The NSS role

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The NSS role

Postby amaddox » Apr 19, 2014 2:15 pm

What do you feel is the role if the NSS in the outreach education of youth groups and youth organizations?
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Re: The NSS role

Postby buddyh » Jul 23, 2014 9:26 pm

After seeing more of the JSS at convention again this year I feel there is a lot more that can be done. The JSS can be a great way to help transition those youth that we lead underground and really want more to become NSS members. Not enough time for 2015 but 2016 is a real possibility.

What do you think of putting a contingent together for Ely, NV. Need leaders, both adult and junior.
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Re: The NSS role

Postby ohiocaver » Jul 23, 2014 9:56 pm

Are we talking younger (K-9) age? Late high school and explorer scout age? College outdoor club age?
Beyond the universal "cave softly, cave safely" message for all, I'd think each would have a different message and approach.
But the best place to start is with a welcoming, local grotto.
[url=http://postimg.org/image/lex35gcbv/][img]http://s9.postimg.org/lex35gcbv/curt_Bryants_Cave_Indiana.jpg[/img][/url]
[url=http://postimg.org/image/eta4ctvar/][img]http://s21.postimg.org/eta4ctvar/cn_oh_isl_coils_cave_curt_sketch.jpg[/img][/url]
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Re: The NSS role

Postby buddyh » Jul 24, 2014 8:36 pm

I'm setting sights on the same for most other High Adventure trek criteria. That is First Class and 14 years old, a member of a Crew, Troop or Post. Of course Crew and Post members include girls and that means women have to be included. As with scouts the JSS is for youth under 18.
A lot of details would need to be worked out.

Scouts are already pulled in many directions. Getting them out to grotto meetings might be a challenge though not impossible. A lot of grottoes take groups out for an adventure. However it would take many trips with a grotto to get what is covered in one week at convention. Convention also makes it even more of an adventure. This where the hook is set and new members are reeled in with an associate membership as part of the package.

Of course there would be shake downs and a grotto could be used then and a relationship started.
I figure it would take 6 months to plan and then close to a year to get the participants prepped and shakedowns in.

What do you think?
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Re: The NSS role

Postby amaddox » Jul 25, 2014 1:49 pm

Hey Buddy,
I've been thinking about this for a couple days. Basically because there are so many things that can be done and there are so many obstacles. But the rewards would be overwhelming.

First let's not confuse JSS with YGLC. The JSS is a program for the children of NSS members, specifically during the National Convention. YGLC coordinates youth organizations with cavers, grottos, and caving activities. the kids of the JSS have a preexisting opportunity to go caving and participate in caving events and activities. YGLC coordinates with youth organizations who's kids' parents would most likely not introduce or involve them with caving, caving events or activities.

I think it would be awesome to intermingle the two together during the Convention. It's an opportunity for the kids to network and make new friends from all over the USA with this one interest.

I'm going to pause here and come back later to make more comments after I pull together more information.

Thanks for the topic,
Allen
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Re: The NSS role

Postby buddyh » Jul 25, 2014 6:15 pm

I'm thinking each participant would become an NSS member, under 17 a Junior and 17 and over a regular membership as part of the trip fee. The membership cost would be a small part of the over all cost. Costs would include the obvious, food, convention fees, air fair, motor coach, van rentals, entertainment, etc. I left out hotel because I have an idea

Maybe the JSS is not the perfect solution but the program kept impressing me. We could at least leverage the JSS format and opportunities. Are you proposing two youth programs as a better alternative? I worry about resources and over taxing the JSS.

This is the time to vet and propose and explore the kinks and opportunities. On the way home two pages of notes and ideas were brainstormed. Buy in by the NSS will be critical. Without the buy in and support it would be a train wreck.

In the end I hope this may become a model for years to come.
I appreciate every ones input. Actually I am counting on it.
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Re: The NSS role

Postby amaddox » Jul 25, 2014 6:36 pm

Buddy,
I do agree it would be great to do. It's giving me ideas as well. But let me throw out some "cons" for a moment.

The cost of a trip like this more than normal summer camp fees. Would this be comparable to say a high adventure like Philmont?
If we are talking about Scouts, then it will be 14 to 20 y/o co-ed. If we are willing to include other youth organizations, their age groups may be different, i.e. Girl Scouts does not have the same age requirements for caving that Boy Scouts does.
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Re: The NSS role

Postby buddyh » Jul 25, 2014 9:17 pm

It would definitely be a high adventure trek, very similar to a trek to Philmont, Sea Base, Boundary Waters, etc. I would prefer to keep it to just BSA groups, at least at first. It would be easiest with tour permits, insurance and regulations. Plus I am real familiar with the BSA and their resources. Keeps it simple.

That does no preclude someone that is familiar with another groups requirements taking the lead for that group.
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Re: The NSS role

Postby amaddox » Jul 25, 2014 10:01 pm

I understand a little clearer what you are wanting to do. I think it's a good idea and should work. I am part of a caving focused Venturing Crew. While not chartered by the Philadelphia Grotto, it is support with gear and experienced cavers from the Grotto. It is a very small Crew with members dual registered from other Crews. Philly Grotto has invited the Crew on many activities and the Crew has invited the Grotto on activities as well. While this has been going on for many years, we are to the point a couple of the youth Venturers have joined Philly Grotto and have participated in a MAR field event. It has worked well for everybody.
If it works on the local level, it can work on the national level.
Since it's your idea, and you've done a lot of work already, were do we start? What can I do to help???
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Re: The NSS role

Postby zschudrowitz » Jul 25, 2014 11:26 pm

Hey Allen, Hey Buddy,

Buddy, I don't know if we've met so here's a little background on me. I too am a scouter with a Venture Crew in San Antonio. I've helped with the JSS 3 times and I'm now the lucky JSS Chair for the NSS. Just to be clear the local JSS Coordinator is the work horse at a convention. The local families that ran the JSS this year deserve the credit. My main role this year was writing checks for them, taking deposits, and going to meetings with other convention staff. I too have had visions of the future of taking my Venture Crew to convention. They're not to into caving so that's a long way off.

So the JSS in a nutshell:
Right now think of the JSS as a band of parents that have a planned series of youth oriented events. It right now only runs the week of convention. It is labor intensive. 10 adults worked non-stop for the entire week and the vertical workshop had a ratio of 2 adults per 1 child. Two years running now most of the program has been little kiddies. The older one's parents let them roam a little further, so I haven't seen any older parents helping out as much. The older ones gravitate towards each other but don't hang around with all the little ones. I'm trying to reconceptualize and implement a JSS that goes beyond babysitting.

How ya'll fit in:
Venture Crews or 14+ year old Boy & Girl Scouts are the best age to bring. The JSS is not a summer camp and we don't have a 8 am to 8 pm schedule for kiddies. Ideally the JSS would have a 2 track approach with an age break at 14. However, this is extra labor that I don't have. Ya'll's group would be the corp of the 14+ track as you are already cohesive and have parents in attendance.
I've made a proposal to the NSS's AVP and future convention chairs. If they agree I could convert some regional donations into sponsorships if a kid gives a talk & writes a thank you letter. Do any of your kids have an exploration story? cave science project? vertical training advice? I hope this brainchild works, so pester your kids for some cool presentation ideas and are willing writers.

Cost:
The cost of it would be equivalent to some summer trips I've been on with Crews. It would be best that they all become NSS members. I don't know the cost of membership, but I'm sure it's a wash once you figure the non-member convention registration. Plus, new members get a $40 (don't quote me) coupon for their first convention.
Registration was $130 this year for under 17, $160 for adults. The JSS fee is included in that registration. You'll get some meals out of that, but van rental may be unique for ya'll. Where would you be coming from? Will you be in a 15 passenger van already? If ya'll bring a van and it's carting ya'll & some other 14+ JSS kids I could foresee helping pay for that.
Go for the hotel if you like. I cheated with a hotel this year because I had just proposed to Jenny the previous week. Most folks camp and we can segregate a spot :)

Con:
Some activities at convention are not BSA kosher ie drinking & the hot tub. I'd advise getting to know your parents reeeally well and having clear rules with the kids. Likely the kids will just hang around their own campsite most evenings anyways.

That's all I can think of for now. I hope it's not off-putting and if ya'll want to check out a website I've built click this. https://sites.google.com/site/juniorspe ... alsociety/ It's faaar from perfect but it's rolling and I'll try to keep it updated.
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Re: The NSS role

Postby buddyh » Jul 28, 2014 11:20 pm

A few comments and more.

Not put off at all, encouraged. I've already been thinking of the many points you raise. As stated earlier I don't want to tax the JSS but leverage it. I am working on gathering facts, resources and estimates. Of course I would be helping at convention.
For those that don't know me, I have been Scouter for about 25 years now. I live in Maryland north of Baltimore. I joined the NSS upon taking my first OCR or COR or what ever they were calling the weekend intro to cave rescue close to 16 years ago. I had started to lead trips into a couple of caves as part of an Adult Education Center program at the local high school. The center was first run by the local Board of Education and was later run by the community college group of the county. I incorporated to protect my family and our assets. After a few years the student pool dried up but I found there were many troops in my district that wanted to go caving. I do charge a minimal fee to cover some of the insurance and equipment costs. There is no financial profit in this but there are huge rewards, and if you have ever lead a youth group caving then you know what they are. I have completed level two, Team Leader, NCRC training and hoe to go level three in a few years, scouting permitting. When it comes to caving, I instruct to all the proper policies, procedures, conservation and safety the NSS and BSA and I require. My goal is a safe trip that sets an example so high, the participants would demand the same of other adventures and groups.

I tell my students that I am a Scouter first and a caver second. That is the order they occurred and the order they are performed. I know some out side of Scouting do not understand all the rules such as two deep leadership and the buddy system but I stand by them. Of course I also say that one needs to know the rules well so that they can be broken properly. Then again when other groups adopt the policies of the BSA as their standard, you know then that they have merit. The Royal Rangers are a case in point.

My goal with this project is to increase the participation and the membership of the NSS and Scouting all while instilling a sense of ownership, stewardship and accomplishment in the next generation to carry the torch. If it can serve as a model and test bed even better.

To get there it will take till 2016. I see six months of planning and then a year to execute the plan, ending with the convention.

I am working on cost estimates and hope to have something early September. I will submit a rough outline of the trip itinerary then also. After that we can see if the various sections like the Vertical Workshop group can support us. I want to have everything ready and be signing up participants by the time convention 2014 starts.

I do have a website if you want to visit it. I need to work on it a little as some state regulations have changed.
http://www.hiventures.com. If you go to Bud's Own Adventures, there are three rescue training adventures to see. One has my wife manning the comm line at the mouth of the cave.

And yes, some parts of the convention are not for youth. What do they say? What happens in Ely stays in Ely. The Howdy Party, Wednesday party and Banquet are tame enough and managed. These will be High School aged youth. As stated, they will like tend to self segregate most of the time.
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Re: The NSS role

Postby Caving Guru » Jul 29, 2014 2:19 am

zschudrowitz: "Do any of your kids have an exploration story? cave science project? vertical training advice? I hope this brainchild works, so pester your kids for some cool presentation ideas and are willing writers."

I am 19, am a willing writer, have many cave exploration stories, and have much vertical training advice but I have never done a cave science project. I have so far been to the West Virginia 2012 NSS Convention at the age of 17, the Pennsylvania 2013 NSS Convention at the age of 18, and the Alabama 2014 NSS Convention at the age of 19. I would love to give a presentation to JSS kids at the Missouri 2015 NSS Convention and many more to come if I was allowed the opportunity to.

I became in love with caving since the moment I first went caving at the age of 12. My passion for caving in no way has come from my parents. If anything, I have gotten my parents into caving. I keep an active log of all my cave trips so I am therefore able to tell you that I have so far done 151 cave trips and 32 vertical cave trips in 11 US states and 1 Canadian Province (QC, NH, CT, PA, MD, WV, VA, NC, TN, GA, AL, & CA). I attempted to go caving when I was in Arizona, Louisiana, and Mississippi but I was unsuccessful in my attempts to go caving in these 3 states. I am most often criticized when I say my caving experience because people think that I am bragging which is not the case. I hope that I am not criticized by any of you for saying my caving experience.
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Re: The NSS role

Postby amaddox » Jul 29, 2014 9:35 am

Caving Guru wrote:zschudrowitz: "Do any of your kids have an exploration story? cave science project? vertical training advice? I hope this brainchild works, so pester your kids for some cool presentation ideas and are willing writers."

I am 19, am a willing writer, have many cave exploration stories, and have much vertical training advice but I have never done a cave science project. I have so far been to the West Virginia 2012 NSS Convention at the age of 17, the Pennsylvania 2013 NSS Convention at the age of 18, and the Alabama 2014 NSS Convention at the age of 19. I would love to give a presentation to JSS kids at the Missouri 2015 NSS Convention and many more to come if I was allowed the opportunity to.

I became in love with caving since the moment I first went caving at the age of 12. My passion for caving in no way has come from my parents. If anything, I have gotten my parents into caving. I keep an active log of all my cave trips so I am therefore able to tell you that I have so far done 151 cave trips and 32 vertical cave trips in 11 US states and 1 Canadian Province (QC, NH, CT, PA, MD, WV, VA, NC, TN, GA, AL, & CA). I attempted to go caving when I was in Arizona, Louisiana, and Mississippi but I was unsuccessful in my attempts to go caving in these 3 states. I am most often criticized when I say my caving experience because people think that I am bragging which is not the case. I hope that I am not criticized by any of you for saying my caving experience.


I would think with your experience you would be an asset to JSS and a role model for the kids.
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Re: The NSS role

Postby amaddox » Jul 29, 2014 9:38 am

buddyh wrote:A few comments and more.

Not put off at all, encouraged. I've already been thinking of the many points you raise. As stated earlier I don't want to tax the JSS but leverage it. I am working on gathering facts, resources and estimates. Of course I would be helping at convention.
For those that don't know me, I have been Scouter for about 25 years now. I live in Maryland north of Baltimore. I joined the NSS upon taking my first OCR or COR or what ever they were calling the weekend intro to cave rescue close to 16 years ago. I had started to lead trips into a couple of caves as part of an Adult Education Center program at the local high school. The center was first run by the local Board of Education and was later run by the community college group of the county. I incorporated to protect my family and our assets. After a few years the student pool dried up but I found there were many troops in my district that wanted to go caving. I do charge a minimal fee to cover some of the insurance and equipment costs. There is no financial profit in this but there are huge rewards, and if you have ever lead a youth group caving then you know what they are. I have completed level two, Team Leader, NCRC training and hoe to go level three in a few years, scouting permitting. When it comes to caving, I instruct to all the proper policies, procedures, conservation and safety the NSS and BSA and I require. My goal is a safe trip that sets an example so high, the participants would demand the same of other adventures and groups.

I tell my students that I am a Scouter first and a caver second. That is the order they occurred and the order they are performed. I know some out side of Scouting do not understand all the rules such as two deep leadership and the buddy system but I stand by them. Of course I also say that one needs to know the rules well so that they can be broken properly. Then again when other groups adopt the policies of the BSA as their standard, you know then that they have merit. The Royal Rangers are a case in point.

My goal with this project is to increase the participation and the membership of the NSS and Scouting all while instilling a sense of ownership, stewardship and accomplishment in the next generation to carry the torch. If it can serve as a model and test bed even better.

To get there it will take till 2016. I see six months of planning and then a year to execute the plan, ending with the convention.

I am working on cost estimates and hope to have something early September. I will submit a rough outline of the trip itinerary then also. After that we can see if the various sections like the Vertical Workshop group can support us. I want to have everything ready and be signing up participants by the time convention 2014 starts.

I do have a website if you want to visit it. I need to work on it a little as some state regulations have changed.
http://www.hiventures.com. If you go to Bud's Own Adventures, there are three rescue training adventures to see. One has my wife manning the comm line at the mouth of the cave.

And yes, some parts of the convention are not for youth. What do they say? What happens in Ely stays in Ely. The Howdy Party, Wednesday party and Banquet are tame enough and managed. These will be High School aged youth. As stated, they will like tend to self segregate most of the time.


I have talked to a few Scouts who have been on your trips and have nothing but high praises about the program you provide and deliver. Keep up the good work. Your experience will serve well putting a Scout contingent together for Convention.
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Re: The NSS role

Postby buddyh » Aug 19, 2014 5:28 pm

Spoke with my Scouting District Executive recently. Looks like, from the Scouting side, the best way to go is with a Venture Crew. I will be putting out a few feelers in the Baltimore Area Council over the next few weeks. Now I need to reach out to the NSS Convention Committee and see what they think.
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