On December 7th, 2013, Air Hogs Scuba in Garner, NC, took on a mission that many scuba facilities outside certain organizations do not realize is available as an opportunity. That mission was to conduct an SDI Scuba Discovery program for a local Boy Scout troop. The boys met with instructors Joshua Norris and Rob Bradish at 10:00 AM to cover basic information, complete forms with parents, and learn how to assemble and disassemble scuba equipment. Later that afternoon, the boys assembled at a local pool facility to begin their scuba adventure.
First, the boys participated in a small swim and snorkel evaluation, which included the skills necessary to achieve the BSA Snorkel badge. Second, the boys completed the full SDI Scuba Discovery course which earned them the BSA Scuba badge. Finally, the boys were “turned loose,” under the evaluation of their instructors, to play and have fun. This activity left the boys with a taste for diving, and an understanding that with a full certification, the scuba merit badge could be earned.
Working with Boy Scouts is not new to Air Hogs Scuba. In the summer of 2013, the shop participated in a local BSA High Adventure program, which brought between 10 and 20 scouts each week to the facility for introductory scuba programs. A learning curve showed the instructors that the SDI program was easier for the boys to understand and could be complemented with the full open water video presentation. Instructors Thomas Powell, Josh Norris, Rob Bradish, and Anthony Piscopo then chose to only use the SDI program when working with Boy Scouts from that point forward. Similarly, the basic swim and snorkel skills allowed the boys to earn a series of badges during a short period. Essentially, added value was developed. To further expand on shop recognition, the local BSA council provided a customized and tradable patch based on the Air Hogs Scuba logo. Only the boys and girls (Venture Troops) who participated were allowed to earn the customized patch.
An introductory SDI scuba program for Boy Scouts can easily be developed for any International Training facility. This development is a simple process that entails meeting with a council representative, training your staff through online BSA programs, gaining access to troop leaders, and presenting potential value. BSA programs are not agency specific and can be great fun for boys and their families. Similarly, these programs build groups of clientele from area churches, businesses, and organizations.
Find out what to expect in SDI Scuba Discovery Dive Course.