Caving - Caving Faqs
What is the Caving Team?
The Victorian Scout Caving Team is an activity team of the Victorian Branch of Scouts Australia. Its sole purpose is to introduce the challenges and adventures of caving to Scouts, Venturers, Rovers and Leaders in the safest possible way.
When are Trips held?
Generally, during the second or third weekend of each month from February to November. Trips may be run at other times by special arrangement. Check out the calendar under the Events page, to the right.
Where can we go?
Trips are available to several caving areas in Victoria. We are lucky here because there is a great variety of caving environments in our State. You can go to:
Buchan, in East Gippsland. These caves are in hard limestone.
Mount Eccles, in the South West, near Hamilton. These caves are in volcanic rock.
Bats Ridge, in the South West, near Portland. These caves are in soft limestone.
All the above areas are approximately 4 or 5 hours drive from Melbourne.
We set our calendar a year in advance, so if you want to go to a particular area then your choice will be limited to certain months.How do we prepare for a Trip?
Venturers & Rovers
After your Unit/Crew has booked a trip, we can have a couple of team members to come to your hall on a suitable meeting night and give an orientation talk on caving and caves.
They will also demonstrate caving equipment and answer questions. These talks can also be arranged for Units/Crew who have not yet decided to actually go caving, and they may be attended by parents, a neighbouring Unit/Crew, Group, District Leaders or friends. Allow about an hour for an interesting evening in your program.
The team does not do orientation talks for Scout Troops. The Troop's Leaders coordinate the Scout Caving Badge requirements and trip preparation. Normally two nights of camping (Friday and Saturday, sometimes Saturday & Sunday) are involved on a weekend trip to Buchan or Mount Eccles. A Scout Hall is used for accommodation in Portland.
You need to bring your own camping gear and all food. Some personal gear is also a mandatory requirement for a caving trip - see What to Bring.
Is Caving Dangerous?
Caving is a controlled and safe activity with the caving team. The leaders in the team are trained and have a complete knowledge of the caves we use. The caves are selected to suit your own level of experience and ability and all special safety equipment and skills are provided by the team. The team operates by widely recognized codes of ethics and behaviour, including the ASF Code of Ethics and Conservation, Minimal Impact Caving Code and the Cave Safety Guidelines.
What about Claustrophobia?
Worrying about possible claustrophobia (a fear of confined spaces) is a common concern of many people. Some of the caves are larger than your Scout hall, so they shouldn’t be a problem! Very few people in fact are claustrophobic - do you worry about getting into a car or a toilet? You are never alone underground (it's a rule) and there are so many interesting things to see and do in caves that no one thinks about being confined.
Can the trips be used for Awards and Investitures?
Caving is a suitable activity for incorporating into the various Scout, Venturer and Rover Award Schemes such as Queens Scout, Baden Powell, DofE & of course the Scout Caving Badge. Discuss with us what you are using the trip for prior to getting there, so we can make it a suitable experience for your Award work.
Underground Investitures are an unforgettable experience and we can help you with a suitable cave if your Troop/Unit/Crew wishes to do this. You choose when – the Saturday night is popular.
Can we take photographs?
Most definitely! Bring your camera with you, anything from a disposable camera to an expensive SLR unit. Bring a case or bag to protect the camera from dust or bumping on rocks and take home some great caving photos.
Can I join the Caving Team?
Membership of the team is open to all members of the Scout Association. The caving team have also recruited members from the Guide Movement and the public, who then become members of the Scout Association. Training in caving techniques, leadership and assessment of caving qualifications is given by Caving Team instructors.
If you are interested in gaining a Caving Activity Leadership qualification, please contact the BLAA Caving, Tony Watson on 9704 7750. You need to be at least 18 years old to hold a full qualification. The minimum expected commitment for Caving Team members is to attend 3 weekend caving trips per year. You can join the Caving Team and continue involvement with your existing Group, or you can become a dedicated Caving Activity Leader and transfer your Scout membership to the team. We are always looking for new and enthusiastic leaders, so why not give caving a go?
How do we book a caving trip?
All the details are on the Bookings & Enquiries page.