Start with a dash of swimming skills (the Swimming merit badge). Add equal measures of aquatics first aid, safety, and conservation.
Malibu Divers Boy Scout Program includes the BSA Merit Badge for the Rugged "S" Scuba program. 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. These Scouts can also attend the SCUBA Merit badge session during the summer.
** Please note: the Swimming Merit Badge is no longer a requirement for the Rugged Scuba program. It is apparently still a requirement for the Scuba Merit Badge, but there will not be a problem with someone participating in the Rugged Scuba program.
Key facts you need to know about the merit badge are as follows:
• Completing the Scuba Diving merit badge will result in the boy achieving an open water certification enabling him to dive around the world with the appropriate supervision, based on his age.
• There are two important roles for this merit badge - the merit badge counselor and a certified dive instructor. Sometimes this may be the same person. More likely, the counselor will be an existing BSA adult member. Always the Malibu Diver instructor will be the one certified by PADI. The instructor does NOT have to be a BSA member.
• Earning the Scuba Diving merit badge is open to all Boy Scout-age youth. There are, however, limitations based on age with respect to how deep and with whom a boy can dive. These limitations vary by certifying organization.
• Completion of the Swimming merit badge is a requirement of the Scuba merit badge and can be completed prior or after entering into scuba training portion of the requirements.
• Boys with a current open water certification will NOT have to re-certify in order to earn the merit badge. They will, however, have to have completed the Swimming merit badge, present their certification to the merit badge counselor and complete all the other requirements.
There are three important pieces of information which must be fully reviewed by the merit badge counselor prior to approving any Scout for the merit badge:
1. merit badge requirements,
2. notes to counselor,
3. Scuba policy of the Guide to Safe Scouting.