Fun in Wakatobi

Hello Margo,

Thank you for the wonderful holiday in Wakatobi.

I have had a lot of great holidays, but the past two weeks were among the best.  The reefs were beautiful, colorful, and healthy with many hidden delights.

The dive staff was among the most attentive, customer-service oriented I’ve ever encountered, safety-minded, proactively addressing issues, trouble shooting, offering tips and suggestions for the best experience, not to mention the ample space on the boats, the warm scented towels after the dives and mug of hot cocoa.  Wow!

The resort was clean, comfortable, gorgeous, well-laid out, and had every needed amenity, including the electrical outlets and chargers in the bungalow.  The outdoor shower was delightful.

What really made the difference was the resort staff who knew our names by the second day and were eager to interact and help.  Very gracious and beautiful people.

I think I had thirds every night at the restaurant and sampled most of the desserts the food was so good.

Rachel and Dani had a great time with the teens and continue to plot with their friends the prospect of doing a teen liveaboard with Tom.  Lucky him!

I thought the resort offered a good mix of activities.  The kids particularly enjoyed the weight-boarding and hanging out in the villa pool.  When the resort pool is finished that will be a plus.  As
You know, also loves the karaoke.

I highly recommend that the Lamangao Village Tour be moved up.  It was one of the highlights of the trip for me and better than the school tour where the people and youth were more reserved with the headmaster watching.  The village tour featured people living their everyday lives, cooking, washing clothes, building boats and communally constructing homes.  We saw the captain of Waka 1, who resides in the village, hanging out with his friends.   The village children were beautiful, curious, open and friendly.  Our tour guide ( Alun or Ozzie) led the children in song and then they participated with us in doing the hokey pokey and some other songs. I’m
sorry, we did not have some of the teens with us, as I think they really would have loved interacting with the children who followed us like an entourage throughout our entire village tour.

The revised poetry night was a blast with lots of participation and creativity.  I particularly liked the youth singing with the staff.  We are also looking forward to receiving one of your great new 22 Degrees jackets.  Please send Size Medium

In short, Wakatobi – the diving, the resort, and especially the people, are a real winner.  Thanks for the perfect trip!

Kimberly O’Young

My Favorite Diving

(Sung to “My Favorite Things”)

Black banded sea kraits and large tiger cowries

Leaf fish and stonefish that scoot cross the floor seas

Whip coral

Gobis and yellow jaw fish smiles for all

These creatures ive traveled the miles.

Schooling black snapper and chromis wearing jammies

Bubble coral shrimp and anemone fish families

Hawksbills and spotted rays that fly if on wings, these are a few of my favorite things

When the dive ends, when its surface time, when we need a break, I cant wait to go back to  the restaurant resort to eat what the staff has baked.

Pancit and dragon fruit and fresh tuna poki

Josh Comay’s photo tips, our

Kids singing karaoke

sarong tying lessons and a village tour stop

Kids Sea Camp Wakatobi really does rock.

So if you’re thinking bout a family trip and really want to dive, Ask Margo and Top about Wakatobi resort for an adventure to come alive.

Diving with Kids Sea Camp

Sung by Wakatobi V + Wsconsin

(Intro)

Evening Everyone

No need to rush.

You’re on vacation

Lets take it nice and easy…

(Sung to the tune of “Proud Mary”)

Left the US for Wakatobi

Seeking bluer water and sunny skies

Now we’re here in Indonesia,

Cant wait to hit the water,

Catch up with KSC friends

And dive, dive, dive

(Chorus)

Kids Sea Camp brings us new pleasures

Exploring vast ocean treasures.

Year we’re diving, diving,

Diving,

Diving

Diving with Kids Sea Camp

Diving with Kids Sea Camp

Wake up every mornin at 6 o’clock,

Hurry eat your breakfast and get down to the dock.

Oh the teen boat’s gonna leave

And we’ll have

fun for the day.

Ditching sons and daughters yeah, its our turn to play

(Chorus)

First day out… There was a branded sea krait

Winding through the house reef like a black and white snake

On the house’s own reef I saw orangutan crab, a crocodile fish, and gobis doing the dab.

(Chorus)

Symbiosis is going on with gobi fish and their shrimps, puffer fish and cleaners, anemone and clownfish,

Brad’s gonna try to take our picture,

Jesse’s got the right  light, snapping all our memories, making our smiles bright.

(Chorus)

Ornate ghost pipefish by Zebedee Wakely

KSC Spotlight on the Philippines with Zebedee Wakely.  A young boy with a passion for photography, he has been traveling with Kids Sea Camp every summer.  This year, Zebedee went with us to the Philippines, diving with Sea Explorers to Amun ini, Cabilao and Malapascua.  Zebedee decided to enter his Ornate ghost pipefish photo in the RSPCA photo competition.  He chose this Ornate ghost pipefish taken at Amun ini Beach Resort in Ando Philippines.  He won the 12-15 category of the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards 2016. Zeb has been traveling with KSC since he was 5, joined by his sister Holly and parents Dave and Cathy. Congrats, again!  They are featured in our 2016 and 2017 catalog.  We are proud to inspire, educate and connect children and their families from around the world.  Thank you Zebedee for sharing your adventures and passion with the world.  Young photographer of the year

Zebedee told his mom and dad, that he had submitted one of his photos for a photo contest, they had no idea how big a deal this really was.  Zeb has been shooting since he was 9.  Zebedee was inspired to start shooting underwater photography when he started attending Kids Sea Camp weeks with his family.   Zebedee has been to Yap and Palau, the Cayman islands, Bonaire, St. Lucia, Curacao just to name few of his Kids Sea Camp trips.  He started his own shark foundation at 11 years old in Bermuda where he lives after learning that 100 million sharks a year are killed for their fins.  Zebedee has a passion and a purpose, that drives him not only to shoot, but to make a statement.   He at a young age, captures, color, texture and design in nature that not everyone else can see.  Zebedee is 14 this year and he was our young photographer for the entire Philippines Kids Sea Camp trip.  More of his photos can be seen with #kidsseacamp on Face book as well as in our photo gallery on the www.familydivers.com site. Zebedee has a sister named Holly who is on the cover of our 2017 brochure and her story is located just inside.  Two amazing kids!  Kids Sea Camp provides Sealife HD 2.0 cameras for the kids and families to use throughout their trips.

Photo gallery:

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Diving Scholarships

Our 2017 Scholarships and Training Grants are now open for application. Deadline for submission is November 18, 2016 at midnight, U.S. Eastern standard time.
We are offering thirty-three scholarships and training grants in these categories:
• New This Year: Instructor Advanced Education
• New This Year: Scuba Leadership Training
• Marine Conservation
• Undergraduate Marine Research
• Underwater Archaeology
• Journalism, Graphic Arts, or Photography
• Marine or Underwater Education
• Public Safety Diving
• Dive Medicine
• Underwater Photography
• Basic Dive Training(Kids Sea Camp)
• Advanced Dive Training(Kids Sea Camp)
• Hardhat Dive Training
• Diver Medic Training
• Disabled Diver Training
• Dive Training for Students in ROTC, JROTC, Military Academy, or Sea Cadets
 
Please share the press release attached and/or the website link:  http://www.wdhof.org/scholarships/scholarships.shtml
Share it with other dive industry professionals, educational institutions, dive stores, dive buddies — any and all ocean minded individuals you may know.

How Kids Sea Camp has changed my life

How Kids Sea Camp has enriched my life: By James Devinney

Kids Sea Camp is one of the greatest program I have ever been a part of.  It is a  wonderful event that is like nothing else I have ever seen  I thoroughly enjoy seeing young kids learn to dive right next to their parents and siblings.  It has enriched my life greatly because through Kids sea Camp, I have been able to learn amazing skills, meet new friends and grow closer to my own family.

The first reason Kids Sea Camp has enriched my life is through all of the skills I have learned through each camp week.  My first trip was Grand Cayman I learned proper diving techniques, and how important underwater conservation is.  I learned underwater photography and first aid skills.   In 2016 I became a Dive Master at Buddy Dive Bonaire Kids Sea Camp week with Woody Tinsley. I learned about the science behind diving, what people look for in a leader, how to deal with people in distress and I learned so many new skills and how to teach them.  The knowledge I have gained at Kids Sea Camp has definitely enriched my life.

Another reason is the friends I have met each year. Thanks to Kids Sea Camp, I have friends all over the world.  I have met so many amazing people at Kids Sea Camp and made more amazing memories than I can count. I love that there are always other kids my own age and diving with other kids is so much fun.  I not only love making new friends, but I enjoy creating exciting new memories with my family and other adult divers.  An example of that is when I was in Fiji, Tom Peyton and myself were able to keep all the families and kids entertained and having fun by me playing the guitar and him singing.  We also played volley ball every afternoon.   One of my favorite Kids Sea Camp Instructors is Woody Tinsley, he is Hilarious and so much fun.  Woody teaches the Zombie Apocalypse PADI course and also was my Instructor for my PADI Dive Master Course.  He made sure that I learned every skill perfectly.  He is the kind of instructor I hope to be like one day.   He is only one of a great team of Instructors at Kids Sea Camp.  I can honestly say some of the greatest people I have ever met, I met through Kids Sea Camp.

The final reason Kids Sea Camp has enriched my life is because it has helped me grow closer to my own family through travel and diving together.  At our first Kids Sea Camp, my sister had never dove before and had no interest in learning.  I was able to convince her to try and overcome any fear she had.  After she was certified, she and I and our whole family love diving and traveling with Kids Sea Camp and Margo & Tom.

What is even more special in my eyes is being able to dive with my little brother Jason.  He has a passion for the sport just like the rest of our family and there is nowhere els in the world I can think of that will teach someone his age to dive.  Jason is currently a PADI Seal and with Kids Sea Camp gets to dive in the ocean.  We would have normally had to split up our family and not been able to include Jason.  At Kids Sea Camp, I get  to dive with my little brother and the whole family together. So Kids Sea Camp has not only enriched my life, but the lives of my entire family.

Any family would clearly see how amazing Kids Sea Camp is. I think its one of the greatest family vacations in the world! It gets families to unplug and reconnect with each other through adventure and fun. It makes me grateful for my family and the smiles and memories that we create with each other.    I wish there were more people like Tom and Margo because they make the world a better place.  Margo has a passion for kids and diving and the ocean and she loves teaching kids and family members to dive and love the ocean from the youngest age of 5.

My life is forever changed and enriched because of Kids Sea Camp and I love to travel and dive and will continue to do so for many more years to come. I hope to become a dive instructor and work for Kids Sea Camp so I can become apart of enriching other people lives too.

James Devinney  Aug 2016

Davinney family Kids Sea Camp Bonaire

Davinney family Kids Sea Camp Bonaire

2016 Fiji

Hi Tom & Margo

Fiji was again  truly amazing
It felt incredibly familiar to us from the time we arrived – all the beautiful staff remembered us, especially the kids and of course everyone was looked after well.  The weather was fantastic, much warmer and plenty of sunshine.  The Shark school was excellent with Erich Ridder.
The shark dives – much better/safer  than last year – in combination with Eric’s talks, watching the shark swimming and behaviors was fantastic.  We had lots of fun with Fraser Purdon – we understood his English humour 🙂
We won KSC poetry night with “we didn’t start Kids sea camp” to the tune of Billy Joel’s “we didn’t start the fire” – Fraser has thrown in a Scubapro Chromise Dive computer for our extra creative efforts (WOW)
You and Margo got a mention in the lyrics, we missed you.
We made some wonderful new friends, we are certain we will meet again
On a side note – there were three dentists and 4 doctors among the families… We were joking about how you and Margo should offer some medical talks by guest each afternoon on a dive week and we could claim some of the dive trips as education 🙂
NHI and family.

Family Trippin in Micronesia with Kids Sea Camp

Yap and Palau: Divers paradise and whole-family eco-adventure must sees

Story and photos By Brad Holland

Manta Ray Bay Resort, Yap. 2016
Yap

Yap and Palau have the strongest cultural bonds in Micronesia, are geographically next door to
each other and both offer unique family travel opportunities. Come here for the natural beauty,
island culture and iconic diving in marine sanctuaries on an eco-adventure.
The Micronesia experience is embodied in nature, culture and conservation. Yap and Palau put
an exclamation point on your family’s trip with something for everybody, divers and non-divers
alike, in a traditional or developed setting.

 

Although these destinations have a lot of advanced diver allure, they come with special cultural
and land-based opportunities for every traveler — nothing says bring the whole family more
than non-diver adventures that rival the experiences of Vertigo, Blue Corner or an Oolong
Channel drift.

 

Each day of a Family Divers package has eco-activities for small children, teen and adult non-
divers — In Yap and Palau that means kayaking through the rock islands or a rich mangrove
forest, taking a WWII history tour or visiting a traditional village, being “local” for a day – learning
about village life or a traditional skills and engaging people on a unique cultural excursion –
enjoying a private beach, snorkeling with manta rays, reef sharks, chambered nautilus and giant
clams, discover scuba diving and blue water fishing, to name a few.

 

Yap will help you forget about bling and the busy world. Here you’ll find a mix of fellow
adventure travelers relaxing in the natural energy that comes with visiting an undeveloped
island. Your world shrinks down to 38 square miles of mangroves and gold sand beaches with a
rainforest backdrop speckled in coconut trees, and your front yard is an glass lagoon. It won’t
take long until nature’s rhythm dominates and you’ll notice your body feeling the tide changes
and the afternoon sun falling behind the island.

 

Yap and Palau offer our modern lifestyle some counterbalance – busyness and our multi-tasking
world gives way to the moment and you might find yourself feeling and trying something new to
you – after all, that’s why we travel, to learn something, engage ourselves and embrace the
world we live in.

 

This is where family time includes understanding our eco-system, what threatens it and what we
can do to change that – then diving or snorkeling with protected animals. Yap and Palau have
taken big steps in marine conservation through locally grown island initiatives. Yap established
the world’s first government-backed manta ray sanctuary that now includes shark and turtle
protection, legislation that leads to these animals safely interacting in uber close proximity of
divers everyday.

 

Kids Sea Camp safely mixes kids and sharks through education and adventure via local marine
mammal experts and professional dive guides in Yap. “Vertigo” is a blue water classroom where
divers of all levels safely interact with schools of reef sharks on a wall dive. Before entering the
water divers and snorkelers learn about the site, shark behavior and how to safely observe and
photograph these animals, as a family.

 

Get some blue sky and clear water “me time” through careful activity planning. Parents dive on
a private boat and dive plan, kids dive with extra guides on their own boats at different sites and
non-divers begin their adventure right after breakfast – paradise for all ages, in and out of the
water, all day.

 

Mixing it up brings the family together in the middle of the adventure. See your kids in a village
on their surface interval and they might tell you that they just swam with a whale shark, while
you show them a local craft that you made at the village center.

 

At the end of the day, photography lights up the dinner table on the backs of SeaLife cameras,
smart phones with GoPro footage or tablets being passed around, while only fragments of the
stories can be heard through the excitement. Parents, kids, divers, non-divers… everyone gets
their adventure, whether you went to the reef, eco-touring, fishing or got your zen on at the spa.
Yap and Palau; do them both and get two countries, two islands, two cultures… in one vacation.
kids-sea-camp-scuba-diving kids-sea-camp-scuba-diving-yap-manta-rayskids-sea-camp-scuba-diving-yap-whalekids-sea-camp-scuba-diving-yap-shark

 

YAP Wow is all I can think right now.

kids-sea-camp-scuba-diving-yap-

Kids Sea Camp Yap & Palau

kids-sea-camp-scuba-diving-yap-whale

An amazing Whale shark in Yap on the surface with very happy Kids Sea Campers.

kids-sea-camp-scuba-diving-yap

Julie Wettstein

Wow is all I can think right now.

We are a family of five, submerged in the beautiful turquoise waters of Yap: a tiny island, off the beaten path for sure, located in the Micronesia. You see, we live in Hawaii, so when I contacted Margo Peyton with Kids Sea Camp the bar was set pretty high for taking a family vacation. Margo guided us through a magical family adventure that we will, like her tag line said, remember forever.
I am surrounded by a pristine reef and schools of fish, many of which are large and pelagic. On the list in Yap was sailfish, reef sharks, manta rays and a whale shark. As I descend with my family into the sea below a euphoric feeling overcomes me. But what really is on my mind is the fact that all of my daughters are getting this experience along with my husband and myself together. It is amazing to have us all be experiencing this amazing, beautiful, untouched, unspoiled, majestic destination together.
Moments to remember forever: My youngest daughter, Emma, floats above my head and dives down for a high-five as she is only 7 right now and is still dreaming of the day she can officially dive with us. For now she is snorkeling with sharks and learning about the ocean. The view she is getting is fantastic. She is being circled by schools of fish and small white tip reef sharks. She shoots me a huge smile and a great big Shaka from the surface and an OK signal. She is totally stoked to be part of this!
Sierra is out in the blue, following in her dad’s footsteps with her camera just waiting for that chance to log the perfect shot. She is in the zone: perfectly focused and ready for the shot. She signals me a huge OK and I know all is good. Her wish is granted as a juvenile whale shark poses inches from her lens and she has the shot.
Jos is busy being Brad Holland’s photo model. The perfect fit: a teen diver that has her buoyancy and diving down like a master diver. She is so into the dive that she doesn’t even notice all of the attention she is getting from the photographer. During the one-hour time frame that she gets to spend with the loves of her life, manta rays and sharks she is in heaven. She’s soaking in the experience. These moments at Kids Sea Camp are magical.
Jeff is taking the opportunity to spruce up his photography skills and is loving it as well. He has been spoiled by having a professional photographer spend a week with him, sharing tips of the trade. He is stoked to be using his newly found skills, and I even have a few photos of him taking photos which is rare since he is always the one shooting the photos (thank Brad for that).
And me, I’m just thrilled to share this unforgettable journey to Yap and Palau with my family. This type of experience cannot be purchased in a store or found in some prepackaged deal online. It’s not going to be on a cruise ship or in a theme park. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity created and personally hosted by Kids Sea Camp for us to all connect and embrace the majesty of the underwater world. We don’t have to say a single word, we just look at each other and smile when we surface. We all know what each other feels, it’s written all over our faces.
This is the perfect family experience and one of many Kids Sea Camp offers. A trip of a lifetime. Thanks so much.

 


 

Margo Peyton you absolutely rock!

Margo and Tom,

We’re here in Maui – and it is absolutely stunning and magnificent.
We’ve done a couple of dives – the lava tubes of Lanai (stunning), just amazing – and saw so much life, so much colour, dolphins on the way home in their hundreds, and whales – just incredible – but one of the stand out moments was when we had all got back on the boat – and Mike our instructor said “Wow, you’re a fabulous family to dive with, I just turned round and thought “I don’t need to worry about my divers”” – I beamed with pride and credited you with our “well lubricated” diving family. I really enjoyed that comment – more than I realised I would.
Then last night we did a night dive – the most stunning night dive I’ve ever done (not being a night dive fan!) – but we saw an eel eating a huge sergeant major – just gulped it down – was incredible – but we came up – and a completely different guide said “Your family is such a pleasure to dive with, you never know how it will be, but I”ve really enjoyed it” – oh wow  – Kids Sea Camp absolutely rocks. It’s so delightful to watch Zeb and holly sort out their kit, know their marine life, and be so great at spotting life.
Margo Peyton – you absolutely rock – you are a part of our family – we dive with you whenever we dive, and we love you dearly.
May you have a 2016 which is all that you hope for and a little bit more.

Thank you for everything that you have done for us over the past 10 years. A decade of growth, a decade of excellence and here’s to the next decade with Kids Sea Camp.

xxxx