|The SCUBA BSA Award Patch is not worn on the scout uniform. It is worn on the left side of the swim trunks. |
Download the SCUBA BSA Application Form
*The counselor for Scuba BSA must hold an instructor rating and be in current teaching status with PADI, NAUI, SSI or other member of the RSTC in accordance with BSA scuba policies. Instruction must meet the minimum training standards for introductory scuba experiences set by the RSTC and guidelines provided in the Scuba BSA Brochure, No. 13-971. BSA scuba policies are provided in that brochure and also in the Guide to Safe Scouting.
Counselors for Scuba BSA must hold current scuba instructor certification from PADI, NAUI, SSI, or other RSTC member organizations. Instruction must comply with RSTC standards for introductory scuba experiences. These minimum standards include instructor to participant ratios. In a pool, the ratio is eight participants per instructor. In a confined waterfront setting the ratio is four participants per instructor. Ratios may be increased by two participants if the instructor is assisted by someone certified as a dive master or assistant instructor.
A second adult who understands the procedures should be present in case the instructor becomes incapacitated. Two-deep adult leadership is also required by BSA youth protection guidelines.
Before participants are allowed in the water, they must complete a health history form designed for scuba activities. Instructors should use standard forms advocated by their certifying agency.
Skill instruction must be conducted in clear, confined water. A swimming pool is recommended. Scuba BSA is ideally suited to winter programs using indoor pools. Two 45-minute sessions are recommended for instruction, practice, and completion of requirements.
Although Scuba BSA is similar to introductory scuba experiences offered by various RSTC member organizations, those programs are not substitutes for Scuba BSA. All requirements must be completed as stated on the application form. The counselor may not omit, vary, or add requirements. In particular, Scuba BSA has a prerequisite swimming requirement, is only available to youth and adults registered in the Boy Scouting or Venturing programs, and does not include the option of an open-water dive.
Local council programs may not compress or sell air for scuba use, or sell, rent, or loan scuba equipment. All air and equipment for local council Scuba BSA programs must be obtained from properly licensed sources, unaffiliated with the Boy Scouts of America and under the supervision of PADI, NAUI, SSI, or other RSTC-approved and certified scuba instructors.
Individuals completing the Scuba BSA requirements qualify for a recognition card and patch. The counselor or unit leader should submit the completed award application to the local council service center.