Posted Wednesday, February 24, 2010
At a time when many scuba training centers are challenged to recruit new customers, Cris Merz says “Scouting and Venture Crews offer an exciting opportunity for those motivated to pursue it!” Merz, National Sales Manager for Scuba Diving International™ (SDI™) of course is referring to the Boy Scouts of America endorsement of scuba diving as a Merit Program.
“There is some misconception among North American dive pros and store retailers that introducing Scouts to the special skills and adventure of scuba is limited to only to members of one professional diver training agency,” Merz explains. “This is not the case. Boy Scouts of America stipulates that participants presenting its Scuba BSA program and award may be active instructors in good standing with ANY RSTC member organization; which of course means SDI members qualify!”
Merz also points out that NOW are a very good time for motivated SDI members to approach your local BSA chapters and offer the program to local Scout Troops and Venture Crews.
“The 2010 BSA Jamboree is a very special event and will take place this July in Virginia. This new merit badge will be introduced at that Jamboree to thousands of scouts and scout leaders at that event. So if you are in the business of offering safe, basic scuba instruction through SDI now is the right time to start introducing your local BSA troops to you, your staff and facility.”
One SDI Centre that continues to have great success with the Boy Scouts of America is 1.877 Scuba of New Jersey. Phil Ventura, who developed 1.877 Scuba’s highly successful Scuba BSA program, agrees with Merz’s assessment.
“My sincere advice to any SDI facility that recognizes how the success of their business is linked to the community and has been wondering about involvement in this new Boy Scouts Scuba Merit Badge is DO IT NOW! Don’t wait.”
Ventura explains that while the basics of the Boy Scouts of America program are very similar to SDI’s introduction to scuba diving course (Scuba Discovery Program) it has to follow very specific guidelines and be presented in a format that requires some up-front work and follow through.
“It is not enough to turn up at your local Boy Scout troop meeting and tell them that you teach SDI’s scuba program! There is a set protocol but it’s no secret and pretty simple to put together. For us, the Scuba BSA Merit Badge and all that we are doing that relates to it, makes great sense. I think it will for many other SDI members and I’d suggest grabbing this opportunity before the newness wears off and before you are overlooked.”