SeaTrek has been an invaluable and irreplaceable experience for my children, and has significantly shaped their childhoods. My oldest daughter first attended when she was 13 years old. Her asthma prevented her from diving that year, but she had an incredible experience learning about independence, group dynamics, cultural exchange, and marine biology. She returned home three weeks later looking confident, strong and healthy. The experience motivated her to work on her health issues through exercise and diet, and she continued to return to SeaTrek every summer for the next five years receiving her Divemaster certification and acting as a counselor in training (CIT). Her passion for the ocean, conservation efforts, and school leadership in engaging other students to learn and interact with our oceans became a significant piece in her college applications, which led to an admission to Stanford University. My older son also became a CIT during his fourth year voyage and achieved his Divemaster certification. His leadership role at SeaTrek gave him a tremendous growth experience in helping him overcome his shyness. It helped him gain the confidence he needed to act independently before heading off to college. And finally, my youngest son has attended SeaTrek three times and it’s his favorite part of every year. This summer he will return to earn his Divemaster certification. SCUBA diving and sailing while fun, require a tremendous amount of maturity and personal responsibility. Seatrek helped my children develop these skills, and the lessons they have learned on both the sailing and diving front as well as on the personal level will stay with them for a lifetime.
Heidi Welch, Atherton, CA
I can’t even explain how much my kids have enjoyed and learned from the SeaTrek program. This is truly one of the best run “camp” adventures out there. Both my kids have attended multiple years, and my oldest, now a freshmen in college, was part of the ShIP program (for interns). I’m pretty sure all first-time parents get a little worried about sending their precious children off so far away for that long period of time. However, I can promise you that the SeaTrek staff will go to great lengths to ensure the safety and well-being of your kids. I would no more think twice about sending either one of mine down there than I would sending them to the grocery store around the corner. Not only do the kids get to enjoy their beautiful surroundings, but they also learn more about life than they ever could at a traditional land-based camp. To be honest, the information about our oceans & environment that my kids have brought home has taught me a lot. These kids don’t even realize they’re learning so much. This camp isn’t just for kids who think they want to be marine biologists one day. This camp is for any kid who can at least swim and enjoys water. If you ever have a question or concern, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I will be more than happy to honestly answer your questions.
Edye Blencowe, Columbia, SC
When my son Colin approached me to ask if he could attend the SeaTrek marine biology program I was extremely nervous. Firstly, it meant that he had to fly from London to the BVI all on his own at the age of 14 and secondly, I had no knowledge of what he was flying out to! How wrong could I be! Colin has been given opportunities beyond his wildest dreams. He started out as an aspiring marine biologist and now he is a competent scuba diver and sailor as well. He attended SeaTrek as a student and then returned as an intern and eventually became a member of staff. The program is full on. Colin said that the best bit was that he always felt completely at ease and there was always someone to talk to. It is like being with an extended family. Both Captain Monk and Kat have had a profound influence on Colin. Their philosophy, passion and way of teaching will stay with Colin throughout this life. SeaTrek has taught Colin a huge amount which stood him in good stead for life at Southampton University where he is studying marine biology and oceanography. What a fantastic way to spend a summer!
Brenda Russell, Epsom Surrey, England
My daughter, Kasey, first participated in SeaTrek 5 years ago. She was interested in Marine Science and wanted to attend some sort of summer program. She did her research and found SeaTrek. At first, I was apprehensive about sending her to the Virgin Islands sight unseen and without meeting Captain Monk. Even though I called all of the provided references and received nothing but high praises about the program, I felt uneasy. Captain Monk did his best to assure me that she would be fine, and she was! Kasey called me as soon as she arrived and proceeded to have an experience that far surpassed our expectations. She came home more confident, self assured and focused on her goals for college. The first summer she became certified as an Advanced Open Water Diver. The second summer, she participated in FATHOMS, and two additional voyages. Her experience with FATHOMS was comparable to an internship for college. The information presented along with the hands on experience exceeded anything learned from a classroom. In fact, Kasey received credit at her High School for Independent Science Study. Her science teacher was so impressed with what she learned he asked her to create a power point presentation for his Marine Science classes. She presented her information to three of his classes and everyone loved her information. After 5 years with SeaTrek, Kasey has worked her way up through the internship program (ShIP) and now serves many roles as a paid staff member – Dive Instructor/Instructor Trainer, First Mate, Boat Biologist, and Assistant Director. She loves the program so much!
Kelli Fox, Louisville, CO
SeaTrek is, without a doubt, worth every penny! Being onboard with a marine biologist, highly trained instructors, and a caring crew, who all prepared the kids for diving daily, studying marine life, tagging turtles and learning about local cultures are just a few of the ways SeaTrek has exposed our daughter to so many opportunities and inspired her to think about the world differently. She has become more independent and self-confident. We are beyond grateful for everything this program has taught our daughter and our family cannot say enough great things about this amazing opportunity! Our 14 year old described it best before her departure when she was looking for a way to “combine swimming and science outside of the classroom.” She has grown from this experience in ways she would not have otherwise. She came off the plane from her 3 week voyage and immediately exclaimed, “I’m going back!” We look forward to supporting her and again, really want to thank all those involved in this program for making this possible.
Melanie Krznarich, Flushing, MI
My son and daughter did their first voyage last year and absolutely loved it. They made great friends and had amazing experiences diving, exploring the islands, tagging turtles and sleeping under the stars. The SeaTrek staff are all talented, professional, passionate people committed to safety and gifted with patience. They helped with homesickness, sunburn and general diving anxiety, and sent my kids back to me more confident and with lifelong memories of their time in the BVI. I have never felt as comfortable leaving my children in someone else’s care. I really appreciated the program’s use of social media to give parents a window into what was happening those weeks, with photos and videos where I could see my kids in action. This is no ordinary summer camp. It’s fun; it’s educational, but fundamentally it’s a great adventure. I would recommend SeaTrek to anyone looking for a real growth experience for their children. They will come home with a fresh outlook on life and thank you for it!
Clove Lynch, Louisville, CO
Our daughter had the adventure of a lifetime last year with SeaTrek and cannot wait to get back to the BVIs this summer to earn more certifications. SeaTrek BVI is professional and caring and they go out of their way to ensure your child’s safety. I had some doubts about my daughter’s ability to live on a boat for that long but she adored every minute of it. She came home with 2 scuba certifications and pictures of herself swimming with a shark. The same month she came home, she went out on a dive boat here and the owners were very impressed with her diving skills. SeaTrek also helped Emily to get a much better idea of the career path she wants to pursue. We are lucky to be a part of the SeaTrek family.
Christy Kian, Boca Rotan, FL
Both of our older children got their open water certifications with Captain Monk and his band of merry counselors many years ago. When it was time for our youngest to choose a camp for this summer, the choice was a no-brainer and we signed her up for her first SeaTrek voyage. We knew it would be an enlightening, engaging and safe experience from which she would return a more confident and knowledgeable young woman. We were not disappointed. Meeting our joyful daughter at the airport at the end of her trek was the highlight of our summer. We were treated to a lengthy tutorial about bioluminescence 10 minutes after her arrival. And the other stories — of her counselors (Farva!, Caitlyn, Savannah and Dakota), the diving, the learning, the hiking, the fellow trekkers — were epic, legion and very funny. The coolest thing about SeaTrek is the way every single person in the organization takes dive safety (and the kids’ health and safety in general) veeerrry seriously while at the same time not taking themselves very seriously. The emphasis is on fun; the result is the kind of experiential learning that makes for the best education.This is exactly what teens, young and old, need and respond to. Fiona will most likely be signing up for the Bahamas Explorer trip next summer. We can only imagine the stories that will be generated there!
Linda McGivern, Rollingsford, NH
I have to say, I was very concerned about sending my 13 year old son out of the country for 3 weeks by himself! Not to mention, he had absolutely no diving experience, and had only snorkeled very little while on vacations. I called and talked with Captain Monk Daniels (several times!!) and also one of the staff, Angie Cowan, both took the time to answer all of my questions and concerns and I felt much better! I am so glad we sent him, he had an amazing time, a wonderful experience and not to mention all that he has learned!! He is returning for his fourth year this coming summer and will be working toward his Master Diver/Rescue Certification!!!
Sharon Hutchins, Hodgenville, KY
Our 2 children have been part of the SeaTrek BVI family for 3 summers now, and can’t wait for next year! Every year they return home more self confident, more responsible, more mature. They come back with increased respect for the world and with a better understanding how to navigate through it. After all, getting along with others, working with others, learning with and from others – both in the confines of a boat and in the expanse of the ocean – isn’t always easy! But that they experience these huge life lessons, all while under the watchful eyes of the SeaTrek staff, and ultimately emerge more aware and capable human beings is huge testimony to the SeaTrek program. Oh, and did I mention that they have an absolute blast?!?!
Claudia Kendler, Lincolnshire, IL
This will be my daughters third year with SeaTrek BVI. What an amazingly, awesome program!!! She counts down the days until she can go again. This year she has the opportunity to go to the BVI and receive her Master Diver certification and from there, she will travel to Belize and experience all the wonders there. She has learned so much and I can’t say enough about how amazing SeaTrek BVI is.
Tracie Collins, North Plymouth, MN
I cannot say enough about SeaTrek, Capt. Monk and all of his staff. My daughter, Elizabeth, started attending SeaTrek at age 13 and after being a student and intern, she is now a paid staff member. Monk and Kat and all of the other instructors have become my daughter’s second family. She has learned so much during her summers with this group – not only about diving, but working as a team, doing your share, etc. She has made friends over the years that she keeps in touch with weekly. Every year when she came home, she matured a little bit more. Monk and his team have taught her self-confidence, responsibility, respect for other people and so much more. Needless to say, the first year she went when she was only 13, I had a lot of reservations about the whole thing. We checked and rechecked everything we could about SeaTrek and after we did we decided to let her try it. Those three weeks were very long for me, but I would never change a thing. This summer she will be staying the entire summer, and I don’t worry like I used to. I have met Monk and Kat and have had several dinners with them when they were in our area. I am so impressed with them as people, what they have taught these kids, and their responsibility in taking care of them. She would not want to go anywhere over the summer, but SeaTrek. I would highly recommend SeaTrek as one of the best summer experiences, not only in fun, but also in an overall education than anything else I have ever heard of.
Kathleen McNally, Gavensport, NY
Our daughter, Madison, has always attended many summer camps as a child but her favorite was the one offered at our Texas State Aquarium. This was the beginning of her attraction to the marine sciences. Once she reached the age limit, we began searching the internet for the next level. This is where we ran across SeaTrek BVI’s program. We did find others and even spoke with several different companies offering similar adventures. Out of all of them, we chose SeaTrek. Madison had never traveled out of the country, much less alone, but we took the leap of faith and signed her up. Our relationship with Capt. Monk and his staff began right away. He guided us through the entire process. As we got to know him through this interaction, it became clear we made the right choice. He personally took care of all our concerns, kept in constant communication, and turned a nervous experience for a parent into a life changing one for our daughter. This was when she had barely turned 14. When she retuned home that 1st year, she was frantically lobbying to return the next year. When we saw the change in her confidence and independence levels, we had no choice but to make it happen. She returned for the FATHOMS BVI and Bahamas science programs and then entered the ShIP internship program. I cannot express enough what this program has done for Madison. Capt. Monk and his staff are second to none in their industry. They operate one of the most professional, organized and safe programs of its kind. They offer a more personal touch the others cannot compare to. SeaTrek became Madison’s summer family. The education and camaraderie are priceless. And now, here we are with Madison as an accomplished intern, a certified Divemaster, and a sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin. Thank you again SeaTrek for everything you have done to help define her and her future.
Kim Holloway, Corpus Christi, Texas