BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The coast has a long and storied past, directly tied to the water, and it's important to pass that knowledge along to the next generation. That's exactly what the Seafood Industry Museum in Biloxi does with its Sea Camp program, now in its 22nd year.
Before you head to the water with the nets, you have to practice. You also have to work on tossing out a line as well.
"We try and teach them about the rich maritime history that we have here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast," Sea Camp Director Charlie King said. "We focus, specifically, on Biloxi and the shrimping industry, as well as how to throw the cast net."
Then it's time for the Sea Campers to put that net throwing practice to the test.
"We go fishing, and we go swimming a lot and you make a lot of friends out here," camper Marlie Rath said.
"I like fishing and I learned how to throw a cast net," camper Ezra Petersen said. "I really like going to the Kroc Center, and I've been going here for a few years."
"I like how they teach us to throw the cast nets and I like the counselors," camper Natalie Campton gushed.
There's no doubt that the children at Sea Camp are learning about our marine environment and having a good time while doing it. But some of the long time counselors will tell you they may enjoy it even more.
"I enjoy so much seeing these kids just have fun," head counselor Ashley Davis said. "They truly are out here smiling and just having a great time, and that's what I get out of it. There's nothing better than that to make sure my kids are just having the best time that they can at our camp."
After a day in the sun, a visit to the splash pad helps to cool things down, and gets these children ready for another day of fun, with learning mixed in.
Since Hurricane Katrina, Sea Camp has been headquartered at the museum's temporary trailer site on Howard Avenue. Next year, the camp will be hosted at the new $10 million museum on Point Cadet, which is scheduled to open on August the first.