Leader requirements and procedures

From WikiDOC
Revision as of 10:06, 12 September 2018 by Rory (talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search

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.


General 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.

DOC Leader Requirements

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.

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 (if you are involved in a member club, ask the club leaders for assistance - otherwise contact the DOC President). .

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.

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.

Bait and Bullet Protocols

May 13, 2009

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), as well as having our own fly-tying workshop in the student workshop located in the basement of Robinson Hall. 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. Checking out fishing equipment happens through the fishing chair. Blitz “Bait and Bullet” at least a few days before your planned trip to make sure there are no conflicts with scheduled Bait and Bullet trips, which always have precedence for equipment. Once you are cleared to take the equipment, the fishing chair (or another Bait and Bullet leader) will meet you at our storage locker in the basement of Robinson Hall to give you the desired equipment and make note of gear checked out. GEAR MUST BE RETURNED ON TIME – there have been problems with this in the past so the Club is following a strict policy of monitoring borrowed equipment. Don’t loan Club gear to non-Club members: the person who checks out the equipment is responsible for it.


The Club maintains a stock of firearms for member use. These firearms include both 12 and 20 gauge shotguns, several .22 caliber rifles, and a .306, 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. The firearm competency checkout is a comprehensive evaluation that may include a one-on-one session with a Club chair or Club advisor, but must include a co-lead (either to the shooting range or on a hunting trip) during which time the aspiring leader should demonstrate functional knowledge of how firearms work, safe handling practices, safe field techniques, and an aptitude for ensuring the safe handling techniques of other students partaking in the trip. The checkout will be followed up with an evaluation of the aspiring leader’s performance, and, in the case of failure, those things leading to said failure will be thoroughly discussed first by the leader/supervisor doing the checkout and a supervisor, then with the aspiring leader. There is a minimum of at least one week and participation as a trip-member (not as a leader) in at least one shooting or hunting trip before the aspiring leader can request another firearm competency checkout. The second checkout will be the same as the first – the checkout is designed to ensure the safety of all Club members on shooting or hunting trips. We (and the College) understand that firearms are extremely dangerous and the Club is very lucky to have such a supportive group as we do (especially with regards to Safety and Security). Safety incidents involving firearms tend to be very, very serious and we have the safety of Club members in mind at all times. That said, the purpose of the Club is to teach and to allow students to participate in these activities, so we want leaders to be approved, but we must ensure that members will be safe (and learn safe practices!) if the Club is to continue. If you have any questions, blitz a Club chair or a Club advisor. The reason ONLY approved leaders can check out guns is because the purpose of the Club is to give back to the greater community, not just for personal use. Please see the leader requirements sections for how to become a leader and the expectations of our leaders.

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 no 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.

Fly Tying Equipment

The Club has several fly tying vices and some fly tying materials available for use my members. There is no need to check out the vices and they are available on a first-come, first-served basis subject to the limitation of Club organized instructional events (which all members are welcome, and encouraged, to participate in). All equipment is located in the Student Workshop in the basement of Robinson Hall next to Dartmouth Outdoor Rentals. There is a combination box that has a key to the door in it – ask a Club leader or another member who knows the combination if you want access to the room (or go during DOR’s open hours, during which time the door will be open).

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 a member must satisfy both the DOC/OPO leadership requirements and special club requirements. Finally, to become an approved shooter (approved shooters may check out Club firearms from SNS and lead trips which involve firearms) a leader must have hunter safety and an NRA Firearms certification card to get on the gun list. Both classes are taught or facilitated by S&S. Cards must be presented to S&S, who maintains a database of registered shooters. A leader must also pass a firearm competency checkout (see section 2.1.2). If a member has interest in becoming a leader, the member should be sure they have sufficient competency in their field of interest and a desire to pass that knowledge on. All leaders are required to lead at least 2 trips during each of their active terms (currently, the winter is considered an “off” term for the club). This is to ensure the future of the Club – if no one is giving back to the club, then there the Club cannot continue to endure. Any member interested in becoming a leader but is unsure of their capability should pursue completion of the basic requirements and continue to participate in any available trips in their field of interest, including one-on-one or small group sessions with current leaders.

Basic Requirements

The Dartmouth EMS offers two courses which must be completed by all aspiring leaders. Blitz “DartmouthEMS” for a schedule of class times. These are: • First Aid • CPR The DOC and the Outdoor Programs Office offer two leadership-oriented courses that must also be completed. Blitz “TheDOC” for a schedule of class times. • Group Dynamics • Risk Assessment Finally, all leaders need to be driver certified to use college vehicles. Most hunting and fishing trips involve at least some driving, so it is vital that leaders be able to operate college vehicles. Blitz Driver Safety for more information. The system can be a little bit complex and takes some time to work through (because of administrative and scheduling issues) so plan accordingly. The minimum time expected to complete this is probably at least a month. The process looks something like this: the risk assessment office takes your driving record/information and approves you (or not) to take an online defensive driving course. Then you complete the online course (it’s long – plan accordingly) to become a college approved driver. OPO will give you an approved driver card. While this is a good place to start, to be eligible to drive college Sprinter Vans or Micro Busses, there is an associated assessment done through the parking office (monitor the Driver Safety Program bulletin for information). Finally, if you choose to drive a personal vehicle, you have to get it checked out through the college. See Kathy Decato in OPO for a form that you will need to sign, and your parents will need to sign if the car is registered to them. Then the vehicle must pass a short safety inspection with Risk Management before you can use it on official trips. • College Approved Driver (minimum) • Sprinter Van approval (optional, but highly recommended) • Micro Bus approval (optional, also highly recommended) • Personal vehicle college certified

Bait and Bullet Club Requirements (Fishing)

To become a fishing leader, a member that has completed the basic leader requirements only needs to co-lead a fishing trip with a current leader. The purpose of the co-lead is to ensure that the aspiring leader can functionally manage a group of students, effectively teach fishing techniques (including, but not limited to, bait and fly selection, casting techniques, and location selection), and generally leave their trip members with an enhanced knowledge base, appreciation for the fishing and the outdoors, and (hopefully) a desire to continue in the sport. While the co-lead is not officially a “test”, if the co-leader has any serious concerns about the aspiring leader’s aptitude or ability, those issues will be addressed with the chairs and/or the supervisor before a final approval is made. In this event, those issues will be discussed with the aspiring leader and a second co-lead will be required. • Co-lead a trip with an approved leader

Bait and Bullet Club Requirements (Hunting/Shooting)

To become a hunting/shooting leader, a member that has completed the basic requirements must complete first a course in Hunter’s Education. If a member has successfully completed Hunter’s Education in another state, they simply need to bring proof (usually in the form of a card issued at the time of completion in the home state) to the Outdoor Programs Office and they will be entered in the system. These cards are usually available by contacting the department that offered the course in the home state if the member doesn’t have theirs present on campus. Note that a hunting license, even from a state that requires Hunter’s Education to obtain one, is not sufficient. Hunter’s Education courses are generally offered once or twice in the Summer, Spring, and Fall by Sgt. Mark Lancaster of the Safety and Security Department, but may also be available at other times through the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game. • Hunter’s Education or Firearms Certification Next, a member must complete a firearm competency checkout with an approved leader or Club advisor. This is detailed in the firearm equipment section of these protocols, but bears repeating here. From 2.1.2: “The firearm competency checkout is a comprehensive evaluation that may include a one-on-one session with a Chair or Club advisor, but must include a co-lead (either to the shooting range or on a hunting trip) during which time the aspiring leader should demonstrate functional knowledge of how firearms work, safe handling practices, safe field techniques, and an aptitude for ensuring the safe handling techniques of other students partaking in the trip. The checkout will be followed up with an evaluation of the aspiring leader’s performance, and, in the case of failure, those things leading to said failure will be thoroughly discussed first by the leader/supervisor doing the checkout and a supervisor, then with the aspiring leader. There is a minimum of at least one week and participation as a trip-member (not as a leader) in at least one shooting or hunting trip before the aspiring leader can request another firearm competency checkout. The second checkout will be the same as the first – the checkout is designed to ensure the safety of all Club members on shooting or hunting trips. We (and the College) understand that firearms are extremely dangerous and the Club is very lucky to have such a supportive group as we do (especially with regards to Safety and Security). Safety incidents involving firearms tend to be very, very serious and we have the safety of Club members in mind at all times. That said, the purpose of the Club is to teach and to allow students to participate in these activities, so we want leaders to be approved, but we must ensure that members will be safe (and learn safe practices!) if the Club is to continue. If you have any questions, blitz a Club chair or a Club advisor.” • Firearm Competency Checkout (including co-lead) It is required that the leader in training do one co-lead to see how trips are run and also shoot with one of the chairs or advisors to prove competency. It is at the discretion of the chair or advisor to deny the individual the right to become a leader. If anyone in the club has any concerns about how the individual handles fire arms or about their behavior at the range, the leader will not be allowed to lead trips until the concerns are examined further by the chairs and advisor. If this a major concern or there was an incident while at the range or handling a fire arm in S&S the leader will be put on temporary suspension until all concerns are cleared. Once the both the Hunter’s Education requirement and firearm competency checkout are completed, a member will be promoted to a Club leader and added to our (and SNS’s) approved shooter list. The leader may now check out Club firearms from SNS and lead Club trips involving firearms.

Club Facilities

The Bait and Bullet Club has access to several facilities mentioned in passing before and more specifically here. 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 Fly Tying / Student Workshop

The Student Workshop is located in the Basement of Robinson Hall next to Dartmouth Outdoor Rentals. Bait and Bullet has fly tying vices and materials located in a locker there and is available at all times for Club members’ use. The door to the Student Workshop is unlocked during the operating hours of DOR, and there is a combo box with a key next to the door for the rest of the time. Club members may request the combination from a Club leader or from another member who knows the combination.

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.

  • Please report any unauthorized or inappropriate range activity to Dartmouth Safety & Security (603 646 4000).
Hours of Operation
  • The range is open from 9AM-6PM ONLY Monday-Saturday. Sunday and holidays it shall be open only from noon until 4 PM (only one session).
  • No shooting session may last longer than 90 minutes. An exception is made for Biathlon club practice, because it is interspersed with skiing, during the winter months. They may reserve the range for up to 2.5 hours.
  • There shall be only two sessions per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon (except on Sunday and Holidays), except for archery.

  • Use of the Dartmouth College shooting range is a privilege available only to current Dartmouth students. The only exception is for official club trips sponsored by Bait and Bullet.
  • These users may bring dependent children or spouses, but not parents.

Planning Your Trip
  • All users must contact Safety and Security (5 Rope Ferry Rd.), in person to sign up for access and confirm a time for each shooting session.
  • If the range is already reserved, you will need to adjust your plans.
  • Use by Bait and Bullet Club has priority and leaders may sign up for range times by phone. Bait and Bullet may not bump existing reservations that are less than 48 hours out from time of call.
At the Range
  • For sponsored trips, the ratio is one instructor to 2 students on the firing line.
  • Undergraduates may only use guns registered and stored at Safety and Security, per College policy.
  • No alcohol
  • Pack it in, pack it out. Trash and brass must all be removed from the range. Glass and other breakable items may not be used as targets.
  • Use Biodegradable clays only.
  • NO AUTOMATIC weapons are permitted.
  • Semi-automatic rifles larger than .22 caliber must have clips smaller than 5 rounds.
  • NO HANDGUNS are permitted.
  • Please respect community events at the adjacent soccer fields and the Organic Farm. If an event is going on, refrain from shooting and reschedule your session.
  • Always use the range in a safe manner. Observe the shooting line and shooter safety, always fire in the direction of the target stands, and never fire a firearm when anyone is over the shooting line. This includes shooting from a place beyond the firing line. Shooting may ONLY happen from BEHIND the firing line.
  • Proper protective equipment shall be used including ear protection and eye protection when appropriate.
  • When the range is in use, there shall be one person designated as "Range Master." That person shall declare, verbally and clearly, that the range is "hot" and "cold."
  • If practicing archery, users may establish their own firing line in front of the normal firing line.
  • Archery and firearm sessions shall not be concurrent.

Bait and Bullet Leaders

The following people are current BnB Leaders.

They are the only people who should have access to the club's guns.

They are the only people who can book range time by phone instead of in person.

The list can be viewed here.

Management Principles
  • The range will be supervised by a combination of the clubs leaders and its advisors in the Outdoor Programs Office, Dartmouth Office of Safety & Security. All unauthorized activity should be reported to Safety and Security.
  • Rules violations will result in revocation of privileges.
  • Bait and Bullet will, in consultation with their advisors, work to educate the student body about safe and courteous use of the shooting range.
  • Any maintenance will be performed by Bait and Bullet. If they are unable to perform the maintenance, they may request assistance from OPO staff. If OPO is unable to perform the maintenance, the range may be closed until such a time as maintenance can be performed.


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 will 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.

Cabin and Trail Leader Requirements

Updated November 2009

More information about Cabin and Trail can be found in the Cabin and Trail constitution.

First Aid / CPR

Current certification is required of all DOC leaders. Given that our trips are typically removed from convenient access to medical facilities and/or emergency assistance, pursuit of advanced certification in wilderness medicine (Wilderness First Responder and Wilderness EMT) is to be encouraged.

Risk Management & Group Dynamics

Risk Management and Group Dynamics are both seminars taught usually by Brian Kunz or Rory Gawler from the OPO office. They will be offered at least once a term. The Risk Management seminar for DOC Trips leader training does not count towards these DOC leader requirements since there is a special support system set up for Trips leaders that is not present during the rest of the year.


An elementary understanding of how to construct, ignite, and sustain a fire is considered indispensable knowledge for a leader in Cabin and Trail, particularly with respect to the woodstoves which heat the majority of our cabins and as a basic wilderness survival skill.

Map and Compass

Although the majority of our trips take place along well-marked and familiar routes, proficiency in orienteering is to be desired to facilitate (1) more remote excursions, particularly in unfamiliar wilderness, and (2) flexibility in choice of action when confronted with adversity (as in a medical emergency or unfavorable weather conditions). To this end, map and compass should be considered standard trip equipment.

Full Day of Trailwork

The DOC is responsible for some 75 miles of Appalachian Trail, stretching from Route 12 in Vermont to Route 112 in New Hampshire, as well as various other trails. The majority of C&T leaders arrive with little or no prior trailwork experience. The required full day of trailwork serves to expose such individuals to the “service work” aspect of Cabin and Trail.

Co-leads & Overnight

Considered the "proving grounds" for an aspiring leader, co-leads and the heeler overnight provide a means by which the existing leadership body (heretofore “Council”) may assess the suitability of a candidate. Co-leads and the overnight are expected to comprise substantial demonstrations of logistical competence and leadership ability, and the heeler should take full responsibility for all aspects of the trip in question (ie. planning, advertising, logistics and preparation, trip dynamics, and safe return). While consultation with leaders and the Heeler mentor is encouraged, previous familiarity with Cabin and Trail is assumed on the part of the potential ascendee. Ordinarily, submission of two acceptable co-leads and a heeler overnight shall be considered adequate evidence of leadership ability. The second co-lead may also be joined with a heeler overnight, provided that the combination is sufficiently ambitious as to demonstrate competence and ability.

Special Notes


Review of heeler “portfolios” may occur on a rolling basis, and should take place at least once per term. Membership to Council is to be granted in accordance with those guidelines outlined here, in the C&T Constitution, and in relevant supporting documents. Heelers who earn leader status prior to the end of the term may immediately obtain certification and begin leading trips, but will undergo the ascensions ceremony at the end of the term in which they ascended.


While no formal “demonstration of commitment” [to Cabin and Trail] requirement exists, an aspiring heeler should be familiar with the leaders, membership, and activities of the club. In the past, a minimum of two terms’ prior involvement has been considered requisite.* It is recommended that this practice be continued, as the period affords ample exposure to the full breadth of the club’s offerings. In the case of certain highly qualified individuals whose previous familiarity with C&T borders involvement (e.g. Leaders of other DOC clubs, and especially Winter Sports), it may prove desirable to waive this expectation.


Any of the above leader requirements may be waived by successful petition to Cabin and Trail Council and subsequent approval of the waiver by the club advisor (Outdoor Programs Office). This clause is intended to grant qualified candidates flexibility (through substitution or waiver) in satisfying the above requirements given unforeseen or adverse circumstances. In particular, this clause should not be interpreted as an “escape clause” through which the above requirements are to be circumvented. Additionally, any heeler may submit a written petition to Council requesting immediate review of his or her qualifications for ascension, either because he or she feels the review of such materials is being blocked, or because he or she disagrees with the decision rendered upon a previous such review, or for some other stated reason. Such a review is to be granted in a timely manner, and a copy of its outcome and justifications transmitted to the candidate thereafter. Mediation of such a review by the club advisor may also be requested.

Woodsmen's Team Practice Leader

Updated November 2013

  • Normal DOC Leader Requirements:
    • CPR/FA
    • Group Dynamics
    • Risk Management
    • College driver certified
  • Is OPO chainsaw certified, and agrees to become USFS chainsaw certified as soon as possible.
  • Must have a competent knowledge of how to use and maintain the team's tools and equipment.
  • Must have competent knowledge of a wide range of Woodsmen's events and know how to safely teach and work with students of all experience levels (from beginners to high experience level).
    • Be able to teach all events
    • Be able to determine appropriate tool for practice/meet use by students of varied ability levels
  • Eligibility to be determined by the current practice leaders. All current practice leaders must a agree 100% on the competency of the potential practice leader. Contact current captains if interested in becoming a practice leader.

Woodsmen's Events

Chopping Events
  • Vertical Chop, Horizontal Chop
Sawing Events
  • Single Buck, Crosscut, Bowsaw
Other Axe Events
  • Axe Throw, Splitting
Chainsaw Events
  • Disk Stack, Chainsaw Up-Down
Log Events
  • Log Roll, Pulp Toss, Birling
Other Events
  • Firebuild, Packboard, Pole Climb, Chain Throw
Site Specific Events
  • Snowshoe, Canoeing, Portage

Dartmouth Mountaineering Club

Updated November 2013

How to Become a DMC Leader

The DMC works best when new leaders join. That's how we run more trips, better trips, and generally keep things exciting. That's why you should consider working toward leadership. To learn how, please read the entire document.

First things first: Let a DMC chair know that you're working on becoming a leader! This way we can keep you informed of relevant courses and dates, and more importantly, we can get you access to the lockers in Robo basement with the gear you'll need to get out climbing and build your experience - ropes, draws, trad racks, ice racks, etc. We'll also start a leader-in-training page for you, which will be kept in a binder in the sport locker, so that you and leaders vouching for you can check off what you've done.

The Basics

These are the same for DMC, Ledyard, CnT - to be any sort of leader, you need these. - Risk Management: offered once a term, will be blitzed out. Does not expire, so there's no reason not to do it soon. - Group Dynamics: same as Risk Management. - Wilderness First Aid: Up-to-date certification. Wilderness First Aid (WFA) is frequently offered through the PE department in conjunction with OPO - watch blitz for dates every term. WFR is more advanced, and more useful for outdoor jobs. WFR courses can be organized at Dartmouth if you talk to OPO in advance. - CPR: Offered frequently through Dartmouth EMS - watch blitz. Takes a single afternoon. Do it, and keep your certification up to date. - Van Driver: Everyone loves a driver. Bring your driver's license to Kathy Decato in Robinson Hall to get the process going. There's an online course to do (painless) and a short driving test. Bonus points for becoming a bus driver (bus drivers are absolutely invaluable on most multi-day trips).

You've done the basics. Here's how to become a DMC leader. There are five types of leader, in escalating order of experience. With each are the steps you must take to be certified.

For all leaders:

- Toprope course: You must take an instructional course in toproping (be it AMGA, trad climbing, or any other course that discusses the fine art of anchor-building). At least once a term we will offer an in-club crash course (one afternoon) with all the necessary information; this will be far cheaper than an AMGA course, though not as detailed and with no certification.

Sport Leader

- Co-lead two beginner trips to Rumney. On the first co-lead, you will be taught the method of running a trip, from renting a van to handling sign-ups to teaching climbing and safety. On the second co-lead, the current leader will evaluate you on every aspect of the trip and vouch for your abilities (or suggest more improvement as needed). - Be comfortable (read: quick and efficient) leading up to 5.10a. - Note: you do not have to be a toprope leader to become a sport leader.

Toprope Leader

- Co-lead a trip in which you yourself set toprope anchors using gear and natural protection (sport climbing anchors DO NOT COUNT). Winslow is best for this purpose.

Trad Leader

- Climb with a current trad leader. They will check your ability to lead safely and efficiently, your knowledge of anchors, and your systems management. - Be supremely comfortable leading multipitch 5.8 trad. You must be confident on a variety of rock features beyond those encountered in sport climbing, and be familiar with a variety of anchor situations. In short, you need experience, because as a trad leader you will be responsible for the safety of beginners.

Ice Toprope Leader

- Co-lead a beginner ice trip, in which you set up the toprope anchors. - Demonstrate to the current leader a sound knowledge and judgment of ice conditions, and an ability to teach safe, good climbing form to beginners. - Note: you do not need to be a trad leader prior to becoming an ice toprope leader.

Standards for Top Rope Ice Climbing Trips

  • Ratio of participants to leaders: 4:1

Leader/s Requirements/Responsibilities

BLT Every trip leader of a DMC trip must have completed BLT. Skill level: Proficient with all DMC top rope leader requirements for Rock Climbing; in addition the leader must have at least two years of experience ice climbing, and be capable of selecting climbs and practice areas that are not exposed to objective dangers such as rock or ice fall, open water, avalanche, strong winds etc., and are suitable for teaching beginners winter mountaineering skills. The leader can set solid anchors in a winter environment and is capable at overseeing a group or 4 climbers and teaching them the basics.

Participant requirements

Experienced rock climbers capable of tying basic knots, tying into the rope, belaying and proper use of a harness. Participants must be able to take care of themselves in a winter environment, and be familiar with frostbite, hypothermia, and how to stay warm.

Clothing requirements
 wind parka                                  wool/pile pants
 wind pants                               wool/pile shirt
 insulated parka                          long underwear
 sweater                                  wool cap or balaclava 
 wool socks                               scarf/neckgaitor 
 wool/pile mittens                        plastic boots 
 gaiters                                          wool/pile gloves 
  • Recommended Clothing (optional)
 facemask                            spare wool/pile mittens
Equipment requirements
  • Personal Gear requirements:
 crampons/straps                     ice ax/leash 
 ice hammer/leash                         helmet
 harness                                          ax holsters
 2 locking carabiners             sling
 day pack                                 high energy snack                     
 matches/lighter                          sunglasses/goggles 
 water bottle                             emergency food
 map & compass                       personal first aid kit
 flashlight/headlamp              extra bulb/battery
  • Recommended Gear (optional)
 chapstick                           bandana
 thermos                                          pocket knife 
 skis                                     snowshoes  
 third tool (ice hammer)                  spare pick/tool
 figure eight                             lunch                                         
  • Group equipment requirements :
 climbing ropes                      locking carabiners
short anchor ropes                        stitch plate/figure eight
 ice screws                               shovel
 Crampon/tools repair kit                 guide book (if available)
 extra warm clothing              ensolite pad
 bivy sack                                map 
emergency food                          
  • Group equipment recommended (optional):
 file for sharpening tools           sleeping bag
 deadman                                  snow fluke                    
  • Safety equipment required:
 First Aid kit                               litter on top of van
  • Recommended Safety Equipment (optional):
 cooking pots/lids                   stove                   fuel 

Ice Leader

- You must be a trad leader. - You must climb with current ice leader. They will check your ability to lead safely and efficiently, with an eye toward protection, anchor-building, conditions assessment, and systems. - You must be confident leading ice. Ice leaders don't fall.


Once you have completed the steps to become a leader - be it sport, toprope, trad or ice - contact the current DMC chairs (blitz “climb”). They will schedule a meeting in which you, the current leader who has vouched for you, the chairs, and Brian Kunz (our club's contact in OPO) discuss what you've done, and your qualifications. At that point, you will be a certified leader. This process repeats for every new leadership role you acquire.

At this point your name will be placed on the DMC leader database on the website, so that interested parties can contact you.

If you have questions about what is expected of a DMC leader, it's best to talk to current leader. At its simplest, the club expects you to be involved, leading at least a single trip every term you are on, and using your gear privileges to help train up and coming leaders in whatever capacity (sport, trad, ice, toproping) you can.

DMC Trip Standards

(drafted 10/1/96) Margaret Wheeler and Tina Rutar (revised 10/8/96) M. Wheeler, T. Rutar, B. Kunz

All trips must be led by DMC trip leaders meeting the qualifications outlined on the leadership policy. The required leader : participant ratio can be satisfied by leaders who are on the top-rope or lead-climber list, depending on the nature of the trips outlined below. Climbing guide-books should be consulted for specific climbing route, rappell, and emergency descent descriptions.

Winslow (top-roping trip)

Route: refer to the Dartmouth Outing Guide, p.299.

Leader: Participant Ratio: 1:4 Note - Often participants in Winslow days have prior belaying experience, and can assist the leaders. When this is not case, the leaders can teach belaying skills at the beginning of the session.

Participant Requirements: no special skills, a beginner day trip

Budgeting: 30 van miles, lunch

Emergency procedures: The drive to Hanover is 20 minutes. In case of a serious emergency, call from a private home or the main building of the Dartmouth Skiway. Note - a litter is located at the top of the Pickledish Cliff climbing area.

Special equipment needs: Many top-rope set-ups require the use of half ropes or long slings. Trip leader should also bring extra harnesses, carabiners and belay devices for beginner trips.

Rumney (top rope or single-pitch)

Route: refer to the Dartmouth Outing Guide, p.305.

Leader: Participant Ratio: 1:4

Participant Requirements: tying in, belaying

Budgeting: 95 van miles, lunch

Emergency procedures: The drive to Hanover is 50 minutes. In case of a serious emergency, call from a private home or the nearby town of Rumney. The nearest hospital is in Plymouth, NH. Note - in case of rain or wet rock, trip can be moved to the Rumney Rock Barn, a local climbing gym. Several overhanging routes at the Meadows, Bonzai and Waimea Cliffs also stay dry.

Special equipment needs: none

Cathedral and Whitehorse Ledges, (single-pitch and/or multi-pitch lead climbing trip)

Route: refer to the Dartmouth Outing Guide, p.320.

Leader: Participant Ratio: 1:2

Participant Requirements: tying in, belaying a leader, outdoor single-pitch experience. *Participants on either cliff should know how to rappel and how to anchor properly at a rappel station. They should know how to remove all types of protection. They should be able to prussik.

Budgeting: 300 van miles, meals

Emergency procedures: The town of Conway is 10 minutes away.

Special equipment needs: overnight camping supplies.

Cannon (multi-pitch leading trip)

Route: refer to the Dartmouth Outing Guide, p. 313

Leader: Participant Ratio: 1:2

Participant Requirements: tying in, belaying a leader, rappelling, outdoor multi-pitch experience. *, and climbing with a pack. Participants on either cliff should know how to rappel and how to anchor properly at a rappel station. They should know how to remove all types of protection. They should be able to prussik.

Budgeting: 175 van miles, meals

Emergency procedures: register climber at the sign-in box at the junction of the bike path and parking lot. The nearest telephone is at the first exit off of 93 South, at the south end of Profile Lake.

Special equipment needs: overnight camping supplies. Be prepared for inclement weather with warm clothing and rain gear.

Shawangunks (single-pitch and/or multi-pitch lead climbing trip)

Route: take the New Paltz exit off Route 87. At the first intersection, make a left and proceed through the town of New Paltz. Cross a metal bridge and proceed another mile before making a right at the T-intersection. The Trapps Cliffs will be directly above an obvious hairpin turn in the road. Consult guidebooks for directions to the various cliffs (Trapps, near Trapps, Skytop, Lost City) in the Shawangunks area.

Leader: Participant Ratio: 1:2

Participant Requirements: tying in, belaying a leader, outdoor one-pitch experience, *Participants should know how to rappel and how to anchor properly at a rappel station. They should know how to remove all types of protection. They should be able to prussik.

Budgeting: 600 van miles, meals, access ($5 per person per day) and camping fees

Emergency Procedures: notify a park ranger. Park rangers monitor the path running along the Trapps and can usually be found at the Uberfall, the entrance area to the Trapps.

Special Equipment Needs: overnight camping supplies, with the exception of tents.

Safety considerations for Leaders/instructors

1. Put on helmets as soon as you and your students arrive near the base of the cliff. 2. Belay less expereinced climbers on all climbing and rappelling. 3. Check all knots, especially the retraced figure-of-8 to the student's harness, and any water knots in slings. 4. Ask less experienced climbers to leave their rope tied to thier harness until you say they may untie. 5. Put in a piece of protection as soon as possible after starting a lead. Protect the climb as you think your student should protect it if her were leading. Teach safety by example. 6. Keep your climbing companions in sight. They will feel better (and so will you) if you can see and speak easily. 7. Be alert. Accidents happen. Anticpate the worst. Read "Accidents in North American Mountaineering," and learn from others' mishaps. 8. Carry appropriate gear in case of an accident. At a minimum this would include a first aid kit, water, space-blanket, pencil and paper. An instructor should have first aid training to at least the level of the Advanced Red Cross Certificate.

In George's opinion, participants on multi-pitch routes should know the techniques listed on his two page "Basic Rock Climbing Techniques., (attached).

  • Bold italics are notes from George Hurley who can be reached at 603-447-3086.

Ledyard Canoe Club

Updated November 2009

See also Policies for Trip policies documentation.

General Leader Requirements

Leaders are in charge of protecting the safety and well being of participants and maximizing their enjoyment and learning experience. Leaders are ambassadors for Ledyard to the rest of the paddling community. They are carefully selected for their ability to make sound, safe decisions on rivers concerning themselves and other, non-leader paddlers, and are trained with knowledge that enables trips with non-leader paddlers to be run safely.

New leaders are selected by a committee, called the Ledyard Leadership Committee (LLC) consisting of all the current Level II and Level III Whitewater Leaders, the LCC President, and Ledyard’s OPO partner. In the case of considering new sea kayaking leaders, present sea kayaking leaders will be on this committee as well. The LCC President is responsible for collecting input from the club membership, at least through blitz, and bringing those opinions to the selection committee. The LLC is responsible for checking and verifying that Ledyard leaders have up to date first aid and CPR certification. All leaders data are entered into and maintained on the DOC leader database located Here.

Flatwater Leaders

canoes, kayaks and war canoe

Level I flatwater leader

defined as someone who can take a group out on the Ct. river in front of the club. Basic experience – embraces many people get them out doors.

Level II

for larger bodies of water – requirements as listed below.


• Is a current Dartmouth student, faculty or staff. • Has a minimum of 25 days paddling flatwater. • Is a competent flatwater paddler; can teach basic strokes and perform boat-over-boat rescue of swamped canoes and kayaks. • Adheres to Ledyard safety regulations described in the LCC Bylaws; able to anticipate dangers and take appropriate actions to safeguard participants from hazards such as cold water, high winds, lightning, and drowning. • Holds current certification in Wilderness First Aid or higher and CPR. • Skilled at organization, logistics and trip documentation. This includes correct use of trip route plan, assumption of risk, medical form, budgeting, and accident/incident report. • Able to determine if prospective boaters are qualified for the trip. Makes decisions based on safety and comfort. • Has attended the OPO Risk Management Training Talk, or equivalent program. • Has completed LCC flatwater leadership training. Guidelines for Leading Trips • Can only lead trips on flatwater and protected tidal water (does not include trips on oceans).

Flatwater Leader Training

• Flatwater leader training sessions may be conducted by current flatwater leaders whenever there is a demand. Potential leaders must successfully complete this training in order to be reviewed by the LLC for leader status. • Each candidate must demonstrate the following skills: boat over boat rescue of a canoe, solo paddling a canoe, j stroke or c stroke, and the ability to securely tie canoes onto a trailer and portage skills.

Level I Whitewater Kayak Leaders


• Fulfills all Flatwater Leader requirements. • Equivalent of 30 days of experience paddling whitewater. • Competent paddler at the class III level. • Rolls reliably in moving water. • Has completed LCC Leadership Training. • Trained in basic river rescue, SRT certification encouraged, but not required. • Anticipates specific river hazards. Demonstrates ability to articulate river hazards and defensive actions. • Able to teach basic strokes and whitewater techniques.

Guidelines for Leading Trips

• Leads trips only on rivers he or she has paddled before at similar water levels. • Can only lead trips to class II rivers such as Hartlands, the White, the Sugar, Zoar Gap, the Androscoggin, the Nantahalha, the French Broad, the lower Green, and the Pigeon. • Can lead trips with a ratio of 3-non-leaders to each Level I Whitewater Leader except when a level II or level III leader is present. When a higher level leader is present, they may lead trips with five non-leaders for every leader.

Level I Leader Training

Leader training is intended to be a good teaching forum that promotes a discussion of how trips should be lead once a candidate has been approved by the LLC but has not yet become a full leader. A perspective leader must be trained by a current level III leader. The new leader must organize and run a Ledyard trip while under the supervision of the level III leader. It is the level III leader’s job to provide constructive feedback about leading including things such as which lines are appropriate to lead, group management skill training, and how to interact with others on the river. Should the level III leader feel that the level of leading shown is not adequate, additional leader training sessions will be held until the level of leading has improved. The training may occur on any whitewater from class II-IV with suggested runs being the Contoocook, the EB Pemi, the Winni, the West, the Dryway, the Ocoee.

Level II Whitewater Kayak Leaders


• Fulfills all Level I Whitewater Leader requirements. • Competent paddler at the class IV level. • SRT I certified or equivalent. • Anticipates specific river hazards. Demonstrates ability to articulate river hazards and defensive actions. • Able to teach basic strokes and whitewater techniques. • Capable of coping with dramatic changes in river conditions and the skill level of fellow paddlers owing to fear, cold water, exhaustion, etc.

Guidelines for Leading Trips

• Able to lead any class II river even if they have not paddled it before, including all rivers listed under level I leaders at normal water levels. • Can lead trips on rivers of up to class IV difficulty that they have paddled before at similar water levels. • Can lead trips with a ratio of 5-non-leaders to each Level II Whitewater Leader.

Level II Leader Training

• See Level I leader training. • Must be completed on class III/IV whitewater. • If a level I leader was trained on class III/IV whitewater, they do not need to be retrained.

Level III Whitewater Kayak Leaders


• Fulfills all Level II Whitewater Leader requirements. • Have to have been an active Level II Whitewater Leader for at least one term. • Competent paddler at the class IV level. • Capable of leading a group on class IV rivers that he or she is not familiar with. • Capable of coping with dramatic changes in river conditions and the skill level of fellow paddlers owing to fear, cold water, exhaustion, etc.

Guidelines for Leading Trips

• Can lead trips on any river, including those they have not previously paddled. • Can lead trips with a ratio of 5-non-leaders to each Level III Whitewater Leader.

Level III Leader Training

• There is no level III leader training.

Whitewater Canoe Leaders


• Fulfills all Level I Whitewater Leader requirements in a canoe. • Competent paddler at the class III level. • SRT I certified or equivalent. • Anticipates specific river hazards. Demonstrates ability to articulate river hazards and defensive actions. • Able to teach basic strokes and whitewater canoeing techniques.

Guidelines for Leading Trips

• Only leads trips on river he or she has paddled before at similar water levels. • Can lead trips on rivers of up to class IV difficulty.

Leader Training

• See level 1 kayaking leader training. • Can occur on class II-III whitewater. • The training may be done by a whitewater canoeing leader or a level III whitewater kayaking leader.

Sea Kayaking Leaders


• Fulfills all Flatwater Leader Requirements. • At least 1 year of experience paddling on the ocean. Paddles sea kayaks 30 days a year, 10 of which are on the sea. • Competent paddler in rough seas. • Able to teach basic strokes and to perform both solo and group rescues comfortably in rough seas. • Skilled in navigation including plotting techniques, reading of both topographical maps and nautical charts, weather prediction, weather radio use, marine VHF use, GPS use judging current and estimated time of arrival, and group management on the water. • Skilled in trip organization, including trip documentation, preparation and use of trip route plans, purchase and packing of food and equipment, campsite selection, teaching of proper drybag and boat packing, budgeting, and use of risk assumption forms, medical forms and accident/incident reports. Guidelines for Leading Trips • Can lead trips with a ratio of 5 non-leaders to 1 sea kayaking leader. • Trips in reduced visibility situations including low lighting and fog shall paddle routes that avoid major channels.

Mountain Biking Club Leader Requirements

Drafted 5/20/09

Be a DOC Leader

Must fulfill all leader requirements set out by DOC and OPO • Risk Management: teaches the assessment and minimization of risk in the outdoors, and how to respond to emergency situations, offered once per term and does not expire. • Group Dynamics: 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. • First Aid and CPR: Up-to-date certification, expire after 2 years. Offered through Dartmouth EMS. Though we would prefer either a Wilderness First Aid (WFA) or Wilderness First Responder (WFR), which are offered through SOLO schools, which operates most in New England, Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI), and Wilderness Medical Association (WMA). Certifications from all three institutions are transferable to the others.


Two Co-leads with an established leader to assess skills and areas of improvement. The leader-in-training should take on as much responsibility as they are comfortable with to prepare for when they are leaders themselves. The leader-in-training must demonstrate they are confident riders over the terrain they will be leading and possess good leadership skills to handle any problems or issues that may occur.

Mechanical Skills

Each leader must posses the mechanical skills to fix most bike problems in such a way to bring everyone home on a function bike (with recognition that some repairs are just not possible in the field) • Fix a flat tire and boot a ripped sidewall of a tire • Fix or adjust a broken derailleur (cable tension, immobilization, limit screws) • Fix a broken chain Each leader-in-training must demonstrate their proficiency to an existing leader who will vouch for their skills when discussing whether or not to make this person a full leader.

Other requirements

• Own or have access to a non-DOR bike that is suitable for the ride planned (e.g. don't only have a downhill bike and be leading cross-country trips). • Able to keep own bike in sound condition (lubed, adjusted, etc.), if applicable. • Able to carry the following items on all trips • Come to all rides prepared with the necessary tools and/or gear. • Be approved by the majority of voting leaders in a meeting or over blitz.

If you have any questions feel free to contact the club chair(s) or any existing leader.

Surf Club

Leadership Requirements

In additional to the general DOC requirements outlined at the top of this page, the following are leader requirements specific to the Surf Club:

  • 1 co-led beginner trip or 3 experienced trips(this will have to be initially adjusted, first group of leaders will have to be judged on ability by each other and third party member representing the DOC)
  • 15 days surfing
  • Can identify general surf hazards and conditions (eg rip currents/close out swells)
  • Knows general etiquette, as outlined below, as well as communication techniques of the club
  • Know how to utilize surf and general weather forecasts as well as identify impending hazardous or extreme weather such as thick fog or possible thunderstorms
  • Driver Certified with DOC
  • Sufficient knowledge and teaching ability, as judged by current leader body. Continuously demonstrated competence to current leader body and good decision making skill(almost)s.
  • Makes decisions based on who is on the trip, not their own personal interest
  • Unanimously agreed upon by the current, involved leaders of the club
  • For trips without immediate road access: active WFA certification


Documentation of each break visited shall be maintained in a google drive folder that each leader and member is granted access to. This documentation's purpose will be:

  • Keep running list of conditions at each break, noting changes in parking situation, break, sandbars, amount of beach
  • General characteristics of the breaks we go to noting abnormalities, hazards, best parking area, cost for parking, relative number of locals, etc.
  • Larger trips general itineraries, successes and failures
  • Use this documentation to plan trips

Communication Techniques

All leaders and participants should be familiar with these on a trip. Leaders should remind participants of these before entering the water.

  • Move towards me -- one arm straight up
  • Move towards shore -- one arm pointed towards shore
  • Move farther out -- arm pointed out into ocean
  • Go to shore -- ‘X’ above head with both arms
  • I am going to shore -- arm pointed towards shore and moving up and down
  • Are you ok/ yes I am ok -- tap on the top of your head to check in and tap on your head to say you are ok

Level I Leaders

Privileges: May lead trips to known breaks in conditions <4ft surf, with up to 4 beginners (given later conditions for beginner trips)


  • Comfortable in 4-5ft surf, self assessed and as assessed by leader body
  • Capable of describing the techniques, hazards, and features listed below under beginner trip training
  • Capable of teaching these techniques, both on dry land and in the water, as judged by current leaders
  • Capable of racking boards for transport
  • Knowledgeable about judging conditions and safety of surf, beyond simple wave size
  • Able to swim 400m continuously
  • Identify rip currents
  • Identify directions of sweep and read tide lines
  • Has co-led one Dartmouth trip
  • Checked as to knowledge included in this document and excluded by the current leader body
  • Consistently assessed by other leaders to maintain standards

Level II Leaders

Privileges: Lead trips to new breaks in conditions judged to be safe for the group. Including Intermediate trips. Ratio of 6 to 1 on beginner trips and 4 to one on intermediate trips. May lead other leaders on intermediate or experienced trips.


  • Is a level 1 leader
  • Comfortable in shoulder plus to head and a half (overhead) surf, self assessed and as assessed by leader body
  • Capable of judging a new break for hazards and general features, especially permanent features of new breaks
  • Able to perform a 600yd swim without stopping
  • 200yd paddle in 2 min
  • Capable of basic rescue with surfboard and without
  • Surfed at least 35 days
  • Judged very capable of handling a group in the water
  • Consistently assessed by other leaders to maintain standards

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.


DOC Leader Requirements: These Requirements are established by the DOC and leaders in every club are required to fulfill them. You will not be allowed to lead a trip if you have not completed these and do not keep your certifications current.

Any basic First Aid certification is okay, but more training never hurts. Wilderness First Aid classes are offered at Dartmouth most terms and there are also opportunities to become Wilderness First Responder, EMT or Wilderness EMT certified.

Risk Management and Group Dynamics are both seminars taught usually by Brian Kunz or Julie Clemons from the OPO. They will be offered at least once a term.

To become college driver approved you need to attend a class offered by the department of Risk Management and Insurance. They offer several classes a term and these are listed under their blitz bulletin. To become van driver approved you then need to schedule a driving test with the folks at Risk Management. To become microbus driver approved you need to attend an additional class, have a physical, and take a driving test. For more information look under the blitz bulletin or call the office at 646-2441. Obviously if you do not have a license or are for some other reason unable to become a college approved driver, this is not your fault. The process of driver approval can be quite long so please try to start early. All costs to become driver approved are paid for by Outdoor Programs, so stop in and tell Kathy Decato you are working to become driver approved and she will make sure you get the right forms and budget numbers to make everything happen.

Additional WSC leader requirements

Wintertime risk assessment and management—it 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.

Leader Assessment

Name: Year: Date:

Why do you want to become a WSC leader? Are you a leader in any other clubs?

What kinds of trips do you want to lead?

What kinds of winter activities do you do? At what level?

List and describe relevant trips you have been on. Include your position on the trip, the dates, length and location of the trip, activities pursued, and the extent to which you helped plan the trip.

Can you describe a trip (not necessarily winter, but better if it is) in which group dynamics played a role in the success or failure of a trip?

Can you describe a trip in which the leader’s management of objective risks (hypothermia, avalanche, rockfall, weather) either helped ensure or successful trip, or caused the trip to go poorly/be less safe?

Describe your level of experience navigating with a map and compass. Be specific.

Describe your level of experience with (ice-axe/crampon use, walking, self-arrest, kicking and cutting steps, self belay with an ice-axe—commonly referred to as snow-school skills)? Have you taught these skills in the past?

Describe your level of experience with outdoor living in winter. Have you camped comfortably in shelters, tents, snow caves or other unheated spaces?

Anything else we should know?

This document worked on by Chris Farmer ’08, Jake Feintzeig ’09 and Mark Davenport ’10 with the help of Julie Clemons, drafted Jan. 10, 2008

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).