Tampa, Fla. (November 8, 2016) – Please join NAUI Instructor and Communications Coordinator, Angie Cowan, M.S., M.A. (NAUI 53628), during her “Youth Engagement in Diving: An Invitation to the Next Generation” program session, scheduled for the DEMA Show 2016 on Friday, Nov. 18 from 10 to 10:45 a.m. in DEMA conference room s231.
Having worked in experiential education for over 20 years, youth scuba training for over 10 years, and as the Director of Marine Science, and Internship Coordinator for SeaTrek BVI (a NAUI youth training facility), Cowan has witnessed, first hand, the profound impact such experiences have on young people.
“Youth engagement in diving is not a new concept, but executing it and making it meaningful and sustainable pose certain challenges,” said Cowan. “Not only do students learn the content knowledge and skills required for safe, enjoyable diving, but they also develop valuable life skills – teamwork, communication, leadership, self-confidence, problem-solving…the list goes on and on,” said Cowan.
Using a variety of youth-based NAUI scuba training programs as case studies, these challenges and potential solutions will be discussed during the engagement.
By the end of the seminar, program attendees will be able to list and discuss ways in which youth can be more engaged in the diving industry and motivated to continue their diving education and supporting the diving community, both locally and globally. The seminar will provide successful case study examples of youth diver training programs that attendees can reference and collaborate with in order to grow the number of youth involved in their own diver training programs.
“Our main goal for this seminar is to help others in the industry learn from these programs and implement effective strategies for engaging youth in diving and instilling in them a lifelong passion for the sport,” said Cowan.
Presentation Abstract: According to DEMA’s Certification Census for the United States, 2015 open water-level certification data unfortunately kept pace with the 1.5 percent average annual decline observed between 2005 and 2014 (DEMA, 2015 Annual Report). The key to addressing this downward trend is multi-faceted and may vary depending upon one’s role in the industry, but one approach is essential – that of activating and inviting the next generation of young and demographically diverse divers to participate in the sport of scuba diving.
Executing youth engagement and making it meaningful and sustainable pose certain challenges. The common denominator for youth success centers around the young people who – through their participation in scuba diving – grow more confident and empowered, experience community and a shared culture, gain valuable life and leadership skills, and ultimately find themselves and a way of life that they will want to carry with them well into the future.