Sometimes, “family vacations” aren’t really vacations for busy moms. You may not have to cook breakfast on vacation but you’’re still in charge of getting everyone up and dressed and down to breakfast. Then, it’s usually up to mom to figure out activities that will entertain everyone during the day. Moms come back from vacation needing a vacation themselves! But thing are different when you take your kids on a vacation with Kids Sea Camp. Kids ranging in ages from 5-12 will have full days of diving activities while you can dive, relax, or do all the touristy things that you love to do but rarely get to on a family vacation!

The way Kids Sea Camp is structured allows for a vacation that has something for everyone. Children from 5-7 years of age participate in the SASY (Surface Supplied Air System) program where they learn the basics of both scuba diving and snorkeling in the pool and the ocean. They don’t have to carry a heavy tank though – the SASY system has a small tank and regulator that float on the surface. These kids don’t go underwater but instead get a really enjoyable snorkeling experience while becoming familiar with the regulator. Regulators are a big thrill for a lot of kids because that’s what creates the bubbles they love so much.

Kids in Seal Team (ages 8-10) is a program that covers basic scuba diving skills, such as breathing underwater, clearing a mask of water, recovering a regulator and swimming around experiencing the sensation of being weightless. These courses can count towards the PADI Open Water Diver course when the child is old enough to take it. The second part of the Seal Team Camp involves going on ten Seal Team Missions with instructors. Missions include activities like creature identification, search and recovery diving, and skin diving. Kids get to take underwater pictures, explore shipwrecks, and learn about conservation of our ocean resources.

Since a long day of diving can be grueling on little bodies, the kids’ days are structured so that they spend part of the day doing in-water learning and part of the day with instructors doing excursions to nearby points of interest. For ten and eleven year olds, there’s a Junior Open Water certification program where once certified, the kids can dive when accompanied by a PADI certified instructor or with a certified parent or guardian to a depth of up to forty feet.

Parents and kids twelve and up can get their PADI open water certification too – so the whole family can enjoy the water together! This is what we did on a recent trip to Grand Cayman with Family Sea Camp. My husband is an avid diver, so he went off on some dives while the rest of us were learning. My seven year old did SASY and had an amazing time. My twelve year old and I both got our open water certification.

I never felt mentally exhausted as sun set on our day. In fact, I looked forward to reconnecting with my family at the end of each day and hearing all about their adventures. There were evening programs like movies and scavenger hunts that we could participate in but we could also choose to hang out and reconnect as a family. I returned from our Family Sea Camp adventure feeling rested and restored, but I’m always ready to take another vacation!

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