Born in the Cay­man Is­lands and grew up with Kids Sea Camp

Scuba Diving - - Special Promotional Advertising - By Robert Pey­ton, PADI OWSI, MSDT #340202

I was born in the Cay­man Is­lands in 1994, a place my mom then called home; She had planned from the be­gin­ning that the ocean was go­ing to be a big part of my life. Grow­ing up at Kids Sea Camp (KSC) ev­ery sum­mer kept me far away from TV, video games, sports or hav­ing lo­cal friends. My friends were cul­tur­ally di­verse from other states and other coun­tries around the world. I was not in­nately aware of race or re­li­gious con­tro­ver­sies. I’ve kept in touch with many of the friends I’ve made around the world and some have be­come my clos­est friends.

Grow­ing up at KSC shaped my life in so many ways. I have ex­pe­ri­enced a mul­ti­tude of cul­tures, foods, and life styles that have opened my mind and ex­panded my views of how dif­fer­ent fam­ily, school, and life in gen­eral is around the world. Diving has

taught me re­spect for the ocean and my MRWXVYGXSVW MX´W TVSZMHIH QI GSR½HIRGI and given me pur­pose. I have learned how to ed­u­cate and train oth­ers with the de­ter­mi­na­tion of do­ing my best.

Through KSC, I have learned my re­spon­si­bil­ity as a dive in­struc­tor, to be a voice of change against pol­lu­tion, diver safety and co­ral reef pro­tec­tion. At KSC you can com­pare the ma­rine en­vi­ron­ments around the world. I have learned why sharks must be saved, that corals can be re­grown that peo­ple can change and we have a huge re­spon­si­bil­ity to in­spire that change. KSC con­nects divers, around the globe, and we stay con­nected to each other.

Diving en­cour­aged me to over come fear, at age 8 I was a PADI Mas­ter Seal diving at St­ingray City in Grand Cay­man. I watched the older kids dive deep in the ocean, I could not wait to be them.

1] 4%(- .3; GIVXM½GEXMSR JIPX PMOI MX took for­ever to get too. At the age of 10, I had logged more than 40 Seal dives in mul­ti­ple coun­tries. I was so ready for more than 20 ft of wa­ter to dive in.

The cool thing about trav­el­ing with my fam­ily, as my sis­ter Jen and I grew up, so grew the train­ing and PADI courses that my mom of­fered at KSC. She ad­vanced train­ing and itin­er­ar­ies in new des­ti­na­tions ev­ery year. There is so much of­fered now, PMOI NYRKPI FMOMRK PMSR½WL LYRXMRK FPS[ kart­ing, zom­bie divers, live­aboard cit­i­zen sci­ence, pho­tog­ra­phy and PADI Pro level train­ing.

For 19 years of my life at KSC, my pas­sion has been fo­cused on diving. It’s the one thing I feel the most com­fort­able do­ing. I have no stress when I’m diving and I'm very present for those 60 min­utes un­der­wa­ter. It was ob­vi­ous I would be­come a PADI in­struc­tor and in 2014

with a 1,000+ logged dives I did just that in Grand Cay­man.

I have since com­pleted my MSDT, Tec 40, 45 and 50 at Buddy Dive Bon­aire. Now 24, still in col­lege, I work with KSC each sum­mer teach­ing the next gen­er­a­tion of divers. I feel at home in the Cay­man Is­lands and I have GSQI XS PSZI ¾] ½WLMRK EPWS GEXGL and re­lease of course). In Cay­man Brac this past sum­mer, I found my TIEGI [LIR - [EW SYX SR XLI ¾EXW just as much as I did on the boats.

My great­est pas­sion is tech­ni­cal diving. Tech­ni­cal diving means go­ing be­yond recre­ational scuba diving lim­its.

My next goal is to be­come a Tec In­struc­tor and I’m hop­ing Mr. G. at Buddy Dive in Bon­aire is go­ing to help me make that hap­pen soon.

I think what makes KSC so amaz­ing at any age, is the fam­i­lies who travel with us around the world that make each trip so unique and mem­o­rable. The Philip­pines, In­done­sia, Fiji and Palau are a long way to travel but ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the peo­ple, food, his­tory, cul­ture and the diving makes it worth the travel.

My mom is in the Women Divers Hall of Fame and the DEMA Hall of Fame for grow­ing the dive in­dus­try and cre­at­ing a safe place for fam­i­lies with kids to dive XSKIXLIV /7' LEW GIVXM½IH QSVI than 7,000 kids and not a sin­gle dive ac­ci­dent.

How­ever, she could not have cre­ated KSC by her­self. She had a lit­tle help from me and Jen as well as her friends. She has been close friends with Paul and Michelle Coolen from Buddy Dive. Marc Bau­man with Sam’s Tours is like a brother to her. When Car­olyn Pas­cal was the pub­lisher of Sport Diver Mag­a­zine, she loved mom’s idea so much, she told the whole world about it. Mom's dive ca­reer be­gan in the Cay­man Is­lands; where I was born.

She and Tom have a strong per­sonal re­la­tion­ship with Ja­son & Sue Bel­port who gave us KSC weeks in all 3 of the Cay­man Is­lands. She calls Bigs Eg­gert of Sea Ex­plor­ers in the Philip­pines her sea sis­ter. She says KSC is so au­then­tic be­cause its per­sonal and not just busi­ness.

As you would have guessed KSC has also shaped my sis­ter, Jen’s life too. At 22 she is a PADI in­struc­tor and in vet school. Jen and I have grown up trav­el­ing the world and it’s made our fam­ily closer.

We have had the best life, KVS[MRK YT YRHIV XLI ½RW SJ WS many amaz­ing peo­ple. The only one left that mom is still try­ing to shape is Tom. Our dad, I am sure, will be shaped into a PADI In­struc­tor one day soon too.

I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate the time we have when we are all on lo­ca­tion to­gether.

KSC is in 13 coun­tries now over 24 weeks. So Jen and I run trips to­gether with Woody, Aly, Olivia, Pa­tric and other mem­bers of our dive team. That’s been a big part of grow­ing up too. I have over­come fear of pub­lic speak­ing for the most part. I even stand up and do karaoke once I have had a few beers. Who would have thought?

I am look­ing for­ward to run­ning my own trips for Fam­ily Dive Ad­ven­tures, a divi­sion of KSC, that caters more to cus­tom trips that in­clude Fly and Dive. I want to take divers to the Cay­man Is­lands, Gala­pa­gos, Palau and many of the more ad­vanced dive des­ti­na­tions.

I am very grate­ful for all the in­ter­na­tional friend­ships and the in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­ni­ties those friend­ships have af­forded me over the past 24 years. Be­ing born in the Cay­man Is­lands was a bonus.

A spe­cial thank to my par­ents for putting such in­spir­ing peo­ple and places in my path,“i love you both”.

Photo by Brad Hol­land

Rob­bie Pey­ton stress free and present in the mo­ment.

Photo by Brad Hol­land

The Pey­ton fam­ily diving to­gether at Cay­man Brac Reef Divers in Cay­man Brac.

Photo Margo Pey­ton

Rob­bie Pey­ton be­com­ing a Tec diver at Buddy Dive Rse­ort in Bonare.


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