Source: Venturing Leader Manual (#34655B, pp. 184-188). Boy Scouts of America, 2000.
Probably the most popular activities of Venturing crews are camping and backpacking, rappelling and rock climbing, and scuba diving. Part of the appeal of scuba diving is that it is available just about everywhere. Even crews in the prairie lands of mid-America can find scuba instruction and a place to dive. Crews can enjoy diving in quarries, lakes, rivers, springs, and of course, oceans.
Scuba not only opens new worlds to the diver, it also offers a chance for personal growth. If you have proper training and well-planned and well-run scuba activities, scuba diving can be one of your crew's most exciting activities.
Scuba diving is adventure-high adventure!
To participate in this superactivity you must be certified in scuba diving with at least an open-water diver rating by one of the following agencies: National Association of Scuba Diving Schools (NASDS), National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI), Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), SSI, or YMCA. Additional training in such areas as advanced open-water diving is recommended and is likely to not only increase safety but also enhance your crew's program.
During scuba certification, your diving instructor will discuss the level of physical fitness required for diving. Generally speaking, average fitness is required. However, being comfortable under water is important. In planning to dive, it is important to consider the health status of your crew members.
Where to Find Help
Take advantage of several opportunities. Start by asking around to see if you know anyone who is certified by one of the diving instructor organizations such as PADI. Find out who taught the certified divers you know and ask what they thought of their instruction. Also, check the yellow pages for diving instructors. Call a nearby YMCA to see if it offers a course of if anyone there knows who does. Check with a local outdoor store. If there is a scuba shop in your area, it likely can be identified by a red and white diagonally divided flag. If all else fails, call or write one of the certification organizations, such as PADI/NAUI, to find an instructor near you.
Determine whether there is enough interest to hold a course just for your crew. If there is not, your crew may have to join another open course.
Note to activity chair.
|DAYS|| ||SUPERACTIVITY BACKDATING-SCUBA DIVING|
|-210||Select scuba diving as your superactivity. Assign an activity chair. Assess resources and the scuba diving ability of crew members. Make reservations with the sea base and arrange other layovers.|
|-175||Recruit consultants as needed.|
|-165||Annual parents' night. Share superactivity and plans.|
|-150||Promote the activity in the crew's annual program calendar and newsletter.|
|-150||Kick off scuba diving with a consultant's slide show and underwater equipment display.|
|-120||Start scuba instruction for those who need it. Conduct additional programs on various facets of diving, such as underwater photography, wreck diving, Divers Alert Network (DAN) programs, and treasure hunting.|
|-120||Submit a newsletter article.|
|-90||Confirm sea base and layover location plans. Promote the activity in your crew newsletter. Continue scuba instruction and programs.|
|-60||Go on a crew weekend trip for open-water certification of new divers and a check dive of previously certified divers. Promote the dives in your crew newsletter.|
|-45||Finalize transportation arrangements.|
|-30||Turn in the tour permit application to your local council service center. Confirm your travel plans. Assign one person to be your at-home emergency contact. Send final itinerary and details to participants. Order Epcot tickets.|
|-15||Collect all forms. Put an article in the local newspaper about the trip.|
|-7||Purchase nonperishable food for the trip.|
|-5||Conduct your last crew meeting before the trip.|
|-1||Purchase fresh food.|
|-1||Pick up transportation, if needed.|
|+1||Put an article with pictures of the trip in the local newspaper.|
|+7||Hold a potluck or cookout with your families. Show slides.|
|+14||Critique your efforts. Place the critique in the crew program file. Send thank-you notes to everyone who helped.|
The above backdating schedule will vary greatly depending on your crew's chosen activity and skill level. Feel free to build your own backdating schedule. Be more thorough if you want and share it with your crew. The following activity plan relates to the backdating schedule and, like the backdating schedule, is just "food for thought." Use what you want; modify and add to it.
MEETING AND ACTIVITY PLAN
|SESSION||SKILLS INSTRUCTION||SPECIAL ACTIVITY|
|1||Analyze your crew's scuba skill level. Determine who are swimmers, lifeguards, and certified divers. Also find out who has other skills such as underwater photography and first aid.||Have a diving instructor give a slide show about the adventure of diving. Ask to be shown slides that represent the kind of diving you will do. Have the instructor explain what is involved in scuba instruction. Ask the instructor to bring equipment and explain its use.|
|2||Learn about the different types of scuba certification courses.||Have a diving instructor explain the diving certification ratings. Show slides.|
|3||Learn about underwater photography.||Ask an underwater photographer to give a program on underwater photography equipment and techniques.|
|4||Learn about DAN programs.||Have a DAN representative give a program on what DAN is and its many services.|
|5||Learn what's new in scuba gear.||Ask a representative of a scuba shop to bring and show all the latest scuba equipment. Show how dive computers work.|
|6||Learn to identify aquatic creatures. Consider having a fun "identify the creature" game to practice.||Have a consultant or crew members give a program on aquatic creatures you might encounter in your area or where your crew plans to dive. You could also learn about underwater ecology.|
|7||Learn about treasure hunting in the Caribbean.||Invite a consultant to show a video or slides of treasure hunting techniques or finds. Check with treasure hunters in the Florida Keys.|
|8||Plan a weekend trip for open-water certification of new divers and dive checks on previously certified divers.||Plan all details for camping as well as for the diving program. Don't forget about permits and equipment.|
|9||Conduct a superactivity planning meeting.||Meet on a Saturday and include some fun water activities, such as skiing, scuba diving, and water volleyball.|
|10||Hold a family potluck or cookout. Invite the people who helped prepare for the trip. Send thank-you notes to everyone who helped.||Show slides of the trip. Have a fun ceremony to present awards for such things as the best diving buddy, the person who saw the biggest fish, and the person who breathed the most air.|
|11||Critique the activity plan and how well you did.||Put the activity plan and critique in the crew program file for future reference.|
BSA Resource Literature
Fieldbook, No. 33200
Tours and Expeditions, No. 33737
Guide to Safe Scouting, No. 34416
Ranger Guidebook, No. 3128
The Diver's Field Guide to Maintenance and Care for Scuba Diving Equipment, Mike Wood, Concept Systems, 1985.
Diving Medicine for Scuba Divers, Carl Edmonds, Aqua Quest, 1992.
The Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving, PADI, 1988.
Scuba Diving, Graver Dennisk, Human Kinetics, 1993.
The Scuba Diving Handbook, Paul McCullum, Betterway Books, 1991.
Scuba Safe and Simple, John Reseck, P-H, 1990.
Underwater Paradise, Robert Boye, Abrams, 1989.
National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI), 9942 Currie Davis Drive, Suite H, Tampa, FL 33619-2667. Web site: www.naui.com.
Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), 30151 Tomas Street, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688; 714-540-7234, fax 714-540-2609. Web site: www.padi.com.
Underwater Explorers Society, P.O. Box 42433, Freeport, Bahamas; 242-373-1244, fax 242-373-8956.
Underwater Society of America, P.O. Box 628, Daly City, CA 94017; 415-583-3492, fax 408-294-3496.
Scuba Diving, 33 East Minor Street, Emmaus, PA 18098; 800-666-0016.
Scubapro Diving & Snorkeling, 656 Shrewsbury Avenue, Shrewsbury, NJ 07701; 210-842-8300.
Scuba Times, P.O. Box 6268, Pensacola, FL 32503; 904-478-5288.
Skin Diver, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048-5515; 800-800-3487.