Alumni Spotlight: Emily Burcham

Emily Burcham, who attended the program from June 17-July 7, is a sixteen year old female from Kansas City, Missouri. She attends The Barstow School and enjoys writing, photography, as well as scuba diving and sailing.

Emily and friends in the Caribbean waters!

Why did you decide to study in the Caribbean with Broadreach?

Emily: I decided to study with Broadreach because my sister did when she was my age, and she had an amazing time as well. This experience was so unique and special because I became so close to the people I lived with, and I learned so many things about myself. This trip changed my whole outlook on life, and it showed me there's a whole world out there.

Broadreach did everything they could to make sure that all of us had an amazing trip. The Support Boat would help us fill our air tanks, or would swap there's out with ours if we ever decided on the spot that we wanted to do another dive for the day. Every instructor was always there to talk to or help you in any way.

This experience professionally impacted me by changing me as a person overall. It made me an independent thinker and it helped me become a better leader.

Highlights: The highlight of my trip would easily be the unforgettable friends I made. They were, and still are, my second family. We were all like brothers and sisters, and our instructors were like our parents. The friends I made on this trip, are the best friends I have ever made in my life. I learned so much from this trip. I was challenged academically, and with enough effort and the amazing help from my instructors, I succeeded. This trip truly changed my life in the best way possible.

Morning: A typical day on the trip would be waking up at around 6:30 - if we were lucky, 7. Two people would be assigned cooking duty for the day and would have the breakfast ready to go by the time everyone was awake. During breakfast, we'd talk about our plans for the day and all slowly wake up.

Afternoon: We would then typically go for a morning dive. Setting up for the dives was never fun, especially when you're still half asleep, but it was worth it every single time. After our dive, we would come up and either have a lesson or free time. The lessons are not even close to like a class in school. The lessons on Broadreach are full of learning about fun, interesting things. We were challenged, but we enjoyed the challenge because we loved what we were learning.

During free time, we would either go for a swim around the boat, or go wake boarding or tubing, or just sit around and read a book. After this, we'd have an afternoon dive, which was always fun. Then the cooks would make us lunch while we put away the gear. On some days we would go into towns, or we'd hike into a volcano, which were also amazing experiences.

Evening: As the day comes to a close, we'd all change from our bathing suits, and take our 10 second showers, which are not nearly as bad as they sound, and the cooks would cook dinner. Dinner was overall my favorite time of the day, even though I loved everything else. We would all sit around the table, and we start of with the LOD (leader of the day) telling us the quote of the day, and then we do the squeeze. The squeeze is when we all hold hands, close our eyes, and pass along the squeezing of our hands from one person to another. Once it gets back to the person who started it, we begin to eat.

Finishing up dinner, we would then do our glums and glows for the day. We would go around and tell people the worst part of our day, the glum, and the best part of our day, the glow. Often times, people would not have any glums, in which case the entire boat shouts "GLUM FREE" as loud as they can, cheering and clapping.