JOAC Camp Details

Camp Details



The Situation
Life on the Marshall Islands is inextricably bound to the ocean. Yet for decades, the nation’s ocean and beaches have been subjected to an influx of external pollution, environmental neglect and the full impact of global climate change. A lack of adequate waste management infrastructure and awareness contributes to local pollution; ocean currents carry trash to the islands from as far away as Australia; overfishing depletes vital sources of food and livelihoods, and warming temperatures change the very nature of the ocean on which the Marshallese community depends. Yet even as our oceans face a seemingly insurmountable crisis, youth in the Marshall Islands and around the world are fighting back.
A Call to Action
In 2017, with rising urgency on all sides, the United Nations convened the first ever Oceans Conference in New York. In a bold statement to world leaders, nations and organizations from around the world offered their voluntary commitments to the conference - promises of concrete action and support for the sustainable future of our oceans. Having working closely with the Marshallese community for years, we have seen both the mounting crisis in our oceans, and the deep passion and ingenuity of our youth to address challenges. When the call for action came from the United Nations, we began working in earnest with our partners throughout the Marshallese community to devise an effective way to incorporate youth, indigenous culture, and conservation sciences into building a sustainable future for our oceans.   The result is the Junior Ocean Ambassadors Program and Camp. Announced at the final partnership dialogue of the United Nations Oceans Conference, this camp is the convergence of our strongest values: conservation, youth empowerment, and cultural education in pursuit of a bright, sustainable future for our oceans.
The Junior Ocean Ambassadors Camp

The Junior Ocean Ambassadors Camp aims to empower youth in the Marshall Islands and across the Pacific to be powerful advocates for the future of our oceans. Our goal is to give participants a renewed sense of connection to the ocean, a dedication to its conservation, and tools to be effective advocates for its preservation at a local, national, and global level.

  • ✓ Through powerful training in leadership, public speaking, and organizing skills, participants will become skilled advocates for ocean sustainability.
  • ✓ From expert-led education to hands-on experiences, participants will gain a deep understanding of ocean sciences to support conservation efforts in their communities and worldwide.
  • ✓ Through engagement with local leaders and elders, participants will come away with a renewed appreciation for ocean's unique and vital place in Marshallese culture: past, present, and future.
  • ✓ With daily practice, participants will become well versed in water sports and recreational exercise, becoming role models for responsible ocean recreation and healthy living in their communities.

The camp will facilitate direct, hands-on experiences to immerse students in the challenges facing our oceans and foster a personal dedication to creating solutions. Hosted in Arno, Arno in the Marshall Islands, the inaugural year of the Junior Ocean Ambassadors Camp will bring 30 local students together for two weeks of training, deep learning, community-building and inspiration. By the end of two weeks, students will be well equipped to lead the charge for ocean conservation at home and around the world.


Youth in the South Pacific know, first hand, the problems facing our oceans and have the insight and ingenuity to find solutions to some of these daunting challenges. The Junior Ocean Ambassador Camp aims to connect these students with the resources and skills they need to become powerful activists for ocean conservation on a local, regional and global level.

By connecting students with experts in science and conservation, the Junior Ocean Ambassadors Camp will deepen students' scientific understanding of these challenges. By engaging local leaders and storytellers and helping students share their own experiences, the camp will help students amplify their voice in promoting ocean health. Finally, by facilitating a personal, embodied connection to the ocean, the Junior Ocean Ambassador Camp will help students find their passion for conservation: launching the next wave of ocean activism.

Recognizing that all students learn differently, the camp seeks to provide a variety of academic, social, and physical learning opportunities in helping students deepen their knowledge and passion for ocean conservation.

Classroom Engagement Interpersonal Learning Embodied Education
Some of the lessons will be conducted in a traditional classroom setting with brief lectures, exercises and projects. Lessons such as introductions to marine biology, environmental ethics, or nutrition will include this kind of classroom learning. However, this is not school, and any lesson that includes a classroom component will be matched with embodied or interpersonal learning as well. Interpersonal learning is rooted in the long tradition of storytelling. Informal and social, these activities are designed to help students build deep connections with one another as a part of their ocean and camp experience. Activities such as storytelling practice, listening to atomic veterans share their stories, or planning local conservation projects will be rooted in this interpersonal, discussion-style learning. It wouldn't be a summer camp without a little physical activity. Whether it's snorkeling to view coral reef habitats first hand, or learning proper water safety, or even clambering through mangroves to understand their complexity, these activities are designed to help students immerse themselves (literally) in the beauty of the marine environment and build a personal connection with the ocean.