Youth FAQ - Should my child go on a vertical caving trip?

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Youth FAQ - Should my child go on a vertical caving trip?

Postby lookingaround » Jan 24, 2007 11:21 pm

Here is our next FAQ proposed answer. This question has been more challenging than most of the others.

Please post any comments or suggestions for improvement. Thanks!


---
Should my child go on a vertical caving trip?
(See also FAQ Question #X What is “vertical” caving?)

Vertical caving can be an exciting and rewarding activity. Vertical caving often offers more “rewards” that horizontal caving. The thrill of rappelling into a cave or climbing a near vertical wall for the first time is indescribable. However, due to the heights typically involved with vertical caving there is a greater potential for significant injuries or death! While these risks usually can be adequately managed, it is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to decide whether a child should go vertical caving.

Safe vertical caving requires special equipment and usually requires training and practice within controlled conditions above ground. Remember that many injuries that are considered “minor” above ground can be life threatening while underground.

Many national youth organizations (church, scouts, etc) have specific requirements for vertical caving. If the proposed trip is operated through a youth organization you may wish to investigate those requirements. Note that they may not have specific vertical caving criteria, but may have requirements for activities used within the cave like rappelling, climbing, or belaying. They may also have requirements for the use of vertical equipment like hand lines, ropes, ladders, etc.

See FAQ question #X “How old do you need to be to go caving?” In addition to the questions in #X, Parents/Guardians should consider the following questions before permitting their children to go on a vertical caving trip.
    1) Will there be vertical training & practice outside the cave?

    2) Can parents/guardians observe or participate at a training session? If so, parents should attend and make their own decisions about the skill level of the people providing the training or running the trip. Don’t rely on the opinions of other parents. Parents should observe their child as well as the other children. Did your child pay attention while the instructor was speaking? Did the other children pay attention? Did they ask good questions? Were the instructors able to answer the questions to your satisfaction? Did your child get to practice the specific techniques that will be used in the cave? If you have any doubts or concerns, don’t send your child!

    3) What type of equipment is required? What condition is it in? Has it been properly maintained? Did it properly fit your child’s unique body configuration? Don’t allow your child to attend unless you are completely confident in the equipment that will be used.

    4) Are your guides experienced in leading youth groups on vertical caving trips?

    5) Is your child mature enough to understand and respect the risks and dangers involved?

A parent or guardian is the only person who should decide whether your child belongs on a vertical caving trip. Ultimately, the parent or guardian is responsible for the child’s well being. If you have any doubts about the trip, don’t allow your child to participate!
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Re: Youth FAQ - Should my child go on a vertical caving trip

Postby Tim White » Jan 25, 2007 1:42 pm

lookingaround wrote:Safe vertical caving requires special equipment and usually requires training and practice within controlled conditions above ground. Remember that many injuries that are considered “minor” above ground can be life threatening while underground.


4) Are your guides experienced in leading youth groups on vertical caving trips?


I would remove the word "usually". IMHO it does require training and practice within controlled conditions above ground.

4) Are your guides experienced in leading youth groups on vertical caving trips? ...and have the required skills to perform a rope rescue if it becomes necessary.
Be safe,
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Re: Youth FAQ - Should my child go on a vertical caving trip

Postby caverd » Jan 26, 2007 12:04 pm

lookingaround wrote:---
Should my child go on a vertical caving trip?
(See also FAQ Question #X What is “vertical” caving?)

Vertical caving can be an exciting and rewarding activity. ](Recommend omitting the following statement as it suggests vertical caving is superior to horizontal caving.) Vertical caving often offers more “rewards” that horizontal caving. The thrill of rappelling into a cave or climbing a near vertical wall for the first time is indescribable. However, due to the heights typically involved with vertical caving there is a greater potential for significant injuries or death! While these risks usually can be adequately managed, it is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to decide whether a child should go vertical caving.

Try this for the next paragraph:

Safe vertical caving requires special equipment, training, and practice within controlled conditions above ground. Remember, injuries that are considered “minor” above ground can be life threatening underground.

Many national youth organizations (church, scouts, etc) have specific requirements for vertical caving. If the proposed trip is operated through a youth organization you may wish to investigate those requirements. Note that they may not have specific vertical caving criteria, but may have requirements for activities used within the cave like rappelling, climbing, or belaying. They may also have requirements for the use of vertical equipment like hand lines, ropes, ladders, etc.

See FAQ question #X “How old do you need to be to go caving?” In addition to the questions in #X, Parents/Guardians should consider the following questions before permitting their children to go on a vertical caving trip.
    1) Will there be vertical training & practice outside the cave?

    2) Can parents/guardians observe or participate at a training session? If so, parents should attend and make their own decisions about the skill level of the people providing the training or running the trip. Don’t rely on the opinions of other parents. Parents should observe their child as well as the other children. Did your child pay attention while the instructor was speaking? Did the other children pay attention? Did they ask good questions? Were the instructors able to answer the questions to your satisfaction? Did your child get to practice the specific techniques that will be used in the cave? If you have any doubts or concerns, don’t send your child!

    3) What type of equipment is required? What condition is it in? Has it been properly maintained? Did it properly fit your child’s unique body configuration? Don’t allow your child to attend unless you are completely confident in the equipment that will be used.

    4) Are your guides experienced in leading youth groups on vertical caving trips?

    5) Is your child mature enough to understand and respect the risks and dangers involved?
A parent or guardian is the only person who should decide whether your child belongs on a vertical caving trip. Ultimately, the parent or guardian is responsible for the child’s well being. If you have any doubts about the trip, don’t allow your child to participate!
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Re: Youth FAQ - Should my child go on a vertical caving trip

Postby Teresa » Jan 28, 2007 7:52 pm

caverd wrote:
lookingaround wrote:<snip>
A parent or guardian is the only person who should decide whether your child belongs on a vertical caving trip. Ultimately, the parent or guardian is responsible for the child’s well being. If you have any doubts about the trip, don’t allow your child to participate!


I've got a potential problem with this statement. Although it is the parent or guardian's legal responsibility for the child being on the trip, the way it is phrased negates any ability of the trip leader to abort a trip by a participant whom they don't feel should be there, even though the parents approve. What happens if, in the above ground practice, the child freezes, ignores instructions, shows off, or otherwise behaves in a fashion that the trip leader doesn't feel comfortable taking the child? There should be some waffle statement in there which allows the leader to be held harmless if, in their best judgement, they have some legitimate reason for refusing to take such a child, even if mommy and daddy think it is a wonderful 'character-building' opportunity.

As a horizontal trip leader, I retain the right to refuse participation to anyone I don't feel comfortable taking on a trip. I would think this would go double or triple for a vertical trip leader. I don't have some readymade statement to this effect, but I think it should be considered.
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Postby lookingaround » Feb 5, 2007 7:35 pm

Thank you everyone for the suggestions!

Tim White wrote:
lookingaround wrote:Safe vertical caving requires special equipment and usually requires training and practice within controlled conditions above ground. Remember that many injuries that are considered “minor” above ground can be life threatening while underground.


4) Are your guides experienced in leading youth groups on vertical caving trips?


I would remove the word "usually". IMHO it does require training and practice within controlled conditions above ground.

4) Are your guides experienced in leading youth groups on vertical caving trips? ...and have the required skills to perform a rope rescue if it becomes necessary.


Sounds good. Done.

caverd wrote:
lookingaround wrote:---
Should my child go on a vertical caving trip?
(See also FAQ Question #X What is “vertical” caving?)

Vertical caving can be an exciting and rewarding activity. ](Recommend omitting the following statement as it suggests vertical caving is superior to horizontal caving.) Vertical caving often offers more “rewards” that horizontal caving. The thrill of rappelling into a cave or climbing a near vertical wall for the first time is indescribable. However, due to the heights typically involved with vertical caving there is a greater potential for significant injuries or death! While these risks usually can be adequately managed, it is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to decide whether a child should go vertical caving.

Try this for the next paragraph:

Safe vertical caving requires special equipment, training, and practice within controlled conditions above ground. Remember, injuries that are considered “minor” above ground can be life threatening underground.



Also great. Done. (With a minor change after MS Word complained about the grammar).

Teresa wrote:
caverd wrote:
lookingaround wrote:<snip>
A parent or guardian is the only person who should decide whether your child belongs on a vertical caving trip. Ultimately, the parent or guardian is responsible for the child’s well being. If you have any doubts about the trip, don’t allow your child to participate!


I've got a potential problem with this statement. Although it is the parent or guardian's legal responsibility for the child being on the trip, the way it is phrased negates any ability of the trip leader to abort a trip by a participant whom they don't feel should be there, even though the parents approve. What happens if, in the above ground practice, the child freezes, ignores instructions, shows off, or otherwise behaves in a fashion that the trip leader doesn't feel comfortable taking the child? There should be some waffle statement in there which allows the leader to be held harmless if, in their best judgement, they have some legitimate reason for refusing to take such a child, even if mommy and daddy think it is a wonderful 'character-building' opportunity.

As a horizontal trip leader, I retain the right to refuse participation to anyone I don't feel comfortable taking on a trip. I would think this would go double or triple for a vertical trip leader. I don't have some readymade statement to this effect, but I think it should be considered.


Good points. Below is a new version. Please give more suggestions for improvements!

---
Should my child go on a vertical caving trip?
(See also FAQ Question #X What is “vertical” caving?)

Vertical caving can be an exciting and rewarding activity. The thrill of rappelling into a cave or climbing a near vertical wall for the first time is indescribable. However, due to the heights typically involved with vertical caving there is a greater potential for significant injuries or death.

Safe vertical caving requires special equipment, training, and practice within controlled conditions above ground. Remember that injuries that are considered “minor” above ground can be life threatening underground.

Many national youth organizations (church, scouts, etc) have specific requirements for vertical caving. If the proposed trip is operated through a youth organization you may wish to investigate those requirements. Note that they may not have specific vertical caving criteria, but may have requirements for activities used within the cave like rappelling, climbing, or belaying. They may also have requirements for the use of vertical equipment like hand lines, ropes, ladders, etc.

See FAQ question #X “How old do you need to be to go caving?” In addition to the questions in #X, Parents/Guardians should consider the following questions before permitting their children to go on a vertical caving trip.
    1) Will there be vertical training & practice outside the cave?

    2) Can parents/guardians observe or participate at a training session? If so, parents should attend and make their own decisions about the skill level of the people providing the training or running the trip. Don’t rely on the opinions of other parents. Parents should observe their child as well as the other children. Did your child pay attention while the instructor was speaking? Did the other children pay attention? Did they ask good questions? Were the instructors able to answer the questions to your satisfaction? Did your child get to practice the specific techniques that will be used in the cave? If you have any doubts or concerns, don’t send your child!

    3) What type of equipment is required? What condition is it in? Has it been properly maintained? Did it properly fit your child’s unique body configuration? Don’t allow your child to attend unless you are completely confident in the equipment that will be used.

    4) Are your guides experienced in leading youth groups on vertical caving trips? Do they have the required skills to perform a rescue if it becomes necessary?

    5) Does your child have a genuine respect for the risks and dangers involved?


Your guide might offer input and advice about whether children are ready for vertical caving. They may choose to not take a child (or adult) that they feel is not ready for vertical activities. If this happens, a parent/guardian must respect the guide’s decision.

A parent/guardian, together with their child, should decide if a vertical caving trip is appropriate. It is ultimately the parent/guardian’s responsibility to evaluate the circumstances and decide whether to accept the risks and give permission for their child to participate.

If you have any doubts about the trip, don’t allow your child to participate!
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Postby Dwight Livingston » Feb 5, 2007 7:47 pm

lookingaround wrote:
Remember, injuries that are considered “minor” above ground can be life threatening underground.

Remember that injuries that are considered “minor” above ground can be life threatening underground.


The MS grammar critic is often interesting but often wrong. The first example is standard English, and I think it sounds better by avoiding the confusing double "that."
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Postby lookingaround » Feb 6, 2007 3:27 pm

Dwight wrote:
lookingaround wrote:
Remember, injuries that are considered “minor” above ground can be life threatening underground.

Remember that injuries that are considered “minor” above ground can be life threatening underground.


The MS grammar critic is often interesting but often wrong. The first example is standard English, and I think it sounds better by avoiding the confusing double "that."


Sounds good. We've changed it back to the red version. Thanks!
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