What makes Earth Immersion summer scuba camp unique? We pride ourselves in training an extremely high level performing diver for their certification. Our new divers look like they have been diving for years. The counselors are the dive instructors. We do not outsource our dive training. The instructors that we employ have experience (technical and cave certifications) far beyond that of most open water instructors. Our instructors understand that it is essential to give all student divers the proper foundation for them to be a safe, knowledgeable and successful diver. Additionally, the owner is involved in the daily running of the program, stays with the students, oversees all activities, and is the lead dive instructor. Where is the camp located and how do I get there? The camp is located near Mayo, Florida. Please see our Details page for various transportation options. What science activities do campers participate in? We focus on freshwater science, but marine and terrestrial environments are also discussed. We are the only scuba camp educating individuals on the biology, ecology, and geology of Florida's crystal clear springs. Nowhere else on earth are there more springs. Activities include seining, dipnetting, underwater surveys, hook and line, guided educational hikes and various discussion topics.
What kind of dive equipment do you use? We do not use rental grade equipment. Our equipment is the same equipment that is used by explorers pushing the limits and going where no one has ever been before. The regulators breathe better thereby reducing breathing fatigue and stress on new divers. Our equipment remains in excellent condition because it is only used in freshwater. Do you provide any personal dive equipment? Yes, tuition includes new, high-quality mask, fins, and snorkel for campers to keep who do not already own any. Other equipment is provided for the more advanced programs as well. See the Details page for more information on our complementary scuba packages. Why is training conducted in Florida Springs? The springs are consistent in their temperature (72 °F) and visibility (100'+) year round. We do not have to contend with waves or boats which increase the likelihood of injury, and seasickness is not an issue. Overall we feel that the springs are an ideal place to learn new skills in a safe, calm and comfortable environment. I see that the director is also a cave instructor, do the campers conduct cave dives? Absolutely not. Cave diving is at the pinnacle of dive skill and takes lots of training. Even though our campers are great divers, cave diving is a whole different animal. Campers will have the option of diving in a couple of large caverns (caverns are the light zone near the entrance and no cave passage is accessible at these dive sites) that are set up for basic open water divers to enter. Like all dives, the students are not forced to go and are led by dive professionals. We make sure the students know that caves are not friendly places to enter without proper training and equipment.
What is the home like? The home has a split floor plan with four bedrooms and has all the typical comforts of home. Kitchen, dining, and living rooms comprise one large common area. The home is located on a fenced one acre lot surrounded by acres of pine forest. It is centrally located to many of the springs. A large open yard provides ample area for evening group activities. What are the sleeping arrangements like? Campers will be housed on single or bunk beds with plenty of storage so that they do not need to live out of a bag. Boys and girls rooms are separated by the large living area and the staff bedroom is in the middle. There are separate bathrooms for boys and girls. What is the food like? The food is fresh and prepared with the campers assistance. Healthy snacks are available anytime. We can accommodate most dietary restrictions.
What is the canoe trip like? We spend two days canoeing down one of the largest rivers in Florida exploring the many springs that enter the Suwannee River. At night we stay in screened huts, and full bathroom facilities are available. Prior canoe experience is not required as we will teach your child the proper technique. No whitewater is encountered. We have fishing gear for those wanting to fish. If you have your own fishing gear, feel free to bring it. Life jackets are worn by all while canoeing. Do the campers earn community service hours? Yes, the campers have an opportunity to earn community service hours during Sessions II & III only. The number of hours is dependent on how much the camper participates, but usually averages around 10 hours. What do you see on the hikes? We will see many inland springs, rivers that disappear underground, human impacts on the springs, old settlements, native plants and animals (unfortunately some non-natives as well), and Florida's biggest rapids (Class III). What is the tubing like? We will tube down a crystal clear spring fed river. We snorkel a great deal during the down river float as well. The surrounding land is all natural with no development. Countless birds, fish, and turtles are encountered along with occasional river otters and manatees.