by SDI IT Bob Collins USN Retired:
If you’re like me, when you see photos or read stories of divers with disabilities enjoying Scuba, it pulls at your heart strings. Maybe you’ve seen Vets or others limited to wheelchairs for mobility and you know the incredible freedom of weightlessness that comes when diving and you want to share that freedom. Most of us don’t understand the of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but we know the peaceful tranquility of our underwater world and we wish that for others.
These are just a few of the reasons that 6 Scuba Professionals (and a dog) came together for the 2 day Scubility Camp sponsored by Divers Supply the end of February 2015. A desire to share the benefits of diving with those that may never be able to without special considerations.
After being trained through another handicap diver agency a half dozen years ago, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a number of classified folks that wished to try scuba. In March of 2014 during an Instructor Trainer Workshop (ITW) at World Headquarters (HQ), I discussed in-depth with “the powers that be”, SDI’s Scubility Program. In July of ‘14, I worked with a US Army warrior transition unit (WTU) Battalion where Scuba was the #1 choice of soldiers for their week long camp at Ft. Stewart, Ga.
In December I began looking at my goals for 2015 and decided to turn up the heat on Scubility training and get it up off of simmer. Additional discussions with HQ followed as did a few sit downs with two great instructor friends, both retired US Navy Cmdrs. The ground work slowly came together for the Scubility course training materials and the PURPLE FINS PROJECT.
When we published our course date, the six slots filled in a matter of days.
The two days are filled with academics, pool work and open water sessions, attendees serve as both role players and Instructors.
On the close of the Camp instructors were asked to reflect on their experiences. Most were amazed and many used descriptions such as “humbling” and ”challenging”. All said, “You will be a better instructor by taking this course”. See video below:
All graduates were awarded the PURPLE FINS PROJECT t-shirt and can buy a pair of purple fins through Divers Supply.
The next Scubility Camp is scheduled for 25-26 of July 2015 in Jacksonville, FL. Space is limited so call early and lock in your spot.
Other dates may be announced in Chicago, San Francisco, Northeast and TBD.