BSA Frequently Asked Questions

  • ONLY the PADI RSTC Medical Form is allowed for all divers. Boy Scouts require that anyone who will be diving at camp have this form signed by a doctor. The BSA medical is not sufficient for divers. It is up to your physician if they require a physical, not us. Please bring all forms, releases and reports with you to Camp to turn in. Do not send to us ahead of time.

  • According to the PADI, Professional Association of Dive Instructors, children can be certified at 10 years old as Junior Open Water divers. The age limit at BSA Camp is 12 years old and up. This is more than a guideline, it is a hard rule. However, your child can start to learn about diving at any age. They can begin to swim and snorkel (join a Skin Diver program first) and perfect many of the skills that are used in SCUBA diving without even taking SCUBA lesson. Through the Bubblemaker program, PADI also allows children from 8 years old and up to begin SCUBA diving in the pool as long as the depth is limited to no more than 6 feet deep and they are under the supervision of a PADI instructor. SCUBA BSA or Discover SCUBA Diving is an excellent program to access readiness before committing to a PADI Open Water or Rugged SCUBA program. Malibu Divers offers this program at Camp and also at our store.

    Of course, all children (and adults) must also met the dive medical standards that have been established. Regardless of the age rules, a parent and guardian would need to be realistic about their children's ability and maturity to pay attention, listen and follow directions from their instructor. It's important that earning a SCUBA certification is based on a personal desire to learn and not feel pressured to learn. Certification is not guaranteed and is performance based. So if you don't finish or need more time to learn, you can schedule for additional time or come back for more training within one year from the last day attended.

    Additionally, while SCUBA diving is available to the vast majority of people of all sizes and shapes, a diver must be a swimmer, and comfortable in the water. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts organizations have their own age rules (that supersede) that children need to be at least 12 years old and various other scout requirements.

  • Name
    Email (one for scout, one for parent if possible please)
    phone # (designate; cell, home, etc)
    Date of Birth
    Home address
    Parent name and contact phone #
    Troop #
    Height, Weight & Shoe Size
    **Payment is expected (either credit card or check) at the time of registration. Additional dives can be booked and paid for at camp.

  • You will be contacted if we do not get the minimum number about 1-2 weeks out you will be offered an alternative program of diving or moved to another scheduled week or local Malibu Diver program or a full refund.

  • If you bring an underwater camera or GoPro to camp, if you are in training, you will not be allowed to use it. Otherwise on non training dives, you must have a clip to hold it, so you can let go of it at any time for safety reasons. If it becomes an issue to safety, you will be asked to not take it. Most everyone has a camera or video these days. Most everyone who uses it take pretty average photos or video.

  • As far as timing devices go, with the exception of the Scuba BSA (non certified divers) program; (certified) divers need to have a means of tracking their bottom time, in order stay within time and depth limits. Keeping track of bottom time is one of the biggest mistakes divers make. They cannot count on someone else to do it. If you are a certified diver, you must keep track of your own bottom time. Period. Dive computer or watch. We have a good selection of Dive Watches, priced from $60-$275(both GShock style digital and analog) and some very nice wrist mounted dive computers (the Suunto Zoop and the AquaLung i300) priced around $300. Cameras vs GoPro; I always ask people what are they primarily planning on doing. If they are planning on mainly shooting pictures, then an underwater camera (we like the SeaLife models). If you are primarily planning on shooting video, then the GoPro (we have the Hero models for sale at camp). If you want to switch back and forth easily between the two formats, we like the SeaLife cameras. We have the latest SeaLife models and the Micro HD available here at Malibu Divers.

  • We have Staff available to shoot if you are interested and we charge a flat fee per day or per week or can put photos/videos up in our gallery for purchase or some combination of sorts. If you would like to get a good set of pics and video to document the experience, we can be hired to provide that for your group.

  • Rugged Scuba is provided with snorkel package of mask, snorkel, fins, boots, gloves, and small gear bag to keep, and all other SCUBA diving gear is provided. Rugged O (Advanced Open Water) and all Certified Divers, we recommend that you bring your snorkel package and any other SCUBA gear you own. We do have SCUBA gear at the Dive Locker but it may be limited in sizes and quantities during busy weeks. Non divers who signup for Scuba BSA (Discover Scuba Diving) will be provided with all of their snorkel and SCUBA gear.

  • It is absolutely okay for Adult Leaders to join the class(es) also. If a person has not been diving for 2 years or more we highly recommend a Refresher done either at home prior to coming to camp or at camp. PADI refresher is called either Scuba Tune-Up or Reactivate. If done at camp, the cost is either $139 (book) or $169 (on line home study).

  • You can sign up at camp but we recommend any anticipated training programs be signed up in advance by calling (310) 456-2396 or send us an email at It helps to ensure you have the training materials in advance and our staff planning of our schedule for the week. Also, you must do a Checkout or Discover Local dive before you can do any night diving or specialty training.

  • Yes! Rugged SCUBA, Rugged Oceanographers and Rugged Rescue require the completion of online courses before coming to camp. Remember to print your completion report and bring it to camp. If you are interested in PPB, peak performance buoyancy, or a SCUBA Tuneup/Review or Digital Imaging Specialty, online training is a recommended option and you can signup with Malibu Divers directly by calling (310) 456-2396.

  • We usually turn this around in about 24-48 hours.

  • When you arrive at Camp, you should come to the Dive Locker to arrange with Malibu Divers for a time when the scout is "off session" or the scout will have to notify the merit badge counselor and make up for the time missed. Yes, please register ahead of time to save and pay for your spots to ensure we can plan our staff resources. If it is an especially busy week, we may not be able to guarantee your spot without pre-registration. Please remember cancellations within 24 hours of your spot will forfeit your payment.

  • We do about 4 - 5 in-water skills to ensure divers are ready and comfortable to dive. If not, then divers will have to either do a SCUBA review program or only participate in SCUBA BSA. Yes, we do have some minimum day times and night dives, but it always varies each week based on resources, and weather conditions. Occasionally, we cannot dive at all due to conditions that day. Please book your spots in advance.

  • DAN Dive Insurance is dive accident insurance. Some medical insurance policies do not cover accidents when they occur during diving. You can buy it online or you can buy it from Malibu Divers directly. You need to join DAN first as a member and then pick one of 3 plans available.

  • All diving specialty programs require that the divers be already certified; it does not have to be PADI. It can be any legitimately recognized Training Agency at the equivalent levels. Please make sure to let us know what Training Agency and Level of Certification you currently hold. Yes, they do need to know how to dive and be ready to dive - comfortable and confident! A checkout or DLD dive is required for all Specialty training except for PPB, but you should still be comfortable, confident and ready to dive. Non diving specialties such as Project Aware or EFR, Emergency First Response are open to non divers.

  • You enroll by calling Malibu Divers, (310) 456-2396 for EFR and O2 Admin/First Aid. it will be conducted at mutually agreeable time during the week; it will likely be one evening. Yes, anyone can take these courses including non diving scouts.

  • Scouts enroll online or by calling Malibu Divers (310) 456-2396 during our normal business hours. Yes, it is open to all scouts and adults.

  • Yes, it is very likely on Thursday or Friday. Most scouts are able to finish Rugged SCUBA.Maybe even a night (training) dive.

  • Please bring hard copy of all paperwork with you. Do not send ahead.

  • Thank you for your email and questions.
    Yes, the website is being updated. Sorry - we got behind on a few things...I love that you are way ahead of most troops getting organized.

    RELEASES: You will be emailed all additional information including the releases.  They are provided and attached below for reference.  Follow all the directions and fill them out completely and bring them with you to Camp.  Any questions or need more information - contact us.

    1. PADI Medical Release (Every diver is require to have a physician's signature on page 2)
    2. PADI Standard of Safe Diving Practices and Statement of Understanding
    3. PADI Liability Release and Assumption of Risk
    4. Continuing Education Release (needed if you wish to continue to dive at Camp after you are certified)

  • No, as we don't go through it at that level of detail and it would take time away from Rugged SCUBA. You can sign up for it as an add-on or stand alone program or directly with the Camp program.

  • Yes, maybe by Friday morning before lunch. Might even end on Thursday depending on how you are doing.We usually schedule Scuba Merit Badge presentation on Friday right after lunch.Yes, it is very likely that you would have time to do some snorkeling.

  • Here is where they sign up with us for Scuba BSA, Discover Local Diving and Night Diving

    Scroll down. You sign up with us directly. Select your week. Actual date during the week will be selected once at Camp.
    * SCUBA BSA is for non certified divers, once they do this program, they can also sign up for Additional dives.

    * Discover Local Diving (DLD) is for certified divers, once they do this program, they can also sign up for Additional dives.

    * Night Training Dive is for certified divers who have never done night diving AFTER they have done a DLD; proof of training required either through signed log book by Instructor or Advanced certification or night diver specialty rating (no exceptions!)

    * Additional Dive (Night) -  AFTER they have done a DLD; proof of training required either through signed log book by Instructor or Advanced certification or night diver specialty rating (no exceptions!)  

  • You can purchase them or have each individual family sign up - I just need the name of the diver person who the program is for and the additional information.

  • I would recommend that you look at our FAQs, frequently asked questions list. FAQ's for Scout BSA - Camp Emerald Bay Programs 

    Also - don't forget the SCUBA Medical needs to be signed on page 2 by physician.

  • Every certified diver not in a RUGGED SCUBA or RUGGED O program need to do a checkout dive aka Discover Local Diving. The checkout is the DLD daytime dive, additional dives are after that. Also we have a number of Dive Specialties that divers sign up for. DLD must be done before Specialty.

  • Yes, we believe it is always better for already certified divers that they bring their own personal gear - because they know how it fits and works for them. I can't guarantee sizing especially weeks that are very, very busy for us. No matter how much I stock, I can never predict which sizes I will need the most of.

  • YES, we do provide their personal gear. If they by chance had their own mask and snorkel that they like, bring it. 

  • Thanks for reaching out and for your questions. I hope you and your family are doing okay for now. 
    Currently, Scout  BSA Summer Camp is scheduled to run and it is our understanding that a final decision will be made by May 15. Refund requests for Rugged Scuba should be directed to the Camp Scouts as they are the ones who handle payment and registration for all the Rugged Programs.
    For Scuba BSA, Discover Local Diving and all Specialty Classes, refund requests should be directed to us at Malibu Divers. Like the Camp Scouts, we are not currently offering refunds as camp is currently scheduled to run. When a final decision is made regarding the summer sessions, we will revisit the issue of refunds for our programs.

    If I can be of any further help, please come back to me.
    Take care, and be safe! We will get through this time together.

  • Typically - we meet with Rugged SCUBA participants when they first arrive on Sunday and start the program. Sunday is a combination of a lot of activities: orientation, introductions, paperwork, gear sizing, dive locker, safety, and schedule. We also usually get the swim and float test completed and maybe even their first dive in that afternoon.Monday through Thursday, we meet each day after an early breakfast, then break for lunch time and remeet again until before dinner time. Some afternoons are earlier and some later depending on how the group is progressing. By Friday morning after breakfast, most divers are finished. So there might be time for a fun dive or upgrade to add more training or take the rest of the morning off. We usually conduct the SCUBA Merit Badge session right before or after lunch on Friday. Friday evening after dinner we gather to collectively return rental gear and dive locker to its original condition and then have started a new tradition of awarding and celebrating their SCUBA certification achievements.So participants cannot participate in other merit badge opportunities because the participants are dedicated to SCUBA all week.Yes, they are usually available in the evenings after dinner but they also need to rest too. Some divers also want to add more dive training such as night diving on Thursday evening.

    Summary - note: most evenings are free but students need to rest too.
    Sunday arrival to Friday dinner - full time with SCUBA
    Wednesday or Thursday evening - night dive (optional upgrade)
    Thursday afternoon or Friday session - SCUBA Merit Badge
    Friday night  (1 hr after) - cleanup and celebration!

  • The safety guidelines are that you need to plan at least an 18 hours interval from your last dive before you fly. 24 hours is recommended when you have dived repetitively or multiple days. So divers need to stop diving by 2 pm on Friday to fly on Saturday at 2 pm. So it sounds reasonably probable given the schedule most divers are done before 2 pm Friday. If a student did not complete and had to end their diving, the diver has up to one year to complete their program with any other PADI facility (including Malibu Divers) worldwide.

  • While there is no weight limit for recreational scuba diving, it is generally categorized as moderate physical activity, and circumstances can make it high intensity. For reference, other examples of moderate activity are a brisk walk on a level surface, a recreational bike ride or a leisurely backstroke in the pool. High-intensity exercise includes activities such as open-water swimming and running a marathon. As with any exercise, it is important to honestly and accurately assess your fitness level before diving.

    If you have no indicators of cardiovascular problems and no relevant medical history, you may be able to use some simple tests at home to assess your fitness to dive.

    The three areas of concern for divers are aerobic capacity, strength and flexibility.
    Aerobic - the best outdoor cardio exercises that you can incorporate into your regimen are brisk walking, running, jogging, cycling and swimming. Strength - yes, we carry a lot of weight (30-60 lbs) when out of the water. If you're used to hiking with a heavy overnight backpack, you know what we're talking about. Lifting weights helps but isn't necessary. You can do squats, and lunges with heavy objects/weights and push-ups at home. Flexibility - reaching those fins? Make sure to incorporate some stretching into your routine for your body and diving will be that much more enjoyable.

    Please don't forget to speak with your physician who will need to sign your SCUBA medical document. NOTE: Question #3. I struggle to perform moderate exercise (for example, walk 1.6 kilometer/one mile in 14 minutes or swim 200meters/yards without resting), OR I have been unable to participate in a normal physical activity due to fitness or health reasons within the past 12 months. Being overweight or obese can have adverse effects in divers. This includes having a higher risk of developing diving related issues such as decompression sickness (DCS). If you are obese or overweight a diving doctor will likely ask you about your levels of physical activity or ask you to complete an exercise test.

    Lastly - make sure to get us measurements for chest, waist and shoe size, so that we ensure we have gear that is suitable.

  • While a dive participant may end up finishing by Thursday, I have no way of knowing in advance of any one individual's progress.So I would plan on booking a flight after 12 pm on Saturday.

  • While historically, divers with asthma were excluded from diving. Nowadays - it depends on their asthma. Here's a page from the best dive medicine organization called DAN, Divers Alert Network from Duke University and what they advise. It's very important that their doctor be up to date on these issues and make the call. Net net is "If the treatment regimen can return the pulmonary function test results to normal, especially following exercise, people with asthma may be able to safely dive (and perform the strenuous exercise that may be required during diving)."If someone needs a referral to a "diving" doctor, DAN has a free number for medical questions and referrals all around the world.
    +1 (919) 684-2948 Medical Services Phone: Option 4

    Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. ET