Scouts Discover Scuba with IVS!

Today Indian Valley Scuba had the distinct honor of hosting the first ever Discover Scuba Diving program at the 42nd annual SCOPE Jamboree held in Furlong, PA.  This event, held each year between Boy Scout and Venture units in the Bucks County, PA and Toronto, Canada areas, brings approx 600 scouts and scout leaders together for a three day camping, educational and cultural exchange event. 

Team IVS team (Randy Rudd, Donna Raleigh, Tom Rebbie & Csaba Lorinczy) met at the shop at 7:00AM to carpool up with the IVS truck and trailer to the Boy Scout camp in Furlong.  A quick stop at the local Wawa for some Mountain Dew, to ensure the team would be up to dealing with the flood of teenage boys, and we arrived at the camp just after 8:00AM.  Doug Ellis (our chief organizer) and Steve Clem met the team at the pool, where we parked the trailer for the day. “How is the temp Doug?” we yelled out looking at the outdoor pool. “Don’t know …. Don’t want to know … but it’s COLD” The water was later measured to be 65 degrees. “Anybody has some extra 7 mil neoprene?”  

The Scout leaders greeted us with enthusiasm. “Everybody is so excited that you guys are here, we never had scuba at the camp. Thanks for coming, here are the signed waivers.” And they handed us a stack of 2-inch thick folders with over a hundred signed waivers. We took inventory in the IVS trailer, scratched our heads a bit than shrugged our shoulders … “Not to worry, everything always seems to work our in the end with IVS events”.

 Csaba set up the DSD video system in the cantina, Donna took control of all the waivers, while Steve, Tom and Randy started to assemble dive gear by the pool. Doug coordinated the arriving troops and leaders.  We were somewhat relieved when only 45 kids showed up to watch the Discover Scuba Video. While the scouts watched the video, Donna sorted and confirmed each waiver. Doug had arranged the scouts into groups of 8 and everybody got their time slot when they have to show up at the pool. We had Steve, Doug and Randy dress in full neoprene and take position in the pool, while Donna, Tom and Csaba providing support from the “shore” helping divers in and out and managing equipment.

The first group with 8 Venture girls at 10:15, who had a great Discover Scuba session and were very exited to be in the pool with IVS, didn’t even care about the frigid water temperature. They wanted more. The next session started at 11:00, and continued with eight new divers jumping in every 45 minutes all day long.  Some of the boys and girls loved it, some gave it a try and said “This is just not for me … but I tried.”  Lunch was served in shifts during the sessions to keep the team’s energy up. We were served with a great camp lunch of burgers, hot dog and funnel cake.

The afternoon went fast with full sessions right until late in the day.  A few older scouts enjoyed one-on-ones with our scuba instructors and took advantage of the open dive-slots that were available later in the day.Everybody enjoyed the opportunity to breath under water, no matter how cold it was. Even when all completed their class, the 3 girls from the first session and 2 other boys from the later sessions came back, got back in the pool and just wanted more … more  … more. We know how that is, that’s how we all got into diving. Randy and Steve stayed in the pool a bit longer where the kids starting to do skills of mask flooding, regulator clearing and buoyancy control.

At the end of the day almost 60 scouts from 6 different troops and 2 countries enjoyed scuba on this beautiful Memorial Day Saturday. The Scout leaders thanked us as we packed up all our gear and started to inquire about DSD sessions for other camporees and troop meetings – sounds like the Scuba was a big hit this weekend! 



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