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SeaCamp

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WSVN -- Counselor: "Keep your pelvis back and your shoulders in."

Where can you learn how to windsurf , scuba dive, sail and get up close and personal with marine life all in one place? Right here at SeaCamp on Big Pine Key.

Judy Gregoire, Director, Newfound Harbor Marine Institute: "We're trying to give the kids a big perspective of the ocean. We have our marine science programs, our scuba programs, our windsurfing and sailing."

Kids from across the country and around the world flock to this camp every summer to learn water activities like how to windsurf.

Judy Gregoire: "They start out working on land on a simulator, which gives them the feel of the way the board is going to move."

Or how to scuba dive from a certified instructor.

But it's not just fun and games. Campers learn how to handle an emergency in the water, including how to rescue a diver in distress and what to do if your sailboat flips over.

Judy Gregoire: "Each pair of campers will get into the boat, capsize the boat, and then practice righting it."

From the water to the classroom, kids love to study here. Staff members teach campers everything from protecting themselves from sea lice to protecting the environment.

John Sanders: "This place taught me a lot about protecting the environment of the ocean. It's very important."

John Sanders came here all the way from South Dakota. He's learning to become a lifeguard, and he's taking a class called "Shark Bio."

John Sanders: "Shark Bio, we go out on a boat, we fish for sharks, and we learn about all their adaptations and all the science about them."

This is Amanda's fourth year at SeaCamp. She learned how to scuba dive and loves being able to touch and study the sea life.

Amanda Massingill: "We actually just did an algae lab and we found a baby octopus in the algae and got to study all the different phylums. Just all sorts of neat things."

And since the kids come from different places but with similar interests, they make lifelong friends.

Judy Gregoire: "At camp, you're interacting with other people. You do new things, you're outside, and you're gaining an appreciation for nature, which is our main goal."

John plans to take his adventures at SeaCamp back home, where he wants to study marine biology.

John Sanders: "You'll come out with so much knowledge, and it will really help you in the real world. You'll have a lot of fun here, and it's a great experience."

Lynn Martinez: "Another summer session begins Aug. 3, and we're told there's still time to sign up."

FOR MORE INFORMATION:SeaCamp1300 Big Pine AvenueBig Pine Key, FL 33043Tel: (305) 872-2331www.seacamp.org

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