20 years of Kids Sea Camp
The beginning of Kids Sea Camp seemed like just a few moments ago. Robbie was only 6 and Jen was just 4. As a mother and businesswoman, I wanted so much to spend time with them and to be with them every day. I wanted to watch them grow up in front of me and show them the world rather than have them read about it in a book.
I was a single mother with two kids, working six days a week back then. In the summer it was impossible to find camps that I felt were educational, safe, fun and enriching my two children’s lives the way I wanted to be doing myself. Jennifer would get so upset when I had to go away. She wanted to know why she could not come. It was really a huge dilemma for me.
Carolyn Pascal, then the publisher of Skin Diver magazine and I were sitting on a beach in the Bahamas during another work trip, and both of us were missing our kids. I said to her, that I truly wished we could find a way to take our kids on dive trips. She agreed and right there in that moment we started creating a vision that would become Kids Sea Camp. Carolyn had the media and I had the resorts.
We together pooled our resources and the first Kids Sea Camp family dive adventure week took place in Curacao with Ocean Encounters and the Curacao Sea Aquarium in 2000. I had just 7 families that first trip. Fast forward now Kids Sea Camp is going into 20th year in 2020. My own daughter Jen will be 24 and Rob will be 26. My kids are grown and so are many of the 7,600 other kids that have become certified divers through Kids Sea Camp over the past 20 years. Now Kids Sea Camp has over 300 families a year that travel to 13 plus countries with 20 weeks each year.
I’m so very proud and grateful to my dive industry They have supported my vision and co-created little gear, kids dive courses, shared the stories and listened to all those little voices.
PADI created the courses for kids age 4-18, and they have always supported me in making tradeshows like The Scuba Show, DEMA, Beneath The Sea, and others, connected me to dive operators around the world. The dive media, DAN, Dive Training, Scuba Diver, Diver Magazine, Dive News Wire, Sport Diver, and many others ran the stories and shared the voices.
My partners have all helped me make diving safer for kids. SCUBAPRO was the first to create SASY gear, little tanks, fins, masks and tiny wetsuits. The resorts and dive operators who have stood by me and celebrated our brand together, believe that kids are the future. I have chosen resorts that I can trust to put family first and child safety above all.
I’m thankful to all the families for choosing Kids Sea Camp as their choice for their family dive vacation. Some of those kids and even instructors now have their own families and keep coming. Many are now grandparents who are bringing their grandkids.
When I ask them why they choose Kids Sea Camp, they tell me, “Because time is the most important thing in life Margo! Time with our kids and our grandkids is priceless.” Making memories that will last a lifetime is what they want to do. That’s our tagline and we do just that! Our trips cater to elderly divers, young divers, experienced divers, and even non-divers. We are special needs friendly and cater to all families. Kids Sea Camp is a safe, fun and educational authentic family vacation, that is focused on the underwater world and each other. It’s a place where kids unplug from their virtual worlds and reconnect to each other and the outdoor world.
In 2006, My best friend Tom Peyton asked me to marry him, and Robbie, Jen, Tom and I became a family. Tom left the news industry and joined Kids Sea Camp in 2013.
20 for 2020: We are so excited to be celebrating 20 years of business this year with 20 Kids Sea Camp event weeks in 2020. I hope you will join us! In celebration of our 20 years, we have now created new “Empty Nester” dive trips for those parents like me that have grown-up kids, but still, want to travel with someone they know and trust. We have new destinations and liveaboards as well as PADI Pro courses for all those kids turning 18 and older that want to become Dive Masters or even Dive instructors. We will be celebrating our 20th year of business at each incredible destination.
I am thankful for the world’s best family adventure travel guides and a PADI dive team. Woody, Patrick, Jen, Rob, Lilly, Holly, Sven, Brad, Jesse, Sophie, Josh, Fraser, Conrad, Max, Carolyn, Ellen, Jacob, Tom, and Zoe.