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Galt Boy Scouts take to the water for diving merit badge

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Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 12:00 am

Members of Galt Boy Scout Troop 119 donned SCUBA gear on Saturday and took to the pool at Twin Arbors Athletic Club in Lodi for a unique learning activity.

“The activity was a labor of love by parents, Twin Arbors (Athletic) Club and a diving company from Pleasanton,” troop spokeswoman Pam Trassare said in an email. “The outcome was a spectacular day of learning and adventure for youth in our community. I think this activity is indicative of the spirit of Lodi.”

While the troop is based in Galt, many of its members are from Lodi and some activities take place here. Saturday’s activity at the health club on Hutchins Street allowed participants to earn their SCUBA award.

In addition to the Boy Scouts, some participants from the local Adventurer Crew joined in.

After a brief introduction on land by staff members from Dive N Trips, a Pleasanton diving company, the group was fitted for face masks and swimming fins and placed in the water to don Buoyancy Compensation Devices, which held their regulators and air tanks.

Then they spent two hours on the bottom of the pool swimming in circles and even inventing underwater games, Trassare said.

Boy Scout Drew Klaege learned that the most important part is to always have a buddy; if he surfaces, so does his partner.

It was the 14-year-old’s first time underwater, although he had participated in a similar program at the Monterey Bay Aquarium where he stayed on the water’s surface.

“It was a good experience for people who want to take a step toward working in the water,” Klaege said, adding that he is appreciative of Dive N Trips, Twin Arbors and his Scout leaders for giving the group this opportunity.

He hopes to become a marine biologist and work at Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Troop 119 will attend camp in San Diego next summer. Those who participated in the SCUBA award are already planning to finishing their dive certification in hopes of diving in Mission Bay.

Meanwhile, troop members are opening their Christmas tree lot Nov. 29 at 220 Market St. in Galt to raise funds for future activities.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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