Josh  (age 18) a Venture Scout with crew 123 and Eagle Scout from Troop 123 Faith Lutheran Church, Bismarck ND has always liked the water and swimming.  He started at 9-months in the “Water Babies” swim class at the local YMCA where it provided experience & activities that would help a child feel more comfortable in the water.  As a Scout with Troop 123 Josh received his swimming and lifesaving merit badge and then decided that the SCUBA merit badge was something he and fellow Scouts wanted to take.  The troop provides the Scouts with the opportunity to try new things so advisors of Troop 123 applied to “SCUBA Live Aboard” at the Florida Seabase camp.  Their adventure turned out to be an eight-day trip during the holiday vacation school break. This was a combined sailing and scuba diving program down at the Florida Sea Base camp. They needed to find a crew of 12 and would set sail on a 57-foot schooner and have the opportunity to dive 15 times including night dives around the Florida Keys. Scout advisors contacted a local dive shop and their crew of 12 was all PADI SCUBA Dive certified by a BSA recognized agency before leaving on the trip.

These opportunities not only help them when they are young but also carry forward into their adult lives.   Since that Josh has been taking dive classes with Scuba One, Mandan ND and has recently been accepted into and training with the Mandan Morton County Volunteer Dive Team.  This group of divers work in conjunction with the Burleigh County Sheriff’s Dept.  The Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department has been the home of a Dive Rescue and Recovery Team since 1980. The team was started after a plane crash in the Missouri River showed that there was a need for trained divers with good equipment who could respond to emergency water calls. Josh has been certified in PADI Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Rescue Diver and Swift Water Rescue to gain the knowledge of exploring his livelihood as a Master Diver.   North Dakota does not give Scouts great opportunities to dive, but he has had the opportunity to take dive classes and dive at Lake Sakakawea, Missouri River and recently was able to dive down in Cozumel.

He is enrolled with Bismarck State College in the Criminal Justice field and plans to seek employment with Burleigh County Sheriff’s Dept. in hopes to get on the Burleigh County Dive Team or other agencies after college.

Studies show that men who were Scouts in their youth agree that the values they learned in Scouting continue to be very important to them today. Young men who remained in Scouting throughout the years tend to gain the self-confidence they need to continue their goals for the future to make a positive effect on their career development and advancement in real-life situations.  By being a Scout it has helped him be a better leader in today’s world.  BSA has helped build future leaders of this country by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun.

Josh continues to dive every chance he gets to work towards his 50 open water dives to progress with the Master Dive certification.  His advice to Scouts would be to take merit badges that spark your interest and develop your skills because “who knows what the future holds for you.”

Scouting builds:  leadership, character, achievement, service to others and appreciation for the outdoors.  Were you involved in Scouting?  Let us know.  We want to hear from you.  Reconnect and Reengage in Scouting at  Find out more about Scouting in the Northern Lights Council at

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