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From Sea to Scuba Certified: Scouts Earn Unique Merit Badge

Last month, five Scouts from Troop 73 in Novato, CA, emerged from the somewhat tumultuous waters of Monterey. Their preparations had paid off with a certified skill that will allow them to explore a world most of us will never see.

Scuba

Through merit badges, the BSA offers young men a distinct opportunity to build a skill that advances not only their development as Scouts but also trains them for hobbies and future careers. For instance, when a Scout earns the Scuba Diving merit badge, he must also establish himself as a certified scuba diver. Organizations like Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) allow Scouts to earn their diving or junior diving (meaning the Scout must dive with a certified adult until he’s 15 years old) as part of achieving the merit badge.

After Troop 73’s Scouts completed home study and a prep course in the pool at the Pinnacles Dive Center, the boys, their parent volunteers, and instructors camped out on the shores of Monterey for exploratory dives.

Despite rough waters, the Scouts were able to complete everything needed to earn both scuba certification and the Scuba Diving merit badge. Those requirements include training on what to do if things go wrong during a dive.

“We had to do skills like cleaning our masks if they get filled up with water,” one of the scuba Scouts, Eagle Scout Joe, explained to California Diver Magazine. “If, let’s say your buddy got really tired, you can tow him back to shore. So, we practiced our tows. We also did an emergency ascent, in case you’re out of air. We also shared air with our buddy in case they ran out of air and they ascended to the surface.”

Learn more about the other Scouts who took the plunge to get scuba certified, as they share what motivated them to go for the badge and what they glimpsed in the deep blue. Check out the full story on California Diver or watch the magazine’s video here.

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This blog is managed and written by staff of the Communications Department of the Boy Scouts of America.