Although the Triangle Troglodytes is primarily an adult caving organization, we have on occasion led youth group trips. Before inquiring about a youth group trip please review the following guidelines.
The Triangle Troglodytes of the National Speleological Society (NSS) has developed these guidelines which should be met before any youth group trip. These guidelines take into account the policies of both the NSS and the Scouts of America, and they apply to both the youth group leaders and the caver leading the trip.
For Youth Group Leaders
- No one under 14 years old is permitted on the trip.
- At least one youth group leader and one experienced caver, both over 21 years old, must be in each party.
- Parties underground are limited to 10 persons for conservation reasons.
- Each experienced caver may lead no more than five youths and/or youth group leaders.
- Prior to the trip, the youth group leader should schedule a lecture on caving safety and conservation to the group by a Troglodyte, at the caver’s convenience.
- Waiver forms approved by the youth group’s national organization are necessary for every scout and leader on the trip. If the national group requires a tour permit for the trip, the youth group must have one completed.
- Each participant must be equipped with a hardhat with a chinstrap and a helmet-mounted lamp. Neither the Triangle Troglodytes nor its members will be responsible for these provisions. A list of other necessary equipment will be provided to the youth group by the caver.
- Specific information about the cave and camping locations should be left with a youth group contact in town.
- Choose “beginner” caves which have historically received high traffic and do not contain sensitive bat colonies. Do NOT give directions to any caves unless a competent caver is going to lead the trip.
- A lecture about safety, conservation, and landowner relations should be given to everyone planning to go on the trip. Present a list of required equipment and clothing to each member of the group.
- Check the cave access situation before leaving for the trip.
- Check that the scout leaders meet all of the guidelines set above.
- No ropes, ladders, or other climbing devices should be used on novice trips, although belay lines are encouraged.
- At least one of the Grotto trip leaders must meet 3 of the 4 qualifications listed below:
- 2 years of continuous membership in the NSS
- 2 years of continuous membership in a grotto
- 2 years of experience in cave exploring
- Current certification in first aid and CPR
- The trip leader should be a currently active member of the Triangle Troglodytes and of the National Speleological Society.
- The trip leader should have led a grotto-sponsored cave trip before leading a youth group trip.
Further information or questions on this information and policies can be requested here.