Florida Keys Open Water SCUBA
Discover an exciting new world below the ocean’s surface along the beautiful islands of the Florida Keys! The crystal clear water of the Keys allows students to get a close-up look at the abundant marine life that these tropical waters have to offer. If you’re ready to dive deep beneath the ocean’s surface to check out the world’s 3rd largest barrier island reef system, then our Florida Keys Open Water SCUBA Camp is where you want to be!
After flying into Key West, students will begin their trip above water in the classroom, and then will take to the pool for some hands-on, feet-wet practice with master divers. After students get a little experience and are comfortable with their new gear, they will jump right in and get a close-up look at all the marine life within the waters of the Keys. After completing their skills’ tests, students will receive their Open Water SCUBA certification.
NAUI Certification Includes:
- Self Guided E-Learning prior to program start
- 1 Classroom session
- 2 Pool sessions
- 4 Ocean Checkout dives
Students will then use their new certification to do real coral reef health surveys with the Mote Marine Laboratory’s Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration. The laboratory is a fully equipped marine science facility dedicated to research and education in the Florida Keys. We will receive a tour of the research facility, information on the current coral reef research taking place, a lesson on coral reefs, earn 10 hours of community service credit, and will then put their NAUI certification to use!
**Please note that all activities are subject to change without notice**
This program is designed for high school Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors that are passionate about the marine environment and looking for a tropical adventure spent underwater!
Camp Tuition includes: lodging, all meals from dinner on the first day to breakfast on the last day, 24-hour same-gender adult supervision (5:1 camper to staff ratio), admission to all activities, all equipment, professional scuba instruction, transportation including pickup and drop off from the Key West International Airport (EYW), Sea Turtle Camp t-shirt and rashguard, and memorable group photo.
Campers are responsible for round trip airfare to EYW, baggage fees at the airport, and additional money for snacks or souvenirs.
Please note campers must provide PRINTED proof of a negative COVID-19 test from within 3 days of arrival at camp OR FULL (at least two weeks after final dose) vaccination to be checked-in. Low-risk behaviors are advised after testing and prior to camp.
2021 SCUBA Keys Camp Dates:
Located in the heart of the Lower Keys, the Mote Marine Laboratory’s Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration (IC2R3) is a fully equipped marine science facility dedicated to marine research and education in the Florida Keys. The facility also offers dorm-style accommodations to house us for the week!
The rooms are gender-specific and feature air-conditioning, comfortable common areas, and gender specific bathrooms. Each participant will have his or her own bed, with linens and bath towels provided! Sea Turtle Camp staff members are housed on-site and will provide 24-hour, same gender adult supervision.
What kind of supervision do you provide?
- We provide 24-hour, same gender adult supervision. All of our instructors stay on site with our campers. All campers and staff must follow our camp guidelines, which are reviewed during orientation on the first day. This spring break trip is very exclusive and has a 4:1 camper to staff ratio.
Should I bring a friend?
- While most participants come alone, you are welcome to come with a friend.
What airport is best to fly into for your program, and do you provide a shuttle service?
- For this program, campers are required to arrive in Key West International Airport (EYW) between 11am-3pm for pick up. Campers will be picked up by a Sea Turtle Camp staff member wearing a red t-shirt to start your Florida Keys’ adventure. They will be taken to the airport for departure and our staff will stay until their flight is safely in the air. Flights must take off between 12-3pm.
What if I can’t get in by the set check in time?
- Please contact our Program Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss arrivals and departures outside of our preferred times. Due to the short nature and traveling aspect of this trip, you must be able to arrive/depart in the listed time window.
What if my luggage doesn’t make it?
- Occasionally the airlines will misplace luggage or your suitcases will miss connecting flights. We recommend keeping essentials, such as medications, toiletries, bathing suit, and extra change of clothes, in their carry-on luggage just in case. We also recommend purchasing trip insurance when you select your flight. *Please pack in a soft sided suitcase (duffel bag) to fit in our travel vans.
Where do we stay during camp?
- We will be staying in Summerland, Florida in dorm-style housing at the Mote Marine Laboratory’s Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration. All linens and bath towels are provided.
Can I call home during camp?
- We have all campers check in with their parents upon arrival, but we have limited parental contact for the duration of the camp. Sea Turtle Camp is a growing experience, and we find that young people do best and gain confidence through independence. Campers are NOT allowed to carry cell phones at any time during camp. Any cell phones brought to camp will be collected upon arrival and returned upon departure. Parents will be updated through emails and the many pictures we’ll be posting on Facebook throughout the trip! We will provide an after-hours number to reach the office in the event of an emergency.
I am a finicky eater. Can you cater to special diets?
- Yes we can. We know how important it is to eat healthy meals when you are outside and in the sun all day long. We’ll ask you in a questionnaire what types of food, snacks, and drinks you prefer. Due to the nature of this travel program, we will be unable to cater to severe allergies.
What do I need to bring?
- A complete packing list will be included with your informational registration packet.
What sort of payment do you accept?
- We accept checks, money orders, or VISA/MC/AMEX credit cards. All credit card payments are processed online using a secure server. There is a $50 service charge for all returned checks. With the exception of the trip deposit, a 3% credit card surcharge will be assessed to all payments made by credit card. Please review our cancellation policy. Deposits are not refundable after acceptance into a program.
What is your cancellation policy?
- Sea Turtle Camp is an extremely high quality, tight margined program, with limited space. Therefore, once your student has been accepted into the program, exceptions to this policy cannot be made for any reason, including weather or personal emergencies. Please review the terms of our cancellation policy. In order to enroll in camp you must agree to these terms. Our full cancellation policy can be found here.
Do you have insurance?
- We carry a comprehensive insurance package, including general liability.
How much spending money should I bring?
- We recommend campers bring $75 to $125. This is for snacks, souvenirs or gifts you wish to purchase while at camp. Also, please keep in mind the first meal covered by Sea Turtle Camp is dinner the first day and the last meal covered is breakfast the last day- campers are responsible for any snacks or lunch in the airport. Please make sure they save enough to pay the baggage fee on the way home, if flying.
Does my child need to know how to swim to be able to attend this program?
- Yes. Due to the nature of this program, all campers must be able to swim and have a basic level of comfort in the water.