Scuba is a fun way to explore the underwater world. Members of Scouts BSA, Venturers, and adult Scouters can earn the Scuba BSA award by learning to dive safely and putting their skills to use.
The Scuba BSA patch is meant to be worn on the left side of swim trunks.
This award is not available for Cub Scouts.
Scuba BSA Award Requirements
- Before doing other requirements, successfully complete the BSA swimmer test. To begin the test, jump feetfirst into water over the head in depth, level off, and begin swimming. Swim 75 yards in
a strong manner using one or more of the following strokes: sidestroke, breaststroke, trudgen, or crawl; then swim 25 yards using an easy, resting backstroke. The 100 yards must be completed in
one swim without stops and must include at least one sharp turn. After completing the swim, rest by floating.
- Discuss the importance of using the buddy system at all times while scuba diving. Explain that a dive buddy is there to assist with the donning and doffing of equipment, to lend assistance in case
of emergency, and to share in the underwater experience. Remember, always dive with a buddy. Never dive alone!
- Review hazards associated with scuba diving, including causes of decompression incidents, and safety procedures to avoid them. Explain the importance of never using scuba equipment unless
you are enrolled in a training exercise or have completed a diver certification program taught by a certified instructor.
By the end of a Water Skills Development session, the participants will be able to meet the following requirements in clear, confined water.
- State the purpose of the following pieces of basic diving equipment: mask, fins, BCD, BCD inflator, regulator, air gauge, and alternate air source.
- Describe how to locate the air gauge, and explain how to recognize the “caution zone” on it.
- Don and adjust mask, fins, snorkel, BCD, scuba, and weights with the assistance of a buddy, an instructor, or a certified assistant.
- While underwater, demonstrate and recognize the following hand signals: OK?/OK!; Stop; Up; Down; Out of air; Come here; Ears not clearing; Slow down/Take it easy; Something is wrong; Watch me; Check your air supply.
- Inflate/deflate a BCD at the surface using the low-pressure inflator.
- In shallow water, demonstrate proper compressed air breathing habits; remember to breathe naturally and not hold the breath.
- Clear the regulator while underwater using both exhalation and purge-button methods, and resume normal breathing from it.
- In shallow water, recover a regulator hose from behind the shoulder while underwater.
- In shallow water, clear a partially flooded mask while underwater.
- Swim underwater with scuba equipment while maintaining control of both direction and depth, properly equalizing the ears and mask to accommodate depth changes.
- While underwater, locate and read submersible pressure gauge and signal whether the air supply is adequate or low based on the gauge’s caution zone.
- Describe how to avoid hazardous aquatic life (if applicable to your confined water location).