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O.C.E.A.N.S. & Oceans 17 Welcome Page

What You Need for Program

  • Weather-appropriate clothing that can get wet, muddy, and/or ruined
  • Two swimsuits: Students should pack two modest swimsuits and a sun shirt/rashguard for sun protection  
  • Waterproof sunscreen (SPF 15 +) to be applied repeatedly each day for protection
  • Water bottle (24oz or two smaller bottles)
  • Hat with a visor
  • One “beach” towel for outdoor use (should be able to get dirty/muddy)
  • Sweatshirt or light jacket
  • Raincoat or poncho
  • Two pairs of closed-toed shoes (one for field pair and one for lab /classroom pair),
    • Examples of field shoes include: all-terrain sandals with closed-toed (such as Keen’s), water shoes, or old sneakers
    • Note that although the “croc” style clog with ankle strap is popular students have a difficult time keeping them on and it becomes a safety issue when we explore the marsh.
  • One pair of everyday summer shoes
  • Toiletry items
  • Five changes of field clothes:
    • shirts
    • shorts
    • socks
    • undergarments
  • Five changes of everyday clothes:
    • shirts
    • shorts and at least one pair of pants
    • socks
    • undergarments
  • Pajamas worn in dorms must be modest and meet MarineQuest dress code policies.
    • If your student is prone to feeling cool at night, they should pack warm sleeping pajamas.
  • Necessary medications to be stored with MarineQuest staff (must be in original packaging to comply with MarineQuest Policies and Procedures)
  • Twin XL sheet set and blanket/sleeping bag, pillowcase, pillow, bath towels, washcloth.
    • O.C.E.A.N.S. and Oceans 17 students will need a full-size sheet set and blanket, pillow and case, bath towels, and washcloth. 
  • Small travel-size laundry detergent (multi-week programs and stayovers)
    • Single-week programs will not have access to laundry
    • There is no charge for the laundry facility at MarineQuest
  • Healthy snacks in sealed containers (We don’t want to attract ants in the dorm.)
    • ***Please try to avoid snacks that contain peanuts for the safety of any fellow student who may have severe allergies
  • Waterproof* underwater camera
  • Bug spray
  • Water-proof bags (Ziplock type bags are perfect) for wet/dirty field clothes
  • Inappropriate materials and/or anything in violation of MarineQuest policies and/or code of conduct
    • Electronics including, but not limited to the following: Cell phones, tablets, laptops
    • Other inappropriate items including, but not limited to the following: Weapons, drugs, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, R-rated materials
  • Bulky comforters
  • Excess luggage (MarineQuest allows each student to bring one suitcase and one small carry-on item)
Additional Oceans 17 packing for SCUBA
  • Mask (should be properly fitted prior to arrival to ensure good fit/seal)
  • Fins (and dive booties if applicable to fin style)
  • Snorkel
  • Duffle or Mesh Bag for all gear to be stored in
  • Student’s current DAN insurance (or equivalent coverage) card
  • Student’s open water scuba certification card (Oceans 17 and MarineQuest Scientific Diver)

Many of the items required for scuba diving can be found in your local area or through online venders. We encourage students to shop around and determine what meets their budget needs before making a purchase. Students who need to purchase equipment upon arrival will be taken to Aquatic Safaris by a MarineQuest staff member. An intermediate level package (Mask, Fins, Snorkel) at Aquatic Safaris will cost approximately $175-$250. If you plan to make this purchase while at MarineQuest, we suggest sending your child with a pre-loaded debit card for this purchase. If you are not able to do this your child may call you and you can pay over the phone.

Please use caution when ordering masks online! Masks are specially fit and come in many different sizes and shapes. If ordering online, be sure you have first tested the fit of the exact item in a store to ensure a good seal. An improperly fitted mask will make it nearly (or entirely) impossible to successfully scuba dive.

  • Waterproof* underwater camera
    • *Waterproof up to at least 60 feet; 90 feet for advanced programs
  • Wet Suit (wet suits will be provided for program use at no additional cost)
  • Dive gloves
  • Dive knife (MarineQuest's Code of Conduct does not all students to be in possession of any type of weapon including knives.)
  • Tank, BCD, gauges, regulator, and weights
    • All non-snorkel diving equipment is provided, if you would like to bring your own equipment you must seek prior approval and provide a receipt of inspection/service within the past year.  Please email with any gear questions.  

Parent Information Overnight

You must complete the required steps on the MarineQuest enrollment completion page.

The confirmation form is best completed in one sitting (about 30 uninterrupted minutes).  If you must leave the confirmation form and finish later that's ok! You must access the form on the same computer and internet browser as cookies are used to save your progress.  Within 2 weeks of starting the form, you can use the same button below.  Please contact MarineQuest if you have any issues accessing an incomplete survey, we can help!

If you require access to update your forms please email MarineQuest and we will provide a link for you to resubmit information.  

Students who are registered for more than one program only need to submit one confirmation form.  

See below for a list of information and materials you will need to complete the confirmation form:

  • Student information
  • Custodial parent's contact information
  • Primary and secondary emergency contact information 
  • Authorized carpoolers contact information
  • Medical physician contact information 
  • Medical insurance card (electronic copy) 
  • Current medical conditions, medication, and allergies
  • Date of last tetanus immunization 
  • Roommate requests (overnight programs)
  • Program-specific supplemental release forms (see below) 

We ask that you complete your confirmation forms within 72 hours after registering. Without Confirmation Forms your child cannot attend the program.

Beginning promptly at 3:00 p.m. participant check-in will begin. Staff will be stationed throughout the residence hall area to assist with directions and move-in. Families are encouraged to arrive on time. Early arrivals cannot be accommodated (see airline info below). Check-in will not begin before 3:00 pm therefore MarineQuest staff and buildings will not be available until that time. A campus map is provided on this welcome page as well as information regarding times and locations of both check-in and out locations.

Leave all pets at home, as they are not permitted at any MarineQuest location or activity (including check-in). This is for everyone’s safety and comfort. Please note that summer weather is too hot to safely leave pets in your vehicle during check-in.

During check-in parents will sign students into the program, receive their student’s agenda (including phone numbers, a map to the parent pick-up on the final day of the program), student room assignments, and turn in all medication (for exceptions see medication). If your student is arriving by plane, please send an email requesting the program agenda. Students will NOT be assigned a key, MarineQuest staff will lock and unlock dorm rooms for students.

MarineQuest staff will complete an inspection checklist before check-in. During check-out, the room will be re-inspected by MarineQuest staff. Students will be held financially responsible for any damages that they cause to their room or any other UNCW property.

We will hold Parent Orientation immediately following student check-in – this may be as early as 3:45 p.m., but no later than 4:15 p.m. depending on the promptness of student arrival. Staff will be available during check-in to meet with parents privately to discuss any personal matters.

For your convenience, MarineQuest staff can pick up your student from ILM on the first day of their program and drop them off on the final day.  

Age Travel Information
Students aged 9-14
  • Traveling as a registered unaccompanied minor service with airline.
  • MarineQuest staff will meet the student at the airline gate upon arrival.
  • MarineQuest staff will sit with the student until departure and the plane has left Wilmington airspace.
  • $75 MarineQuest fee and must complete the Airport Transportation Request.
Students aged 15-17
  • Traveling as a young adult (Not as a registered unaccompanied minor)
  • MarineQuest will meet the student at security.
  • MarineQuest staff will ensure the students passes through security.
  • No additional charge, must complete the Airport Transportation Request.

 All students traveling by air without a parent must complete the Airport Transportation Request. 

Parents are invited to the lab/classroom at the end of the week to get a glimpse into their child's program experience.  Some programs will have a presentation and others will have a tour of the room.

Overnight students will already have checked out of the dorm and have all of their luggage/belongings with them in their classroom/lab. If there are any room damage issues, you will be informed before program dismissal. Students will be dismissed when the presentations are complete. Please consult your agenda (provided during check-in) for presentation times and locations. Please follow all parking signage at your assigned presentation location.

Students who are flying home from the program typically miss parent presentations due to their departure time. If you are concerned about this, please call.

NOTE: Unless prior arrangements have been made with staff, children must be picked-up on time at the end of the camp day. Any child who is not picked-up on time will be accompanied by their program instructor to the MarineQuest summer office located in the MacMillan Modular. UNCW MarineQuest reserves the right to charge $15/hour for late pick-ups (minimum charge is for one hour regardless of tardiness).

If you need to contact program staff or your child during their program please call our office number 910.962.2460.  This number is also available on the program agenda you will receive on the first day.  

NOTE: We expect any conversations that take place - by phone or in-person - to be conducted in a civil manner by all parties involved.

Staff members are instructed to make note of any incidents or accidents during each day of the program. These reports will be shared with parents either by phone at the time of the incident or in person at the end of program. Do not be alarmed if a staff member calls to speak with you about an ‘incident’ – we just want to make sure we have good lines of communication with parents. 

If you write to your child on the first day of program, the chances are that they will receive it before they leave.  However, due to mail first arriving at the UNCW clearing house there may be a one-day delay in your student receiving the mail.

Please address your mail as follows:

Student’s Name
Name of the specific program the student is attending (ex. Dive Hawks)
UNCW MarineQuest Summer Camps Box 5630
601 South College Road
Wilmington, NC 28403-5630

During the summer months, UNCW runs on special summer hours (7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Friday).  Due to this change, packages will not be delivered on Friday or over the weekends. While tracking your package, it may say delivered even though it has not been received by your student. All packages arrive in the UNCW mail clearing house (tracking will say arrived), then UNCW Campus must deliver the package to MarineQuest, and we hand deliver to students. Please allow 1-2 days for the package to be received before contacting MarineQuest staff.

MarineQuest cannot facilitate mailing home participants’ personal items/luggage/baggage in any capacity.  Do not send boxes to MarineQuest with the expectation that your child’s luggage/personal items can be mailed home.

We highly recommend that participants in MarineQuest programs purchase travel insurance to protect their investment. We strictly adhere to our cancellation policy. There are multiple different forms of travel/camp insurance. Many offer protection from the following:

  • Program Cancellation/Interruption (ex. illness or injury prior to camp that would prevent participation).
  • Medical Coverage.
  • Baggage/Personal Effects Loss.

Please consult with your personal insurance advisor regarding what plan and option is best for you.

Overnight students are provided breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day.  Breakfast and dinner are served buffet style.  Lunches will be packed at breakfast so students can eat on-site, in the field or classroom.  Students are given the option to select from different sandwich options in the confirmation forms, students are expected to pack the option for lunch that is identified in the confirmation form.  For multi-week and weekend programming, some meals may be provided at local restaurants/eateries popular with UNCW students. 

If there are any food allergies or dietary needs that we should be aware of, please note that information on the health forms and call us as soon as possible. We will make every effort to accommodate each student’s needs.  For campers with especially restrictive diets based on medical conditions or allergies parents may be asked to speak with the cafeteria manager for further information. 

Overnight students are encouraged to bring healthy snacks if they are ‘regular snackers.’ When packing snacks keep in mind that dorm space is limited, and students will be expected to move their luggage out of the dorms at the end of the week. Please avoid over-packing snacks/drinks and send only the amount your child will eat in the time they will be at MarineQuest.  Please do not send crates/cases of water bottles students should bring a reusable personal water bottle which will be filled multiple times a day. We do not allow high-caffeine content drinks at the program.  Due to the time spent outdoors in the heat and the level of activity students engage in MarineQuest programs are quite tiring and require students to get a good night’s sleep.  Caffeine interferes with both hydration and sleeping.

Students must bring at least 1 reusable water bottle to program. Students will be encouraged to refill the bottles during outdoor activities. It is very important that everyone drink plenty of water and communicate any feelings of physical discomfort to their counselors to prevent heat-related ailments.

Please note: If a student refuses to hydrate when instructed to do so by an instructor, they may be excused from the program. Dehydration can quickly turn into an emergency.

MarineQuest staff are not able to apply sunscreen on your child.  We can only remind and provide backup sunscreen.  We will encourage your child to reapply sunscreen throughout the day.  Because of this, we suggest packing spray sunscreen.  If you don’t think your child can apply sunscreen to their back, please tell your child not to take their rash guard or shirt off.  If your child is extremely sensitive to sun exposure, please share this information in the confirmation paperwork so that your instructors are aware of the sensitivity.  

Any prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medication that a student brings must be checked-in to MarineQuest staff at check-in.  Medications must be in their original packaging or have a copy of the drug facts and pill description.  Students with prescription medications that are administered on an as-needed basis must be communicated in the confirmation forms when they are needed by describing the symptoms, symptoms must match those listed on the prescription.  Please do not send medications in weekly travel containers as they are not in compliance with safety guidelines.  Upon request, if a student brings 2 inhalers, 2 epi pens, and some 2 topical creams one can be kept by students.  Also, the parent must sign a release of the medication to the student at check-in.

MarineQuest maintains a stock of generic OTC medications for all ages (child, jr., adult) including ibuprofen, extra-strength non-aspirin tablets, antacids, motion sickness meds, allergy antihistamines, and swimmer’s ear drops. However, if your child regularly takes an OTC we ask that they bring this medication with them.  For example, if your child takes Benadryl before bed, we ask that you provide this medication in its original packaging. 

MarineQuest is an academic program. If your child takes medication for school, we expect them to take it as prescribed while attending program. Please note that if your child is sensitive to taking their medication, we will make every effort to administer the medication in private.

Scuba Diving Information

There are additional supplemental forms required for participation in the scuba diving components of your program.  Your child will be diving with Aquatic Safaris SCUBA Center, Inc., you must provide them with information and agree to several standard SCUBA documents.  There are two sets of documents, those for the dive shop (Aquatic Safaris) and those for PADI as stated below:

  • Immediately following your child's enrollment with MarineQuest you should go to to obtain instructions and download the required dive shop SCUBA forms for your child's PADI certification course.  This is how Aquatic Safaris gets student information such as name, age, email, address, etc.  They must have this information in order to enroll the student into the SCUBA class. 
  • The second set of forms are PADI's GL documents.  About three weeks prior to your MarineQuest program start date, the student will be issued a PADI eLearning code and receive PADI digital Forms for their specific dive program.  Part of the Digital Forms is a Medical Statement to ensure the student diver is medically OK to learn to scuba dive.  If there is a "YES" answer, a physician's clearance is required before starting the class.  We strongly suggest filling out the PADI digital Forms as soon as they are assigned so that you will have time to obtain physician's clearance if required.  

Your child will not be permitted to participate in the scuba diving components of their program without the successful submission of these forms.      

Please note these forms are specific to the scuba diving instruction portions of the program and are handled directly through Aquatic Safaris and PADI; therefore, you should contact them directly at if you have any questions specific to diving paperwork or certifications.  Of course, if you have other program questions the MarineQuest staff are always happy to assist.  


You will receive your PADI eLearning at least 3 weeks before your program start-date.  Students are expected to complete their PADI eLearning before arrival at MarineQuest. 

MarineQuest is pleased to announce that we will continue to use Aquatic Safaris & Diver’s Emporium for all dive training, instruction and travel. Aquatic Safaris has over 20 years of experience in SCUBA charters and instruction and is an established dive company based out of Wilmington, NC. Aquatic Safaris operates two USCG certified custom dive boats and is a certified 5 star PADI dive center. For additional information about Aquatic Safaris please visit their website at

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Important Policy Reminders

At MarineQuest we expect all students, parents, and staff to conduct themselves in a positive, respectful manner.  Please review the Student Code of Conduct with your child before their first day of Program.  

All portions of this seasickness policy should be reviewed with your personal physician, and in no way should it be considered medical advice. MarineQuest wants to make sure you are safe and have fun on your dive adventure. Students and parents should realize that diving on the ocean may cause some people (even experienced boaters) to become sea sick. We suggest that if you believe it is possible your camper might experience seasickness you (the parent) authorize MarineQuest staff to administer seasickness medication the evening prior to the dive. If you choose to authorize this administration, please send your child with the seasickness medication of your choosing (to be held by MarineQuest staff). Dramamine and Bonine are two medications that our staff have found personally helpful in the past.

Parents and students should be aware that diving charters are booked in advance and accommodate our entire group, not single individuals. As such, short of a medical emergency dive charters will not return to land for seasickness. Seasickness is something that is often easily avoided, but without proper preparation can result in an uncomfortable experience for those who encounter it. If you are concerned, you and your child should discuss ways to help prevent seasickness (for example: proper hydration, good/bad foods, medication, etc.) with your physician.

If the weather or ocean conditions on the day of a scheduled diving trip prevent us from having a safe and enjoyable experience the chosen day and/or dive site location may be changed. MarineQuest will work with our dive charter provider to relocate the dive to the best alternate option. In some cases, this may mean that students will dive in a lake/quarry instead of the ocean. In other cases, MarineQuest may need to change the diving trip to another day to try to achieve more desirable diving conditions. Only in the most rare and extreme circumstances will dives be completely canceled. We assure you that we will always strive to maintain our original diving plans, and if they must be changed due to weather, ocean conditions, or safety reasons we will always choose the highest quality alternate available at that time.

Hydration is a top safety priority for all diving programs, and as such students are required to be aware of, monitor, and maintain their hydration levels at all times during diving activities. Please note: If a camper refuses to hydrate when instructed to do so by a counselor, they may be excused from camp. Dehydration can quickly turn into an emergency situation. Each boat is equipped with large coolers stocked with ice and water. Students are welcome to put personal items in these coolers. MarineQuest will provide lunches and a single beverage as well as a water cooler for all students. All students are expected to, and responsible for, bringing water-filled personal water bottles on board each time they board the diving boat, as proper hydration is key for a safe and healthy diving experience. Each boat is equipped with a marine head (bathroom).

MarineQuest Policies

At UNCW MarineQuest we value students' safety, education, and enjoyment in that order.  This attention to safety and education maintains the integrity of our university and program as well as provides an academic environment that keeps our students and families coming back year after year.  All program participants must abide by the following policies and procedures.  

The Policies and Procedure document communicates our expectations and policies regarding the protection of minors, what students can bring to the program, illness, and weather.

MarineQuest Policies and Procedures

To ensure that everyone has a positive experience while participating in a MarineQuest program located at facilities of the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW), students attending the Program are expected to behave in a disciplined, responsible, and respectful manner when on or off the UNCW Campus.  Failure to follow the rules and regulations stated in the MarineQuest Student Code of Conduct will result in immediate disciplinary action.  

MarineQuest Student Code of Conduct

The following disciplinary actions will be implemented for any student who does not follow the Student Code of Conduct:

  • First offense - A verbal warning explaining the behavior to parents and a conversation about the expected behavior will take place. 
  • Second offense - The student will be removed from the activity and parents will be called to discuss the behavior. 
  • Third offense - Parents will be called to notify them of their student's dismissal from the program. 

In cases of zero-tolerance offenses, the student will be immediately dismissed from the program.  

Policy States 

  • Cancellations made prior to April 14th (8 weeks from the opening of the summer season on June 9th), will receive a full refund minus a processing fee of 15%. 
  • Cancellations made on or after April 14th through May 12th (4 weeks from the opening of the summer season on June 9th), will receive a 50% refund. 
  • Cancellations made after May 12th, will receive no refund. 

To ensure that our summer programs are of the highest quality, we plan, schedule, and commit to paying for staff, supplies transportation, and recreational activities months before summer begins.  Families typically book their summer program months in advance. Therefore, last-minute cancellations are complicated for us to fill since most students have already made other arrangements for the summer. 

If you need to change dates (and space is available in another session during the current summer) there is a $50 processing fee.  
The program reserves the right to cancel a session in the unlikelihood of low enrollment. If the data suggests a cancellation, you will be contacted by a program representative 4 weeks prior to the start program start date.  
We strongly encourage you to secure travelers or summer camp insurance to protect your investment. Make sure the policy covers communicable diseases (which includes COVID-19) and/or cancellations.  

Emergency Weather Information 

In the event of severe weather such as a hurricane, students will be sent home with as much notice as possible. If the Program is canceled prior to check-in a refund less a processing fee of 15% will be issued. If cancellation occurs after the program has started, we will issue an appropriate refund (pro-rated) that takes into account the activities already completed. This is based on the unpredictability of severe weather. 
To seek information about severe weather on campus, you can find UNCW alerts here. You should also check the UNCW Emergency & Safety webpage for more information regarding severe weather. MarineQuest will always contact parents in the event of an emergency. 
***Please note under normal weather conditions we operate rain or shine. HOWEVER, some activities may be rescheduled or canceled due to safety concerns. 


All cancellation requests must be made in writing e-mail or mail.  



UNCW MarineQuest Summer Programs

601 S. College Rd.

Campus Box 5630

Wilmington, NC 20493-5630


Cancellation and Refund Policy


Contact Us


Main Office: 626 MacMillan Ave. 
MarineQuest Lab: Center for Marine Science, 5600 Marvin K. Moss Lane 

Registration Office:
Phone: 910.962.2939

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday,
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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