Varsity Scouts Caving
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.
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.
Peppersauce cave is located about 8 miles south of Oracle, AZ. Google it for details. The cave is warmand damp.