Caribbean Marine Ecology Camp (CMEC): October Half-Term

14 full scholarships generously funded by the UK government through Darwin Plus!

Application Deadline:
Friday, 29
th September 2023 

Interview Dates:
Monday, 2nd – Wednesday, 4th October 2023  

Acceptance Confirmed:
Friday, 6th October 2023 

CMEC Dates:
Sunday, 22nd – Saturday, 28th October 2023 (October half-term CI government school) 

Experience the marine world like never before during your October half-term break. Funded by the UK government through Darwin Plus, 14 Caymanian students will receive full scholarships to participate in CCMI’s week-long Caribbean Marine Ecology Camp (CMEC).  

During the CMEC, students focus on tropical marine ecology and conservation. Learning from CCMI scientists & educators, no two days are the same as campers dive, snorkel, and explore a pristine reef system. Students will stay at the Little Cayman Research Centre, a remote field station, and learn first-hand about CCMI’s cutting-edge research. Campers gain a certificate of completion for attending the CMEC to add to their CVs, as well as a real insight into the industry. The program also includes fun activities of a camp with beach games, kayaking, beach bonfires, and exploring Little Cayman’s environment. This program will help CCMI support young Caymanian students by instilling a passion for protecting marine biodiversity in the Cayman Islands.   

Discover, learn, and make memories that last a lifetime – apply today for the ultimate marine journey! 

Application Details  

Who can apply? 

Applicants must be Caymanian ,aged 14-17 years old, with an interest in marine science and require financial support to attend. 

How to apply? 

Complete CCMI’s application form located HERE and email to 

How is this possible? 

The project is funded by the UK government through Darwin Plus. 

What previous CMEC participants are saying: 

“Best summer camp ever! This is an opportunity more Caymanians should experience. I want to attend next year because I want to experience it with my cousin.”
Adrian Tibbetts (OSS Scholar 2023)

“This was my first time snorkelling and it was a real fun experience seeing the thriving coral reefs of Little Cayman.”
Ayana Morgan (OSS Scholar 2023)

“During my time here at CCMI I have learnt a lot about marine life and how important it is to the Cayman Islands – more so the world overall.”
Shakur Connor

Edmund F. & Virginia B. Ball Caribbean Marine Ecology Camp

Spend a week scuba diving and snorkeling at one of the world’s most stunning coral reefs. High school students (13-17 years old) will learn about tropical marine ecology and conservation in our interactive programme where no day will be the same! Students will benefit from lessons and frequent interaction with experts in marine ecology including researchers and resident graduate students. Divers and non-divers are accepted into the programme.


21st – 27th July, 2024


$2,395 USD
(all flights and DAN insurance for scuba divers separate)

Ocean Science Scholars Need-Based Scholarship Information 

Thanks to the generous support of the Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Foundation, we are able to offer five need-based scholarships to attend the Caribbean Marine Ecology Camp. Please download the application HERE.

Completed scholarship applications should be emailed to our education team.

For more information about CCMI’s Ocean Science Scholars and to be notified when scholarships are available for this course, contact CCMI’s education team directly via email.

What participants are saying:

“It was an exciting and informative trip that I suggest every young person take. The least polluted reefs I have seen and the huge creatures that I usually don’t get to see. The staff was very informative and understanding and was very happy to talk about their jobs.”
Danica Birriel (CMEC 2023)

“It was fun and inspiring; it made me excited for my future as a marine biologist and the staff were super helpful and willing to answer questions, as well as being fun and cool.”
Kaitlyn Cumings (CMEC 2023)

“CCMI is a place they you can meet new people, learn new things, and have fun exploring new interests. I would love to come back!”
George (2022 CMEC)

“My oldest son attended this camp four years in a row. Now that he is in college, my youngest son wanted to join to see what it was all about. He was NOT disappointed! He came home with the new career goal of wanting to become a marine biologist and already wants to return in 2023!”
Christina, mother of 2 CMEC alumni

“I wanted to take a moment to express our heartfelt gratitude to you (Victoria) and the entire staff for the remarkable impact you’ve had on our daughter during her time with you. The experience she had under your guidance will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on her future. The trip she took was not only an opportunity for her to explore and self-reflect but also a chance to determine if she truly wishes to pursue a career in this field. Your dedication to providing such enriching experiences for young minds is truly commendable. Your passion and commitment to your work are evident in the positive influence you’ve had on our daughter. Once again, we extend our sincerest gratitude to you and the staff for making this journey so meaningful for our daughter.”
Walter Birrel Parent of CMEC participant 2023

“My favorite experiences each year during CCMI’s camp is getting to swim with the incredible animals and fish in the sea. This year we saw lots of eagle rays and even got to watch a relationship called ‘nuclear hunting’ which is when other fish join the ray to eat leftover food it’s done with while swimming alongside it.”
Anna Symens – United States of America (CMEC 2017, 2018, 2019)

“I really enjoyed the whole week of diving and conducting research, but one of my favorite things throughout the week was going out and planting staghorn coral on the reef. I know this kind of restoration will be a great benefit to the our local economy in a few years time and I just can’t wait to come back to CCMI in the future to see how the outplanted corals are doing. I hope to leave Cayman to get a higher education so that I can come back and do more diving and research on all of our corals and help cull the lionfish.”
Jesse Jackson – Cayman Islands (CMEC 2015, 2016, 2017)

“Aside from the great knowledge I gained by attending CCMI’s week long CMEC, I also gained unforgettable experiences from the warm-hearted staff, who felt like more than just instructors…they are really cool role models and definitely now my friends to say the least!”
Jacob Whewell – Cayman Islands ( CMEC 2017)

“Thank you once again for another great reef study experience for our daughter, Amanda.”
Karen Weissman – USA (Mother of CMEC 2018 & 2019 Camper)

2024 programme dates

21st – 27th July, 2024

Camp cost: $2395 USD (all flights and DAN insurance for scuba divers separate)

Download the CCMI CMEC registration packet HERE.

Email completed registration packets to; these courses are appropriate for both divers and non-divers)

Cost: $2395 USD (excludes flights and DAN insurance for scuba divers);  deposit of US $500 is required at the time of booking to secure placement in the programme.

All CCMI staff, interns, and volunteers who work with minors have been trained and certified through the Cayman Islands Government – Child Protection Unit Training, Second Step: Child Safeguarding Programme and/or Darkness to Light – Child Safeguard Training.

This programme outlines the responsibilities of the Cayman Islands Government and public officials to protect and safeguard children and young people. A Safe Environment Policy helps prevent situations in which children are at an increased risk for abuse because of the physical characteristics of a building. A safe environment is one that increases visibility, ensures adequate supervision and controls access. The Ministry of Education is committed to working with the Department of Education Services (DES) and schools or education institutions to develop welcoming, supportive and inclusive learning environments that promote the well-being of all students and staff. The Ministry of Education wishes to promote a ‘spirit’ of child protection and establish the baseline expectation of supervision of students. The Safe Environment Policy dictates what the responsibilities of staff are in protecting and perpetuating a safe environment for students.

All CCMI staff, interns, and volunteers who work with minors have also been trained and certified in First-Aid, CPR & AED delivery, and water-related emergency management.

For further information on CCMI education staff, interns, or volunteer training please contact our education team: