Teach your children to dive with scuba

ROATAN, BAY ISLANDS OF HONDURAS – Have you wanted to dive but feel bad leaving the kids behind? Have you dreamed of the day your kids could join you on the dive boat?

Anthony's Key Resort and the Roatan Institute of Marine Sciences (RIMS) offer a weeklong Discovery SCUBA Camp to vacationing kids, 5-14 years old, who want to split their time learning to dive and learning about dolphins while working with dolphin trainers to feed, train, and swim with dolphins.

Discovery Summer SCUBA Camp and RIMS exemplify Anthony’s Key Resort’s mission to preserve Honduras’ natural resources through experiential education and research. During Camp, kids are introduced to the basics of diving and marine biology. Adults and kids rendezvous when all dive boats come in, activities stop and everyone gathers at the Resort to eat.

The Discovery Summer SCUBA Camp package, for kids 5-14 years old, includes 7 nights’ accommodations at Anthony’s Key Resort, three meals daily, all camp activities, equipment and materials for $999 per child, plus 16% hotel tax based on double occupancy for 2006. Camp will only be conducted for groups of 6-15 kids per scheduled week, Sunday – Friday, May 28-Aug. 25, 2006. While equipment is included, it is recommended that kids bring their own mask, snorkel and fins to ensure a more comfortable fit. For details, call 1-800-227-3483.

PADI instructors from the Resort’s Scuba School lead four age-appropriate introductory courses for campers: SASY, Bubblemakers, Junior SCUBA Divers, and Junior Open Water Divers.

Bubblemakers gives eight to 10 year-olds the chance to SCUBA dive in six feet of water. Ten year-olds and older, can become Junior SCUBA Divers, diving 40 feet with a PADI professional. Junior Open Water is designed for children ages 10 to 15. Upon completion of this course, kids aged 10 and 11 may descend to no more than 40 feet accompanied by a parent, guardian, or PADI professional. Children aged 12 to 14 will be qualified to dive when accompanied by any open water certified adult.

Discovery SCUBA Camp counselors from RIMS facilitate educational activities, such as learning about the bottlenose dolphin diet and feeding the animals fish with the trainers. Kids also learn hand signals for behaviors in the classroom and then go outside on the key to try them out with trained RIMS dolphins.

Other activities include marine life slide shows, island field trips (often to the Iguana Farm, Bird Park and/or Butterfly Farm), dolphin identification lessons, dolphin evolution, anatomy and physiology lectures and a family beach encounter with the dolphins.

Beyond the world-class dive sites, Roatan has much to offer above the surface of the ocean. Canopy tours rush visitors through the treetops, swaying over the island peaks, and down the steep slopes to Tabyana Beach. If high altitude and high speed are too much of a rush, there are horses to ride on the beaches, kayaks to paddle around its shores, fly fishing on the flats and dolphins to play with in the surf. Visitors can also arrange to visit Maya Ruin sites or hike in a cloud forest on the mainland of Honduras.

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