Swimming is a common part of camp for many teenagers, but for LaRue County student Andrew Hutchins, time at summer camp involves sailing, scuba diving and a whole lot of hard work.
For the past five summers, Hutchins has attended SeaTrek BVI, a summer camp at sea for junior high, high school and college-aged students in the British Virgin Islands. This year, Hutchins was selected for the camp’s SHIP program to work as an intern and also earned his certification as a National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) Divemaster.
Hutchins, a senior at LaRue County High School started attending the camp when he was 13 years old, after his father Dee Hutchins found out about the program.“My idea for sending him to the camp was to give him an opportunity to be away from the environment that he was used to here in LaRue County,” Dee Hutchins said. “I was in the Navy and I know how valuable travel can be; seeing the world is an education in itself. We were looking for something different, what worked out well was that he took to the water—he kept wanting to go back.”
Each summer, SeaTrek students live onboard one of several 46-foot catamaran sailing yachts and receive sailing, scuba and marine science instruction, to earn different levels of safety certifications.
This year, out of more than 40 applicants from across the country, Hutchins was selected as one of a dozen students to work as an intern for the SeaTrek SHIP intern program. Interns work as part of staff on two voyages for a total of seven weeks and are responsible for all aspects of living aboard a dive boat as well as assisting in training students to become open water rescue divers.
Waking up around 6:30 a.m. and getting students to bed around 10:30 p.m., Hutchins said the days were long but rewarding.
“I have a really big love for scuba diving; it makes me happy. My favorite thing is seeing the eyes of underwater divers when they find out they’re…