Caving – Cavers Activity Badges
There are 2 badges one for Explorer Scouts and one for Scouts. For an Explorer Scout starting caving, the Explorer Badge involves a lot of work to achieve and is difficult to fit in to an Explorer Scout’s busy life. (Major exams at 15, 16, 17 & 18 together with Bronze & Silver DoE.) For this reason we regard the badges as staged badges, allowing the Explorer Scout to gain the Scout Badge and Scouts to start on the Explorer Scout Badge before they become Explorer Scouts.
Together these badges provide a good basic introduction into caving.
Caving Activity Badge (Scouts)
See the following for details:-
To gain this badge, Scouts must complete the requirements below:
- Take part in at least four trips to at least two different cave systems. Each visit must be as a member of a properly led group.
- Keep a record of these trips and the routes followed.
- Have a good knowledge of the contents of the caving and cave conservation codes, and be able to show to the assessor an awareness of the environmental issues around caving.
Shropshire’s Cavers badge courses are held over three days as follows:-
Day1. This comprises a morning in a local Scout Hut with an introductory talk, a caver training video and in the afternoon we visit Llanymynech Ogof, a mainly Roman copper mine. Since we have no caves in Shropshire for the rest of the course we have a weekend in S.Wales staying at a Scout Hut in the Swansea Valley.
Day 2. We visit Porth-Yr-Ogof and Bridge Cave, in the evening we have a guided tour of the Cave Rescue Depot.
Day 3. We visit the Top Entrance of Ogof Ffynnon Ddu, as this cave is a nature reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest it is ideal for discussing cave conservation issues.
The badge is presented underground. Courses cost £50 to cover accommodation, transport, food, access & parking fees, the badge and a logbook which contains general information and information about all the caves visited. We limit the numbers to 12 Scouts on each course, but will only take Scouts over the age of 12 as we have found that some younger ones find some of the moves to difficult. (If one member of the party can’t manage a particular move then the whole party has to turn back.)
Caving Activity Badge (Explorer Scouts)
See the following for details:-
Complete the requirements below:
- Hold the Scout Caver Badge, or, with a properly authorised party, have made at least four trips underground to two different cave systems and kept a log.
- Explain how caves are formed.
- Rig and use ladder pitch under supervision.
- As part of a properly authorised party, undertake six additional trips to at least two different cave systems. Three of these trips should include sections involving supervised decent of vertical pitches.
- Know the cave conservation code and discuss measures that can be taken to promote conservation of formations and the cave environment.
- Study an aspect of speleology agreed beforehand and discuss the findings. Examples might be the fauna and flora found in caves, cave photography or bat conservation.
In Shropshire we cover this with 2 weekends away, one in S.Wales and one in the Peak District. The courses are open to those who have completed their Scout Caver’s Badge and we limit numbers to 8.
During the first weekend we visit S.Wales and in the past we have visited Llygad Llwchwr and Ogof Ffynnon Ddu, usually a different part to that visited during the Scout Caver’s Badge. We have been trying to visit Ogof Pasg but have found the entrance difficult to find and to difficult to enter. In future we will try Will’s Hole and the avens in Port-yr-Ogof, on the Saturday, which should allow an early introduction to ladder pitches. On the Sunday we will visit Ogof Ffynnon Ddu, usually the bottom entrance unless water levels are excessive.
The second weekend we will spend in the Peak District and visit Carlswark Cavern, Nicker Grove mine, Giants Cave or P8. Which sites we use will depend on the water conditions.
On a day trip to the Peak District we will visit a small cave in Winnats Pass which is ideal for the ladder rigging section of the badge.
The remaining section, that of studying an aspect of Speleology depends on what the individual chooses. Explorer Scouts have chosen, Cave Leadership within Scouts, Single Rope Technique for ascent & descent of vertical pitches and Cave Photography.