The Meadows Center’s Operation SCUBA initiative gives student veterans an opportunity to earn an open water dive certification and learn about education, team building, therapeutic resources and environmental stewardship at Spring Lake. The course integrates scuba diving and mental wellness techniques as a way for veterans to bond with others, develop a sense of purpose, and most importantly, receive support from their peers.
Operation SCUBA offers the following benefits to participants:
Education. Veterans learn skills necessary to earn open water dive certification and are exposed to educational and professional development.
Team Building. During the diving training and activities, participants will develop skills necessary to successfully transition from military deployment to civilian and academic life.
Therapy. Military Veteran Peer Network counselors and staff guide participants through therapeutic curriculum to increase awareness about and access to existing mental health services.
Maintenance. Program alumni will continue to meet, support one another, and maintain their gains. There will be leadership and peer support opportunities for veterans to give back and continue to gain a sense of purpose and leadership. Additionally, alumni will have access to ongoing events, diving activities, peer support, and professional mental health services.
- Program participant Caleb Henderson was selected as the 2016 Biscayne National Park Underwater Archaeology Intern, funded by the Hispanic Access Foundation! Caleb will serve as a member of the archeological dive and field team.
- All participants independently enrolled in the Dive Authorization Course at Spring Lake to become environmental stewards of the lake.
- Partnership formed with Texas Stream Team. Program participants will conduct underwater biomonitoring, contributing valuable information about water quality and habitat health in streams, lakes, rivers, and bays across Texas.
- Three undergraduate internships were offered as a part of this program.
- Improved Veteran access to and utilization of mental health services
- Improved mental health treatment outcomes
- Increased mental and physical health
- Increased social and family health
- Increased sense of community
- Improved University/College graduation rates
- Greater Veteran employ-ability
- Replicable outreach networks created
Operation SCUBA is partnered with: Texas State University School of Social Work, Texas State University Recreation Therapy Program, Military Veteran Peer Network, The Dive Shop (San Marcos), Duggan Dive Shop (San Antonio), Project Cohort, Project Rebirth, Halcyon Dive Systems, REI, and Ewing Halsell Foundation.