Letter for parents

BY SANDRA 

 

Every summer, millions of kids leave their homes to join fellow teens in summer camps. Every year high school seniors ask their parents’ permission to pause for a year their academic or professional life.  What’s there to gain? Work along with nonprofits in local projects really improves their skills? Is it safe to send kids to a foreign country to meet a bunch of strangers? You may also wonder is it really worth all the investment of time and money.

So let us help you think about why and how you should let them embark these adventures.

 

Why are solo experiences enrichening? 

How much attention do you pay to the way when you’re not the driver? Not as much as if you where, for sure. And that’s it!

They feel like commanders in their own ship, and it makes them grow. Travelling abroad to volunteer makes them responsible for more than themselves.  It is the final push to get them into responsible adults. And depending on the project, they get to learn both hard and soft skills, which in turn also makes them develop. There is no way around and it is painful for us parents, I know. But imagine the opposite. Imagine a 40 yo son or daughter still living with you, incapable of going anywhere alone?

There is a time where we have to cut them loose. But don’t worry, they are more than capable. The benefit from that special ingredient called motivation. Simply because flying by themselves makes them feel all grown-up.

 

Ok, but has the time arrived for my kid?

Growing up is such an individual process, that we cannot ever be sure about it. One thing is sure, if he or she feels the urge and is willing to try, that’s a pretty good indicator.

Is there desire to join this kind of activities but at the same time doubts and fears? Normal, don’t you also feel fearful of the unknown? Making decisions is just part of the game. What a better way to embrace new, unfamiliar experience than in a safe, monitored environment? At the end of the day, they will be surrounded of people in the exact same situation.

 

Will they really learn something?

Well we already discussed soft skills improvement, let’s address the hard ones. Projects are perfect to promote experiential learning; each program offers a lot of hands-on activities. From sailing to cooking, from leading groups in daily tasks to developing creative campaigns to communicate, you name it.  Participants get to test themselves doing different jobs, understanding what suits them best. Volunteering may be a professional test where marine biologists to be or social work candidates may see if they feel as passionate for those jobs in real life settings.

We have already one program – Marine Conservation & Sailing – that offers valid international certification.  So basically, your kid goes back-home with a valid certificate to get in a small rib and sail you around? Yup, that is basically it! Awesome, right?

 

Almost convinced, but… is it safe? 

Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. It is in our best interest to provide you all the information. To keep you posted before, during and after.

Depending on the groups’ age they will be supervised or monitored, meaning that it will either be a 24/7 supervision or more casual checking during the day. There is a daily planning of all activities and goals to be met, not much time to wander around.

Besides, they will be based in the most peaceful, quiet and friendly island in the world. The local community is very supportive. Most of them even understand and speak English.

In case anything really terrible happens. It won’t, but so just that you know, in the island there are two health centers, a permanent nurse and a boat-ambulance that may get the one in need to the nearest hospital in, more or less, a quarter of an hour. Quick right?

Summing: no clubs, no crime, no life-threatening animals, no high cliffs, no waves and a poor-wifi connection so that they can enjoy 100% real experiences with real people. Real life, yeahhh!

Now you also want to enrol? Hum… Not sure if that is possible. Will have to ask permission to our supervisor…his name is Ricardo. Would you care to send him an email asking?