Realizing that encouraging young women to become involved in scuba diving is vital to the future of the diving industry, related businesses and the marine environment, Malibu Divers started its new Girl Scout-based initiative in 2008 with its Try Scuba Diving Program at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. Malibu Divers’ Try Scuba Diving Program has been attended by over 100 girl scouts from Santa Clarita to San Pedro, representing troops across all of Greater Los Angeles.
During the day’s event the scouts met with and heard from successful professionals — including Malibu Divers owner, Barbara Gentile-Crary who spoke about diving, diving techniques and aquatic environments. She also talked about marine conservation, education and the responsible enjoyment of our marine resources. Try Scuba Diving participants also took part in exciting and educational hands-on activities including scuba diving in the beautiful 700,000 gallon Pepperdine University Olympic-sized pool. Under the supervision of the dive professionals, they were able to explore the deep area that included underwater swim-throughs and “simulated” underwater animals. Additionally, students had the unique opportunity to practice snorkeling skills and have photos taken of their experience both topside and underwater.
“The Try Scuba Diving Program opened our Scouts’ eyes and exposed them to information and experiences they normally wouldn’t have access to,” said Nancy Banks, Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles, Service Delivery Specialist — Program. “In addition to having the experience of scuba diving, the kids learned so much and on the way back home talked about scuba diving, becoming marine biologists or divers for law enforcement — careers they hadn’t considered before this — along with the courses they would have to take in order to pursue these careers. We can’t wait for the Open Water Scuba course just announced for Spring Break 2010 and to visit Catalina so that we can be certified.”
“What was interesting [about the Try Scuba Diving Program] was how many Girl Scout troops were so open to the idea. And to put frosting on the cake, letting them dive was fantastic. The pool experience made this event. I would do the Try Scuba Diving days again with my girls,” said one Girl Scout troop leader.
Local dive center owner, Carter Crary of Malibu Divers, said, “The Pepperdine University pool is always a great draw. Anything that gets more girls and women talking about diving is great. We need more. We need to go to even more girl and women groups and excite them and let them know that they can do it. We need to keep putting diving in the forefront. We not only showed a number of Girl Scouts what it feels like to breathe underwater, we also touched everyone they told, and anyone who walked by and saw them. Every person we touched will touch four to five others.”
“Try Scuba Diving”, known within the dive industry as Discover Scuba Diving was developed by PADI, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, in response to requests by members to create an industry-wide introductory program to bring more people into diving. Malibu Divers’ “Try Scuba Diving” is a girl scout-based version of the program that provides a forum where girl scouts can learn about and experience scuba diving and hear of aquatic-related careers firsthand. Benefiting both Malibu Divers and the dive industry as a whole, the program not only raises awareness of scuba diving among today’s girls and women, but also gets them excited about the many possible aquatic-related experiences and careers available. The Try Scuba Diving program was launched in 2008 in Malibu, California and continues on a monthly rotation throughout 2009-2010. Malibu Divers is launching the Girl Scout Open Water Certification during Los Angeles Unified School District’s spring break week March 28 — April 3, 2010 to be held on Catalina Island at Camp Emerald Bay.
Malibu Divers, serving divers for over 40 years, is dedicated to the promotion and growth of the recreational scuba diving and snorkeling industry. Having trained over 10,000 divers, Malibu Divers provides scuba diving education, equipment, travel and service.
For more information on Malibu Divers 2010 programs, visit www.malibudivers.com.