By Charl Viljoen # 44818 (NAUI Course Director).

Founded in 1931, “Die Voortrekkers” is a uniquely Afrikaans-speaking South African youth movement, similar to the Boy Scouts in the USA and Europe.

Wishing to add scuba diving to their already extensive list of adventure specialities, the movement’s Project Officer, Corro van Waveren, having considered the offerings available from a variety of agencies, and impressed by the NAUI “Quality Difference” approached me with a view to specialized guidance. Working with Corro and in close co-ordination with NAUI Southern Africa, we were soon able to establish that NAUI’s Scuba Diver minimum standards, supplemented by the addition of some in-house “Voortrekker requirements” was ideally suited as basis for achieving the proposed Voortrekker Diving Merit Badge. The recommendation was enthusiastically endorsed by the Voortrekker leadership.

A pilot group of 10 Voortrekkers completed their theory and confined water training at the premises of Let’s Dive, a NAUI facility in Pretoria, during February 2011. This was followed by open water training at Miracle Waters, Pretoria over the weekend of 12/13 March.

A number of Voortrekker members who were already certified scuba divers took the opportunity to join the ‘pilot group’ on the open water dives to also qualify for the new Scuba Diving Merit Badge by completing the required “Voortrekker dives”.
All training for the group was provided and overseen by myself, supported by the NAUI instructor staff of Let’s Dive who are also all familiar with Voortrekker quality management principles.

All entrance fees and accommodation for the weekend was sponsored by the management of Miracle Waters.
At the Scuba Diver award ceremony on conclusion of training, I was privileged to present Corro van Waveren, the Voortrekker Project Officer, with a Certificate of Appreciation from NAUI Southern Africa for his contribution to the promotion of Scuba Diving among the youth of South Africa through the establishment of a corporate alliance between the Voortrekker Movement and NAUI Worldwide.


Voortrekker Scuba Diving Merit Badge

Left to right
Charl Viljoen ( NAUI Course Director ) Cornelius van Waveren ( Voortrekker Project Officer )
Jaco Bogaard ( NAUI Dive Master ) Billy Engelbrecht ( NAUI Instructor )

Back: Rita Barns, Larisa Smith, Lara Viljoen, Julius Landman, Vian Coetzer,
Louis Lombaard, Dewald van Hoven, Jaco Bogaard ( Dive Master ), Cornelius
van Waveren ( Voortrekker Project Officer )

Front: Dawid van Wyk, Cristo van Waveren, Carel Wilken, Stephanus
Engelbrecht ( Instructor ), Konette Burger, Michael Stewien, Clifford
Bennett, Karen Barnes, Charl Viljoen ( Course Director )









Article Archives