For more than 100 years, visions of Catalina Island ave peppered the memories and imaginations of millions of travelers. The charming seaside resort of Avalon and the remote village of Two Harbors welcome visitors for summer vacations, honeymoons, weekend getaways and romantic retreats – but those two communities are far from the only destination on Catalina Island. Summer camp on Catalina Island has been an annual tradition going back generations.

Scattered along the lee side of the island are a number of camps that serve tens of thousands of children every summer. While each of the camps may have a different focus, including scouting, marine science, religion and the YMCA -- what they have in common is a commitment to seeing kids grow and mature in a dramatic natural setting.

Toyon Bay, White’s Landing, Gallagher’s Cove, Fox Landing, Cherry Cove and Howland’s Landing are just some of the many locations for Catalina summer camps. These isolated and beautiful destinations are home to about a dozen summer camps. Children ages 8 to 18 attend camp on the island – spending up to six weeks at a time surrounded by the beauty of the island and learning more about the world around them. Ready to learn more? Here are seven reasons to send your kid to summer camp on Catalina Island.

7 reasons to send your kid to summer camp on Catalina Island.

Fun: It should go without saying that summer camp is fun – but camp on Catalina Island takes the fun to a whole other level. The island location is a big reason why; the Pacific offers a wide range of activities and adventures that your kids won’t find at any other summer camp. Snorkeling, scuba diving and sailing are just a few of the experiences summer camp on Catalina Island offers.

New skills: While they are having fun, kids will also be learning essential life skills at a Catalina Island summer camp, including perseverance, teamwork and networking, which will serve your child long after the summer tan has faded.

Independence: For most parents, the opportunity for children to learn independence is a big reason to send them to summer camp. From the moment the boat leaves the dock on the mainland, summer campers are learning to navigate without parental control. Responsible camp counselors are there to show them the way, but kids return from camp with a stronger sense of their own abilities.

Confidence: Learning new skills, living independently and facing challenges are the perfect recipe for confidence. After summer camp on Catalina Island, children are more sure of themselves and ready to face new challenges – whether that’s middle school, getting along with their siblings or algebra 2.

New interests: Catalina Island summer camps offer a wide range of activities that your child will be able to sample. Nature photography, jewelry making, hiking, sailing, kayaking, archery, cooking and snorkeling are just some of the many things to do at summer camp on Catalina Island. While your child may depart for camp convinced they will love one thing and hate another, after sampling the smorgasbord of things to do they may very well come home with a new hobby.

New friends: Children from around the country attend summer camp on the island. Your child will meet other campers with life experiences very different from their own. Living and playing with their fellow campers they will forge friendships that will last.

You’ll have an excuse to come visit: Whether you choose to stay in Avalon the entire time your child is at summer camp or just come for Visitor Day, when your child is at summer camp on Catalina Island you’ll have the chance to experience this island paradise for yourself.

Catalina Island Camps - Howlands Landing
Catalina Sea Camp (Catalina Island Marine Institute) - Toyon Bay
Catalina Island Marine Institute - Toyon Bay, Fox Landing & Cherry Cove
YMCA Camp of Glendale - Camp Fox
Santa Barbara YMCA - Camp Fox
YMCA of the Desert - Camp Fox
Campus by the Sea - Gallagher's Beach
Boy Scouts of America - LA - Camp Cherry Valley
Boy Scouts of America - Camp Emerald Bay
Mountain and Sea Adventure