Updated March 2020 - Last year, Evan could not WAIT for Kid's Ocean Camp with the Family Dive Club. After all, he IS the son of a former snorkeling instructor and divemaster! He's heard so many stories about how amazing it is to be transported to the magnificent underwater world that is the ocean, by snorkeling and SCUBA diving. And did you know your child can get a taste of exactly what that is like right here in Pelham, Alabama?! It's true!
Ever since Evan attended Kid's Ocean Camp at Blue Water Park, a crystal-clear, water-filled former quarry, that is now used for dive training, he has talked non-stop about going back. Whenever the subject of camp comes up, he now has his own adventure stories to tell. Ask him and he will tell you what it was like to try on SCUBA gear, and how incredible it was to breathe underwater for the first time. He will tell you what it was like to be a visitor to an alien world filled with curious creatures (fish!) that swim right up to you and all around you. Every day, when I picked him up from camp last year, he was a ball of chatterbox excitement.
Got teens or younger kids? Family Dive Club also offers SCUBA Camp for teens and Magical Merfolk Adventure Camp for younger kids!
|Who wouldn't want to spend a week in this gorgeous place?!|
But, before I get into all the other fun things taking place at Kid's Ocean Camp, besides snorkeling and trying out SCUBA, let me address what I KNOW is on your mind. I'm sure your first thought is... but how SAFE is it? As a divemaster and former SCUBA camp staffer myself, I know how to recognize safe. And safety SHOULD be your first and foremost thought when it comes to learning how to dive. Blue Water Park has an amazing set up for learning that is both as exciting as open water, but still contained. Look closely at the photo above. You will see that the dock completely surrounds an area within the quarry, just like a swimming pool. Under the water are two platforms, one shallow enough to stand up in, and one deeper platform in eight feet of water. New divers and snorkelers are easily contained within this area, just as they would be in any swimming pool. So when the Kid's Ocean Campers get the opportunity to try out SCUBA diving, you can be sure they will be safely contained for the entire experience. Not only will they be contained, but an experienced SCUBA Instructor will accompany them within an arm's length, the entire time they are underwater. And if breathing underwater isn't amazing enough, each camper will get to see fish! Because, while the campers themselves are contained, the fish are free to swim in and out of the area. The SCUBA experience was easily Evan's favorite thing at camp and he can't wait until he's old enough to become SCUBA certified.
In a nutshell, I was highly impressed with Dina Marble, Camp Director and SCUBA Instructor, and the entire operation at Family Dive Club's Kid's Ocean Camp. I am truly looking forward to the day when both our kids are old enough to become SCUBA certified and we can all go on a diving vacation together. We might even go with Family Dive Club, since they offer family-friendly dive trips for the whole family to places like Roatan, Honduras!
Dina's Qualifications: Twenty-six years experience as an Instructor with a 100% safety record, and is currently rated as Master SCUBA Diver Trainer. Dina has young kids of her own and treats every child in the water as her own. Family Dive Club specializes in teaching kids snorkeling and diving, a very important distinction to consider.
|Like astronauts visiting the moon, kids get to travel to an alien world when they try out SCUBA diving for the first time!|
Educational and Fun
But what about the rest of the time? What do the kids do when they are not in the water? Evan loved learning about the ocean, making crafts, skyping with Sharks4Kids, making new friends and more activities, both traditional to your typical day camp experience and those unique to Kid's Ocean Camp. Evan's little brother Cole was so jealous hearing about all of Evan's adventures that he finally committed to learning how to swim so that he can go to camp this year. And he did it! They will both be going to Kid's Ocean Camp this year.
By the end of the week, your kiddo will be a snorkeling boss! Quality snorkeling equipment is included in tuition, providing your child with fins, mask and snorkel he or she can then use for snorkeling fun for years to come. As a former snorkeling instructor myself, I know how critical quality equipment is to having a good experience in the water, especially for kids. Those cheap box store sets just don't cut it. Imagine how frustrating it is for a child, who may not be completely comfortable in the water yet, to have to deal with a leaky mask or a snorkel that is difficult to clear. I thought it was a very smart move by Family Dive Club to ensure each camper has their own good-fitting equipment.
|A camper shows off her awesome hammer head shark creation!|
This enriching and adventurous week long summer camp is primarily focused on the tropical marine environment. It is designed for kids ages 8-11, and is based out of Blue Water Scuba Park in Pelham, AL www.bluewaterparkal.com. Kid's Ocean Camp is a fun mix of daily, ocean-related STEM Science Experiments, crafts, games, songs and activities. Campers have daily opportunities to swim, snorkel and even try out Scuba gear in shallow water. All in-water activities are supervised and facilitated by trained professionals. Campers will stay safe, have fun, make new friends and become ambassadors for the marine environment. Their new learning will translate into increased awareness, caring and hope for our oceans and our environment. Transportation from Advent Episcopal Day School and Before and After Care at Advent is an option for an additional $75.00 for the week. Camp fee includes mask snorkel and fins for campers to keep and a camp t-shirt. Returning campers who are 10 and 11 and already have their mask, snorkel and fins are eligible to begin PADI Seal Team Scuba Activities. Send us a message if you are interested in that option.
PRICE, DATES, AND TIMES
CAMP FEE: $385 (MASK SNORKEL AND FINS TO KEEP)
JUNE 22-26, 2020
CAMP HOURS: M-F 9:00-3:00
LOCATION: BLUE WATER SCUBA PARK
Each weeklong fun-filled summer camp is open to students ages 13-17. (Age 12 if they have attended Seal Team Camp) Campers will have an opportunity to earn a PADI Open Water or Jr. Open Water Certification depending on age. Camp will take place at Blue Water Scuba, www.bluewaterparkal.com, Monday-Friday, 8:30-4:30pm.
Price for Scuba Camp includes:
- PADI Open Water Scuba Instruction
- All classroom materials including text book, log book and PADI Dive Planner
- Camp t-shirt
- Entrance into Blue Water Park
- Use of all the big scuba equipment (BC, Reg, wet suit, tanks, weights).
PRICE, DATES, AND TIMES
CAMP FEE: $685.00
SESSION I: JUNE 8-12, 2020
SESSION II: JUNE 15-19, 2020
CAMP HOURS: M-F 8:30-4:30
|A camper practices entering the water safely using the "giant stride" method, during Kid's Ocean Camp|
Disclosure: We partnered with Family Dive Club, receiving a discounted tuition, to facilitate the writing of this review. All opinions are my own.
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