Steamboat Springs Exploring underwater life or helping in an underwater rescue were just two opportunities the High Point 4-H Club learned were available during a Discovery Scuba class Wednesday evening.
"I've never even done anything like that," said Cody Reynolds, High Point 4-H member. "I think I'm going to get certified to explore the underwater."
Reynolds said he learned to communicate with other divers underwater with signs and learned how to move through the water. He said the class gave him a unique chance to try something he never thought he would enjoy.
"I'd recommend it to anybody. It's not as scary as you think it'll be," he said.
Reynolds said using his hands to talk to the 4-H participants underwater was fun and that he learned how to deflate and inflate the life jacket attached to the scuba gear.
The High Point 4-H group chose to participate in the scuba course as their monthly activity.
"4-H it's a multitude of experiences and an opportunity for kids who are in agriculture to experience things outside of what is readily available," said Gary Lyons, a 4-H leader.
Lyons said it was the first time many students had gone underwater. He said the kids loved the class and thought it was one the best 4-H meetings yet.
Justin Wheeler, 14, said he wants to get certified as a diver, and when he turns 18, he hopes to help with underwater search and rescue missions.
"I learned that it can be dangerous but fun and can be used for many things," Wheeler said. Wheeler's sister, Krystina, also participated in the class.
Scuba diving "sounds like a lot of fun and I like trying new things," she said. Krystina Wheeler said she wants to get certified and explore the coast area off California.
Elly Myer, retail manager and master diver at Steamboat Scuba and Water Sports, helped explain the equipment and led participants through the in-water exercises.
"It's for the person who wants to go out there and see how many critters are living in the ocean," she said. "People should know more about the world."
Meyers said 4-H members were surprised they could breath underwater and had a great time learning the basics of how the scuba equipment worked. She said the earlier students start the more comfortable they become with diving. She said she hopes younger people realize the many opportunities scuba diving creates for them.
"It's about as close to being an astronaut as we are probably going to be. Most astronauts start out learning scuba," she said.
The mental attitude needed for scuba diving is positive and healthy for young students, Meyers said. She said students learn to be self-reliant and are in a noncompetitive environment.
"It's a serious fun sport. If you know what to do you have a better chance of helping yourself or your buddy," she said.
Myer said students can get certified to dive starting at the age of 10.
She said the Discovery Scuba provided 4-H members with an introduction to the basics of scuba, giving them a foundation if they continue with the sport.