Unique Ocean First Youth Programs

By OceanFirst on 2/20/18

Think of any activity and it’s almost guaranteed that there is a kid’s camp that does it. With so many activities to choose from, parents and their children have the opportunities to go beyond the run-of-the-mill day camp and can easily experience unique activities. At Boulder’s Ocean First, children from this landlocked city can push the boundaries and become immersed in the underwater ocean world.

Ocean First is a swim, dive, and travel operation that is dedicated to creating the next generation of ocean stewards. While they offer swim lessons year-round, they have been expanding their programming to include youth experiences centered around other aquatic sports as well as marine science and ocean conservation. “It’s important for kids to broaden their horizons at a young age. Entering the world with an open mind and a wide breadth of knowledge is key to molding our future generation. Even in a land-locked state, we need to understand how vital the ocean is to our existence and how everyone can have an impact on its health”, says Lauren Pacheco, Ocean First’s Director of Program Development.

One of their newest programs is being rolled out this spring, and will introduce children ages 8-12 to a variety of experiences that Ocean First has to offer, including a stroke & dive technique clinic, a marine science & snorkel program, and scuba diving & virtual ocean exploration. “I am excited to see children who are able to swim across the deep end of the pool put their swimming skills to use in new and exciting ways while learning about what makes the underwater world so amazing”, says Pacheco. The three programs are standalone options, so children are able to sign up for as many as their interests and swimming ability allows. streamlined_rainbowschool_ssb_72015_26406805140_o.jpg

For younger kids looking for a way to improve their swimming skills and learn about marine life, the Ocean First Swim School has just the thing. For the fourth summer in a row, their Marine Science & Swim Mini-Camp offers a week-long abbreviated camp that combines ocean education and swim lessons. Campers complete hands-on experiments that put them into the shoes of marine life, followed by a swim lesson that emphasizes water safety skills. While the three-hour camp day can seem unconventional, “our mini-camp is a great option for parents who need quick errand breaks or some time to decompress during the week” says Pacheco.

Conservation wisdom says that we protect what we love. How can we learn to love and protect the ocean if we can’t immediately explore it in the way that we explore the Rocky Mountains? Pacheco explains: “We aren’t called the blue planet because of the sky. Learning about the ocean and participating in marine science and scuba diving are ways to bring the ocean to Colorado and begin to understand that even with our location, we can all make decisions that impact the ocean.” whales_marinesciencecamp_2015_26073559654_o.jpg

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