HEEDING THE CALL
Scuba Diving|July 2020
Kids Sea Camp has taught thousands of kids to love diving and the ocean in its first 20 years. But for some KSC alum, that connection to the sea has meant so much more.
PATRICIA WUEST

In 2000, seven families attended the first Kids Sea Camp in Curaçao. For co-owner Margo Peyton, it was a simple concept: Provide a safe, fun experience for families who love the ocean, diving and traveling. In the two decades since then, KSC has certified thousands of kids and adults, all over the world, without a single dive accident. For many families, Kids Sea Camp vacations are annual events. But KSC’s success isn’t measured only by the number of C-cards it has issued, or repeat guests. KSC’s ability to connect families to the ocean has prompted many youngsters to dedicate their lives to diving and ocean conservation. We talked to three Kids Sea Camp “kids” and asked them what the program has meant to them.

KENDALL WILLIAMS

AGE: 20

HOMETOWN: Emporia, Kansas

YEAR CERTIFIED: 2013

WHERE CERTIFIED: Grand Cayman

CURRENT LEVEL OF CERTIFICATION: PADI Divemaster

Kendall Williams understands focus and discipline. The New Mexico native (above left) just finished her junior year at Emporia State University, where she is majoring in nursing and competing as a long-distance runner.

Her first Kids Sea Camp was at Cobalt Coast Resort on Grand Cayman. “I was 13 years old getting my Open Water certification,” she says. “I had always been in love with the ocean, but I discovered that diving is the only place on Earth where you can feel no gravity and just float.”

A love of diving and the ocean runs in the family. Williams’ dad, Todd, got certified as an 18-year-old, and it quickly turned into a passion. “Once he met my mom, she also got certified,” she says. “When my sister and I were born, they had less time to go scuba diving, but I can still remember times when they left us with our grandparents to go on dive vacations.”

Williams has returned to the Cayman Islands multiple times on Kids Sea Camp trips, but she’s also attended them all over the world, in Bonaire, St. Lucia, Palau and the Philippines.

“There is a lot of unexplored ocean out there, but being at 100 feet deep and looking out into the open blue, it really kicks in how little we have mapped out,” Williams says. “The KSC trips have taught me to be a lot more observant. I find it extraordinary that the oceans are the biggest ecosystem on the planet, yet we know so little about them.”

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