MAGALOG21 (2021)


Let the adventure begin! 803-419-2556 email:


How do we start again? Can we simply dive into 2021 without mentioning the losses, frustrations and overall sadness experienced in 2020? No, and Margo and I want to

the music, the bubbles and the hugs.We missed, the smile factory, you know the ear-to-ear gins sported on your family’s faces as they emerge from the ocean.We missed those simple experiences that bring us the most joy. Experiencing a Parrotfish sleeping on a night dive, noticing a school of squid pulsing with electric color on a safety stop or seeing a sea turtle popping to the surface for a gulp of air just as we pull up to the dive site.We all have our own passionate memories created by the Kids Sea Camps weeks. It’s time to dive again COVID-19 has changed how we will see and do things forever.We have new habits, thoughts, and a new appreciation for simplicity in life.We have a deeper understanding of what’s important and the higher value on family time.We hope you will find that these values, habits and new understanding have also

changed us at Kids Sea Camp.We have made activities safer,more educational,meaningful and fun for the entire family. Our entire team at Kids Sea Camp has so much gratitude for your continued support and trust in traveling with us during 2020 and beyond.We are beginning to travel again in this new world with open hearts and minds.We are prepared to navigate the new challenges and working daily with our partners around the world to make family travel as easy, safe and convenient for your family. Our 21 years of expertise is paving new roads forward.We know you’re needs and concerns and we are ready to address them. We are making decisions based on what’s best for families. Kids Sea Camp wants you to know how important it has been to hear from you during the last year and to ask you to continue to reach out to us for any reason.We are ready

express our deepest sympathy to all the families who have suffered in any way during one of the most trying times in our world history.We also know we have been forever changed by

A note from Margo and Tom The two owners of Kids Sea Camp Inc. & Family Dive Adventures, offer insights into the 2021 travel season.

your trust and faith in sharing your personal journeys with us over the past year. And boy, did we miss Kids Sea Camp!We missed the ocean, diving, and dive training.We missed volleyball and hearing the surprising new talent on karaoke night.We missed reuniting to the Kids Sea Camp families from around the world.We missed the laughter, 803-419-2556 email:

to get back to creating joy, laughter and new divers.We have been busy creating some amazing and joyous underwater escapes from your complex daily adventure called life. Take a breath It’s time to let the healing ocean waters soothe us with that deep meditative peace that only divers can know.To take a deep breath and linger in the blue.To see the sun’s dancing lights shimmering on the ocean surface at sunrise and sunset.To watch playful dolphins chasing the waves off the bow of your dive boat as you propel ahead to the next dive site. To simply giant stride into the ocean with ease. Floating momentarily on the surface in the gently rocking waves that force you to slow down and take a breath.You smile to yourself “oh how I missed this.” You give your buddy the “big okay,” put your reg in, take another breath, exhale, deflate your BC, and slowly sink into the sea.With each dissenting exhale you are leaving all stresses of the past year behind. It’s time to dive again.

anything, it’s how valuable trip insurance and transportation insurance is. Some things will never change According to Scuba Diver magazine Kids Sea Camp is again rated #1 in family dive travel.We are a company with a big heart and soul and very personal.We will always be a dream making happiness bubble for your family.We will meet your expectations and strive to surpass them.We care about your experience and your needs. We pay attention to detail and our commitment to the highest quality and safety standards in the dive industry will never change. Our chosen resorts and dive operators around the world are some of the best kid-friendly, family- friendly resorts in the world.We have personal relationships and bonds with them that cannot be broken and we all grow stronger every year. These simple truths will never change for Kids Sea Camp; love of all families, cherishing the ocean and loving this wonderful planet we all share.

What has changed? But, it’s going to be different now. There may be longer lines and more testing.Yes, there will be masks and not just the ones dive with, but the ones you wear to protect yourself and others from getting sick. You will get familiar with the term“Mask Up” as the dive staff approaches.There will be testing, rules and regulations and a need for more patients. Even those with vaccines will still have to comply with many safety standards.There may still be temperature checks and in some parts of your travels — social distancing.These things may be around for a long time to come.We know you’re tired and frustrated with much of this, but unfortunately, it’s the new normal for now. We have done research during our “dry time” and found some emergency vendors we like, for trip insurance, CFAR and dive insurance.This is just responsible dive travel 101.Don’t travel without insurance. If this past year has taught us 803-419-2556 email:


HollyWakely, age 17, diving in Palau. Photo by Jesse Alpert


If there’s one thing everyone can agree on, it’s that 2020 has been a different year. Had I been writing this story one year ago, it would not come as a shock to most that I am sitting on an airplane, with my in flight snacks and a drink typing away on my laptop about my dive vacation in St. Lucia.Yet this year, most people will glare at me with shock in their eyes stating the same thing. I know I took a risk this summer, wandering from my Bermuda home, to St Lucia to join yet another Kids Sea Camp (KSC) dive vacation at Anse Chastanet . My KSC journey started with Curacao in 2006, at just 4 years old. From then on, I spent each year gallivanting with my diving family around the world and

exploring the ocean; I had no grasp then of what I wanted to do when I grew up. Come 2010, my family and I had followed KSC around most of the Caribbean, fueling my parent’s love for scuba diving and keeping my brother and I curious about different destinations and cultures. At this point I was certain I wanted to be a dentist, doctor or veterinarian, I had very little interest in scuba diving as a career. Dominica, Cayman Islands, Roatan, Bonaire, St.Vincent, back again to Palau, it was in meeting so many inspiring dive professionals that my mind-set began to change. I now had an idea of what I wanted to do when I grew up. 2017 was the year I developed a stronger bond with my KSC family, Margo andTom Peyton (owners of KSC).

I was a 15-year-old, Master Scuba diver with 300+ dives. My family had our yearly KSC trip planned to the Galápagos, where we dove on a liveaboard with some of the world’s most amazing creatures. One night at dinner my parents asked me if I was interested in doing any other KSC trips that year, and I responded as any kid would and said yes, I would love to! At the time I hadn’t gathered that they meant I would be going by myself.As a shy kid, sheltered by my extroverted brother, this concept of traveling without my family was a total reach for me. I’m glad I took that opportunity for what I thought would be a lonely KSC week. Arriving in St. Lucia in 2018, I was full of fear, worst case scenarios going 803-419-2556 email:

HollyWakely, age 16

HollyWakely, age 15 snorkeling withWhale Sharks in the Phillipines. Photos by Margo Peyton

Holly as a Sassy, age 4, in Curacao Photo by DavidWakely


through my head, only when I saw Margo did this feeling subside. She told me that night I would be part of the team and helping out as a training student for Max Lavinsky and Jacob Schafer who were completing their PADI Dive Master certifications that week.Though I was just acting as a diving student, I was fortunate enough to get to experience the dive master program at such a young age, grasping the concepts and training. I realized how much I truly loved scuba diving; my parents weren’t there so I knew it wasn’t their passions it came from within. I had taken a risk and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Fast forward 3 years to 2020, I have travelled all over the world with Margo, Tom and my KSC family, seeing whale

sharks in the Philippines, sunken wrecks in Palau, and gained valuable lessons in all aspects of travel and life. Margo invited me to attend a few dive shows where I was able to speak with people from different sectors of the Scuba industry.This was where I heard about the creation of the PADI Jr. dive master program, which would allow divers age 15 to pre-train for the professional side of scuba diving and be able to assist dive professionals.This program launched in 2020, and I was the very first pilot student for PADI. Margo took me back to where it all started for me, St Lucia. I am now on my way home, certified by Margo Peyton, my KSC mom, as PADI’s first ever Jr. Dive Master and I couldn’t be more grateful. KSC taught

me to look at my life from a different prospective and to follow my heart. I’m taking a gap year this year, to focus on my scuba diving career. By the time you are reading this, I will be back in St. Lucia for KSCThanksgiving and will be 18 years old and a PADI Dive Master, working on becoming a PADI instructor. So you see, traveling during a worldwide pandemic was a risk I was willing to take. I trust my KSC family to keep me safe and we wear our masks! St. Lucia will always hold a found place in my heart, its where I found my passion and career path . Story by HollyWakely, The first ever Junior Dive Master at Kids Sea Camp Anse Chastanet in St. Lucia with PADI Instructor Margo Peyton. Please since this article was published Holly Wakely is now a PADI Dive Instructor. 803-419-2556 email:


We cultivate family relation- ships through authentic, high quality, educational ocean-ori- ented experiences. We encour- age kids to engage with each other and marine environments respectfully while exploring the underwater world. We offer uniquely custom- ized itineraries and educational programs that accommodate a multitude of individual family needs. We pride ourselves on award-winning personal atten- tion to detail that assures the safety and comfort of young divers. We inspire kids to become more confident by building trust through training and travel. We bring together adventur- ous families who want meaning- ful vacations that connect each other to the outdoors.

YOUR PERSONAL TRIP CONCIERGE We are here to serve you and make sure your vacation is the best it can be. Our Kids Sea Camp family vacations are hosted by Tom and Margo Peyton, along with our other longtime team of PADI professionals and host families. We are here to cater to your personal needs.This may be extra support with the kids, a drive to the grocery store, a scuba tune-up, one-on-one dive training session, help with a camera or demonstration of dive gear. Maybe it’s getting over a fear or just needing a refresher course. SPECIAL NEEDS We are special-needs friendly. If you give us advance notice and the

information we need, we can make most wishes come true. Kids Sea Camp has been able to cater to handicapped divers, high-functioning autism, hearing- impaired divers, disabled divers and other special needs including divers with diabetes. The primary language spoken is English; however, we have a pool of multilingual PADI instructors around the world, and with notice, almost any language can be accommodated. OUR MORAL COMPASS Twenty years of taking kids diving without a single dive accident is not just luck, it’s hard work and dedication. Our record and reputation speaks for itself.We work with family-friendly, experienced and knowledgeable 803-419-2556 email:


7,600: The number of PADI youth certifications issued by Kid Sea Camp as of 2020 0: The number of dive accidents in our 21 years of taking kids diving. 30: The number of PADI Divemasters created through Kids Sea Camp as of 2020 2: The number of acoustic rock album’s Tom Peyton has cut. Check out “Heart Of The Rose” on itunes. JOW: A Jr. OpenWater diver child age 10-14 who is certified to dive to 40 ft SCUBAPRO The name of our dive gear of choice. 2018: The year Olivia Rapisand joined Kids Sea Camp. SEAL: A child age 8 or 9 that dives in the ocean with a PADI

instructor at Kids Sea Camp. 21: The age of Kids Sea Camp. The year Rob Peyton graduated from college. The year Jen Peyton married Nate Hairfield. 1: The number of decisions you need to make to find the perfect choice for your next great adventure — Kids Sea Camp. 350: The number of families that dive with Kids Sea Camp each year 37: The most trips by a single family in our 21 year history. 11: The number of PADI Instructors created by KSC. 1st: In 2020 HollyWakely became the first ever Junior Dive Master. In 2021 Holly became a PADI OWIS Instructor at our 2nd Kids Sea Camp IDC in Bonaire.

professionals.We have standard PADI, travel, medical and KSC waivers, like any other adventure sport; however, it does not relieve us of our moral obligation to keep you safe! Safety is our No. 1 priority, and fun is No. 2.There is no other company like Kids Sea Camp because Margo andTom Peyton make it personal. We work hard to assure you’re in the water with family-friendly dive experts. Kids Sea Camp is the only tour company in the world dedicated to taking young divers and their families on advanced dive trips, like the Galapagos, Sea of Cortez, Socorro Islands, Komodo, Palau, Indonesia and a multi-island tour in Philippines. Kids can experience the biggest and the smallest of marine animals.We include volcano hiking, jungle biking, culinary

classes, citizen science, internships and local outreach. Our waivers are to inform you that we are providing authentic experiences with real wildlife and marine life encounters.We are not a theme park, and there is no Plexiglas.We provide education to families through facts and hands-on experiences with hopes to remove fears created by false information. Our trips require participants to be respectful to each other and our underwater world. Safety is our area of expertise. UNPLUGGED You will find, kids pay attention and become present when they know they won’t see what they are about to do with you on Hulu or Netflix later.

You will gain peace of mind as a family and make new friends. Some say oceans separate us, we believe they connect us all together. Enjoy a full week off the grid, disconnecting from your virtual worlds and reconnecting to each other and the underwater world.We all need a unplug and relax. Kids Sea Camp is the ideal week to disconnect and recharge for the year. SPECIAL OCCASIONS Underwater weddings ceremonies, special custom made birthday cake and celebration, romantic private anniversaries dinners or KSC family reunions. Let us know how we can serve you better.We can make any occasion special for you! 803-419-2556 email:


“THEMOMFACTOR” Because every child matters


“THE MOM FACTOR” Margo Peyton has been profession- ally exploring, diving and traveling the world since 1986, guiding great adven- tures above and below the sea. Once Margo became a mother, she wanted to fully immerse her two children, Robbie and Jennifer, into her world. It was clear her business would be con- necting children and families around the globe with educational dive-travel

adventures. THE DILEMMA

and Reef Divers in the Cayman Islands, Anse Chastanet in St. Lucia, Sam’sTours in Palau, Sea Explorers in the Philippines, JMC in Fiji, Margo established, grew and maintained her own kid-friendly, ocean- oriented, educational scuba programs around the world. Her goal: to connect, nurture and grow a network of family- friendly PADI dive resorts around the world, who will embrace, and support her values and honor her standards for

Margo could not find a family-friendly dive resort or kid friendly instructors for her own family. THE CREATION With Kids Sea Camp, Margo created and customized her own itineraries, courses and schedules.With the help of PADI, Buddy Dive in Bonaire, Divetec 803-419-2556 email:

OUR MISSION: To inspire families to dive and travel. To provide educational activities. To empower children and their families to explore the underwater world together. To reconnect kids to the outdoor world and eachother through fun, safe, responsible inter- action. To provide environ- mentally conscious family scuba-diving vacations. OUR VALUES: We provide a strong focus on building last- ing friendships and strengthening family bonds. We nurture relation- ships and treat each other with respect. We consider our re- sponsibility as divers, for both the negative and positive impact we have on land and sea ecosystems.We give back to the many lives and communities our families touch around the globe. We strive to create more responsible, confident, well-trained and educated divers.



dive safety with kids. Margo works hard to keep kids safe and she is constantly educat- ing and promoting those dive operations that have the same moral compass. Margo says,“Kids Sea Camp is not just busi- ness; it’s personal.” Only those that know Margo’s passion and tenacity would get that. PRIORITIES Margo’s first and foremost priority is safety. She only works with, locally-owned

PADI dive resorts, whos owners will hold child safety above all things. KIDS SEA CAMP MAGIC The magic she says, is in her dive team of PADI Pros.They are the best in the world! They connect families from far- away places and lifelong friendships are forged across borders that are revisited again and again. . 803-419-2556 email:

PADI COURSES : SASY: age 4-7 Seal & Master Seal Team: age 8-9 & 10 Discover Scuba: 10+ Jr. Open Water: age 10-14 Jr. Advanced Open Water: age 12-14 Open water: age 15+ Advanced open water: age 15+ Reactivate/Refresher Jr. Rescue: age 12+ Rescue diver: age 15+ Master Scuba Diver NITROX: age 12+ Deep Diver: age 15+ Wreck Diver: age 15+ Jr. Dive Master age 15+ Dive Master age 18+ OWSI PADI Instructor 18+ SPECIALTY COURSES: Kids Sea Camp speciality Zombie Apocalypse Peak Performance Bouyance Coral Restoration Digital Photography Videographer Navigation, Night Fish ID, Alt Light Boy Scout Merit Drift, Boat, DPV Project Aware Shark Aware Whale shark & Manta Aware, KSC Diver Underwater naturalist Lionfish Equipment

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DIVING AND TRAINING For 21 years, parents and grandparents have entrusted us to care for the most cherished people in their life — their children and grandchildren.That is why we choose the highest level of quality in dive training and instruction: PADI. The reality is that in order for adults to have a stress-free dive vacation, they must feel confident and comfortable leaving their kids in our hands, and they do! The KSC and PADI systems of diver education are the most reliable structured systems in diving. Our dive programs are designed to make learning enjoyable and safe. Under the guidance of

professional PADI instructors, your kids will gain confidence while mastering important safety concepts and skills.At Kids Sea Camp, you can trust that the PADI instructors in the water with your kids are well-trained and held to diving’s highest standards. The kids participate in specialized age-appropriate and performance- based dive activities.They progress at their own pace as they demonstrate mastery of specific skills essential to being a scuba diver. Kids earn their PADI certifications in encouraging and well-supported learning environments.

together.They experience and learn about marine life in a safe and respectful way.We pride ourselves on creating more aware, confident and capable divers. Our PADI programs fall under strict educational standards. PADI takes a proactive approach to quality management and randomly surveys PADI divers to assure courses meet PADI’s high standards and divers’ expectations. No other diver training organization works to maintain this level of professional reliability and integrity. Kids Sea Camp has achieved the PADI President’s Award of Excellence.

It is our goal to encourage families to explore the underwater world 803-419-2556 email:

More than 40 Kids Sea Camps and counting

Woody Tinsley rests after a long day of training at a Kids Sea Camp


A Kids Sea Camp Story by Woody Tinsley One of the most common questions asked of me by families is How did I connect with Kids Sea Camp (KSC)? It’s actually a fascinating story that encompasses a series of fortuitous events. I started diving in 1998 and still considered myself a rookie diver in 2004 when I first bumped into KSC. I just happened to be on my first dive vacation in Curacao, and as I tried to book some diving at Ocean Encounters, I was told that there was a big family dive event going on and they were fully booked for the next 4 weeks. I liked kids, but KSC had completely taken over the resort, restaurants and the dive shop! I dove with another operator, but watched from a distance thinking how much fun KSC divers were having, and how cool it would be to bring my future kids on a Kids Sea Camp adventure. Fast forward two years, and I was spending a great deal of time fossil shark tooth diving. I had written two articles for Shark Diver Magazine and also became a

PADI Scuba Instructor. After writing my articles, I was invited to give a presentation at the annual Boston Sea Rovers Clinic (years later I would be accepted into their ranks, which was the proudest personal accomplishment of my life.) I threw together a Power Point presentation about ethical souvenir buying; you know No dead seahorses, sharks in jars, etc., and I created it to read like a nursery rhyme. Cristina Zenato attended, famous “shark whisperer”. She wasThe Shark Lady and instructor at UNEXSO inThe Bahamas. Christina loved my presentation and invited me down to be a staff member at UNEXSO’s first Kids Sea Camp event. I couldn't believe it! My future kids had also been born, but were not old enough to participate just yet.

honestly it was the most rewarding and fun week of my life (until later when I brought my own kids). On that trip I certified five little Seals including Natasha and Nay Nay, two 9-year-old locals girls who won the Kids Sea Camp scholarship that summer. At the end of the week, before the KSC poetry and Junkanoo celebration, I won my first Sealife camera in the talent show, pulling off an especially fantastic lip sync rendition of theThriller dance. My first KSC week was amazing, but truth be told, it actually took Margo until Thursday to ask me to come to work for Kids Sea Camp! I’VE BEEN TO 40+ KIDS SEA CAMP EVENTS OVER THE LAST 14 YEARS My favorite KSC adventures are the ones I've shared with my own 2 kids Rowen and Bryson Belle, and one of the most memorable ever was at Buddy Dive in Bonaire in July of 2019. Owners Paul & Michelle Coolen, along with Margo &Tom Peyton, helped me put together a special Woody family moment in the middle of

MY FIRST KIDS SEA CAMP: I departed the U.S. for my first KSC

adventure in 2007 on my own. Christina put me in charge of the PADI Seal Team. I was on an island paradise and teaching Aqua Missions to kids in a pool. Now if you know me, you know I'm not a “pool” guy, but 803-419-2556 email:

(Marriage proposal) had the whole family underwater with my mom and it was so fantastic. I wrote on my slate to Sally "the question", and only hoped she would circle the YES instead of the NO, and she did.


KSC. I brought along my mom Barbara, girlfriend Sally, and her two kids Olivia and Mason. I planned to ask Sally to marry me underwater during the camp. Sally was just certified so I took her on our first couples dive just off the house reef. My mom had not been diving in 2 years, so Margo's son & instructor Robbie Peyton helped with her and Rowen too. Both Sally's kids had just completed the Jr. OpenWater course and this was their first dive. Margo jumped in to shoot photos withTom and on July 25th, 2019, I proposed to my now wife SallyTinsley at Kids Sea Camp, Buddy Dive underwater. I popped “the question” using a slate. and only hoped she would circle theYES instead of the NO, which she did. Sharing that moment with the family was fantastic! WHY I LOVE KIDS SEA CAMP I’ve watched my children grow up at Kids Sea Camp. I have also been delighted to introduce over 600 kids to our underwater world and certified them at Kids Sea Camps. According to a statistic I made up, one out

of every three Kids Sea Camp divers will have been certified by me in the year 2035. I have loved watching kids from all around the globe grow as divers, and I am always inspired at how much diving has impacted their lives in such a positive way. Some of my first ZombieApocalypse Diver Students are now instructors, including Addie Benz, Lilly Blakey, Jen Peyton, Rob Peyton, Ryan Seltz, Max Lavinsky, and Grant Smith. My own family is the #1 reason I love Kids Sea Camp.You and I all know why Margo Peyton started her company.The exhilarating feeling of diving with your kids at any age is untouchable.Then when you add in parrotfish, flounder and brain coral, the things you and I take for granted become exciting again when you experience them through your children's eyes.That intentionally sunk rowboat, used to make an artificial reef, is like diving theTitanic to them. Sharing this sport with my own children and hearing them talk about diving with such zeal melts my heart every time. I love Kids Sea Camp because I am a part of something much greater than myself.

It allows me to share life in a way I never imagined was possible, with my family and yours. So what’s next for my Kids Sea Camp story? To be honest I have no idea. I hope it involves years of fun with Family Dive Adventures at Kids Sea Camps all over the world, and I hope I will see you there! Join me in Dominica, Palau, Bonaire, and Fiji in 2021. From Margo and Tom Peyton It is unquestionable thatWoody Tinsley has made our company and our lives better. Kids Sea Camp would not be the wonderful

fun-loving company of today without Woody’s larger than life influence.

Woody reminds us every day to laugh out loud at the bizarre world we live in, to embrace and love each other without limits, and to be gentle and kind as much as you possible with everyone you meet. Thank you, Lord, Doctor,Woody Tinsley, for the years of pouring your heart and soul into making Kids Sea Camp that much better. 803-419-2556 email:

Margo Peyton shares 31 years of experience in family diving and travel.

Explorers . PuraVida offers hotel rooms, one, two and three bedroom luxury villas. I describe this resort as affordable family luxury. Best for families with older kids that have been diving a while? Galapagos would be my first thought. I choose the M/V Tiburon Explorer andThe M/V Humboldt Explorer for our trips. I’ve been taking kids to the Galapagos for15 years.We dive from pangas, The kids and adults easily roll off the side. It’s big animal interaction: big sharks, wild dolphins, giant mantas, marine iguanas, and tons of sea lions. I book full charters for June & July which is peak whale shark season. It is one of the last diving frontiers. I feel like every time we go it’s the trip of a lifetime for each family. If you want to share a rare, majestic and educational dive adventure with your children, then take them to the Galapagos.As an individual family on a regu- lar trip, I would say min 50 dives required. On a KSC charter, age 12+. What’s your top choice for fami- lies with non-divers?

On Cayman Brac , Brac Reef Beach Resort has a 140,000 gallon pool sitting right on the ocean for the little ones to do their aqua missions. It’s all one-bedroom hotel-room style so I feel for a family with one child the double rooms are perfect.The resort also has four rooms that can connect to house larger families. Bonaire is my #2 destination. Buddy Dive Resort is a the perfect place for, SASY and Seal Team kids to enjoy the ocean every day of the year with the Buddy Academy. Kids dive programs are offered all year, with the best kid friendly dive team in the Carib- bean. Families can “jump off-the-dock” to enjoy schools of fish and coral gardens. What is your favorite destination for large families? 1. Buddy Dive Bonaire: This resort offers one, two and three bedroom condos. Its the best value for large families. This PADI CDC offers the most affordable dive packages to choose from. #2. If you’re willing to travel, to the Philip- pines: Pura Vida Homes & Resort, located in Dauin.A PADI IDC, that provides spectacular valet private diving with Sea

I have spent the last three decades of my life diving and traveling with families from around world. I have created Kids Sea Camp to take families with kids ages 4-18 on scuba vacations that allow them to experience and learn more about the underwater world. A living classroom for the whole family. Top destination for kids age 5-8 The Cayman Islands: I created Kids Sea Camp there because it is where my son Robbie was born. It has calm seas, clear water, and a climate that’s perfect for the little ones.The islands have stunning white sand beaches and offer biking, snorkeling, skateboarding, fishing, hiking, windsurfing, museums, art galleries, and a plethora of food and spirits for all to enjoy.There are multiple flights daily from the US and it’s not expensive to get too. I chose the Cayman Islands for its ease of diving and abundance in diversity. SASY (SuppliedAir Snorkeling forYouth) and Seal Team kids can dive into the ocean and enjoy learning about marine life in a confined safe setting. Cobalt Coast in Grand Cayman would be my first choice.This boutique style resort offers 17 one and two bedroom suites 803-419-2556 email:

Number One is St. Lucia at Anse Chas- tanet Resort .This resort offers, a Spa, jungle biking, volcano hiking, paddle boarding, sailing, snorkeling, chocolate culinary classes, yoga, shopping, guided sugar plantation walks, farm to table dining as well as a jazzy sunset cruise.There are opportunities for time together as a family and for divers to dive while non divers enjoy the rest. #2 would be Palau. Royal Resorts and Sam’s Tours .This destination offers Rock Islands kayaking,WorldWar I and II history tours, museums, shopping, spas, beautiful beaches and the worlds best diving for div- ers. What makes Kids Sea Camp Special Needs friendly? For the past 8 years we have been provid- ing special needs for adults and kids diving around the world, exceeding their expecta- tions. I gathered a team of dive instructors that are experienced in areas such as high functioning autism, deaf, handicap, and expe- rienced in the valet needs of elderly divers. We provide valet diving services to make everyday diving details easier and less stressful for all who need or want. We can provide private one-on-one instructors or dive masters for people that need a little more professional assistance. We have smaller tanks and BC’s for smaller adults and kids.We have destinations that can cater to needs of dive platforms and wheelchairs, and we can help people with gear off in and out of the water. If families can give us specific instructions we do our best to meet those needs. Most importantly, the doctor who is treat- ing a special needs participant must provide authorization stating person is cleared to participate in scuba diving activities. I require at least six months notice and a good in- depth conversation about special needs. Any advice for parents and rela- tives of new divers? Know your kids’ depth limits and profile restrictions. If you are not a PADI pro or other dive pro, not an avid diver, then always make sure to request to have a dive master or instructor leading you on dives with your kids. Parents have enough on their plates taking care of themselves under water, when you add kids to that it can become very stress- ful quickly. Kids move around faster and you can’t just talk or yell to them underwater. Parents and relatives should make sure to have a refresher course if needed. Know your signals and skills well, so that you can assist and communicate with young or new divers. Lead by example. Your kids watch you and they learn from

Do not give kids over the counter medications before a dive If I had a dollar for every time a child told me their parent loaded them up with an an- tihistamine before a dive, I could fill a bucket. That can be a very dangerous thing to do. Some medications can cause reverse blocks or also cause panic and anxiety at- tacks. The most common problem is dehydration. Diving is a very. dehydrating sport anyway, so adding a decongestant before a dive can make a situation ten times worse. Consult with a doctor before administering any medications that will be in you or your childs system during a dive. Never drink alcohol and dive. There is never a day that I don’tl earn something new from the people I have the pleasure to dive with around the world. Diving with kids expands my knowledge and enriches my life each year. My greatest moments 1. Turning a frightened or anxious mother’s face into a calm and confident smile. 2. Seeing three generations of divers enjoy- ing diving together as a family. 3. Taking children out of the only world they have ever known and showing them the magic of the ocean for the very first time. Margo Peyton PADI Instructor #57474 1989 - 2020 is celebrating 32 years of diving in 2021.

observing your habits. So lead by example. Make sure your gear is streamlined, check your gauges early and often, ascend and descend slowly. Always let someone else know you’re going diving and make sure you have a slate to write on.Things happen, currents come up and you need to be able to communicate with each other. Have a plan. Make it fun to come up with some of your own sea signs and signals. Don’t assume every diver knows the same signs & signals. Go over them before your dive. Make sure you do a weight check prior to diving and know the type of dive you are going to do. Make sure you are not forcing your child to dive. If he or she is scared or doesn’t want to go, then discuss what’s going on and make it OK not to dive.The worst thing you can do is force a child or adult to dive when they do not feel safe or well. Don’t try to impress your child. Don’t be a show off. I promise kids will try to do what you do. Just enjoy your time in the water and let them enjoy the zero grav- ity. Diving should not be like being in a boot camp.Your kids should have fun! It is called recreational diving for a reason. Kids love the zero gravity, doing somer- saults, taking photos having fun with you and being upside down. Make some of that OK when its safe to. Show them where it’s OK to have some fun and when it’s not. 803-419-2556 email:

A father’s ultimate dream comes true at Kids Sea Camp All photos by Brad Holland at Anse Chastanet Resort in St. Lucia MYULTIMATE DIVE BUDDY

and amazing underwater adventures.

world-class diving for adults, kids-tailored activities for kids age 4-17, PADI certifications and specialty courses.They also provide daily educational, cultural and social events for all. KSC’s SASY program was the perfect indoctrination into the dive life for Hailey. Being around diving kids, hearing their stories and making new friends from around the world fanned her spark of interest into a flame. It didn’t hurt that KSC founder and patron saint of family diving,Margo Peyton,made it a point to spend personal time in the ocean with Hailey. Thanks to Margo’s enthusiasm for training the next generation of divers, once-timid Hailey gained enough confidence with Kids Sea Camp to give it a try.

By Eric Michael “My kid’s a diver!”

Shouting these words from a mountaintop has been a dream for 11 long years.The day my daughter, Hailey, was born, I began fantasizing about sharing with her my deep passion for the ocean. I couldn’t imagine a better dive buddy — swimming along, hand in hand, discovering the secrets of the sea. Through her toddler years, some dads in my circle of friends lamented that their adventurous pastimes would have to take a backseat to parenting.“What a cop-out,” I thought. The plan was simple: Make travel and diving irresistible to her. I started early, with each bedtime story focused on fantastical sea creatures, miraculous mermaids

As she grew, we watched every kid-friendly, dive-related movie I could find. Soon, she was naming marine life and swimming in the ocean became second nature. When I spoke to her third-grade class on career day about being editor of Sport Diver magazine, I watched her beam with pride. The plan was working, albeit far too slow for my impatient heart. Then Kids Sea Camp (KSC) changed everything. Our introduction to Kids Sea Camp, a unique family dive vacation that combined everything an ocean loving family could ask for, was at Cobalt Coast Resort in the Cayman Islands. Hailey was then 4 years old. KSC offered 803-419-2556 email:

A few years later, we returned to Kids Sea Camp at Buddy Dive Resort on Bonaire, where 8-year-old Hailey joined the PADI SealTeam program. The mini scuba rig gave her the experience of a diver, by breathing through a regulator. She completed all five aqua missions, and I enjoyed my first dive with her under the dock. What a breakthrough! When she was 10, ready to become a Junior Open Water diver, we booked KSC’s Thanksgiving week at Anse Chastanet St. Lucia. This exquisite and secluded luxury resort has on-site PADI five-star dive operation, Scuba St. Lucia was perfect for the entire family.The time was right for Hailey to join the dive tribe. I’ve always believed that anticipation is one of the best things about travel.Adding a life-changing event like Hailey’s certification only intensified that joy. Months before our trip we began putting together her first scuba kit, trying on wet suits, fit testing the Scubapro masks and fins all provided by KSC. A few weeks before takeoff, we the children. Friendships form instantly when you’re diving headfirst into new adventures together. Plus, there are lizards to chase, beaches to comb, stars to count and cannonballs to launch off the top deck of the dive boat. When training begins, the kids slip into a blissful routine of discovery, both underwater and inside themselves. Through 30 years of organizing group travel events across the globe, Margo has created a very rare and valuable culture in the world of diving. She is building a tribe of like-minded families from different walks of life who share a common love for the ocean — and kinship. Traveling to exotic locales with children and grandparents in

dove into the PADI E-Learning materials, and watching her absorb the physics of diving and safety protocols was as much a learning experience for me as it was for her. When the venerable dive table came into play, I broke out in a cold sweat.Thankfully, Hailey helped me remember my fundamentals and she passed with ease. tow can pose many challenges. Kids Sea Camp makes it simple, safe and sanguine.There’s a reason why we consistently meet families on their third, sixth and even eighth KSC adventure. Bonding is an understatement. Relationships born here endure for years.The experience is just that powerful. On this trip, we invited my mother-in-law, Marsha, a newly certified diver herself, to join us.The possibility of a three- generation dive could not be missed. So, as Hailey was completing her final confined-water dive under the careful guidance of Scuba St. Lucia’s instructors, we achieved the trifecta. Set loose on the house reef after her required skills were performed,

Arriving at Anse Chastanet is a rejuvenation. Surrounded by 600 acres of thriving rainforest, the intimate 49-room resort spills down a lush mountainside to a pristine volcanic beach embracing a crystalline bay that shelters a rich marine reserve. Fragrant tropical flowers adorn trees, tables and the staff.The view across the bay from our room, framing the island’s famed parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters joined for their first dive together. Holding Hailey’s tiny hand as we toured the reef was euphoric. She led the way, pointing out colorful reef fish and hidden critters while Marsha and I followed, enraptured by the experience. Near the end of the dive, Hailey and I shared a moment alone kneeling in the sand, practicing signals. I am not ashamed to admit that I shed a few manly tears of joy looking into my daughter’s wide, excited eyes. I finally had my ultimate dive buddy. My long-awaited fantasy had become a reality. But there was one unexpected and equally wonderful side effect. Heather,

twin peaks, Gros and Petit Piton, against the Caribbean sunset defies description. This experience would surely set Hailey’s dive trip expectations to impossibly high levels.Then again, that’s what Kids Sea Camp is all about. One of my favorite things about

Kids Sea Camp is the relaxed, family vibe. Strangers don’t stay that way for long, especially KSC AMBASSADOR: HAILEY MICHAEL

my wife of more than 26 years, has long suffered an unrealistic fear of marine life. Despite being a competitive swimmer and water polo player in her youth. Nothing proved more powerful than watching her own daughter become a diver. During Hailey’s final open- water, check-out dive, on which parents join, Heather followed the group on snorkel.When we surfaced, the most surprising words came out of her mouth, “I’m ready to try scuba diving.” To my good fortune, Margo was within earshot. Hugs ensued. (And a few more manly tears.) Guess who’s getting certified at Kids Sea Camp next year? 803-419-2556 email:

KIDS SEA CAMP IS MORE THANDIVING We have the best surface intervals on the planet



BASKETBALL Tom, being from the Midwest, has been shooting hoops since he was a kid, and it’s almost a religion for him. If there’s a court around, he will get a pick-up game going. It does not matter the country or the language —Tom connects the world through basketball. THE KSC TURKEY BOWL 2021 will be the 11th year of The KSC Turkey Cup/Bowl in Jean Michel Cousteau Resort in Fiji, we switch from football to a soccer game. We always compete onThanksgiving Day, and in Buddy Dive we played in the Bonaire soccer

stadium, complete with officials, a commissioner and team shirts for all. TOM’S PASSION & PEACE Sometime during the week, you will findTom has gone fishing — his place for peace; his passion is fly-fishing.There is always an open invitation for anyone to join, from beginner to expert.Tom always brings a second rod. (Catch and release only.) MUSIC, POETRY, SINGING Tom is a singer, songwriter and

Tom is the land and Margo the sea. Families have travelled with Margo because of her love of the ocean and diving. However, over the years,Tom Peyton has enhanced the beyond-diving part of Kids Sea Camp, creating more fun for families who have

other passions too. VOLLEYBALL

Tom gets the games rolling in the afternoons either on the beach or in the pool.The most popular game is parents vs. kids. 803-419-2556 email:


Football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, sailing yoga, blow karting, spa, painting, poetry, zip line, horseback riding, culinary classes, fly- fishing, jungle biking and paddle boarding!


professional artist. He loves to encourage creativity and often gets karaoke going on the weeks.Tom enjoys impromptu jam session as well for anyone wanting to bring a guitar or other instrument you may play. Feel free to bring your music, your voice and be ready to have some fun jamming by the beach at night. Each week ends with a poetry presentation or skit.Also creativity coaching is available anytime with Tom. 803-419-2556 email:


Photo by Margo Peyton




I am Paul Zanelli, a volunteer fireman and EMT for more than 35 years, a husband, father and now an amputee. I spent 33 days confined to a hospital bed after crushing my right foot during a home project. When I opened my eyes the morning of December 23, 2016, minus a leg, I looked up at the hospital roomTV to see a one-legged superstar running a Spartan race. It was like God was trying to show me a new world of possibilities. Christmas was spent in the hospital with my family and friends. So many people came to visit, and as much joy as that brought to me, it was hard seeing the pain and sorrow in their eyes. I wasn’t in pain! I was going to be OK! I did not need them to feel sorry for me. I became determined to stay strong and lead a normal life. I came home from the hospital on Dec. 27 with equal measures of hope and fear.One of the first people to reach out to me was Margo Peyton, owner of Kids Sea Camp, and

the call she made to me was the start of a new and wonderful, new relationship with her, my family and diving. I met Margo and her husband,Tom Peyton ,the year before at Kids Sea Camp (KSC) in Roatan, Honduras. It had been a dream come true for us. Cindy and I were avid divers for more than a decade, but after having children, dive trips were replaced with Disney and water parks. We stumbled upon KSC when the kids turned 10 and wanted to dive too. In Roatan, we dove and made friends with other adults, while the kids were getting certified and making friends of their own. It felt great for all of us to finally be diving together. We planned on diving, it is a big part of our life, and had booked another KSC trip for spring break 2017 in Dominica at the FortYoung Hotel and Buddy Dive Dominica. While lying in the hospital bed in Decem- ber, the doctors told me there was no way that I would be diving inApril. It was only four months away, so I sadly told my wife

to cancel our family vacation, and in perfect Cindy form, she said NO! Keeping that trip scheduled was one of the best decisions ever. My family needed this trip, and so did I. I wanted to show my kids (and myself) that life would be as good or better than before.And what made it all come together was this unexpected call from Margo. She had been following my story on Facebook, with lots of love and prayers throughout. Margo called to tell me she had made all the arrangements for me with a handicap room, an HSA instructor, some big strong dive guides to help me in and out of the wa- ter and anything else I could possibly need to make this work. She even arranged the land excursions that ensured no far walks for me or a path where I could be driven to the top of the fort or waterfalls. To top it all off, she even purchased me a sub-gravity underwater scooter through her not-for-profit foundation, The scooter was small, compact and easy 803-419-2556 email:


to use. It could be used with one arm or two.The scooter provided assistance diving if I got tired and was a whole lot of fun. Margo loves challenges and is one of the most loving people I have ever met. She proudly proclaimed,“Paul, we got this!” and, with that, launched me into getting back in shape and continuing to plan our dream dive trip to Dominica. Margo and I connected in New Jersey at the Beneath the Sea Dive show in March. She was elated to see me walking with my new prosthetic leg and introduced me to ‘Dive Heart’ to get neutrally buoyant fins to fit my new foot. I was excited about the ScubaPro fins and meeting some great people, who were already doing what I was still dreaming about. We arrived in Dominica just four months after my surgery. I was walking on my new prosthetic, carrying the underwater scooter and a swim prosthetic (Aqua Leg) was strapped to my backpack. FortYoung Hotel was beautiful and located right on the water

with our room looking out to the ocean. Buddy Dive was ready and waiting for me. I spent the first full day trying out my new Aqua Leg, learning to use my new dive gear and getting comfortable diving. Niels, who runs Buddy Dive, was ready to assist in any way, so I jumped in for a checkout dive off the dock. That was the greatest feeling in the world, my friends. I cannot describe the freedom and joy I felt getting back in the water and descending to depth, and diving again.After my awesome check-out dive, it was game on! I had my family around me, and that family now included theWhites and the Peytons. We were so fortunate to have the friends we met last year in Roatan, Jay and Lisa White and their boys reconnect with us in Dominica.They brought an extra scooter and a shared passion for hunting lionfish. Cindy, Lisa and Margo were focusing on underwater photography, and the kids were scootering around together and having a blast. Life was great again!

Buddy Dive in Dominica accommodates every level of diver, and it was easy for me and the kids.We enjoyed diving with adults on our own boats in the mornings and then dove as a family every afternoon. We had fun looking for sperm whales, and I even jumped off the top of the Buddy Express boat with all the kids! Abby and JAZ took a digital photo class with Margo and shot some amazing underwater images.We ate fresh lionfish fritters and ceviche each night. Margo andTom always put safety first, and that made our trip stress-free. It was just what my soul needed, and all was made pos- sible by Next Step Orthopedics and Kids Sea Camp’s “We got this” mentality. It was hard to say goodbye, but we are busy planning our next KSC trip Story by Paul Zanelli, father, husband, diver, EMT, fireman and all-round inspira- tional human being 803-419-2556 email:

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