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British Virgin Islands - 2013, Session 1

Staff Update Day 1

Location: West End

Staff members that are a part of ActionQuest come from around the world, and wherever they are not from, chances are, one of us has been to that part. We come from every kind of background possible, and yet, one word brings us all together; passion. Passion for sailing, passion for diving, and, most importantly, passion for making a difference in a youth's life. To assist us in being cohesive, there is a necessary two-week training period before the sessions start. Staff training could be summed up in the following alliteration; planning, preparing, and packing. The planning that goes into the program is massive. The care and thought that goes into it trickle down to the bottom. All the planning helps facilitate the different stages of the training and helps distribute the massive collective knowledge that we staff have; skippers, dive instructors, EMT's, marine scientists, to name a few. The preparation that follows has been informative and intense. For example, training in medical necessities such as CPR, oxygen, Epi-pens, and also making sure all the gear is ready to go, such as the Picos, windsurfers, and dive gear.  Perhaps everyone's favorite part of training so far was the day when we picked up some more of our program boats. After dividing up staff members on each boat, we sailed to the beautiful anchorage of Great Harbor on Peter Island. The staff worked together to cook dinner, clean up, and had some good jokes in between. We also shared our first squeeze on the water together, and the question was perfect, "What brought you to ActionQuest?" While everyone's journey to that point was slightly different, the core belief was still there; to assist students throughout the summer in growing both hard and soft skills, all while growing with the students. Working with a group of 40 something staff that has the energy, creativity, and passion for going the entire summer is inspiring in itself, sharing that passion with others is even greater. Personally, Spindrift 3 is excited to work with divers, sailors, and all students that we get a chance to grow with.

Here is an introduction to the crew of Spindrift:

Charlie- skipper

Charlie grew up on the lakes of Minnesota, but after graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College headed for saltier waters! In 2007 she sailed with Sea|mester as a student, then later joined the AQ team as a skipper in 2009. Besides sailing with AQ, Charlie has also worked for S.E.A., Spirit of South Carolina, the windjammer Angelique in Maine, and scuba dive live-a-boards in the Bahamas. She currently holds a 200T IYT Master of Yachts Unlimited, a 100T USCG Master, and a PADI Divemaster certification.

Steven- dive instructor/mate

Steven is a transplant Floridian from New Hampshire. Scuba diving stole his interest in college and threw his plans of being a lawyer on its head. After working at an adventure camp in the Florida Keys as a PADI Scuba Instructor, his passion for the water, scuba diving, sailing and most importantly, sharing it with young people was solidified. He says nothing beats showing someone the ocean the first time or seeing them breathe under it! If Steven isn't on the water, then he may be in the kitchen trying new recipes or on the trail looking for new vistas.

Kristine- mate

Born and raised in Oregon, Kristine has been sailing on lakes and rivers all her life. For the last three years, she has been a sailing instructor in Portland, OR, where she attends Portland State University and sails on their college team.  She is an active dinghy racer throughout the west coast and helped to lead her university team to their first college nationals. Kristine has recently returned to the states after a 6-month long sail from Portland, OR to Mexico on a 35-foot sailboat with two friends. Besides watersports, Kristine is an avid gardener and is working towards her degree in botany and environmental science. She has her US sailing instructor certification, STCW-95, as well as American Red Cross First Aid and CPR.