A couple years ago I went to the Family Travel Association conference in the Bahamas. The conference was actually on board a Royal Caribbean cruise ship and it was my first trip on a cruise. As often happens at conferences, we were talking with different people and learning about lots of resources that are available for families and one that popped out at me because it was just so incredible, is the work that Margo Payton does with Kids Sea Camp. Kids Sea Camp is just one aspect of her Family Dive Adventures business but it was more than enough to capture my interest.
I was initially hooked when she talked about working children with special needs and how she works hard to make sure every child in one of her programs thrives. If you give them enough notice, they can accommodate most special needs - which is amazing because the options for travelling with a special needs family member can be pretty slim. In talking with her further, I learned about the Kids Sea Camps and how they are really geared for kids to learn not only how to dive and snorkel, but they also function as a way for the kids to be in camp program so that the adults can have a vacation, too - Genius!
At first, I was going to put just my daughter into the diving program and then I learned that they do full certification programs for adults too. So I thought that this could be a way for the whole family to learn to dive together while on vacation. The other reason I wanted to learn more is because my husband is a certified scuba diver. He loves diving and has always wanted to be able to drive with us but I've always been a bit nervous of deep water and I didn't even know that kids as young as 10 can get certified. I always thought that scuba diving was just for adults. The whole family could learn together which is a great fit for our.
Our kids LOVE water. This is Ethan (then 6.5) snorkeling in Roatan and because of that the idea of a vacation that has a camp program, that teaches the children how to be safe in the water, and learn to scuba dive, that gives us adults a chance to also have time together, and where I can overcome my fear of deep water quickly became a bucket list trip for us.
I'm very excited to be going with Kids Sea Camp to the Cayman Islands this April for my birthday. What better present than going on vacation as a family and learning to scuba dive? Now the big thing for me is that I have an intense fear of deep water, so this trip is also about overcoming my fear and learning to enjoy deep water - (I will let you know how that goes when I come back from the trip ) I did an intro to diving class in Bermuda last October to prepare me for re-entry to the underwater world. I did go Scuba diving once before in Cuba before I had the kids and loved it but after kids safety became a big issue for me and I was worried so didn’t go again. I know all the PADI certified programs have to follow rigorous safety protocol and everyone is trained, but I loved that Family Divers is focussed specifically on families and Margo herself has received many awards.
I love that the younger siblings can participate whether that's through the Bubblemaker program or just learning to snorkel with the camp. Sometimes it can be difficult to find something that everyone can do together, where the parents can have fun, and where it feels like a vacation. My daughter is a bit older now so she isn't into kids club and this is a great fit because it's more of a camp - the kids can participate in their activities, and the adults can participate and have fun and then everyone can come back together at the end of the day and really connect. I’m really looking forward to this because it is basically a kids camp program where the parents can also participate and if they already know how to dive, they can go out on their own.
The best thing about Kids Sea Camp is the choices of locations that you can do it at. We’re going to Caymans, but there are lots of other programs all over the world. Whether you are new to diving or you just want to go on that epic diving trip with your family they have lots of destinations and lots of choices so check them out at https://familydivers.com/kids-sea-camp/ and get your dive on!