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Parent Testimonials

As a somewhat introverted middle child, our daughter Alyse, was anxious and unsure about her first SeaTrek voyage two years ago. We literally had to talk her into going on the trip. However, after two years of adventure with SeaTrek BVI the program has proved to be a life changing experience for her. She returned with a new sense of confidence and independence that we have seen overflow into other areas of her life. SeaTrek programs offer everything they claim in terms fun, sun and adventure, mixed with a healthy dose of education. Another incredibly huge benefit is that the program is structured in a way that allows young people to develop leadership skills through shared responsibility for themselves, other voyagers and their environment. This allowed our daughter to blossom while being out from under our parental shadow, and it has been a joy to see her take on leadership roles back home in clubs and organizations at school and in the community. She is much less reluctant now to dive into new opportunities, and she hopes to return to SeaTrek as an intern for future voyages. I have had the privilege to know Capt. Monk for more than 25 years, and I know firsthand the level of professionalism and care for safety that he demonstrates when training and mentoring students. We were happy to see the same culture of safety evident in the rest of the staff. Even so, the first year our daughter participated we were a bit nervous as parents to send her out of the country by herself. The level of communication before and during her trip was amazing, and it truly helped to ease our minds knowing she was safe, well cared for and having fun. You will not regret choosing SeaTrek for your child’s summer adventure.

Ralph French, Murphy, TX

My daughter has loved the ocean since she was a baby; she literally swam in the ocean at 10 months old. She became obsessed with all things marine biology, and I started looking at summer camps that focused on this subject. We looked at several other camps but after reading the stellar reviews, we knew SeaTrek was for Juliet. After talking with Captain Monk one time, we felt that we were sending her to extended family. It’s a big trip to send your child off to all alone, but Captain Monk and the entire SeaTrek staff give reassurance so parents can breathe easy. Captain Monk is the most amazing communicator I’ve ever had the pleasure of talking with. He’s patient and kind and truly makes you feel that your child is the most important child in the world. SeaTrek is more than just a camp; it’s a life experience that fosters growth and independence in all the kids that attend, and it is truly amazing to witness. After Juliet’s first summer at SeaTrek, we are certain that she will attend SeaTrek in future summers and will no doubt end up working with them. There’s no greater joy for a parent to witness than for their child to find their passion in life and to have a place such as SeaTrek to help build and grow that passion. I cannot say enough good things about SeaTrek. It’s worth every single penny, in so many ways. There is no reason to have any hesitation about sending the most important person in your life to SeaTrek.

Paulette Goto, New York, NY

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

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 two children have been part of the SeaTrek BVI family for four summers now, and can’t wait for the 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 of how to navigate through it. After all, getting along with others, working with others, learning from others – both in the confines of a boat and in the expanse of the ocean – isn’t always easy! But the fact 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 they had a blast!?

Claudia Kendler, Lincolnshire, IL

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