What’s on your vision board?

By Carolyn Pascal, founding member of Kids Sea Camp

In the old days, I would pin sayings, pictures, fortunes from cookies, and special notes on a bulletin board in my closet. It was my vision board. Every day when I went to dress, I would give a thumbs-up, and smile at my highly motivated self. Some people I know would pin-up pictures of the kind of house they would want to live in, or the island dream vacation they could see themselves indulging in one day. Over the years, the vision board became digital on Pinterest, or simply a collection of sayings and favorite images kept on our precious mobile devices. But the purpose remains the same. Remind me of what I have cherished in the past and what I want to repeat, even enhance when I get the chance. 

Carolyn and Melissa Pascal in 2005

As I built the vision board, sometimes I would write about my special experiences in the hopes that others would relate and want to enjoy similar ones with their families. One memorable piece written for Sport Diver ages ago was titled Time in a Bottle’. I wanted to bottle those moments. I wanted to know I could return to those feelings of excitement for what adventures the week would bring, the exhilaration & exhaustion as the week progressed, and deep satisfaction at week’s end that we had shared timeless memories as time was flying by.

At that time, my daughter Melissa was just learning to explore the underwater world with her young friends from around the globe. Topside they were treasure hunting, dot painting, meeting ostriches and donkeys, and writing poems about their favorite moments. They were bringing supplies from home to local school children and then bridging all language barriers with lots of laughs as they kicked a small ball around a dirt field. They were learning about underwater scooters, cameras & photography, historic shipwrecks, and protecting the reefs. They were practicing buoyancy control, free diving, and underwater navigation. The kids were taught how to avoid danger and watch out for each other. Even the youngest children learned quickly how to approach the reefs and marine life safely: calmly, respectfully, and at a distance. WOW! Everything they ever needed to know about life, they learned right there at Kids Sea Camp every summer

We are all experiencing a time in the world that no one could’ve imagined. Nowhere in my pins for the future did I include face time instead of real-time, face masks & gloves, proper handwashing tips, or how to buy groceries. Nowhere did a roll of toilet paper become an aspiration.

I am very sad about what many families are enduring in terms of sickness and the death of loved ones. I am very concerned for the safety of everyone on the frontlines, putting themselves and their families at risk every day. But I also see a very silver lining for many of us that are merely inconvenienced by social distancing and the disruption of our ‘normal’ lives.

What I see is the opportunity to reset, rethink, recreate what our vision board for the future will look like. We’ve been forced to STOP and LOOK and EVALUATE what’s on that board. What is worth keeping, and what do you now know you can happily live without. What do you want to add and why? I know that one of the very 1st trips I am going to keep is a Kids Sea Camp week in St. Lucia! It’s the perfect combination of the wonderfully familiar feeling of returning for yet another Kids Sea Camp, and the anticipation of traveling to one on the very few islands in the Caribbean I have yet to experience. Yes, for me it’s easy. St. Lucia & Anse Chastenet have been on my board forever, and I can’t wait to realize that dream.

What about you?