BSA Caving Merit Badge


Some of my suggestions to get things started.
  1. Contact the NSS for information on caving groups in your region.
  2. Identify the local caving groups known as grottoes. Describe their membership requirements, when, frequency and where they meet, what their charter contains, approximate membership count.    Obtain a copy of their newsletter or publications.
  3. Describe the minimal caving gear required to safely cave.
  4. Describe how caves are made in your region if they are present or the different way caves are formed.
  5. Explain hazards of caving.
  6. Describe how cave formations such as stalagmites, stalagtites, rim pools, flowstone, etc. developed.
  7. Describe the three zones of cave and what fauna can be expected to be found in each of the zones.
  8. Describe the environmental concerns and hazards of cave rich areas.
  9. Develop a plan for a caving trip to a wild cave. Include what safety measures will be taken.
  10. Conservation
    1. Describe how formations are damaged and how to prevent damage.
    2. Describe why cave fauna are unique and what measures can be taken to avoid damaging cave fauna.
    3. Describe the importance of decontamination of caving gear.
    4. Describe what methods can be used to decontaminate caving gear.
    5. Describe what decontamination methods may damage caving gear.
    6. Describe importance of caver and cave owner relations and how to maintain and improve these relations.

Andy W has submitted these on 1Jan2010.
  1. Do the following:
    1. Show that you know first aid for and how to prevent injuries or illnesses that could occur during caving activities, including heat and cold reactions, dehydration, stopped breathing, sprains, abrasions, fractures, rope burns, blisters, snakebite, and insect bites or stings.
    2. Identify the conditions that must exist before performing CPR on a person.
    3. Describe infectious deseases or infections that cavers need to be aware of or manage. (buddyh adds)
  2. Present yourself properly dressed for caving (i.e., appropriate clothing, footwear, knee and elbow pads, gloves and a helmet).
  3. Do the following:
    1. Explain the importance of having three sources of light with extra bulbs and extra batteries.
    2. Prior to a caving trip present yourself with three light sources, two of which can be attached to your helmet.
      should we add "at least one of shall be properly attached to your helmet." (buddyh adds).
  4. Do the following:
    Show how to properly pack a cave pack and explain the importance of each item. (ie. Personal first aid kit, water, food, extra batteries, container for waste, markers, cave map, and extra shirt.)
  5. Do one of the following:
    1. Attend a local grotto meeting
    2. Attend a caver function such as a convention
    3. Vist the NSS Headquarters

    Submitted by Andy W on 5Jan2010
  6. Do one of the following:
    1. Visit a commercial cave and take part in a Wild Tour
    2. Visit a wild cave with a group of experienced cavers
  7. Do the following:
    1. Describe how atleast two types of caves are formed
    2. Identify atleast 4 cave formations
    3. Identify atleast 4 types of cave life (i.e. bats, salamanders, cave fish, ect)
    4. Explain how BSA's leave no trace policy relates to cave environments and explain how visiting caves can have lasting effects.
  • Submit your suggestions and comments to bsabadge (at)

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