Creating enriching adventures for high school students
By: Kate Farthing and Nate Trappe
At Broadreach, we believe that adventure is an avenue for students to explore ideas, learn about new environments and people, discover new aspects of themselves – and to have incredible fun in the process. Our high school adventures encourage students to really dig into topics they are interested in and to push past the edges of their comfort zones through active exploration, focused skill building, and by examining various topics and experience new cultures in creative and thoughtful ways. Along the way, students are able to earn college credits in several subject areas and advanced certifications in scuba diving, sailing or medical response. Under the guidance of exceptional instructors, students take part in challenging activities that help them develop leadership skills, confidence, openness and independence.
“[Stephen] brought back a maturity and understanding that has permeated every aspect of his daily life. His level of self-confidence increased tremendously. It was an experience he will benefit from for the rest of his life.” – Harlan and Reed, Broadreach parents
One of the many benefits of travel is learning to navigate the unexpected – and those new experiences are especially enriching when they happen alongside new friends and mentors. Broadreach high school students form deep bonds with their shipmates and instructors on liveaboard adventures, for example, and learn to celebrate the importance of every individual while also supporting and contributing to a healthy group dynamic. Students cook, clean, dive and sail together, navigating many moments of joy as well as any challenging ones.
During marine biology adventures, students learn alongside marine scientists and researchers working in the field. Students tag nesting sea turtles, dive into reefs full of diverse coral and collect data to help with ongoing research and conservation efforts. The CARMABI Research Center in Curaçao becomes a homebase for budding marine biologists. Reef walls and mangrove channels become classrooms.
While all Broadreach programs allow students to discover new topics they may be interested in, high school adventures often strengthen students’ commitment to areas they are passionate about, such as marine conservation. Catherine Mignone spent time conducting research on sharks in Fiji, and went on to present her research findings at both her school and the American Museum of Natural History.
“My project aims to compare the actual data with the public perception of sharks, particularly of the bull shark species,” she said. “My goal is to dispel stereotypes surrounding the shark species with my research.”
On Broadreach high school adventures, students become more comfortable exploring the edges of their comfort zones and diving deeper into the unknown. They are challenged through rare experiences, developing specific interests with the support of fellow students and instructors.
Kate Farthing is the director of Broadreach diving and sailing programs, and Nate Trappe is the director of Broadreach study abroad programs.