to see first-hand what drives ocean circulation and how it influences Earth’s climate.


Join Moana to See the Line Where the Sky Meets the Sea (Ocean Kayaking)

Sit back and enjoy the view as you take up a paddle and tour the bay. We provide single person kayaks, knowledgeable guide, and a PFD.


Swim with the Fish! (Snorkeling)

You’ve explored all we have to offer above the water, now explore the world below the water. Students are provided with snorkels, masks, fins, a wetsuit and guide. Bring your sense of adventure and curiosity!

What’SUP? (Stand Up Paddleboards)

Stand Up Paddle Boards offer a new vantage point from which to explore the bay. Test your balance while you tour the various surroundings and explore new ecosystems.


Test Your Archery Skills Against Katniss Everdeen (Archery)

Students practice focus and concentration, patience, and stamina while at target practice. First timers and pros like Katniss are welcome to test their skills on our 50-foot archery range.


Put in Work (Conservation Project)

Use this opportunity to get your hands dirty and make a difference in preserving the natural beauty of Catalina. Examples of projects include, removing invasive plans and picking up trash before it winds up in the ocean or an animal’s stomach.



Students have the chance to practice their leathercraft skills. Popular projects include belts, wallets, and moccasins.


Pause and Reflect

A great option for their last day, students take some time to find a quiet place to reflect on all they learned and did during their time at camp. Reflections are recorded into their journals so they will always remember their time at camp.

Earth: An Island in The Night (Astronomy)

Since the dawn of man, humans have been captivated by the vast unknown that fills the night sky. Students will have the chance to take a tour of the constellations and then point telescopes up the heavens for a close look of planets, nebulas, and nearby galaxies.


Creatures of the Night (Nocturnal Wildlife)

Catalina Island leads a double life. Students will investigate why some animals wait for sundown to emerge and will go on the hunt to locate some of our nocturnal neighbors.


Ready for S’more Fun? (Campfire and S’mores)

Join us round the campfire circle, as staff and students alike put on campfire skits for the amusement of all. We wrap up the evening making s’mores (or with other dessert).


Pajama Jam (Dance party)

Students put on their pajamas and dance their slippers off. Emerald Bay will provide appropriate music.


Movie Night

We will provide a family friendly movie or feel free to bring your own. Bring movie snacks for students or they can buy their own from the Ship Store.