It is the responsibility of each BSA leader to know and abide by all BSA guidelines. Many BSA leaders mistakenly think that these guidelines are not the same as regulations and requirements. These guidelines are requirements. ALL BSA guidelines MUST be followed for each activity. No Council, troop, unit, or individual may weaken the guidelines/requirements as set by the national BSA organization. Contact your Council for any additional requirements or assistance.
For general BSA safety information, read the Guide to Safe Scouting: A Unit Leader's Guide for Current Policies and Procedures to Safe Activities.
For BSA safety requirements specific to caving, read the Sweet 16 of BSA Safety found in The Guide to Safe Scouting IX: Sports and Activities. Basic caving requirements may be seen by scrolling down the page. Requirements for vertical work and use of climbing aids (cable ladders, handlines, belays, etc.) are listed on the same page under the heading "Climbing or Rappelling." Entering abandoned mines is an unauthorized activity, as may be viewed under "Unauthorized and Restricted Activities."
BSA requirements concerning cave conservation and landowner relations are found in the brochure Caving: A Policy Statement and Guidelines on Caving Prepared by the Youth Groups Liaison Committee of the National Speleological Society and the Boy Scouts of America. However, this brochure does not include the basic BSA safety requirements that must be followed for every BSA activity.
This is a caving publication that was jointly written by BSA and NSS. The BSA publication number is 19-102A and is the 2003 printing. Caving 19-102
National Speleological Society (NSS) http://www.caves.org/