On a daily basis, guests say that those of us who are fortunate to work at Dolphin Research Center have a dream job. The most rewarding part of the job is seeing the happiness and excitement on our guests’ faces. Whether they just swam with dolphins, or are waving to them from the causeway, you can’t help but enjoy seeing how mesmerized people are by our animals.
DRC is a great place to bring children. We have a refreshing Sprayground, a multitude of educational narrations all day long, and questions are always welcomed. Often times, you’ll find members of our Education Department in the Dolphin Theatre twenty minutes after a program has ended listening to kids’ stories and what they have to say about dolphins. It’s a great environment to learn in, since we have no behind the scenes and no topic is taboo.
We love to consider our doors open to kids of all ages. Adults clap and cheer with the same enthusiasm as a child. When we ask our guests where they’re from, many will say they’re from another continent and have been members of DRC and dreamt about coming to swim with our dolphins. Parents run around the Sprayground with the same vivacity as a toddler and ask staff questions as eagerly as an elementary school student.
During a recent session, emphatic cheers could be heard for every one of our dolphins. “Great job, Tursi!” “Way to go, Louie” “Molly, you’re so funny!” “Go, baby dolphins, go!” The screams were so loud; they competed with our dolphins’ squeals. If you’ve ever heard our dolphins scream, you know they’re boisterous! When I turned to look and see who was cheering on our dolphins with such devotion, it was a man who looked to be in his early thirties. He wasn’t there with his family or friends, he just loved our dolphins and couldn’t help but go on and on about our fantastic facility. He’d been a member for over ten years and absolutely adored everything DRC stood for. Hearing him speak about DRC, he had the same intensity as a child on the playground telling his friends about a summer adventure in the Keys. It was such a refreshing encounter, and one that DRC staff is privileged to have on a nearly daily basis.
The great part about Dolphin Research Center is that our programs are meant for kids of all ages. It doesn’t matter if you’re a four year old girl seeing a dolphin for the first time, or an eighty year old man swimming with dolphins for the tenth time, DRC transcends all age groups.