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Boy Scouts of America

                      merit badge

SCUBA INSTRUCTION FOR BOY SCOUT MERIT BADGE

All scuba instruction must be conducted by recreational diving instructors in good standing with a scuba agency recognized by the Boy Scouts of America and approved by the BSA local Council.
Previously Certified Boy Scouts may qualify for the Merit Badge, please call the Shop 973 887-0194

Unlike many other merit badges, the Scuba Diving critical prerequisites, knowledge, and skills are not itemized in the requirements nor adequately covered in the merit badge pamphlet. The requirement to earn Open Water Diver Certification means the Scout must meet training requirements set by outside agencies and must supplement the material in the merit badge pamphlet with an entry-level scuba diver manual.

SCUBA Certification is a three step process

  1. Master all the important academic information.

  2. The next step will be to complete the in-water skill-development training. This takes place in the pool at the College of St. Elizabeth, Convent Station, under the supervision of a Lakeland Divers Instructor.
  3. The final step is to complete the required number of open-water training dives.

Requirements:                                                                                                                      

Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while scuba diving, including hypothermia, hyperventilation, squeezes, decompression illness, nitrogen narcosis, motion sickness, fatigue, overexertion, heat reactions, dehydration, injuries by aquatic life, and cuts and scrapes.

  • Identify the conditions that must exist before performing CPR on a person, and explain how to recognize such conditions

  • Demonstrate the proper technique for performing CPR using a training device approved by your counselor

  • Before completing requirements 3 through 6, earn the Swimming merit badge.

  • Discuss the Scuba Diver's Code with your merit badge counselor, and explain the importance of each guideline to a scuba diver's safety.

  • Earn an Open Water Diver Certification from a scuba organization recognized by the Boy Scouts of America scuba policy.

  • Explain what an ecosystem is, and describe four aquatic ecosystems a diver might experience.

  • Find out about three career opportunities in the scuba industry. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.

Minimum Course Content for Open Water Diver Certification:

  During the Open Water Diver course you can look forward to learning basic scuba theory and developing entry-level scuba skills required for certification. All scuba instruction must meet the minimum training standards for Entry-Level Scuba Certification set by the Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC). Your course will consist of the topics and scuba skills required by the training organization and as outlined in this section.

SCUBA: Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus

This course will thoroughly educate the successful student with the knowledge and skills necessary to be a certified beginning SCUBA diver.

The class is taught in three parts: classroom sessions, pool sessions and Open water certification dives.
The classroom sessions along with the study materials will provide the student with the knowledge necessary to pass the written exam. At the pool, the water skills are taught in progressions that build on the previous skills, making the difficult skills seem easy.

At the end of the class, the participants take a written exam, and participate in dives required for certification. The certification dives occur on the weekend following the conclusion of the course and may take place at Dutch Springs, a lake in Pennsylvania, or a referral can be issued. Check out dives are full day events. One snorkel dive and four SCUBA dives must be completed. Each dive contains progressing skill evaluations..

The following will be covered:

  • Equipment. Learn the physical description, operating principles, maintenance, and use of the following equipment items—face mask, fins, snorkel, BCD, exposure suit, weights and weight system, float and flag, cylinders, valves, regulators/air-delivery system, submersible pressure gauge, alternate air source, timing device, compass, depth gauge, dive table or dive computers, knife.
  • Physics of Diving. Learn the physical principles of matter and their application to diving activities and hazards
  • Medical Problems Related to Diving . Learn the causes, symptoms, prevention, and first-aid and treatment of diving medical problems.
  • Decompression Theory and Use of Dive Tables and/or Dive Computers. Learn how to determine no-decompression limits for single and repetitive dives, plus how to use dive tables and/or dive computers to properly plan and execute a dive.
  • Dive Environment. Learn information on the local and general conditions of the diving environment and their possible effects on the diver.
  • General Topics. Learn information on dive planning, underwater and surface communications, diver assistance, recommended diving practices (including safety stops), procedures for diving from boats, proper use of personal diving logbook, and local dive regulations and protocols.
  • Pool/Confined Water Scuba Skills. Learn and practice the following scuba skills in a pool or confined water

 

Counselors for the Scuba Diving merit badge must be registered with the Boy Scouts of America and be approved by the district/ council advancement committee. Like other merit badges, the Scuba Diving merit badge has been developed to teach and train youth in a manner consistent with the overall goals and values of the Boy Scouts of America. The merit badge counselor should be fair and consistent when presenting and evaluating the knowledge and skills specified by the requirements. None of the requirements may be modified or omitted. Unlike many other merit badges, the Scuba Diving critical prerequisites, knowledge, and skills are not itemized in the requirements nor adequately covered in the merit badge pamphlet. The requirement to earn Open Water Diver Certification means the Scout must meet training requirements set by outside agencies and must supplement the material in the merit badge pamphlet with an entry-level scuba diver manual.

All phases of scuba instruction—classroom, pool, and open water training—must comply with the minimum training standards for entry-level scuba certification adopted by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the U.S. Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC). The RSTC is recognized as the ANSI Accredited Standards Developer for recreational diving instructional standards. The BSA acknowledges those standards by limiting scuba instruction only to instructors trained and sanctioned by recognized scuba agencies.  Agencies recognized by the BSA for scuba training are SDI (Scuba Diving International) ;
NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors)
; PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors); SSI (Scuba Schools International); IDEA (International Diving Educators Association); PDIC (Professional Diving Instructors Corporation); and  In addition to the agencies listed by name, any current member of the World Recreational Scuba Training Council ( WRSTC ) is also recognized.

Interested?? Call Lakeland at 973 887-0194