Posted by Dalia on August 06, 2001 at 12:12:29:
I absolutely agree with you Brian, regarding the size of the class that includes 10 year olds or slightly older.
In fact, this was a private class, one on one, and I still found my hands full.
Lisa just had her 10th birthday a couple of weeks ago. She is a "water baby", growing up in a water oriented family and was the last family member to get certified.
She did all her classroom work on her own and passed the final test at
82 percent!!!! We coached her in the process, but she did all of this on her own. The pool work was a challenge, but being comfortable in the water and high motivation did the job. It was time for the ultimate test, open water dives. We had agreed with her parents, that she will only do 2 trainig dives and get a 'Scuba Diver" certification, so she can dive on the family vacation coming up, only under the direct supervision of a Divemaster or higher. She would continue her Open Water cert later.
Needless to say, Lisa got her certification yesterday. I can't say that her skills are perfect, but they need time to be improved.
What trully amazed me, was the determination and the ability to cope with the problems we encountered, such as a leaky mask and ear clearing problems. Not to mention the size and the weight of the gear itself, which we had to help her with at times.
She concentrated on what she had to do, she wanted badly to do it and did not take the easy way out and quit, which she had as an option.
I learned something from this too. We can debate for ever, whether 10 year olds are fit to dive, BUT THIS ONE IS. She won't be diving alone for a long time, but she will be diving.
I believe that it's the Instructor's ultimate decision to make the call regarding youngsters. Some will be fit to dive, there is no reason to take this fun away from them. Others may not be, they can always try again later.
The bottom line is, this is a question of desire, ability and comfort and we need to evaluate kids on an individual basis.
Lisa, if you read this, you are my best student.
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