Ever since I first became an instructor I’ve wanted to work with the Boy Scouts as a Scuba Diving Merit Badge Counselor. I’d touched base with a couple of local scoutmasters (including a guy who lives just down the street from me) but nobody had really followed up…That was until a few weeks ago when I got an email finally taking me up on my offer to be a merit badge counselor.
Fast forward to this weekend and my application to be a Scuba Diving Merit Badge Counselor has been accepted and I was on my way down to Scuba Jam VA 2017 down at Lake Phoenix in Rawlings, VA. Eighteen, count ’em 18 different shops from multiple states as well as a plethora of scuba organizations, manufacturers, and service providers all came together to support Scuba Jam. I met some amazing dive professionals this weekend!
I got to spend the weekend working with a great group of scouts, getting to know the scoutmaster and scoutmaster emeritus :). As a bonus, I’ve been hearing about the diving down at Lake Phoenix from some of my students for a couple of years. I just never got off my butt to visit. That little oversight was rectified this weekend.
What a great weekend!
We rolled in on Friday while it was pouring down rain. After checking in, the rain decided to stop for an hour or two to give us an opportunity to set up camp without getting soaked.
Upon check-in the first thing we did was get handed out goodie bags! What a relief for me. My family is always telling me that if there’s one thing I need it’s more scuba related clothing 🙂
I’m not an expert at camping or anything, so it was a weekend of a lot of lessons out of the water as I learned more
about the BSA as well as how to set up and break down camp like a real pro!
Saturday morning the fun began in earnest. The organizers of Scuba Jam VA had a lot of activities for participants this weekend. On Saturday, that included a buoyancy challenged, underwater games, and a night dive.
Down at Scuba Jam VA 2017 (http://www.scubajam-va.org/) this weekend. Here’s a video of one of our scouts doing the buoyancy challenge. What a great weekend!
The adult leaders of our group got to take care of our youth AND get some sweet diving in as well.
The kids didn’t get to have all the fun down at Scuba Jam VA 2017 (http://www.scubajam-va.org/). Here’s a video of one of my buddies doing the underwater obstacle course.
We had one non-certified diver with us this weekend as well and I was able to offer him a Discover Scuba. I got to see the same excitement about being in the water that I felt after my own Discover Scuba back in 2010.
Not all of our time was spent in the water this weekend. Several of us got to try out the full facemask snorkels.
Some of us also just chilled out at the water’s edge between dives. And last, but not not least we got in a night dive Saturday evening.
Sunday morning we were right back at it. The organizers had an underwater “puzzle” assembly game, and underwater scavenger hunt, and of course as much fun diving as we could fit in as well.
Our scoutmaster emeritus and I hit the water first thing Sunday morning to get in a deep dive. Or at least as deep as we could get there at Lake Phoenix.
Sunday afternoon Scuba Jam offered a Scuba Merit Badge Counselor workshop which was great for me and the other new Scuba Merit Badge counselors and adult leadership to get a more complete idea of how to effectively support our scouts.
“Deep” Dive Video!
We hit just over 62 feet this morning…and my watch keep track of that kind of stuff. Technically a deep dive 🙂
We wrapped up Sunday evening with an awards ceremony. Prizes (meaning awesome scuba swag and even equipment) were awarded to every single youth participant for performance in weekend activities.
I had a great time this weekend. The kids were awesome, the adults were awesome, and to put it simply, I met some really great people.
What a way to end the summer!