Caving and Scouting
THOMAS K ROBBINS (TOMROBBINS@PRODIGY.NET)
Mon, 24 Nov 1997 20:44:34 -0800
We just returned from a fantastic caving trip to West Virginia. We took two
crews totaling nine scouts. However, we had one disappointment.
It seems that a Scout troop conducted a caving trip into one of the caves
last May and scout was injured. A cave rescue ensued and the National
Sepeologoical Society (NSS) has since taken over the management of the cave
for the landowner due to this accident. We were told that minors (under 18
years of age) were now barred from entering this cave.
>From what the landowner told us, the troop had 24 scouts ranging in age
from 11 years and older. Two problems with this. First the size of the
group and second the age. BSA states in A Guide to Safe Scouting that the
age requirement is 14 and older. What this troop did was a direct violation
of BSA policy and if more troops are not following the BSA guidelines for
caving, we may face more problems getting into caves.
Our crews had two NSS members who were familiar with the caves we entered.
Our crews were made up of scouts 14 and older and we went through a 10-week
training session that included a mock cave rescue inside our training cave
I was very proud of the way the Venture crews conducted themselves and I
hope that the other cavers and landowners we meet had a favorable
Please, let's not lose caving as a high adventure activity due to troops
not following the policies set-up for the safety of scouts and scouters.
Tom Robbins, Troop 965, Webster, MD.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City