By Margo Peyton
The beginning of Kids Sea Camp seemed like just a few moments ago, not 20 years. Robbie was only 6 and Jennifer was only 4 then. 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 8-6, six days a week at a dive travel agency. Come summer time it was impossible to find camps that I felt were educational, safe, fun and enriching for my two children. Jennifer would get so upset when I had to go away and lead trips. She wanted to know why she could not come, whilst Robbie was angry about being at the other day camps that I would sign him up for. 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, 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 we started creating a vision that would become one of the greatest ideas I have ever had.
We 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 to now, and Kids Sea Camp is going into its twentieth 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 7,000 plus other children that have become certified divers through Kids Sea Camp over the past 20 years. Kids Sea Camp now has over 300 families a year, that travel to 13 plus countries.
I’m very proud and grateful to my dive industry partners, PADI, SCUBAPRO, the dive media, as well as all the resorts and operators who have stood by me and celebrated our brand together. I’m thankful to all the families for choosing Kids Sea Camp as their choice for their family dive vacation. Some of those kids are even instructors now, they have their own families and keep coming back to Kids Sea Camp. Some are even grandparents now 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. Kids Sea Camp is a safe, fun and educationally authentic family vacation, that is focused both 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, Tom Peyton asked me to marry him, we became a family operated, family dive vacation company. Tom left the news industry and joined Kids Sea Camp full time in 2013.
20 for 2020
We are so excited to be celebrating 20 year of business this year, with 20 Kids Sea Camp event weeks schedule through 2020. 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. We will be celebrating our 20th year of business at each incredible destination, I hope you will join us!
For more visit: https://familydivers.com
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