MarineQuest

Frequently Asked Questions heading banner
Below is a list of common questions we receive. If you have any further questions, please contact us at (910) 962 - 2640.

General Questions:

1. Is MarineQuest able to meet the learning needs of children who have been identified as Talented and Gifted?

2. What is the Minor's Policy for UNCW?

3. How are instructors chosen for MarineQuest?

COVID Best Practices:

1. Is my child required to quarantine 14 days prior to the start of camp?    

2. What specifically is my child required to do prior to the start of camp?

Application & Registration Questions:

1. My child does not meet the age requirement of your program, but meets the grade completion requirement. What do we do?

2. How can I register for your summer programs?

3. I have already registered my child for the summer, what do I do next?

4. I have sent in my summer application but have not heard back. Have I been accepted yet?

5. I want to register my child for your program next week, but the website says I have to register by the Wednesday before it starts. Can I still register?

6. My child needs to submit a teacher recommendation for the application, but school is over and we cannot get in touch with a teacher. What should we do?

Payment Questions:

1. What is your cancellation policy?

2. Do you offer scholarships?

General Summer Questions:

1. How do I meet my student instructors? Is there a camp orientation?

2. Where will I drop off and pick up my child?

3. Does MarineQuest organize carpool? 

4. What does my child need to bring with them to your program?

5. Does my child need to know how to swim?

6. How are children transported from one field location to another? 

Residential Questions (Still pending):

1. Where will residential students be housed?

2. My child will need to fly to Wilmington to attend the program. How do I make this happen?

3. What type of water will I be SCUBA diving in for my program?

4. Does my program require Divers Alert Network (DAN) insurance?


General Question Answers:

Is MarineQuest able to meet the learning needs of children who have been identified as Talented and Gifted? 

MarineQuest strives to meet the learning needs of all participants, including those who are Talented and Gifted. We have prepared a guidance document to help you decide if MarineQuest is the program for your child.

2. What is the Minor's Policy for UNCW?

Please visit our UNCW Minor's Policy page for more information.

3. How are instructors chosen for MarineQuest?

Most MarineQuest program educators are marine scientists pursuing or recently completed their undergraduate or graduate degree in a marine science discipline.  We also hire teachers who have a passion for marine science education.  We search through 100+ staff candidates to identify a summer team with experience working with youth, marine science, and hold safety certifications including first aid, lifeguard, and more.  We are proud to have a team that is highly trained in safety and marine science. 

Each staff member passes a criminal background check before hiring, is First Aid certified, passes a DMV check if they are driving, and is lifeguard certified if required by their position.

COVID Best Practices:

Is Is my child required to quarantine 14 days prior to the start of camp? 

Per the American Camp Associations (ACA) and CDC’s guidelines for summer camps, a 14-day quarantine prior to program start is best practice. While MarineQuest recognizes that this may be difficult to achieve, we ask that families follow best practices related to social distancing, mask wearing, and hand hygiene in the two weeks leading up to camp. Additionally, we ask that they minimize all non-essential activities that could lead to exposure.

2. What specifically is my child required to do prior to the start of camp?

Specifically, all program participants are required to:

  • Monitor their daily temperature in the 10 days leading up to camp
  • Document and monitor any flu, cold, and COVID-like symptoms during the 72 hours prior to camp.
  • Submit to daily health screening once at camp.
  • Wear a mask at camp unless eating, drinking or swimming.

Application & Registration Questions:

My child does not meet the age requirement of your program, but meets the grade completion requirement. What do we do? 

After having looked at our developmental profile chart you may discover that your child meets one of the requirements but not both. Our preference is that they at least meet the grade requirement but we strongly recommend that they also meet the age requirement. If you still feel this camp best meets your child's needs, you can petition for an exception. All requests/petitions for students who do not meet both of the age/grade program requirements must be submitted via email to marinequest@uncw.edu. Any exception will be made at the discretion of the Director.

2. How can I register for your summer programs?

Hopefully by now you have been to the individual program websites and have determined the program and the dates you'd like your child to attend. Once you have done this, you can register your child online if they are in the following programs: Small Fry, Sea Squirts, Sea Safari, Sea Dawgs, Mermaids, Sea Pals, Coastal Cruisers and Storm SEAkers.

If your child is interested in our older programs (Coast Trek, Turtle Trek, Shark Trek, Ocean Lab, TECHNOcean, AquaTECH, Ocean Solutions, OCEANS, Ocean Majors Online, and Blue ECON) they must first submit an application and a teacher recommendation form. To do this, go to the program specific page and click on apply here. Once your child is accepted, we will send you the information that will let you finalize your registration for this program.

3. I have already registered my child for the summer, what do I do next?

Once you have registered and paid, you should receive a confirmation e-mail. If you did not receive this e-mail please call the registration office at (910) 962-3195. Once you have registered you should receive a link to obtain your child's program welcome packet. These packets will have all pertinent information regarding your program, where to go, what to bring, etc. If you have any additional questions please call the MarineQuest office at (910) 962-2640.

4. I have sent in my summer application but have not heard back. Have I been accepted yet?

The most likely reason you have not heard back from us is that we are still waiting to receive your teacher recommendation form. If you are positive that your teacher has sent the form to us, please contact us and we will attempt to resolve the problem. You may also want to check your "spam" or "trash" folder in your e-mail account. We have noticed that G-mail accounts often "spam" out e-mails sent from addresses marked with .edu.

5. I want to register my child for your program next week, but the website says I have to register by the Wednesday before it starts. Can I still register?

Due to planning and reservations of summer activities, we must have all our student information into us no later than the Wednesday before your program begins. Please consider joining us for the following week of camp. In extreme circumstances, you can petition the Registration Associate for an exception or call the registration office at (910) 962-2939.

6. My child needs to submit a teacher recommendation for the application, but school is over and we cannot get in touch with a teacher. What should we do?

You must provide a copy of a report card (the most current one) as well as a letter of recommendation from an individual that has observed your child in a learning or group environment. For examples, scout leaders, youth group leaders, etc.

Payment Questions:

1. What is your cancellation policy?

To ensure that our programs are of the highest quality, we plan, schedule activities, and hire staff months before summer begins. Therefore, last minute cancellations are particularly difficult for us to fill since most students have already made other arrangements for the summer. To view our full cancellation policy, visit the cancellation policy link under the appropriate camp web page.

2. Do you offer scholarships?

Due to the reduction in program capacity in alignment with COVID recommendations, MarineQuest cannot guarantee we will be able to offer vacant spots as scholarship options this summer. If you would like to be placed on a wait list, please review our scholarship page for more information.

All questions regarding scholarships must be submitted via email to marinequest@uncw.eduNo phone calls will be returned (scholarship requests made by phone will not be considered as we require all the information and documentation in writing).

General Summer Questions:

1. How do I meet my students instructors? Is there a camp orientation?

Following COVID best practices as recommended by the CDC and American Camp Association, MarineQuest is limiting visitation within our physical program spaces. This means orientation will be held virtually on the Sunday prior to the start of your commuter program. You will find out more information in your Welcome Packet and will be sent a link to join.

2. Where will I drop off and pick up my child? 

All pick-up and drop-off will happen on the UNCW campus unless otherwise noted. The exact location will be sent to you in your camper Welcome Packet. These packets will be made available to you when your registration is complete.

3. Does MarineQuest organize carpool?

No. Following COVID best practices, MarineQuest is discouraging carpooling this summer. If you chose to carpool and any student(s) in the carpool begins to show signs/symptoms of COVID, the entire carpool will not be allowed to participate in the program.

4. What does my child need to bring wih them to your program?

This information will be available to you when your registration is complete, and you are provided a link to your student's Welcome Packet. Two of the most important items your child will NEED to have is two face masks and water bottle with them every day.

5. Does my child need to know how to swim? 

While it doesn't hurt to know how to swim, it is not necessary. MarineQuest can provide floatation devices and PFDs while in or near the water and your child will never be forced to go into any water against their will. MarineQuest employs certified lifeguards that supervise all water-based activities.

6. How are children transported from one field location to another?

Students, through the age of 14, are transported by New Hanover County activity buses operated by New Hanover County bus drivers. Our older students are transported in 12-passenger vans operated by MarineQuest staff. All staff have a valid license, clean driving record, UNCW van safety training, and 12-passenger van training.

Residential Questions:

1. Where will residential students be housed?

MarineQuest residential students are housed along with our Residence Life staff in UNCW dormitories on campus. These dormitories have 24-hour surveillance and A/C. Males and females are separated in the dorms and have their own bathroom facilities. MarineQuest also has staff on-call 24 hours a day in case of emergencies. Roommates will be randomly assigned unless you or your child specify otherwise. Rooms are usually shared by two students of the same age.

2. My child will need to fly to Wilmington to attend the program. How do I make this happen?

Due to COVID, MarineQuest is discouraging airline travel and will not be providing transportation to and from the airport. 

3. What type of water will I be SCUBA diving in for my program?

If you are participating in program that includes some level of SCUBA diving you may dive in confined water, open water, or both. The type of water you will dive in depends on caliber of diving you will do. Confined water dives take place in a pool or pool-like conditions. Open water dives may take place in the ocean and/or lake. If weather or rough seas prevent a scheduled open water ocean dive to take place we will typically relocate to an open water lake.


4. Does my program require Divers Alert Network (DAN) insurance?

If you are participating in program that includes some level of SCUBA diving, you will be required to register for DAN insurance. The type of insurance required depends on the program you are registered for. Sea GEMS and Sea LAB qualify for Free Student Insurance. While Dive Hawks, Sea Shots, Underwater Ichthyologist, and Oceans-17 require paid insurance. This can range from $65-$75 depending on location. For more information, please visit DAN's website at http://www.diversalertnetwork.org/insurance/