Caving Merit Badge

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Re: Caving Merit Badge

Postby Cheryl Jones » Dec 11, 2009 10:41 pm

If the bat logo is copy written, could it be licensed? Who would know the answer?


You mean the bat sticker design? :bat sticker: The design belongs to the NSS. You'd need to contact Wm Shrewsbury, the OVP about using it. ovp at caves dott org.

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Re: Caving Merit Badge

Postby rebelfirefighter » Dec 12, 2009 7:42 am

Did you know that when climbing, use of a rack for rappelling is prohibited however when caving or practicing to go caving a rack is permissible.


I'm not a climber. The only "climbing" I do is up a rope so maybe yall can help my curiosity and explain why they have the rule of no rack for climbing but its fine for caving practice. As long as I've rappelled I've always favored the rack over the figure 8. I've always felt the rack was the safest. Is it a misguided rule or am I missing something. Like I said I'm no rock climber.
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Re: Caving Merit Badge

Postby Tenzin Beck » Dec 13, 2009 3:14 am

As far as I can tell, the problem with the rappel rack is that if you thread it wrong, you just pop right off the rope. A figure-8 or ATC is very difficult to accidentally hookup incorrectly.
Darkness is impossible to remember. Consequently, cavers desire to return to the unseen depths where they have just been.
Darkness never satisfies. Darkness cannot satisfy. Especially if it takes something away, which it almost invariably does.
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Re: Caving Merit Badge

Postby wyandottecaver » Dec 13, 2009 3:57 pm

well....actually you CAN hook a figure 8 up wrong as well as get yourself stuck if the rope slides into a bight. They also tend to not work very well when you release the rope..... My personal interpretation is that the BSA guy writing the rules probably had never used a rack, thus was confused... But I suspect your are correct.
I'm not scared of the dark, it's the things IN the dark that make me nervous. :)
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Re: Caving Merit Badge

Postby buddyh » Dec 14, 2009 7:56 pm

I have no shortage of disagreements with BSA policy. As an example I have taken issue with many items in the climbing merit badge, both the older and new printings. I have notes all over them.
When discussing their methods and requirements one has to remember that they need to dumb it down to easily remembered practices. They tend to use methods that while not always the best, at least repeatable with the least likely hood to cause confusion and injury. A lot of the instructors spend only a few weeks learning to be a program guide. They are taught the program specific practices. They are not taught all the other ways to perform the same task. As an example they are taught how to do a single wrap of the figure 8 belay device and not how to wrap it twice for increased friction and control.

They are always trying to provide an exciting program that is safe for the masses.

There mantra for climbing is; Your mother may drop you, we never will.

As we develop the proposed merit badge, the attitude of safety first while making the learning experience challenging has to be kept in the forefront.

These are my musing as I interpret what I have experienced and not an official statement of policy of the BSA.
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Re: Caving Merit Badge

Postby amaddox » Dec 15, 2009 1:07 pm

buddyh wrote:I would like to see a badge on the sash. However the NSS might consider a cave conservation award. But that would never be recognized by the BSA as qualifying for rank advancement. The thing to remember is that a merit badge represents not an expert, but knowledge and some kind of participation. Participation could be contacting a grotto and a written report as with Pulp and Paper or Law merit badges. I'm sure we are intelligent, experienced and diverse enough to come up with a set of requirements that would demonstrate that the scout has an understanding of caves, caving, their importance, conservations and what would be required to participate in caving. As cavers we all want to get underground. Are we still cavers when we are sitting on the porch in a rocking chair too old and stiff to go underground?

Did you know that when climbing, use of a rack for rappelling is prohibited however when caving or practicing to go caving a rack is permissible.

As for getting youth from in front of a computer, absolutely. One of the biggest issues to overcome with today's youth is getting them to lead. From early on they are chauffeured form activity to activity all the while being told what to do, how to do it and when to do it. Gone are the days of pick up games and hiking to the favored fishing spot miles from home. And being gone all day while on your own with friends. Kids are rarely out of a parent's view now a days. We have a hard time getting them to think beyond the recreation council activities.

If the bat logo is copy written, could it be licensed? Who would know the answer?

More of your thoughts please.

I think the NSS, or at least the Youth Group Liaison Committee, would back a Cave Conservation Award. The "bat sticker" is copywritten and I understand that the proceeds go towards research. I heard somewhere that the artist who drew the sticker turned the copywrite over to the NSS for this purpose.
I'd like to suggest a new post topic to keep this organized. Solicit your caver friends for ideas. :cavingrocks:
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http://www.youcave.org/
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Re: Caving Merit Badge

Postby Cheryl Jones » Dec 15, 2009 3:37 pm

I don't think that the bat flight design represents "caver" or "caving" to anyone but other cavers. I think you all or BSA can come up with a unique design for the badge that will better suggest caving. For example, the international caver symbol
Image
or a hardhat and shining headlamp.

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Re: Caving Merit Badge

Postby buddyh » Dec 15, 2009 8:47 pm

The bat sticker is copywritten and has the stipulation that the NSS cannot give permission to use it or modify it for use by other another organization. Just have to design something original ourselves. Maybe we could open it up to a competition in the NSS News and Boys Life and Scouting magazines. Just a thought. The entries could be judged a the next convention or online/email/snailmail.

The more I think about it, the more a Cave Conservation as compared to a Caving merit badge would be easier to find acceptable to all parties and still be able to provide adequate the exposure for scouts to the caving community.

Why don't I volunteer to be the collection point of ideas for the requirements and what should be included in the information pamphlet. I'll setup a mail box for information to be sent to. Till I publish the address on this thread, start by putting on your thinking caps and writing them down.

On your mark, get set, ..... I let you know when to go.
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Re: Caving Merit Badge

Postby rebelfirefighter » Dec 19, 2009 7:33 am

Got this email from BSA about the merit badges

Here is some infromation to get you started on this.But I do think we should talk about it also.Over the past 18 years there have only been 6 new Merit Badges. So we are very focused and selective in how many we add. With that being said, we are very interested in what you have to suggest. The best ideas usually come from people like you in the field. In order to evaluate all proposals in a complete and consistent manner, we ask that all submitters develop their proposals around the attached Awards Submission Summary. Please pay particular attention to the short description. This description will be used as the primary input for internal and youth evaluation of the proposal. When we receive high ratings the proposal will be sent to a volunteer task force for further determination. An overview of the process is included in the attached form. Once you have completed the proposal send it to merit.badge@scouting.org <mailto:merit.badge@scouting.org> . If you have questions feel free to let me know how I can help. Janice Downey 972-580-2446 office


If anyone wants the attached form let me know and I'll email it to you.
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Re: Caving Merit Badge

Postby buddyh » Dec 19, 2009 12:30 pm

The email address (eddress) has been setup and ready for you to send your suggestions, drafts and supporting information to.

bsabadge (at) hiventures.com

Please send me all related information such as the submission criteria mentioned in the previous post by rebelfirefighter.

I will organize the submittals and share what is submitted periodically.
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Re: Caving Merit Badge

Postby buddyh » Dec 22, 2009 10:07 pm

As promised I have added a page to my site to post your suggestions and comments for a caving merit badge. In no way am I trying to or intend to take this away from the the forum. I just want to provide a place to send, collect and comment on what should be included in a caving badge. I will continue to monitor the forum for you comments and suggestions

here is the link
http://www.hiventures.com/Caving_Badge.htm

eddress
bsabadge (at) hiventures.com

Thanks Folks
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Re Missouri caving subthread

Postby Teresa » Dec 23, 2009 11:28 am

I concur that caving is unique enough that the BSA (and GSA, for that matter) should have a badge, and I commend your efforts.

On the Missouri caving/canoeing attire: it's one of those things. You have to be there. While standard hike-in caving does require longsleeved clothing, boots, yadda yadda, most of the caves along Missouri rivers which are reachable by canoe only are less than 300 feet long, well-beaten, and often explored by non-Scout canoeists with no lights at all, or at most, one flashlight for multiple people, and often under the influence. The rivers are shallow, swift and riffly enough (sub-whitewater)that the lighter craft you have, the less likely you are to take a bad spill or snag. Cave Spring, 20th largest spring in the state on the Current River, is routinely canoed into by nearly every passerby without any caving gear at all, and in the back you are at the far reaches of any twilight, over 140 ft of water. Rarely does any cave trip into one of these caves last over 20-30 minutes at max.

I led a caving and canoeing class for a private religious camp one summer down these streams, and as the designated caver, I thought long and hard about the plusses and minuses of full cave gear vs typical canoeing attire for an all day float. I settled on headlight and flashlight, gloves, whatever caving boots with tread the kids had, and recommended long pants, though some wore shorts anyway. No polypro or sweaters. No full cave pack. No helmets. (I knew the caves: none had low ceilings or require crawling, and I've irretrievably drowned at least one helmet and full cave pack on a canoe trip, trapped under a log jam.)

It was a conservative camp, so the kids had on more clothes than most other people we saw on the river. Naturally, people slipped and got muddy, but when they got out of the cave, they jumped in the river anyway. The bottom line is: for hot-weather Missouri summer canoe/caving, I don't see anything wrong with swimming clothes, as long as they have headlights, gloves and some sort of treaded shoe. When we were at hike-in caves, they used standard caving gear, so they understood the river experience was different from standard caving. The first time I caved in New Mexico and saw what people wear out there, I winced, then cut them some slack. You all probably should do the same for the Missouri canoe/cave Scouts.
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Re: Caving Merit Badge

Postby Chads93GT » Dec 28, 2009 11:47 pm

Tenzin Beck wrote:As far as I can tell, the problem with the rappel rack is that if you thread it wrong, you just pop right off the rope. A figure-8 or ATC is very difficult to accidentally hookup incorrectly.


which is why you leave your QAS attached while you fully weight your rack to make sure everything is working right. However, when you have stamped steel bars, its a little difficult to thread the rack wrong. As stated above, you can get yourself into a tight spot with a figure 8, much more so if you drop it. You don't have to remove the rack from your harness to get on rappel; however, a figure 8 has to come off, hands free.

As for an ATC, I can't even get my pit rope to fit into my ATC's. All 3 of them.
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Re: Caving Merit Badge

Postby NZcaver » Dec 29, 2009 12:01 am

Chads93GT wrote:As stated above, you can get yourself into a tight spot with a figure 8, much more so if you drop it. You don't have to remove the rack from your harness to get on rappel; however, a figure 8 has to come off, hands free.

I'm not a big fan of using a Figure 8 descender for caving (or any rope work), but you should know that you can thread an 8 without fear of dropping it by using this method. I guess this discussion is now a bit off-topic for caving merit badges.
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Re: Caving Merit Badge

Postby Phil Winkler » Dec 29, 2009 10:44 am

Buddy,

From an earlier posting found searching for: "Bat sticker" +Missouri
Postby Phil Winkler » Thu Sep 20, 2007 3:24 pm
Hi, Bruce, I remember when they were first made that Bob Leibman (I think) mentioned the yellow was for carbide flame and black for cave darkness.

However, after viewing your website I can see you are a real fan of many different colors! :D But, blue text on a black background? That made my eyes hurt and was almost unreadable to me.

I wonder who does make them nowadays? Hmmmmmm?

Ok..a quick check in our LedgerMaster Inventory database reveals we get them from Earl Biffle (NSS 3953) in Fenton, MO. And, we've purchased over 6000 of them since 1997.

How about that.
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