Written by Shaun Swartz

For many students, the thought of combining the thrill and excitement of an ActionQuest program with the opportunity to give back to the community of the British Virgin Islands is a no-brainer. Every summer, students from our Quest Program get to do just that. A mix between the fast-paced world of AQ scuba diving & GoBeyond service, Quest Program service camps aim to expose students to the very best of fun, excitement, and meaningful service. Below, one staff member from our service camps reflects on the experience of putting in the long hours on one of our community service summer camps in Virgin Gorda – Enjoy!

Service Learning Adventure Travel

While sorting through some old photos…

a couple of days ago I came across a folder simply called, “Robinson O’Neal” – referring to our community service summer camp at the Primary School on Virgin Gorda.

I excitedly clicked through images of crystalline blue water and emerald hillsides, but what immediately jumped to mind from those long days of hard work under the Caribbean sun was not the memory of sore muscles and tired backs, but rather the incredible attitudes of the local children who jumped in to help us push through the end of our work day one blisteringly hot afternoon in July.

Service Adventure Teens Explore

Our work to build new garden boxes near the school’s playground had come to a grinding halt under the relentless Caribbean sun, and we were all nearing the point of no-return as we sprawled under the thin shade of a nearby tamarind tree. But just as we were losing steam and chugging away at our Nalgene bottles of Gatorade, we heard the familiar screaming of fast approaching primary school students. Before we knew it, the rambunctious crew of uniformed kiddos had surrounded us, taken our tools and gloves, and jumped into the project headfirst.

Service Adventure Travel Teens

Seeing the students’ excitement about the project and their pride for their school was so inspiring that our crew immediately jumped up to get back to work. The rest of the day was filled with shared smiles and laughter, and passed as easily as the soft trade winds that cooled us while we worked – our resolve to finish the projects at the Robinson O’Neal school strengthened by a small group of cheerful twelve year olds with a love for their school.

It’s not often that inspiration quite literally drags you out of your slump, but this day on Virgin Gorda will always stick with me as an inspiration to work harder, have a better attitude, and to be grateful for the ability to serve others.

Service Teens Summer Camp Adventure Travel