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Boy Scouts of America Scuba 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.
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.


1. Do the following:
a. 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.

b. 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.

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

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

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

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

6. 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.

Scuba industry standards for Open Water Diver Certification require the student to be at least 15 years of age. Students under the minimum age who meet open water scuba performance requirements may qualify for a special certification that allows them to dive with an adult buddy who has, as a minimum, an open water scuba certification. Several of the scuba organizations recognized by the BSA offer “junior” open water certifications for those as young as 10; others have a minimum age of 12. Such junior open water diver certifications satisfy Scuba Diving merit badge requirement 4.

Scouts who have already earned an Open Water Diver Certification outside of a BSA activity from a scuba agency recognized by the Boy Scouts of America scuba policy may still earn the Scuba Diving merit badge by earning the Swimming merit badge and completing all other listed requirements.

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Contact Valerie Elliott at 314-469-8722 or e-mail her at Y-kiki Divers for more information.


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