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Boy Scouts! If you've already earned your BSA Scuba Award, what's next? Consider earning your Scuba Merit Badge! You will earn your PADI Open Water Scuba certification and open the door to new underwater adventures.

Unlike many other merit badges, the Scuba Diving prerequisites, knowledge, and skills are not all itemized in the requirements of the merit badge pamphlet. Interested scouts must first earn their Open Water Scuba certification through Y-kiki Divers or another scuba agency recognized by the Boy Scouts of America scuba policy in addition to completing the following requirements (which can be found in the merit badge pamphlet):


  1. Do the following:
    • 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.
    • 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.

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.

Boy Scouts: Scuba Merit Badge
Contact Valerie Elliott, a PADI Instructor and Boy Scout Scuba Merit Badge Counselor, at 314-469-8722 or e-mail Y-kiki Divers for more information.