ActionQuest runs incredible summer adventure programs teaching sailing, scuba diving, and marine biology while exploring the British Virgin Islands, Australia, and Ecuador/Galapagos.
For over thirty years, ActionQuest has consistently delivered high-quality expedition- based summer programs for teenagers. Through hands-on experiential learning and adventure travel in Australia, the BVI, and Ecuador/Galapagos, AQ has successfully ignited the inherent leadership skills within thousands of young adults. The AQ path offers action-packed adventures that focus on sailing, scuba diving, cultural immersion, marine biology, community service, and global exploration—all in a “live-aboard” environment unlike any other. Centered on small, coed, age-appropriate groups of 8 to 20 teens, the experience is complemented by a committed, professional staff whose main goal is to support their shipmates’ discovery. The individual attention and camaraderie between staff and shipmates makes each voyage unique, as the entire team unites to accomplish the AQ mission of high action, real-world learning.
Q & A with ActionQuest
Q: What makes your camp or program unique?
A: ActionQuest is not a traditional teen summer camp and is far from a teen tour. We are a training program first and foremost, and our programs have always been grounded in experiential education. We offer programs specializing in sailing and scuba diving, as well as many other adventure sports and activities. Accredited marine science, tropical marine biology and oceanography are also offered, specifically for those interested in learning more about the underwater world.
Self-reliance and confidence come from achieving new skills and certifications, plus shipmates have a greater feeling of accomplishment from having done it themselves. This includes all aspects of living aboard a moving vessel, such as the cooking, cleaning, navigation, basic engineering and, yes, even taking the leadership role of skipper and running the entire vessel and crew for a day. Through this daily rotation of roles and responsibilities aboard, when our students throw the lines on the dock at the end of a three-week experience, they truly have a sence of achievement. It is the students who make their own adventure happen.
Q: Describe a typical day in your camp or program.
A: At ActionQuest, no day is "typical". One day you'll find yourself swimming underwater with sea turtles, sting rays, and colorful reef fish, the next you'll be standing on top the highest point in the BVI, looking down at the beautiful caribbean scenery. Living on board a 50 ft. sail yacht, you'll be in new locations almost every day, and just like the landscape, your daily activities and schedule will be changing constantly.
Q: What type of teenager participates in your camp or program?
A: In terms of personality, we attract students who are looking to expand their horizons and separate from the norm. They are adventurous, fun-loving, eager to learn and accomplish new things, and realize that at the end of the day, you are your experiences.
Q: Where do your participants come from?
A: We have teens from all over the world join us each summer. Just last year we had representatives from 31 different states and 21 different countries.
Q: What is the housing like and what can you tell us about the meals?
A: From the moment you arrive, you'll move aboard your 50 ft. yacht and live on board full-time. All the boats have 5 cabins and a large salon that converts to a 6th, so there's enough room for us all to sleep down below if it should rain, but, for the most part, the evenings are clear and dry and most of us like to sleep out on deck, swinging in a hammock under the stars.
As for the food, depends on who's cooking! We send a container of dry goods to the islands each year with wholesome foods, which we supplement with fresh vegetables and fruit. Still, the quality of the food is dependent on the students who are the Chefs of the day! The instructions are very simple on our meals so that anyone can easily prepare them, but there's always room for our students to modify with their own flare!
Q: Please describe what teens have to say about your program.
A: Talk to alumni about ActionQuest and a few things are immediately evident. Bright and highly articulate, they are clearly motivated and independent, determined to travel their own path through life to make the most of the opportunities they have. They also uniformly say the same things about AQ: that the experience took them out of their comfort zone and gave them a new-found confidence in their abilities. That the passion, enthusiasm and dedication of their instructors and the staff for what they do was inspirational. That they realized some of the best things in life aren't things. And that they formed lasting bonds with their shipmates and have memories of an experience that will stay with them all their lives.
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