August 01, 2017

“Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela

A combination of my intense love of water and my passion for working with kids, lead me to becoming a swim instructor for almost 10 years now. Working with studentsWhen I moved to Colorado in 2013 for a counseling graduate program, I was in search for any body of water or like minded people. I was thirsty for more involvement with kids, swimming, and ocean conservation. When I walked by Ocean First, I was immediately curious as to what Colorado had to offer for the ocean. Honestly, I had no idea that some of the most passionate and knowledgeable people worked right inside those doors. As I became involved as a swim and snorkel instructor, I quickly realized that Colorado families are very interested in keeping their children safe, active, and educated. Ocean First and all of their resources opened up the doors for me to continue teaching kids how to swim and how to love and protect the water.

In 2015, Ocean First Swim began our first marine science and swim camp for ages 4-8. We focus on marine creatures and how they thrive in their particular environment. With the hope of sparking interest, we made a program that covered a diverse range of subjects including: turtles, whales, sharks, coral reefs, mangroves, tsunamis, arctic oceans, deep oceans, and much more. When I discover an interest, I focus on that area and leave space for the rise of passion. Often, I see a child curious with studies of marine life, and it inspires me to want to help them learn, love, and wish to do anything in their power to conserve. Creating passion is an important stepping-stone toward inspiring the next generation and facilitating change in environmental protection.

Kid sharks!

Our program includes a day dedicated to marine conservation and how we, as Coloradans, are connected to and have an impact on the ocean. We cover watersheds and the impact of inland pollution to our waterways. The best tactic for younger children is to get them to be as hands-on as possible. The most successful pieces of our camp are the experiments and the Boulder Creek Path walk-through. I take them to the bike path and show them the drains and the buildup of trash that is collecting there. Using this visual, we discuss what happens in our Boulder County watershed and the path to the ocean.

We are lucky to live in a community that values the land and our supplies, but this does not exclude our need for educating the youth. I am proud to have kids interested in marine science and earth preservation. Simultaneously, I enjoy the challenge of working with kids who arrive with zero knowledge of conservation.

My wish is to educate all youth about the planet, the connection of land and ocean, and the necessity of the collective impact to ensure the valuable source of clean and protected water.

Come one, come all! Together, we can create a positive impact on this earth; one marine science class at a time.

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