Difference between revisions of "Leader requirements and procedures"

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[https://docs.google.com/document/d/1OYQwGKQixft2ycUV75v73XK33HlxFqC74LlRT027_Ks/edit?usp=sharing To learn about becoming a General Leader, click here.]
[https://docs.google.com/document/d/1OYQwGKQixft2ycUV75v73XK33HlxFqC74LlRT027_Ks/edit?usp=sharing To learn about becoming a General Leader, click here.]
==Bait and Bullet==
===Club Overview:===
The Bait and Bullet Club is a member club of the Dartmouth Outing Club whose purpose is to allow students to participate in hunting and fishing activities.  Our Club encourages members to get outdoors and enjoy the sports of hunting and fishing, as well as associated activities (primarily in firearms sporting).  The only requirements for membership are membership in the DOC and a desire to learn about hunting, fishing, and their associated knowledge bases – including, to name a few things, plant and animal identification, familiarity with habitat (particularly New England habitats), proper treatment and dressing of game, safe firearm and rod handling, firearm and rod skills, bait and artificial-fly selection and creation (with an emphasis on fly tying and proper fly selection), and New England hunting and fishing regulations.  We welcome all students to join the Club, and ask only that you participate in our events.  One of the most important parts of these skills is the communal knowledge: if you have something to share from your own experience, please share it, and if you have no experience at all, come eager and willing to learn.  Know that both hunting and fishing take time and patience, but the experience can be incredibly rewarding.
===Club Equipment:===
The Bait and Bullet Club has most of the equipment necessary for any hunting or fishing outing.  We own a fairly broad selection of firearms and fishing rods (both spin and fly rods). There are some Club materials available for general use (such as various ammunitions, fishing reels and lines, and some fly tying materials) but there is no guarantee that we will have them in stock.  As a general guideline, ammunition, flies, and lines (specifically tippet materials for fly lines) should be provided by the members using them, unless their use is as a part of a paid Bait and Bullet trip, in which case all supplies and materials will be provided.
====Using Club Equipment:====
The Bait and Bullet Club strongly encourages all members to get out and enjoy the out of doors and provides most of the equipment to assist in this endeavor.  There is a simple process of checking out equipment when members leave on a trip, and checking it back in when members return from a trip, but the process is different for hunting and fishing equipment (namely rods and firearms).
=====Fishing Equipment=====
Fishing equipment is available for checkout to any member of the Club without any need for special training.  All state fishing regulations must be observed at all times!  Remember you are representing your Club and your college when you are out there.  Fishing equipment is stored at DOR and can be checked out by fishing leaders from there. Ensure other fishing leaders know you are running a trip so that there are no conflicts.
The Club maintains a stock of firearms for member use.  These firearms include .12, .20 and .410 gauge shotguns, several .22 caliber rifles, and a .306 rifle, to name a few.  All of our firearms are kept in the Safety and Security Office on Rope Ferry Road.  They have their own policies for how guns are checked out of their gun room, but no one may check out a Bait and Bullet firearm unless they are on our approved gun list.  To get on this list, a member must first become a leader in the Club and complete a firearm competency checkout with a Club chair (blitz the Bait and Bullet account about getting checked out and a trip will be arranged), or with a Club advisor.  See the section on Leader Requirements for more information on how to become a leader. 
=====Shooting Equipment=====
Shooting equipment such as targets, clays, ear and eye protection, and ammunition can only be use when an approved leader is taking out a Bait and Bullet approved trip (see below for what is considered a club trip). When checking out Bait and Bullet guns, individuals should be aware of which trips are going out on that day so they do not use guns that are required by the Bait and Bullet sponsored trip. To check on this the individual could do a courtesy check and blitz into the club blitz mail or can attend the feeds/check in with the club to see what trips are occurring that week.
===Leadership Requirements===
Leadership in the club is open to any member who has the desire to share his or her knowledge, skill, and experience with other members of the club by leading trips, both with primary intent being instructional, and trips whose primary purpose is to actively participate in the sports of hunting and fishing.  To become a leader in the Club, contact the club chairs.
Should a fishing leader desire to take students out in canoes or the clubs jon boats, they must be cleared to do so. All crafts must adhere to proper regulations - PDFs must be present at all times and when water temperatures are below 50 degrees F, all participants shall wear PDFs and wetsuits at all times.
===Club Facilities===
The Bait and Bullet Club has access to several facilities.  With all Club facilities, we ask members to respect the hard work of many Club members in maintaining these facilities and ask that when opportunities for maintenance and improvements arise that Club members participate.  Only through Club participation can our facilities endure for future generations of the Club.
====The Shooting Range====
The College owns and operates a shooting range just off of Route 10 North of Campus across from the Organic Farm.  This range is available for the use of any Dartmouth Student who has previously registered with Bait and Bullet. It is maintained and operated by the Club.  In addition to the previously mentioned request that all members participate in any range improvement and maintenance trips, there are a few rules that we ask everyone who uses the range to observe.
{{Template:Shooting Range Rules}}
===Trips ===
All trips must be lead by a Bait and Bullet leader- fishing trips by a fishing leader and shooting trips by a shooting leader. It is important to Bait and Bullet that trips are lead by someone who is competent with the equipment and knowledge about the sport in order to insure their trip participants learn safe habits, correct handling, and get the full shooting and fishing experience. This is why it is of the utmost importance to maintain a group of well-trained trip leaders, maintain our facilities, and have proper boundaries set for the trips.
====Trip Types====
There are two basic types of trips: shooting and fishing. Both of these trips are based off campus and require the use of a college-approved vehicles and the procedure below to be taken out. Fishing trips go to a variety of locations around the area and participants will not be charged unless there are incidences with gear. On these trips typically fly and spin rods will be taken out to encourage trying new gear and people of all levels are encouraged to participate unless the leader specifies a specialized trip they would like to lead.
=====Shooting Trip Procedure =====
In order to bring out a shooting or fishing trip though Bait and Bullet the leader can inform the chairs (via the blitz list) that they would like to lead a trip the following week. The chairs may also contact the leaders and arrange trips for the following week. Once the trip time and date have been decided on by the leaders and chairs, the trips could be presented at Bait and Bullet feeds. Feeds are Bait and Bullet meetings that take place in a more social environment with a cooked meal (the meal is paid for through a DOC credit card and everyone who attends signs a dash sheet to help pay for the food). At the Feeds, individuals may sign up for the trip of their choice the following week. If the number of people that are signed up are over the maximum allowed for the trip, the last people on the sign up list will be put on a wait list. We give those who attend feeds first choice of trips to try to encourage attendance at feeds. Feeds build up our club's presence on campus, build a sense of community, allow for members to meet each other, give individuals a chance to ask questions directly to the leaders and chairs, and gives us an opportunity to meet and discuss important aspects about the club in person on a weekly basis. Since not all people can make it to the feeds, we also blitz out the trips to the Bait and Bullet blitz list. There are usually still spots open on some of the trips and we blitz these out to the blitz list. If there are still spots left after this we will blitz out to campus. The campus blitzes help to gain more membership and visibility. All trips REQUIRED sign ups through Bait and Bullet. Leaders may not make their own lists. This is to ensure that the trips meet the safety and size requirements and also fit with in the budget.
The chairs are liable for the safety of trips that go out through the Bait and Bullet club and it is essential that the chairs set up the trips that go out and are informed of all individuals that are on the trip. The individual's names will be transcribed onto a trip list in the address section under the bait and bullet account so that there is always a record on hand. These lists are set up from the names on the feed sign ups and the blitzes received on the club blitz. Once the trips are full, chairs will blitzes the lists to the leaders. Once the leaders have the lists, they will inform the individuals of anything they will need on the trip and of the club's cancellation policy. The individual must cancel the day before the trip goes out, otherwise the individual will still be charged for going on the trip. The finalized list (including cancellations, additions, and waitlist adds) will then be brought to the OPO office AFTER it the finalized list has been approved by a chair (if there have been changes- for example if there is a cancellation, there could be a waitlist of people who had just blitzed into the account, or if there were a minimal number of people we could fill these spots). If the chairs do not respond in a timely fashion the list may simply be taken to OPO. Bait and Bullet will charge $6 per trip and double that amount if the individual is not a DOC member. At this time the leader also has to make sure that they have a college approved vehicle of the appropriate size reserved for the trip, or a college certified personal vehicle. Vehicle reservation and handing in trip sheets to OPO must be done the day before the trip goes out. Once the trip is finalized trip participants can be informed of where the trip meets etc. On the day of the trip all trips will meet behind Robo where the leader will have the vehicle on hand. The leaders will then check out the appropriate gear from S&S and go to the shooting range. Shooting time at the range should be one hour or less in consideration for houses in the area.
There are three types of shooting trips: beginner, advanced, and mixed.
*Before every trip there will be a safety talk and safe practices with be observed and scrutinized- this is the number one priority for leaders.
*For beginner and mixed trips, only one shooter can be on the firing line per leader, to a maximum of two. There is no maximum number of participants, but they must all remain well behind the firing line, and be focused on what is happening at the firing line. Leaders should limit group size to what is reasonable to manage.
*For advanced trips, you may have two shooters on the firing line with only one leader, but this is only if every participant has shown themselves to be at a highly competent level of gun handling. Before signing up for an advance trip there needs to be proof that the shooter is at the advanced level. This can be done either through confirmation from one of the chairs, leaders, or advisors. If there is no known information about the shooter, the individual may write up a detailing of their experience and during the trip they would be the first to shoot with the leader to make sure they are at the appropriate level. If there are too many participants with unknown skill levels the trip could be considered a mixed trip. Mixed trips have participants at all levels.
*All shooting safety steps and regulations must be observed by all those on the trip and must be enforced by leaders. These rules and regulations can be observed in the hunters safety course taken by the leaders and should be voiced to the participants at the beginning of the trip. The rules for the range are also written in the previous section and on the sign at the range.
=====Fishing Trip Procedure=====
Fishing trips have the same signing up procedure as shooting trips (as noted in previous section) and have the same procedure with checking out school vehicles for trips.  If the trip uses a college vehicle, then the cost will depend on the distance driven, although the cost will be minimal (A 5-person trip driving 10 miles would be $1, for instance).  Additionally, we will charge a small fee to cover the loss of flies or lures.  Individual trip prices will be determined by the leader of the trip and approved by a Chair or Advisor before the trip leaves.  When leading a fishing trip all levels may be mixed unless otherwise specified. On the trips the leaders must have with them the group license that enables all students who don't have licenses to fish while enrolled in an educational program, or have a state fishing license. One day licenses are available for purchase at locations like Hanover Outdoors.
======Fishing Safety======
Cold water can be very dangerous.  Cold water is water below 50 degrees.  Please refer to ww.wildnh.com/Newsroom/News_2008/News_2008_Q4/Ice_safety_08.html
for more on ice safety and how to treat hypothermic or potentially hypothermic victims.  In fast moving water or anytime anyone is in a boat, always wear personal flotation devices, and when wading, always wear a flotation belt.
==Winter Sports Club==
The mission of the winter sports club is twofold:
1) As a group of individuals enthusiastic for winter mountaineering, above treeline hiking, backcountry skiing, ice climbing (etc) we share our knowledge and skills with other leaders in the DOC (such as the DMC and CnT) who would like to become more skilled at leading bigger winter trips.
2) Facilitate cool winter mountaineering and backcountry skiing trips at a higher level (quantity and/or difficulty) than are currently being offered.
===Notes on Winter Leadership===
Wintertime risk assessment and management will be offered as a small training in which we get all current and prospective WSC leaders together to talk about and practice relevant skills
Objective risk
a. frostbite
b. hypothermia
c. weather awareness in the mountains
d. avalanches/rock and ice fall
e. self and group rescue
Subjective risk
a. human risk and limitations to the party including:
travel speed and ability on specific routes,
mastery of safety measures (for instance, self arresting or rope teams if necessary)
ability to make good judgment calls
b. Knowing how to gather information such as avalanche conditions and recent weather history
c. Limitations of fuel, clothing and equipment in the winter. Also the differences from summer travel (e.g. butane canister gas stoves don’t work below about 25°F, alcohol (i.e. trangia stoves) don’t heat efficiently, liquid fuel like an MSR Whisperlite work best)
===Group Dynamics===
One of the most important elements of leading winter sports trips. Good group dynamics not only allow for people to have fun, but they enable people to speak up if they see that something doesn’t look right or safe or when the demands of the trip are exceeding their personal abilities (i.e. one of the reasons people get hypothermia is that they are not eating/drinking enough, or stopping the group to de-layer and avoid sweating etc.)
The best way to understand group dynamics is to participate in trips, especially where there were bad dynamics. Bad trips are fairly rare, so less can be learned from good trips. But it is always good practice to analyze group dynamics after a trip and think how they could have been facilitated so more goals were met, so that more people had fun, so that more was accomplished, etc…Therefore, for leaders we ask:
• That they have familiarity with group dynamics in an outdoor-trip context. This can come mostly through leading trips for other clubs (as a nod to CnT, group dynamics are most integral for a successful trip than for most other clubs). Teaching a PE class is a great way to practice facilitating group dynamics as many of the students will not know each other.
• In the application, the prospective leader will give their observations how group dynamics has played a role in previous trips.
===Suggested technical skills===
General (needed for all leaders)
• Assessing participants readiness for the planned trip
• Planning routes, food, fuel, equipment etc. for winter (adapting summer experience and knowledge to winter conditions)
• Ability to teach snow-school skills
• Building camps with deep snow- or no snow – in both planned and emergency locations
• Solid winter risk assessment and awareness of the weather and factors like hypothermia and frostbite
• Solid map and compass navigation skills
• Leave No Trace principles in the winter environment
Specific to Winter Mountaineering Leaders
• Ability to assess avalanche conditions and weather
• Build snow and ice anchors such as with bollards, pickets, deadmen. Set a hand line or running belay (for instance, the top of the saddle on Katahdin can be steep and icy. A leader could climb up and set a hand line, or belay individuals up one at a time).
• Familiarity with traditional rock climbing protection and rope management techniques
• Lead technical ice (e.g. Shoestring gully in Crawford, Lincoln’s Throat on Lincoln)
Specific to Backcountry Skiing Leaders
• Use of Telemark or backcountry skis
• Different types of turns, stopping, climbing
• Put on and use skins
• Avalanche assessment class if the trip is going to avalanche terrain (i.e. Moosilauke does not need it)
• Ability to teach snow-school skills (if the route requires such skills)
• Use of avalanche beacons, wands, shovels
Potential leaders must have demonstrated a high level of experience in winter trips—be it above tree-line hiking, multi-pitch ice climbing, backcountry skiing, winter camping, etc. They must also be experienced enough that they would be able to lead these types of trips. One of the current WSC leaders must be able to vouch for the prospective leader that s/he has the requisite skills to lead WSC trips. This is similar to the way that the DMC does it (i.e. go trad climbing with a current leader and they can make you a trad climber) However, we do not have levels of leadership, so demonstrating specific skills are not necessary.
In particular a leader should be comfortable – not only experienced, but comfortable - on multi-day outdoor expeditions in winter – not cabin supported.  A person should be able to keep dry, healthy, comfortable and organized for multiple days and nights outdoors.  A leader’s skills should be several steps ahead of what is necessary for the trip – a leader should have a cushion of experience to draw upon that includes flexibility, damage control, and rescues.
Historically, there have not been tons of WSC trips, so finding opportunities for co-leads can be difficult, therefore it is possible to co-lead related trips in other clubs such as mountaineering trips in the DMC (not just ice cragging), or winter hikes above tree-line with CnT. Once a person has demonstrated that they have extensive winter experience and are ready to lead trips, the prospective leader must lead a full day trip which is run entirely by the leader in training, consulting with a current leader during planning, organization, the trip, etc. While the leader in training is supposed to run the show, it must be stressed that the leader in training should definitely consult with the leader attending on the trip if he/she feels it is necessary.
Because different clubs have different structures for co-leading, etc. If the prospective leader wishes to have a CnT or DMC co-lead count towards the leadership requirement, then he/she should speak to their co-leader ahead to time to make it known that they want to do most/all of the work (including on trail). It is even more convenient if the co-leader is already a WSC leader, but that is not required at this point given the small leadership body.
===Subjective peer review process===
In order to keep the standard high, potential leaders are subject to an entirely subjective review process where current leaders review the credentials, technical and interpersonal skills, experience, trips, trip-leading-ability, group-dynamics facilitation skills, risk assessment skills, etc. Only if the current leadership body is satisfied will the prospective leader be made a leader.
====Future Leader Assessment====
Below is a questionnaire that potential leaders can fill out so that the current and past chairs can help understand a potential leader’s qualifications. This questionnaire is not mandatory and the chairs can elect to make a person a leader if the potential leader is already a leader in a club that has some overlap (specifically, CnT and the DMC) and they feel that they have a reasonable understanding of the character, technical abilities and ability to make good, safe judgments of the potential leader in question. This can come from either previous time spent with the potential leader on outdoor trips, or from information supplied by another well respected leader (such as a DMC ice leader, or another WSC leader) who has spent time with the potential leader.
==Caving Requirements==
Caving Sub-Club Rules, Procedures, and Regulations
Goals of the Caving Sub-Club:
● To introduce students to the beauty and wonder of the underground world.
● To instruct students of the fundamentals of safe cave exploration.
● To teach responsible stewardship of underground ecosystems and environments.
Pre Trip Instructions, Rules, and Regulations; Packing List (including recommendations on how to dress)
Batman/woman = Caving Sub-Club Leader; Robin = Caving Sub-Club Heeler; this document refers to both positions as a single unit (during a specific caving trip) simply as “Leaders”
Absolute Maximum Trip Size: 10 participants (including 2 Batmen/women, 1 Robin, and 7 followers)
Recommended Trip Size: 8 participants (including 1 Batman/woman, 1 Robin, and 6 followers)
Absolute Minimum Trip Size: 4 participants (including 1 Batman/woman, 1 Robin, and 2 followers)
Minimum Size Explanation: two pairs of cavers; if one person is injured, one caver will stay with the injured person while the other two cavers (including either a Batman or Robin) aid each other to the cave entrance to follow emergency call procedure.
Any number of cavers between 4 and 10 may participate; 1 Batman/woman and 1 Robin must always be present for numbers between 4 and 8; 2 Batmen/women and 1 Robin must be present for trips with 9 or 10 participants.
Caving parties beyond 10 participants becomes too much for leaders to organize in-cave and are discouraged for this reason.
Packing List for each follower:
● Climbing helmet (rated for falling objects) with headlamp clips and three-point chin strap
● Three sources of light; one must be helmet mounted (preferably two should be helmet mounted) and the others must be able to carry easily on your person or in a caving bag. Extra batteries for light sources.
● Two plastic bags (one must be carried in cave on person and the other should be left at the staging point)
● Snacks with minimal trash (i.e. snack bars, sandwiches wrapped in saran wrap, etc.)
● A bottle of water/sports drink that can be consumed and then used as a method to urinate (all human waste must be packed out of the cave)
● Sturdy boots with wool/synthetic socks (NO cotton socks)
● Knee pads
● Layered clothing (NO layer should be cotton; wool/synthetic insulation gear recommended) that will keep one dry and warm (must retain insulation when wet)
● Gloves (should be both warm and tough); personal preference on type, but rubberized gloves are recommended or leather gloves that maintain insulation when wet
● Cell phone (fully charged) with all numbers (as addressed below) to be left at the cave entrance or the staging point
● One full set of fresh clothing (undergarments included) to be left at the staging point
● One bath/beach towel (to be left at the staging point)
● ** Wetsuit (only required for caves where one must wade through water deeper than boot level or in caves where one’s groin/chest area will be submerged while crawling -- approximately 6 inches; wool socks should be worn in all caves, but wetsuit booties may be recommended for certain caves). Skullcap or neck insulation will be required in caves where one will need to float on one’s back. Few caves have this level of water and 9 times out of 10 this requirement will be null.
● A fanny pack or small bag suitable for caving.
Packing list for Batman and Robin (both should carry the following gear):
● All items on the follower list
● One bag suitable for caving (abrasion resistant and tough enough to be dragged around for the duration of the trip; leaders will carry water bottles and extra batteries for any trippees who don’t have a bag)
● One hand-line (an eight-ten foot piece of rope and/or climbing webbing for hauling gear or aiding cavers)
● One first aid kit in a dry-proof bag
● Extra batteries for headlamps/light sources
● Pocket knife
● Lighter
● Reliable method for telling time
● A backpack to carry supplies from the staging point to the cave entry (only 1 for both leaders is required)
● two carabiners (for a total of four between two Batmen/women)
● two to three iron oxide heat packs
● pen(s)/pencil(s) and paper for writing notes in case of emergency
Gear Note: Headlamps must be battery powered; acetylene head torches are not allowed on DOC caving trips. A fresh set of batteries should be used for every cave trip.
** All cell phones must have the following numbers in their contacts list: 911; Rodrick Pingree (802) 773-8767; Steve Hazelton (802) 775-6422. These two gentlemen are members of the VCA and trained, regional emergency cave rescuers. Their status as emergency cave contacts will change as they their ability to participate in caving changes, but there should be at least two contacts from the VCA who are trained in cave rescue. Only call these two contacts if caving in Vermont and there is an emergency; in other states, 911 will suffice. **
Calling Policy:
1. Email an approved contact person (a DOC or CnT member who volunteers to be available at the Call By Time; the approved contact person must have the two VCA cavers in their contact list in case of an emergency) with the following times: In Time, Out Time, Call By Time. Include all details about the trip (number of cavers, location, etc.).
2. Ensure the trip has started by the “In Time”.
3. Manage time in cave to ensure the “Out Time” is achieved.
4. Call the person you emailed by the “Call By Time”, which should be two to three hours after the “Out Time” and preferably before dark.
Emergency Procedure pertaining to Cell Phones
If a situation arises, call 911 first and follow up with a call to both VCA contacts if in Vermont (as well as the approved contact person at Dartmouth College) so they can prepare the rescue.
General Emergency Procedure for participants
If one caver receives an injury, all of the caving team stays with the injured person except for one Batman/woman and another caver. Teams should NOT attempt to exit the cave with a serious injury unless the leaders decide to do so; the leaders may decide to exit the cave depending on the seriousness of the injury, the location of the cave, the number of tight squeezes/pinches one would encounter, or other issues that may arise; in the case of only one leader being conscious, the remaining leader has the authority to make the call of whether or not to attempt exiting the cave. If the leaders decide not to have the entire team leave the cave, all of the team should remain with the injured person except for two cavers (one Batman/woman and another caver) who should support each other in leaving the cave and following the emergency call procedure. The rest of the team should prepare for an emergency rescue in the following ways: securing the injured person until help arrives, making notes about the incident, preparing the best possible exit route, and ensuring all members stay warm and calm.
Pre Trip briefing and Gear Check
A pre trip briefing meeting should occur before the trip leaves, i.e. just before hitting the road (and the discussion section may occur on the way to the cave); leaders must organize and direct the meeting. All participants should bring all of their gear to be checked before hitting the road. Leaders will discuss all in-cave policies as outlined below and all emergency procedures. Th gear check and discussions must be held (regardless of the caving experience of all participants).
For any caves with water over waist level, cavers must demonstrate the ability to swim before leaving for the trip. (Wetsuits provide buoyancy, so swimming/treading water in a wetsuit will be easier than without it.) Leaders must approve all followers on this requirement. The judgment of the leaders is final.
Day-Of Procedures, Rules, and Regulations:
Staging Point Preparations
All cavers should familiarize themselves with the location of the staging point (the location of the vehicle and where everyone will change) in comparison to the cave entry. Each caver must be proficient at traveling to/from the staging point and the cave entry with all requisite gear.
All Cavers should change and check all light sources at the staging point.
All cavers should take a bowel movement before driving to the staging point. All cavers should urinate at the staging point. Human waste must be packed out of the cave.
Check cell phone signal and find a spot to attain an appropriate signal for calls. Cell phones should be carried to the cave entry.
Secure all unneeded provisions/personal items and clothing in the vehicle.
All cavers should familiarize themselves with the symptoms and first aid of two specific medical conditions:
1. panic attacks
2. hypothermia
Leaders should encourage all cavers to discuss all feelings of claustrophobia explicitly; this dialogue should continue throughout the caving trip.
Cave Entry Preparation (before entering)
Check cell phone signal at the entry point.
Secure all personal items (including all cell phones) in a dry, inconspicuous location at the cave entry. All cavers must know where the personal items are located.
All cavers should urinate just before going into the cave.
Double check all light sources (including back-ups).
The exploration order should be decided. Leaders should be the first and last cavers in the cave (Batman/woman should lead; Robin should be at the rear). Batman/woman should allow Robin to lead some passageways or lead while exiting so he/she can gain comfort and confidence in doing so. Batman/woman and Robin may allow followers to go through a passage first if the leaders know where it goes and it would allow for a more enjoyable experience. Tight squeezes, however, should follow the rules set out below.
Leaders should check the time and plan a simple itinerary for the exploration, i.e. time allotted for moving forward to a main chamber, time for subsequent exploration, time for exiting.
In-Cave Conduct, Rules, and Procedures
Light-source failure: the caving trip can continue under the judgment of the leaders with all light-source failures until X number light sources have failed within the total pool of light-sources (X = the number in the caving party divided by two). If these circumstances arise, leaders must immediately take all cavers back to the entrypoint.
Caving movement:
Batman/woman should set a slow and easy pace for the caving party. At all times, participants (leaders not included) should be able to see the light of a fellow caver both in front and behind him/her. Leaders must set a pace that preserves this rule of visual proximity. Followers must also be in auditory proximity of cavers both in front and behind him/her at all times. Leaders should adjust the pace as necessary for the comfort and needs of the followers.
Tight squeeze movement rules:
After Batman/woman goes first, the entire party will move caver by caver through a tight squeeze. The first caver through a squeeze will wait directly on the other side of the squeeze allowing for enough room for the next caver to make it through. The team should advance only enough to make space for each subsequent caver. Only when all cavers have made it through a squeeze will the team continue at the original pace Batman/woman sets. Enough room should be maintained on both sides of the squeeze such that leaders can directly aid the caver at both ends, i.e. pull from the front or push from the back if the need arises. Leaders must also be able to aid the caver emotionally (at both sides of the squeeze) in case the follower becomes claustrophobic or panics.
Leaders will provide recommendations on how to fit through passageways to each caver, i.e. on back head first, on belly feet first, etc. Leaders will also demonstrate proper chimneying technique and monitor followers as they move.
Leaders should frequently inquire throughout the caving party as to everyone’s physical and mental state, i.e. “Is everyone staying warm?” “How’s everyone doing?” “Everyone feeling okay?”. Leaders should very frequently use positive language to ensure safety and calm nerves (for example, “Everybody’s together; we’re right here if you need us.” “I’m doing great up here, how are you doing in the back?”). Followers should be encouraged to engage in the same sort of communication.
Emergency In-Cave Communication:
For ease and simplicity, there are two basic in-cave emergency commands: “Stop!” and “Rock!”. In both situations, a caver should immediately stop his/her actions and wait quietly for future commands. In response to the “Rock!” command, all cavers should also huddle into a fetal position (or become as small as possible) and shield his/her vulnerable areas; this command is in response to ANY falling object (rock, gear, pack, etc.); cavers should attempt to avoid fall lines when hearing this command.
If a caver decides he/she no longer desires to participate, two other members of the caving party must accompany the follower to the cave entrance (including one Batman/woman). The other members of the cave party can either accompany the party as well or remain stationary in the cave (accompanied by Robin). If the caving party falls below the minimum number, the trip must be called short and all cavers must exit. Caving can only resume if both/all leaders agree to continue the trip as time permits and with the new number of participants. If one leader does not agree, the trip must be called short and all cavers must exit the cave. The participant who decides he/she would not like to continue should remain at the staging point until the caving party returns.
○ If the person requests another participant to remain at the staging point with him/her, another participant must volunteer to remain; if no participants volunteer, the leader must call the trip short and require the entire party to exit the cave (the leader cannot stay at the staging point as he/she must be with the caving party); if another participant does volunteer, the leader who accompanied the panicked participant out of the cave must ensure he/she has at least one other caver to accompany him/her back to the other half of the cave party to rendezvous.
Handline communication:
If leaders decide to use a hand-line in cave for bouldering or assisting cavers, the commands will be as follows:
1. When the first, moving caver touches the rope, he/she yells, “On Rope” and waits.
2. The secured person on the other end replies, “Rope on”.
3. The moving caver then yells “Moving” and waits.
4. The secured person yells “Move On” and holds his/her position.
5. The moving caver advances.
6. When the moving caver is off rope, he/she yells “Off Rope” and waits.
7. The secured caver yells, “Okay” and another caver may advance.
Recommended hand-line knots to know:
● Bowline with tie-off and double variations
● Alpine Butterfly knot
● Double fisherman’s/overhand knot
● Single fisherman’s/overhand knot on a bight/on itself
● Square knot
● Prusik knot with double/triple wrap variations
● Figure eight (including in a bight variation)
● Munter Hitch
Looking over any edge greater than seven feet must be done on all fours/on a person’s belly. Another caver (securely positioned) must have a hold on the person’s feet to prevent slipping.
Leaders should be maintaining a frequent dialogue with followers as to their route. Cavers should have an active knowledge of their “outhole” and their exit route at all times. Leaders should teach followers in cave how to identify the passages used for exiting (i.e. scalloped rocks, following a mud trail, etc.).
All trash and human waste should be packed out of the caves (including trash that cavers find in cave) -- no exceptions.
Leaders should rest after difficult passages and allow for frequent water/snack breaks. Any time a caver requests to stop, the entire caving party should wait for that caver. Only in situations where staying stationary is not safe should a leader override a request for the party to stop. Leaders should encourage cavers to move their body even when resting to maintain warmth.
Water safety:
Leaders should ensure that no cavers become hypothermic due to wetness. Cavers should be prepared (as per the packing list) with wetsuits for any water above boot level.
If there is water deeper than waist level, or water in which a caver submerges his/her groin/chest area, only two cavers should enter the water at a time. All other cavers should spot these cavers (with light and for safety) until they have exited the water. No cavers should, at any time, fully submerge themselves in any cave water (i.e. head underwater). For any water where a caver’s neck or nape area will be exposed to water, a skull cap/full wetsuit will be required. Only in long passageways with water at wading level or submerging level, where cavers are forced to follow each other to maintain the rules of visual and auditory proximity, should caving parties enter the water in totality. There may be circumstances in which leaders must allow only one person in a passage at a time for the purposes of space; Gage Cavern in Cobleskill, NY is an example -- there is a 75 foot passage where one person floats on his/her back to the other end; this passage is done with auditory contact only and one person at a time; Batmen/women must use their discretion for the particular passageways to maintain the utmost safety -- Batmen/women must always lead in this passageways; the judgment of the Batmen/women is final.
Bat Safety (i.e. protecting the little furry critters with wings):
Under no circumstances should any cavers purposefully perturb any bats living/sleeping in caves. If the caving parties seem to be disturbing sleeping bats, leaders should confer on whether to continue the trip. All leaders must unanimously decide to continue caving; if one leader disagrees, the trip must be called short and all cavers must exit the cave.
** A note on seasons: No caving trips should ever be led into active bat hibernaculars. **
Caving parties should note any bats they observe and report all findings to the Vermont Cavers’ Association.
Dead bat carcasses should be avoided by all cave parties. Carcasses should be reported to the Vermont Cavers’ Association.
Caving parties should avoid large quantities of bat guano (which are fairly uncommon in caves in New England) for hygiene and health reasons.
Cavers should not worry about rabies transmission from bats as long as living bats and carcasses are avoided.
Post Cave Procedures
Leaders should call specified contacts as soon as all cavers have safely exited the cave. Once the contact has been called, no caver should re-enter the cave for any reason.
All cavers should change at the staging point into clean clothes. Dirty clothing should be stored in each participant’s plastic bag.
Leaders should hold a Post-Cave Review meeting where all aspects of the trip are reviewed. Leaders should specifically elicit all participants’ thoughts and emotional reactions to the experience (caving is as much mental as it is physical). All dialogue should remain supportive and positive. Skills that should be reviewed and confirmed include, but are not limited to:
● Moving through squeezes
● chimneying
● hand-line use
● knots
● safety precautions/movement procedure
● emergency contact/call procedure
● caving first aid
The caving party should work together to clean all gear at the plaza between Robinson and Collis (using the hose located at this location). Until further notice, cavers must follow White Nose Syndrome Decontamination protocols for their gear as outlined in the following document: http://www.fws.gov/whitenosesyndrome/pdf/WNS1pageDecontaminationProtocol_073110.pdf.
Leader Requirements
Caving Sub-Club members must meet the following criteria to become a Batman/woman:
● Student must already be a CnT or DMC approved leader.
● Student must have caved as a follower on at least one caving trip and caved as a Robin on at least two caving trips.
● Student must be a member of the Vermont Cavers’ Association (based out of Rutland Vermont; an official Grotto of the National Speleological Society; membership costs $12/year; this is to maintain continued relationships with professional-level cavers and cave rescuers)
● Student must have attended at least one VCA meeting to network with regional cave experts; leaders are encouraged to attend VCA meetings to train in cave rescue and discuss caving options in the region.
● Must fulfill all gear/knowledge requirements as interspersed in this caving guide. The council of Batmen/women will review the Robin’s knowledge and confer to sign off on this requirement.
Batman/woman candidacy, i.e. Robin, can be declared after a Caving Sub-Club member’s first trip. The student remains a Robin until all criteria are complete. Review for “descension” from Robin to Batman/woman will occur each term on a rolling basis. All current Batmen/women must confer and sign off the Robin for the student to “descend” to the level of Batman/woman.
Deciding on Caves to explore:
Batmen/women may lead students trips in any location where they have previously caved. New caves can be explored only when all of the following criteria have been met:
1. The leaders of the trip have contacted VCA leadership and discussed all details of a cave.
2. The leaders have verified that no special vertical gear is necessary to explore the cave safely.
3. The leaders possess a proper map of the cave or a thorough written description from a VCA member.
4. The trip must include a minimum of two Batmen/women (rather than a Batman/woman and a Robin).
[[Category:Dartmouth Outing Club]]
[[Category:Dartmouth Outing Club]]

Revision as of 17:39, 6 March 2019

This page should reflect the most current leader certification processes in the various clubs. A list of current DOC leaders and their qualifications can be seen here.

Leader Training in the DOC

All trips and activities in the Dartmouth Outing Club are planned, organized, and led by Dartmouth students. In order to ensure that DOC leaders are capable of dealing with the many unpredictable situations which may occur on an outdoor trip, the Club requires that all members become proficient in appropriate skills before leading trips.


Every leader in the Dartmouth Outing Club must complete the following five requirements: First Aid and CPR, Risk Management, Group Dynamics, Outdoor Skills, and Logistics. These requirements do not have to be satisfied in any particular order. Each club has its own leadership program which fulfills the Outdoor Skills, and Logistics parts of the DOC Leader Requirements, and also have other requirements necessary in addition to the the DOC Leader Requirements before their leaders can lead trips in those clubs.

Club Leader Requirement Documents

To view the requirements for leadership of each individual club, visit this folder and click through to the appropriate document.

First Aid and CPR

Every DOC leader must have current First Aid and CPR certification as a minimum. Wilderness First Aid training is preferred and may be required by some clubs, although other certifications will be accepted. SOLO Wilderness First Aid and CPR classes are offered at least once per term at Dartmouth. Red Cross First Aid and CPR classes may also be offered (not a Wilderness First Aid class). There is a fee for these classes, but some financial assistance may be available from the DOC.

Risk Management

The Risk Management class teaches the assessment and minimization of risk in the outdoors, and how to respond to emergency situations. The Risk Management class is offered once per term by the DOC, or more often if there is sufficient interest.

Group Dynamics

The Group Dynamics class teaches the skills involved in leading groups of people in the outdoors. The class covers integrating friends and strangers into a single group, handling problem individuals and situations, switching between leadership styles, and other skills and techniques useful for creating a fun safe trip. The Group Dynamics class is offered once per term by the DOC, or more often if there is sufficient interest.


In order to properly manage the administration of leading a trip, DOC leaders must be trained in the appropriate logistical procedures, including, but not limited to: planning a trip; taking sign-ups; reserving vehicles and other facilities (cabins, meeting rooms, etc); obtaining and using purchasing cards and other financial procedures; reserving and renting gear.

This requirement is typically satisfied by completing co-leads within each club, but a separate training seminar may be offered.

Outdoor Skills

In order to safely and capably execute the outdoor activities of the club, DOC leaders must have a high level of outdoor skill. Each club trains and vets their leaders through specific established processes. A separate skills training course may be offered.

The other requirements are listed for each club.

Basic/Level 1 Trips

In order to facilitate access to the club's resources and activities, no leadership seminars or training is required to organize non-technical trips.

Because the individual organizing the trip will still be representing the club, the Chair(s) must approve both the trip and the organizer. This approval should take into account the organizer's ability to manage group dynamics and logistics and to properly represent the club's values and aims.

If the trip involves driving, any drivers must be approved through the normal process.

The type of trips covered by this exemption are meant to be ones where minimal risk is involved. They are frontcountry, non-technical activities, such as might be run by any other student organization.

Examples of such trips might include, but are not limited to:

  • Apple Picking
  • Contradancing
  • Lodge Dinner
  • Rides to remote facilities/events (climbing gyms, movies, D Acres, festivals, state fairs, etc)
  • Short nature walks, as distinct from hikes (Balch Hill, Mink Brook, Pine Park, etc. If in doubt, ask club advisor) - criteria: good cell coverage, very easy terrain, short distances, not more than .5 mile from road access.

General Leaders

General leaders can lead certain categories of simple trips.

  • Level 1/Basic trips as above
  • Beginner Hikes
  • Beginner snowshoe trips/winter hikes
  • Beginner XC ski trips
  • Flatwater paddling on the CT river

Beginner trips as above are defined as being low mileage (6 miles or less for spring-summer-fall hiking or XC skiing, 4 miles or less for snowshoeing or winter hiking); below tree-line; no more than 35 minutes driving from campus and no more than an hour's travel away from the trailhead.

To learn about becoming a General Leader, click here.