SCUBA at Harry’s Dive

Harry’s Dive Shop in Metairie is gearing up for its popular weeklong “SCUBA Ranger” camps introducing boys and girls ages 8 and older to the fundamentals of SCUBA diving.

“Each child has to like the water and be comfortable in it. He or she does not have to be a good swimmer, though,” said shop owner Cindy Caldwell of her campers, who are instructed in groups of no more than 10 by a CPR-certified diving veteran and two or more assistants.

Campers, whose love for SCUBA sometimes has them arriving well before camp time, begin their day by visiting the shop’s resident flock of parrots. Upon their arrival, campers gather to say the SCUBA Ranger Pledge and learn about the ocean, the environment, the human body, fish and SCUBA equipment. After a snack, campers have free swim time in the pool and work with their instructors to assemble their equipment.

After lunch, they get to try it all out.

“The kids learn everything an adult who is getting certified would learn, only the kids do not have to do it and they do not take a test,” Caldwell said.

“This (camp) is not a certification course,” Caldwell points out. “It’s all about fun and education. There are no pressures to perform. If a child refuses to do something the rest of the group is doing, there’s no problem, other than they have to get out and sit on the side – but they never want to get out!”

After a camper completes SCUBA Ranger camp, he or she often will want to do it again, Caldwell said.

“They have a fantastic time and never can get enough!” she said.

The 2014 camp dates are June 2-6; and July 28-Aug. 1. Camp hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The weekly camp cost of $399 includes a T-shirt, study materials, use of SCUBA equipment, lunch, daily snacks and beverages.

For more information, call 888-4882 or visit www.harrysdiveshop.com or www.scubarangers.com.

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