When is a store more than just a store? How about when it not only offers up some of the best scuba diving equipment available but also teaches beginning to advanced diving classes, including specialty, rescue and professional level PADI and DSAT technical certification courses, arranges diving trips to explore local and international underwater wonders, […]
When is a store more than just a store? How about when it not only offers up some of the best scuba diving equipment available but also teaches beginning to advanced diving classes, including specialty, rescue and professional level PADI and DSAT technical certification courses, arranges diving trips to explore local and international underwater wonders, and offers children and adults a unique opportunity to experience the fun of diving in swimming pools around the city. Well, since Aquatic Adventures does all that and more, I’d venture to say this isn’t just a store, it’s an experience. Especially after watching a group of young teens celebrate a birthday with one of their BubbleMakers pool parties held at the West Suburban YMCA. Although I didn’t get my feet wet, I walked away pretty impressed with how well the store had everything covered.
Recognized as a Professional Association of Diving Instruction 5 Star National Geographic Dive Center, Aquatic Adventures literally took care of everything. All the kids had to do was show up at the Y with swimsuits and towels. Most importantly, they also needed to bring their all-important permission forms signed by parents or physicians because for safety reasons, nobody gets into the pool without them. Once the kids were suitably attired and seated poolside, they were introduced to certified Master Dive Instructor and Aquatic Adventures owner Jerry Otte and his wife, Jenny, a certified assistant dive instructor. After the kids listened intently to an overview (visuals included) of scuba diving, which was delivered with an emphasis on safety above all else, two pool lanes were closed off and the party began in earnest. Needless to say, by this time everyone was pretty excited.
Directed to the shallow end of the pool, the teens were expertly fitted with flippers, snorkels, weighted vests and tanks before being patiently taught and thoroughly tested on fundamental scuba skills. Once it was apparent that everyone was comfortable with the gear and breathing underwater, out came the hula-hoops, underwater Frisbees and water rockets. Those who wished to play games in the deeper end of the pool received a few additional instructions before heading there accompanied by an instructor.
As I watched the kids frolic, what impressed me was without interfering with the fun, how professionally the party was run, how helpful everyone was and how conscientiously the kids were watched both underwater by the instructors and from the deck by the store’s poolside staff. I also thought it was a nice touch that as a keepsake, the store creates a complimentary CD of underwater photographs taken throughout the party. However I wasn’t surprised at all that by the end of the evening, with their BubbleMakers Certificates in hand, all the kids had just one thing to say about the party: “It was AWESOME”.
Seems throwing a BubbleMakers party turned out to be a special way to celebrate a birthday and introduce kids to a cool new activity they might want to further pursue. But besides birthdays, I think throwing a scuba party could add a really novel touch to just about any occasion, from graduations to bridesmaid get-togethers. They also seem perfect for stirring a little activity into our long dreary winters. In fact, after seeing how much the kids enjoyed the experience, I’m kinda wondering if next month, maybe my book club should read Down Time and discuss this collection of literary passages about diving, written by famed novelists, journalists, poets, playwrights, essayists and scientists, after engaging in a Discover Scuba party of our own.
Hey, you never know if you’ll like something unless you try it, so arranging one of Aquatic Adventures safe and fun introductory BubbleMakers or Discover Scuba parties seems a terrific way to see how you feel about scuba. Cost is $249 for up to 10 divers ages 8 and up, and $20 for each additional participant. For additional information, please call 262-938-6827, visit the store at 13830 W. Greenfield Ave., Brookfield, or go online at dive-aai.com.