Sitting around the dining room table at one of our weekly meetings before the end of summer last year, our Pathfinders were discussing all the things we wanted to do the following year. To me as a leader we had fallen into somewhat of a slump with activities and what we needed was something new and adventurous!
I began to think, what adventures had I tried? What was something I could share with the girls that would be new, exciting and grab the interest of Pathfinder and Ranger aged girls?
I knew what it was – SCUBA! I myself first got my open water scuba diving certification shortly after I was a Ranger and thought it would be great for something new to try with the girls.
We continued our discussion of adventures in September at our first meeting. That is where I brought up scuba. At first I thought there would be hesitation but as soon as I suggested it all the girls immediately jumped at the idea.
The night came when we all headed to Midhurst, Ontario for our scuba lesson. On one of the coldest days of winter, in the warmth of the heated indoor pool, the girls were introduced to the equipment, hand signals and safety requirements they would need to know before suiting up and getting into the pool with the instructors.
The girls were so excited to get their vest, flippers, mask and tanks on. It was great to see how they helped each other making sure vests were tight enough and hair was out of the mask for a good seal.
I watched as each of the girls one by one took their first steps into the world of scuba by slowly lowering themselves to the bottom of the pool. When the last girl had reached the bottom, I too lowered myself down slowly and joined them. At the bottom of the pool, we juggled golf balls, played with rockets and weighted rings, as well as practised using our equipment. We even had time for a group photo. At the end of the session, I asked all the girls if they would do it again and all said yes, it had been the best adventure we had done as a group in a long time.
I had forgotten how much I enjoyed scuba diving and being able to introduce it to my girls made it even more enjoyable.
By guest blogger Amanda Benny, who is currently a Guider with the 1st Beaverton Pathfinders and 1st Beaverton White Water Rangers. This fall , she will be starting a
a multi-branch unit of Sparks, Brownies and Guides.