Program Design


For over 40 years, ActionQuest has offered water-based adventure training programs for teens around the world. When we first developed the program, our model was innovative and unique. As a result of our success and growing reputation throughout the years, many other programs have followed in our wake.

Today, ActionQuest remains the most trusted name in teen adventure programming.

There are many reasons why AQ outperforms every other summer experience. Here are just a few examples of what sets us apart...

ActionQuest Summer Camps

Core philosophy of program design

The AQ experience is centered on small, co-ed, age appropriate groups of 8 to 20 teenagers. This encourages close friendships to form while fostering a unique, hands-on experience. Programs are non-competitive, adventure-based and most are run full-time aboard sailing vessels. This is a core component of any AQ experience. Beyond the fun, living and learning aboard a yacht offers a perfect environment to develop leadership and communication skills, as there is nothing contrived about teamwork when working together as part of a tight-knit crew. Our programs have always been grounded in experiential education. Students have a greater feeling of accomplishment from having completed things themselves. In addition, their self-reliance and confidence soar from achieving new skills and certifications.

Ninety percent of all activities occur within small teams, yet many programs sail as part of a larger group that provides a social and supportive backdrop. Students have the opportunity to interact with as many as 120 teens and 40 staff from just about anywhere. This adds another dimension to the experience and is a lot of fun during activities like a beach party or friendly boat race!

ActionQuest Summer Camps


As the most experienced in teen adventure travel of this type, we know teens and the types of adventures that they seek. Our safety record, combined staff experience and long history of both shipmate and parent satisfaction make us the natural choice for teens looking beyond traditional summer programs. Learn more about our history...

ActionQuest Summer Camps


We take great pride in the knowledge that our full-time staff are some of the most highly qualified in the professional yachting industry. Director Mike Meighan sails with our larger fleet in the British Virgin Islands every summer, preferring to keep an active role within the program. In addition, many of AQ's head operational directors during the summer are those who operate our year-round college program, Sea|mester, during the rest of the year. The collective experience that these individuals bring is not only essential to the mission of ActionQuest but also unsurpassed in our industry. Learn more about the AQ team...

ActionQuest Summer Camps

Focus on facilitating social, emotional and intellectual growth

A unique and fundamental element of all AQ programs is the Lifeworks Forum. Held at intervals throughout the voyage, the forum is designed to complement the learning that takes place through the everyday interaction aboard. Students have the opportunity to participate in – and lead – discussions on topics like personal responsibility, values, integrity, communication and goals.

Of all the skills that students take from their voyages, it is the life skills that can carry them the farthest. At AQ, we feel that while building one's life, it is important to be sure it is based on a foundation of compassion and personal integrity. For many, it is the Lifeworks Forum that helps teens examine and strengthen this foundation.

ActionQuest Summer Camps

Our statistics & our results

The numbers speak for themselves; seven out of ten students join us because of a personal recommendation or are returning for a second summer. Seventy-five percent of our professional staff return each year and over half were once students themselves.

As a result of joining the team, our alumni told us that they:

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ActionQuest Summer Camps

Open to all ages & skill levels

No previous experience is necessary for the majority of AQ voyages. The thrill of sailing, scuba diving and discovering destinations like the British Virgin Islands and Australia is as accessible to beginners as it is to the most seasoned sailor or diver!

ActionQuest Summer Camps

Performance learning

All programs and certification courses are performance-based rather than time-based. This means that if a student is having difficulty with any particular skill, our instructors will work with them, one-on-one, until the skill is mastered. Each individual moves ahead as they demonstrate confidence.

ActionQuest Summer Camps

Professional affiliations

AQ's commitment to professional excellence requires affiliations with organizations that are as committed to safety and quality instruction as ourselves. We are proud to partner with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, International Yacht Training, American Red Cross and the Divers Alert Network.

ActionQuest Summer Camps

Certifications offered

Thanks to our excellent partnerships, AQ is able to offer our students the best certifications in the industry. This means that they are well prepared to handle the fun as well as the responsibility that goes with activities such as sailing and scuba diving. Since our certifications are recognized internationally, once students complete a program, they can easily build on their skills anywhere in the world.

ActionQuest Summer Camps

Continuing education

Unique to AQ is that in addition to our wide variety of adventure programs, we also offer three other distinct paths for those who wish to experience and learn more with us. No other program offers this level of diverse instruction and experience.

GoBeyond combines international community service projects with cultural immersion, travel and outdoor adventure. GoBeyond is about people and making a difference. Visit for more information.

Living full-time aboard our traditional schooners and sailing through extraordinary destinations that span the globe, Sea|mester teaches accredited academics unconfined by the four walls of a traditional classroom.Visit for more information.