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Varsity Scouts Caving

Varsity Scouts Caving

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Published by santanvarsity
Compare this resource to the current requirements, guide to safe scouting, etc. They constantly change, but this is a good start.
Compare this resource to the current requirements, guide to safe scouting, etc. They constantly change, but this is a good start.

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Published by: santanvarsity on Oct 26, 2009
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09/09/2010

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Varsity Scouts Caving
Preparation
Plan at least 2 weeknights for preparation1.
 
File a tour permit early. Do not do this activity without a tour permit.2.
 
Obtain permission slips from all the boys. Do not do this activity without permission slips.3.
 
Show a movie on caving. For example the Planet Earth series has a great section on caves thatthe boys loved and got them excited about going.4.
 
Discuss safety, equipment, trail buddy system. By trail buddy system, I mean explain that insteadof pairing up, each person is in charge of the person behind them. Do not ever go past a junction or difficult spot before making sure the person behind you has cleared it and knowswhich way the group is going. Also doing the paired buddy doesn’t hurt.5.
 
Plan meals, transportation, etc.6.
 
Present the particular cave you’ll be exploring. Show pictures if possible. Talk about its history,etc. Explain what they might expect to see.7.
 
You could zip tie or duct tape 2 flashlights onto the top of your helmet. Keep your hands free.
Event Day
As boys arrive at your meeting place, make sure they have their permission slips if you have not alreadyobtained theirs. Make sure they brought the critical items on the list (water at flash lights).In the beginning, practice the trail buddy system. You must drill it into their heads early, before thingsget difficult and exciting. On your way out, when the boys “smell the oats” is too late.At each area large enough for the group to fit in, stop and wait until everyone has arrived.When you get to a secluded room large enough for your group, get everyone together and sitcomfortably. Get them to all turn of their flashlights and leave them off. This can pose quite a challenge.Sit quite for some time. Have a reflection. Discuss what it feels like to be in total darkness. Considergetting out of the cave without light. Discuss how Christ is light. Etc.Everyone will be filthy when you exit the cave. I brought lots of water, wash rags and hand towels forthem to clean up with. Each of us went up a small river bed just up the road we were able to go up andchange into clean clothes. Alternatively, you can bring some shelter you can easily set up and use as achanging room.
The Cave
Peppersauce cave is located about 8 miles south of Oracle, AZ. Google it for details. The cave is warmand damp.
 
Latitude/Longitude coordinates are: 32 31'33"N 110 42'23"W.You can Google the cave to get some information and a map. It is a decent entry-level cave. There aresome tight spots and if you tried, you could get stuck. But, from what we found, it’s hard to get lost.There are spray painted arrows and markings virtually everywhere. We also brought some shiny ribbonthat we tied off at some junctions which helped us exit more quickly.As you descend, for the most part, stay to the left. Eventually you’ll come to quite a large room. Off tothe right you’ll come across a passageway to a ladder which takes you to the “lake”. The term lake isquite generous. It’s smaller than back yard swimming pools. I recommend staying out of the water. It isnot sanitary.Back on the big room, if you explore the wall off to the left from where you came in, you’ll find apassageway along the base of the wall which will take you though the rabbit hole and eventually to the“book room” where there is a notebook that you can sign showing you’ve been there. I don’trecommend reading through the book.
Note that the map you find on line, stops at the big room andlake. Take the time to find this other area, as that is when the trip was the most fun and mostchallenging.When you come back to the big room, if you have time, you can explore some of the passageways youmissed on the way it.
Directions
From Florence, take 79 S for 42 miles to State Highway 77. Turn left (east) and drive 9 miles to the townof Oracle. Take the first Oracle exit and travel 4 miles through town (on American) to Forest Road 38 (EMt. Lemmon Hwy). Follow FR 38 to Peppersauce Canyon (about 6-7 miles). It’s about 2 hours fromGilbert.At one point, you’ll come to an intersection. On the left is the campground. You can camp there if youlike, but we just turned right and found a spot of the road up a ways. I didn’t want to pay, and I didn’twant to bother the campers with all the boys’ noise.Continue on a couple miles to the cave. You’ll pass a horse ranch on the left. You’ll come across a bendin the road to the left where there is a turn off down, to the left. You’ll probably see quite a few carsaround. Don’t feel shy to ask for directions. Yes, this means you.The cave entrance is up a river bed on the right side about 100 yards. It is near a rusted metal sign. If you follow the trail up, you can’t miss it. Someone spay painted an arrow and “cave” to the right. Thatleads to a boring shaft. The real cave is to the left of the sign and up the hill a bit.
 
What To Bring
Small back pack/Fanny pack/day pack (it will get very muddy and beat up)3 flashlights/headlamps - small is goodReplacement batteries for the lightsCompassHelmetKnee padsGlovesTowelClothes that you never want to wear again (they are going to get really dirty)Boots/shoes that you never want to wear again (they are going to get really dirty)WaterSnackChange of clothes to wear homeLeader:CameraNot a bad idea to bring some rope or webbing for a couple places and just in case5 gallons of water, rags, towels, etc to clean up afterwards

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