MAGALOG21 (2021)

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:

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