Taking a PADI scuba-diving certification course makes you a diver, but it doesn't make you a member. The membership club of PADI is the PADI Diving Society. It costs about $29 per year to join, and it offers a number of benefits, not the least of which is a network of divers willing and happy to share their knowledge and experiences with those looking for information on the best destinations, local hot spots and scuba tips. Other benefits include:
- Ten issues of Sport Diver Magazine, a leading scuba publication
- Current edition of "World's Best Diving & Resorts" book, a yearly publication
- Members-only scuba-diving events and vacations (including travel packages)
- Online access to exclusive savings on dive classes, gear and tools, and scuba-related travel (including family-friendly dive trips and adventure vacations)
- Discount on membership to Divers Alert Network
- Environmental conservation link through associations with Project AWARE and the National Geographic Society
Project AWARE was actually founded by PADI members in the late 1980s and then took off on its own. It's dedicated to the protection of aquatic life and ecosystems. PADI includes conservation-related information in its certification courses, too, so you don't necessarily need to be a member of the Diving Society for a PADI introduction to aquatic environmentalism.
To join the PADI Diving Society, visit PADI's membership page.
For more information about PADI, scuba diving and related topics, look over the links on the next page.