Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Changes to BSA Caving Document

There have been some changes to the caving policies document that all Units of the Boy Scouts of America use. The document in it's entirety can be found on the NSS web sites at http://www.caves.org/youth/19-102B.pdf. Just to highlight the major changes (but these may not be all the changes). If you are a BSA Leader or taking some Scouts caving, please read and understand this document. It's important to the caves, the caving community, and the image that BSA portrays as responsible cavers.


Old Version
New Version
NA
Important Things to Know
Cavers live by this creed:
Take nothing but pictures,
Leave nothing but footprints,
Kill nothing but time.
Safety-conscious cavers always:
• Wear a helmet with a chinstrap
• Have a headlamp on the helmet
• Have two other working lights in their
pack as backups
• Wear protective clothing and gloves
General Caving Policy
5. All Scout groups are required to have an approved tour permit for trips of all kinds. Cave activities are included under that plan. National tour permits are required for a trip of 500 miles or more; local permits are issued to cover shorter trips.
E. All Scout groups are required to have an
approved tour plan for all trips. Cave activities
are included under that plan.
Cave Safely
  • The leaders must have adequate first aid training and ability, and a comprehensive knowledge of the practices to follow in the event of an accident.
• The leaders must have adequate first-aid
training and ability, and a comprehensive
knowledge of the practices to follow in the
event of an accident. Wilderness First Aid
training is recommended for at least one
member of the group.
12. Not only the leaders, but every person on a cave trip should be aware of the necessity to constantly observe the whereabouts and potential problems of other members of the group and be ready to provide any assistance necessary.
F. Every person on a cave trip should be aware
of the necessity to constantly observe the
whereabouts and potential problems of other
members of the group and be ready to
provide any assistance necessary. The BSA
buddy system must be used.
Cave Conservation
19. Bats and all other forms of cave life must never be disturbed nor removed from the cave for any purpose. Many species of cave life are rare and have been brought to the verge of extinction by collectors and vandals. During the winter months, hibernating bats should be left strictly alone. Awakened too often, they will use up their winter’s store of fuel and die of starvation before summer. Most bats are extremely beneficial as insect eaters and should never be harmed. Some caves have been designed as special bat habitats and closed to entry for all or a part of each year.
C. Bats and all other forms of cave life must
never be disturbed nor removed from the
cave for any purpose. Many species of cave
life are rare and have been brought to the
verge of extinction by collectors and vandals.
During the winter months, hibernating bats
should never be disturbed. Awakened too
often, they will use up their winter’s store
of fuel and die of starvation before summer.
Most bats are extremely beneficial as insect
eaters and should never be harmed. Some
caves have been designated as special bat
habitats and closed to entry for all or a part
of each year.
White Nose Syndrome is killing many bats
throughout the United States. Before going
caving, contact local wildlife experts and ask
about the presence of White Nose Syndrome.
23. Spent carbide should be removed in suitable containers, never dumped in the cave. Once removed from the cave, it should be deposited in roadside trashcans or similar locations, never dumped on the ground. Spent carbide is toxic and will cause sickness and death when eaten by animals. Farm livestock in particular is often harmed this way. An inexpensive plastic bag is ideal for carrying carbide waste safely and easily. Spent carbide still emits a certain amount of acetylene gas and severe burns can result from accidental ignition. Some cavers prefer to use spare bottoms filled with fresh carbide for their carbide lamps, removing and capping the spent one and installing a fresh one as necessary. Never leave used batteries in a cave, either. Pack out everything taken into a cave.
G. Never leave used batteries in a cave, either.
Pack out everything taken into a cave.