a decade of excellence

Dear: 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 realized 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.

Looking forward to the Philippines
The Wakely family.

A diving family, Thank you mom!

Kids Sea Camp Family Dive Adventures

Let me count the ways growing up attending Kids Sea Camp has changed my life

By Robbie Chornlesky

 

margo_robbie2

 1. I loved traveling with my mom and being apart of Kids Sea Camp!

It kept me far away from TV and video games for most of the summer, and I made friends in many countries around the world. I’ve kept in touch with most of them through Facebook, and some have become my closest friends.

 Growing up at Kids Sea Camp (KSC) has shaped my life in so many ways and contributed to who I am today. I enjoy diving with marine animals in the open ocean, and I’ve learned how to respect them and how to protect them. I learned how much money it takes and how hard you have to work to educate people to protect the ocean, and how important it is not to pollute and overfish.

 Through KSC, I learned about the behaviors of many marine mammals, and the marine food chain that keeps nature in balance underwater. Most people do not realize why it’s so sad to put a dolphin in captivity. I learned dolphins and whales have families and friends just like we do. They have a language and emotions, and communicate through clicks and other sounds to one another. I had never given a thought to what it was like to be taken from your home and put in a tank never to see your family again. That’s why I love diving, because I’m a guest in their world, they are not on display in mine.

 2. My mom Margo Peyton created the first Kids Sea Camp when I was 6 years old.

I started as a SASY kid, and overcame any fear I had of the water learning to snorkel with other kids. By age 8, I had morphed into a PADI Seal and then a Master Seal. Learning to dive gave me confidence in my skills and provided comfort underwater. Jr. Open Water Certification had to wait until I was 10, but was well worth it.

 The cool thing about KSC is that each destination is different, so even those of us attending multiple Sea Camps never got bored. As we grew, so did all the amazing activities and adventures that Kids Sea Camp has added over the years — surfing, zombies, white-water rafting and painting. 

Like most kids, I love electronics. For 14 years, SeaLife has been giving cameras to the kids. I got mine in Grand Cayman. The DC1400 digital underwater camera has HD video — sign up, and the camera is included. I have many great pictures of my friends from Kids Sea Camp posted on Facebook.

 3. Climbing the ranks in diving.

I collect dive certifications like Boy Scouts do merit badges, and I think other than ice diving and tech diving, I have them all. Each destination offers the core certifications, specialties and some are even college accredited. 

 In Utila at Laguna Beach Resort, you can gain certifications like Whale Shark Diver, Zombie Apocalypse Diver, earn Boy Scout merit badges and even ride horses.

 In Palau with Sam’s Tours, you can get Wreck Diver, Digital Photo Diver and Shark Diver certifications. And in Yap at Manta Ray Bay, the Manta Diver specialty certification is offered.

  In Bonaire, at Buddy Dive you can get Coral Restoration or Rescue Diver certifications.

 In Grand Cayman at Cobalt Coast Resort, you can get Advanced Open Water, Project AWARE or Nitrox certifications. I am working on my PADI Instructor Development with Divetech now. I am excited that I’ll be teaching the next generation of Kids Sea Campers soon!

 I am 19, and have over 600 dives. People ask me all the time which Kids Sea Camp destination is my favorite. I can’t answer that question, because they are all great — it’s the families who attend that make each one so unique and special.  Yap and Palau are a long way to travel to for many people, but experiencing the World War II wrecks wrecks, the big sharks and the mantas with my friends Melissa and Corley was the best.

 4. It’s a “family” partnership with some very special people.

My mom has been doing this for 25 years now; she is in the Women Divers Hall of Fame for creating a safe place for families to dive and enjoy adventure. Kids Sea Camp has now contributed to 5,000+ PADI certified kids.

 The best part is my mom could not have done this by herself. She has had a little help from her friends. Mom has been friends with Troy Bodden from Laguna Beach Resort in Utila for a long time, and Marc Bauman with Sam’s Tours is like a brother to her. When Carolyn Pascal was the publisher of Sport Diver Magazine, she loved the idea so much, she told the whole world about it. Mom practically grew up in Bonaire, and I was born in Grand Cayman. So you see she has a personal relationship with all the resorts and dive operators. She says they are her extended family.

 My sister Jen, who is 17, and I have had a great life, growing up under the fins of so many amazing people. Because the resorts are all family owned and family run, they have made each Kids Sea Camp week an unforgettable family adventure.

 5. Having a week you’ll remember forever!

What I like about each week is the graduation party at the end for all the kids who have become new divers. Families read a poem or do a skit and sing a song, etc.

 I like tubing, the sunset cruise, the night dives, and just jumping off the dock with my family. I love the sea scooters and walls and wreck diving. The best is getting the SeaLife cameras.

 My favorite dive sites are Blue Corner in Palau and the Kittiwake wreck in Grand Cayman. I like traveling to the other side of the world with my friends Melissa and Corley. I guess I just really like traveling with other families.

 6. Parents have fun, too!

Parents don’t have to be worried about their kids while they’re diving as the kids are having fun, making friends and learning about the marine life.

 KSC has shown me so many amazing places incredible experiences, and it’s getting even better, because now there is Family Dive Adventures.

margo_Robbie_jen

 Thank you, Mom.

 

PADI director shares her view on Kids Sea Camp president Margo Peyton

Margo Peyton; founder of Kids Sea Camp/ Family Dive Adventures

 “Some people talk about changing the world. Other people simply see what needs to be done and do it. Margo is definitely of the latter group. I don’t think Margo knows the meaning of “it can’t be done.” She’s a go getter and when she sets her mind on something … well, she can move mountains.

Her endless energy makes her an excellent group leader; her passion for scuba diving makes her a perfect ocean ambassador and guardian of its fragile inhabitants, and her warm, kind heart makes all those who meet her love her.

 I’ve seen Margo in action on multiple Kids Sea Camp trips, as well as many dive industry events: She’s gracious, knowledgeable, passionate and tenacious — a perfect storm of attributes that add strength to anyone who is lucky enough to work with her.”
Theresa Kaplan, Communications Director at PADI

 

Theresa and Margo at the 2009 Women Diver Hall of Fame

Theresa and Margo at the 2009 Women Diver Hall of Fame

A Lifetime of amazing memories

McClures2013From the McClure Family:

Margo – just wanted to tell you how blessed I feel to have our family be part of your KSC family.  Adventure, fun, new friends, and a lifetime of amazing memories – for what more could anyone ask?  I told Jen my plan is to be diving with the Camp when Hannah and Caleb are in their thirties. 

 
I pray God’s richest blessing for you, Tom, and all your family.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas, and a prosperous New Year.
 

From a Scuba Grand Mother

An extra-ordinary family vacation

By Cindy Whitaker  PADI DM, and Scuba grand mother.
All I wanted was a safe, fun educational dive trip where I could enjoy my love for the sea with my little 5 year old grand daughter Faith.   She made new friends and bonded with me and fell in love with the sea.  We learned so much together and had the time of our lives. she asks me every day when can we go back to Kids Sea Camp again.
The memories that we created was something I will cherish for ever.  You can’t buy that you cant replace that.  This is an experience I will never forget and was the most incredible time I have ever had with my grandchild.  She loved every day, every minute.  I wish we could stay longer and do more.  I’m so thankful to do one a year.  
Grand daughter Faith enjoys a week at Bonaire Kids Sea Camp with Grandma.

Grand daughter Faith enjoys a week at Bonaire Kids Sea Camp with Grandma.

Faith loved Bonaire and we are going back again.   She did not want her days to end.  She learned so much, the education, the fun the experience, friends she made.  I loved all the photo’s on the site. I took hundreds of  pictures and so did my granddaughter age 5 this is her birthday present each year.  

 I got us new luggage for Christmas with wheels, we are so excited to go back.   My granddaughter says she is all ready for vacation.  We loved the Sunset Cruse at Buddy Dive and snorkeling around the dock it was the perfect trip.  I want her to have the enthusiasm and love of the ocean like me. I want her to feel comfortable and safe and to know and feel that what ever she encounters is going to be ok and that is why I chose you Margo.  Kids Sea Camp is all that and more.

It’s our sixth Kids Sea Camp!

Our family of four has just returned from our sixth Sea camp.

This was our second time spending Thanksgiving at Buccament Bay with Kids Sea Camp.
Prior to St. Vincent, we have participated in camps in Costa Rica, Grand Cayman, Bonaire, and Utila. While the details of all the camps have been well thought out and executed, each one has offered unique experiences and cultural flavor. In St. Vincent, the diving was excellent.

2nd annual Turkey Bowl was a huge success at Buccament Bay in St. Vincent.

H-Back, Thor Erickson rumbles down the field for a first down for the KSC Cowboys during the 2nd annual Turkey Bowl at Buccament Bay in St. Vincent.

On one dive, we saw so many sea horses, I stopped counting. The spotted drums, eels, and lobsters were abundant in the coral heads. The walls were beautiful! The dive staff was knowledge, friendly, and funny.

The food was diverse and tasty. We had sushi, Indian food, steaks, seafood, salads, a Thanksgiving feast, and local favorites (including Chee Chee cakes and salt fish with cake bakes). The kids would be disappointed if I did not mention the ice cream shop, smoothies, and crepes.

We all had fun participating in the Annual Turkey Bowl football game, tennis, soccer, and basketball. Evening activities included diving, music, poetry, and learning about lion fish. The resort itself is beautiful and well-suited to let our older kids have some independence. We look forward to joining Kids Sea Camp on many more trips!

The Erickson Family
Terry, Thor, Sydney (15) and Slade (12)

thank you for a totally AWESOME vacation Bonaire at Kids Sea Camp

Dear ‘Buddy Dive’ and Kids Sea Camp Family Dive adventures, Margo Peyton and family,

Just wanted to jot down a word or two to say an enormous thank you for a totally AWESOME vacation. Thanks for being FABULOUS Kids Sea Camp Hosts. You were brilliant all of you- but special thanks to Niels for fantastically tasty food and to Marianne, Fred, Tina and Sarah for working so incredibly hard with our kids. The resort is such a pleasure and seems to run like a well oiled machine (to us guests!). The folks in the shop were lovely. Bart and Ebby were great dive masters and of course all those we don’t see- housekeeping, maintenance, etc. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.

We can’t wait for the next adventure

 bonaire6

The Wakely Family

Kids Sea Camp one of the greatest vacations ever!

Hi Margo,

I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for Kids Sea Camp. For this trip, of course, but mostly for devising such a wonderful program that enriches not just the kids but the adults too. My wife had one of the greatest vacations of her life (and is begging me to bring them back next year), and my daughters both cried when we left saying they wanted to go to Kids Sea Camp next week.

I hope my updates throughout the week were appropriate and good. I will be working on my story over the next couple of weeks, and if I have time I hope to put together a video of footage I took mixed with some photos from the week.

I trust you’re recovering nicely and that you’ll be able to dive in Utila.

Best regards,
Dave Espinosa, Editor of Sport Diver magazine

What an amazing week at Kids Sea Camp, Bonaire

Dear Kids Sea Camp,

I wanted to thank you, KSC and the Buddy Dive staff for an amazing week.  Matteo and I had such an amazing time and Pascal was a great instructor and extremely attentive and dealt with Matteo’s numerous foot injuries (hahah). Matteo absolutely adored him.  I never worried about Matteo and that made all the difference.  I was actually able to relax knowing my child was in good hands, safe and learning.

Everyone, including KSC and Buddy Dive staff made us feel completely comfortable. Everyone was warm and welcoming, we had such a great time.  I felt even more comfortable diving this year, all the crew and dive masters were amazing and helpful.

It was great hanging out with you and the trip to the grocery store was quite memorable! I am glad Margot is up and diving and she is back on track.

Lori Bobak

When we heard about Kids Sea Camp, we knew it would be perfect for our family

Photo credit: Annie Crawley

The Jens family travels with Kids Sea Camp to Palau:
To say my family is passionate about travel would be a huge understatement.  In fact, we feel that travel is so important to our children’s educations and personal development that we took a year off to travel around the world with our two sons (8 & 11 at the time), visiting 28 different countries along the way.  Now that we’re back in the “real world,” we truly cherish those few weeks a year we get time off and select our vacations very carefully.  When we heard about Kids Sea Camp, we knew it would be perfect for our family … and boy were we right!

My husband and I have been diving for nearly 20 years, but sporadically at best once the kids were born.  We were thrilled when we had the opportunity during our around-the-world trip to expose them to the wonders of the ocean during some incredible snorkeling experiences in Hawaii, Australia, the Seychelles and Panama.  They took to the water & then the countdown was on until they were both old enough to start scuba diving.Having received their PADI certification in a rock quarry in Pennsylvania last summer, their first ocean dives were on the “teen boat” as part of Kids Sea Camp‘s 2010 Thanksgiving trip to Palau.   Everything about our experience with Kids Sea Camp was outstanding, from the attentiveness of the staff, quality of the lodging & food, and professionalism of the dive operation to the absolutely world-class diving.  The marathon travel to get to Palau was worth every minute in the air (I’d gladly hop back on a plane tomorrow with Kids Sea Camp).When we went to Palau with Kids Sea camp this year, we were struck by how many of the families traveling with us had participated in previous Kids Sea Camp programs.  The returning kids spanned all age groups and to the last one, they were all excited to be on another Family Dive Adventure trip.  We know our kids feel the same way, as we were barely unpacked before they were asking us when we would get to do this again.  And our answer … as soon as possible!

By: Carol Jenss and family