Sunday, July 30, 2017

Review: Dive Degree Scuba Try Out for Kids

I attained my Open Waters licence many years back before the kiddo came along. I recall the blonde moment when I got into the waters and I realize how different the feeling and scenery as compared to watching on TV.

Most of the time, when I watch TV programmes where there are underwater scenes; it is always somewhat a flat landscape with corals. However, nothing quite prepares you for the moment when the schools of fish swims in front of you and parts like a silvery curtain or when you see that it’s more than flat / low land with corals.

I had the chance to do snorkeling with the kiddo a few years back and thankfully, she was quite into it and was fascinated by what she saw. The hubs is a divemaster so this is one area which he is quite enthusiastic about letting the kiddo try out and have the chance to bond with her. So we were naturally excited when invited by Dive Degree for the kiddo to have a chance to do a Scuba Tryout!

:: About Dive Degree

Dive Degree is set up with the vision to deliver the ultimate dive experience and is committed to extend the privilege of exploring the underwater world to everybody with services reasonably priced and easily accessible (scuba programmes for children aged 8 years old and above) services.

Dumpling participated in a Scuba Try-Out on a weekend morning. The session is slated for 90 mins but may exceed as per our experience as this is dependent on the children's readiness and water confidence. 

:: Why let kids take up scuba diving at such a young age?
Some advantages of picking up scuba diving include, but are not limited to the following:
 Boosts kids’ water confidence 
Learn safety rules & principles 
Application of problem-solving skills & laws that apply to buoyancy and gravity real life in an underwater setting 
Educate them on ocean conservation 
Encourages discovery and exploration 
Strengthen family bonding with our parent-&-child sessions

:: Learning objectives
As it is a try-out session, the main objective of the morning is to basically let the kids learn the basics they need as well as let them experience how breathing underwater feels like. Importantly, it is meant for the children to also learn some basic safety skills.

:: The experience
The morning started with a quick introduction by Jack, Dumpling’s instructor for that morning. Thereafter, she was led to a room to get herself geared up as Jack explained and did the fitting for the children. So basically, the course fee includes the rental of equipment.   

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Once the fitting was done, the next part of the lesson was the safety briefing.

Safety Briefing
As with any sports, safety is of utmost importance and personally I feel that with Scuba diving, more so. Besides being well prepared, it is important to stay calm and know how to handle “situations”. Things such as mask clearing and the retrieval of the regulator are vital especially when you depend on these equipments in the water. Hence for that morning, the theory session took up about 35-45 mins, something which you may inform your child prior.

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The briefing that morning covered these sharing:
  1. Introduction to equipment
  2. Inflating of BCD
  3. Standard hand signals
  4. Basic safety skills such as clearing of masks, retrieval of regulator, reading of air gauge

 Parent Blogger, Singapore, Outdoor Fun, Children

Pool session
The next part of the session was definitely the part that Dumpling enjoyed the most though when she first started, she was a bit hesitant. The hubs, who was there, helped her out with the gearing up, but reminded her that she will be pretty much on her own with the instructor as he was there to take photos + videos.

Jack started by demonstrating on how to enter the pool 

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and once in it, it was a couple of minutes for the children to get used to the masks as well as swimming with their fins on.

In the water, Jack also went through with the children on swimming with their snorkels on, getting used to breathing through the mouths through their regulators. Importantly, Dumpling also had the chance to clear her mask, test her buoyancy as well as retrieve her regulator.

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I'm OK!

The pool session ended with a game where Dumpling had to swim through hoops and assemble a Lego boat. :)

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Gimme that brick!

Tired but happy with her Lego!

What we like about the session:

As this is a try-out session, we were very aware that it is mainly to give Dumpling a chance to trial this sport as well as get a chance to experience breathing underwater and try on the equipment. Personally, I like that the safety briefing was precise because as parents, safety is the top concern for most of us. Importantly, these skills will carry over if you decide to enroll your child for a full scuba certification course as a Junior Scuba Diver (10YO). 

The duration of the session was just right for us though it started getting hot as we finished closer to noon. Dumpling enjoyed the game section a lot as it was a great way to test out her water confidence in a fun way. On hindsight, she said that it would be nice if Uncle Jack can add in more games. :p

The tryouts are also conducted in small groups (no more than 4 children at one go) and Jack was patient and funny, both qualities which I believe help me to engage children too. :) 

Now that we got you interested, here's some course information! 

Course Info and Requirements:
- Child must be at least 8 years old
- Comfortable in water
- No prior experience needed
- Depth of pool: 2m / 6ft 

Keen to try out in September holidays? Here's Dive Degree's September promotions!

Sign up with a friend by 13 Aug (Quote "Beanie N Us")to receive a special offer of $180 for 2 for this try out session! (U.P. $120) 

Dive Degree will also be participating in Travel Revolution 4-6 Aug, at MBS. Hop on over if you wish to find out more in person! 

:: Dive Degree
67B Queen Street, Bugis Village
Singapore 188546
M: 8822 5764 (Whatsapp/Wechat)


Disclaimer: We were invited for a media session to share our experience of the tryout. All opinions expressed are entirely our own.

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