Christmas in the Florida Keys
December 27th – January 1st
Come escape the cold winter and join us in the sunny Florida Keys! This six day program is a great opportunity for campers to develop social skills and participate in fun and exciting adventures that promote self-confidence and organizational skills. Open to new campers and SOAR Alumni alike, this course was originally designed to help campers revisit some of the strategies and success experienced on summer courses. Although short in length, this adventure is a powerful opportunity to remind campers of their gifts and strengths, which can be forgotten in the midst of a demanding school year. We offer two course options: the Christmas in the Keys Adventure and SCUBA Adventure.
Christmas in the Keys Adventure:
Ages 8 to 18
The team will meet at the Ft Lauderdale airport before departing off to Sunshine Key Resort near Big Pine Key. This will serve as our staging grounds for the following week as we sea kayak around the surrounding mangroves, fish off a nearby pier, and tube & jet ski in the crystal blue waters. Campers will also take a boat out to Looe Key Marine Sanctuary where they will snorkel among the coral reef and its incredible aquatic life, including angel fish, yellow fin, sea turtles, and much more.
Campers will discover this island paradise and inhabitants while they fish in the surrounding waters or visit the Blue Hole, a fresh water spring teeming with wildlife. Encounters with the notorious Key Deer, which swim from island to island, may also be a highlight!
Island life will be on full display at the Sunset Celebration in Key West! Known for its street performers, this celebration gives insight to the rich culture of the southern-most U.S. city. Campers will also visit Historic Key West’s museums and souvenir shops, in search of their own treasures.
The course concludes with a New Year’s celebration, including a scavenger hunt and bar-b-que feast complete with group games. Then it’s back up to Ft Lauderdale to begin the journey back home. Campers will return home with new friendships, new experiences, and a new-found sense of accomplishment!
Ages 14 to 18
This course provides campers an opportunity to learn a lifelong skill, one that enables them to explore a whole new world, filled with amazing corals, fish, and marine life. Groups meet in Fort Lauderdale before departing for the sunny Florida Keys! This incredible island chain will be their home for the next 6 days as they explore this paradise, both above and below the water. Courses begin with SCUBA instruction near Big Pine Key utilizing the spectacular Looe Key Marine Sanctuary. Campers will be awestruck by the beauty and diversity of the coral reef, exploring its amazing intricacies.
The SCUBA certification course, taught by qualified instructors, will be adapted specifically for those diagnosed with ADD, ADHD and/or LD. This ensures campers are given the best opportunity to succeed in this challenging and rewarding course. Campers receive personalized instruction with close supervision during the open water dives, culminating in PADI certification. In order to earn a SCUBA certification, campers must learn to pay close attention to detail and will get to experience a practical application of science. Campers will learn to regulate breathing, which is an important skill in emotional coping strategies. In addition, successful completion of this course will provide campers a huge sense of accomplishment and a life-long skill.