Author Topic: Youth and Development AGM Report 2018-2019  (Read 3680 times)

Offline nearlywhite

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Youth and Development AGM Report 2018-2019
« on: May 30, 2019, 07:51:53 pm »
So in the interests of openness, transparency and recruitment, Y&D are releasing their report to council publicly before the meeting. I hope it makes for encouraging reading and if you want to get involved we could always use more help. A really big thank you has to go out to the various volunteers who've made this possible.

Youth and Development AGM Report 2018-2019
by Rostam Namaghi

We’ve had an eventful year since the last AGM, with another club – Swansea Speleological Society, brought into the fold, not to mention the BCA making membership free for under 18s. I’ve tried to keep it brief and each topic is expanded upon in each section. If it’s all a bit long please make sure to read the other projects section – it details what’s coming and the volunteers we’re looking for.

1.   Swansea Speleological Society
2.   Forgiving Debts
3.   Under 18 Membership made free
4.   Vision and Constitutional Reform Group
5.   Charterhouse Caving Company
6.   Other Projects

Swansea Speleological Society


Many members of the Y&D team were in attendance at CHECC and a member of Aberystwyth Caving Club became excited at the prospect of being able to develop a club in Swansea, where he was currently studying. The offers of help, explanation of how to go about it and most importantly: the realisation that others had done it really successfully (Lancaster University SS), spurred him on and we began the fairly long process of support.
A constitution was written and appropriately modified, in consultation between us, the caving club and the Atheltics Guild of Trinity St David’s. It was written allowing the club is to accept any student from Swansea. They were then able to sign up enough members to become a club and went through a refreshers season. They have stalls booked for next year as well.

In addition to the constitution, risk assessments and other paperwork was provided. Brief discussions regarding qualifications and insurance were provided – the BCA’s position being ‘there are no qualifications suitable for student caving clubs’ and that ‘BCA membership provides the insurance necessitated by the Athletics Guild’.

Equipment was sought at low cost where possible and in the interests of expediency an emergency kit loan was provided. We estimated their current capacity for trips (as limited by leaders and transport), what equipment needed for classic fresher trips in the area and provided that in time to take them caving during the second term. We’ve had extensive discussions regarding what further support is needed and the club is in a very good place to expand and thrive.

Forgiving Debts

The loans given to Swansea and Lancaster by the BCA total £3050. These were forgiven by council in April so as not to hinder the growth and consolidation of these two caving clubs. We have successfully restored student caving to the two prime target areas and this initial outlay by the BCA has increased the membership by approximately 1%. It should be noted that Lancaster were the third largest attendees at Northern CHECC this year. This is only the initial result and we will continue to provide support to member clubs.

CHECC have introduced an emergency kit loan scheme as well, modelled on the kit loan scheme that has worked so well in getting kit out quickly to keen cavers. Student caving is in a very healthy place and has a very well connected network.

Under 18 Membership Made Free

We were asked by members of the SWCC a series of questions regarding insurance of under 18s and it emerged that one of the driving issues behind the questions was limits on the temporary insurance and getting serial trips. It seemed such a ridiculous bureaucratic hurdle to be limiting children going caving and a cost analysis was performed. There was no increase in policy cost, and the revenue lost according to the membership database was in the region of £500 a year.

This means that if an under 18 exceeds the temporary insurance cover they can become a member of BCA and carry on caving. It should help remove an extra cost to any scout groups or under 18s in normal clubs and should be viewed as part of a large strategy to help all youth caving.

Vision and Constitutional Reform Group

We were asked to contribute to the Vision and Constitutional reform group. We have done so by providing 3 members to sit on the committee and have produced a 3000 word report following Hellie’s questionnaire (This will be released next week). For those who haven’t had the opportunity to read it I have included an excerpt below:
‘That said, it has achieved a significant sample size and some very robust trends have emerged:
   The BCA should do more on access.
   BCA should be attracting new people to caving.
   Caving needs more young people.
   Caving should be promoted more.
   BCA membership is widely taken up for the primary reason of insurance.
   We do not communicate well with our members.
   Our website is outdated.
   On-line voting would help engagement.
   Clubs would like more support.’
We took lessons on board from this too, Y&D need to improve our communication with the membership. Part of our poor communication is compliance with a mode of operation in the BCA – i.e. trying to ruffle the least feathers. Whilst noble, it has significantly led to an erosion of trust in BCA over the next issue
.
Charterhouse Caving Company Ltd and access for young people
by Will Burn

During my last two years as a DIM I have been working on an issue brought about by the actions of Charterhouse Caving Company Ltd, which administers access to caves as an Access Controlling Body. The CCC Ltd made the decision to completely ban under 18s from the caves on their land, justifying this with legal posts by Bob Mehew on UKCaving pertaining mainly to the ability of an U18 to sign waivers (Insisting that U18s can’t sign waivers and that even if they could that this would be somehow contrary to the Human Rights Act)
The Youth and Development Group, for whom I was acting in this issue, was advised by a reader in law (with specific experience in landowner liability) at Sheffield Hallam University that this was ridiculous. Unfortunately this advice was not from an insured practising solicitor and so the BCA sought legal advice on the issue. At the time, Charterhouse refused initially to justify their decision, and so I contacted the landowner, the Somerset Wildlife Trust, directly. The SWT did not have any knowledge of a ban on under 18s to this nature reserve or any potential reasons for them.

I had been working on the question for the solicitor with Nick Williams for a year before he resigned. Robin Weare consequently became acting secretary of the BCA. He discarded the work we had done, and wrote his own questions to the solicitor in consultation with the directors of CCC Ltd. When members of the Youth and Development group asked to see the questions sent to the solicitor by Robin Weare, we were ignored.
We want to take the opportunity, in the spirit of transparency, and to dispel any notions of foul play, to ask that then Acting Secretary Robin Weare release to council members the questions he sent to the solicitor on behalf of the BCA.

The legal advice was received and shared with me, the executive, and the directors only at CCC Ltd. The executive decided not to share it with other council members, including the access and conservation officer, and decided not to share it with the (club) membership of CCC Ltd.
We want to take the opportunity, in the spirit of transparency, and to dispel any notions of foul play, to ask the BCA executive to share with council members the legal advice obtained on behalf of and for the BCA, informative as it is. Whilst the executive insists that the legal advice can’t be shared for copyright reasons, if it is the case that the BCA cannot read the legal advice it bought, it should request a full refund of the members money spent on this issue.

I read the legal advice and it is my understanding that there are no legal justifications for a ban on young people from caves. There is very unlikely to be any additional liability arising from the use of caves by young people for the landowner, or for a Limited Liability company such as Charterhouse CC Ltd. The legal advice confirmed that there is no legal basis for a distinction between under 16s and 16-18 year olds.

As a consequence of the legal advice obtained, CCC have ‘reverted’ to the previous access position of not allowing under 16s. This clearly ignores the legal advice. They also implemented a clause insisting that all under 18s be accompanied by two adults each. They don’t have the co-operation of cavers (12 permits handed out a year– there are far more trips than that) and shouldn’t be trusted to discuss access with the landowners unsupervised.
So in summary the position of the BCA executive is that it continues to allow an Access Controlling Body, on behalf of cavers around the country, to actively discriminate against cavers on the basis of age, and has allowed this for several years. This is untenable. The BCA cannot claim to have any sort of equality policy, and it cannot claim to represent all British cavers whilst it allows organisations to use its name to practise active discrimination.
One of the guiding principles of the BCA is laid down in section 4.7 of the constitution and is as follows:

4.7. That the Association will make its services available to all sections of the sporting community. There will be no discrimination on grounds of race, gender, sexual orientation, creed, colour, occupation, religion or political opinion.

The Charterhouse Caving Company Ltd have been actively working against this principle, by attempting to force the BCA, through spurious legal arguments, to accept discrimination on the basis of age. Charterhouse Caving Company is a member of the BCA and is bound by this constitution.
Section 11.2 states:

11.2. Not withstanding Sub Section 11.1, any member deemed to be acting against the interests of the Association may be suspended and subsequently expelled from the Association. Any suspended or expelled member shall have a right of appeal against an order of expulsion or suspension. Such an appeal shall be heard at the next General Meeting of the Association. The member must be sent a written notification of suspension and/or of expulsion to the last known address. Any member so suspended shall not be entitled to use any of the Association's facilities, including any certificates or awards or receive any grants or other funds, save for the repayment of expenses properly incurred in executing the Association's business.

We must soon decide, based on the wilful inaction of Charterhouse Caving Company Ltd, whether the Company is acting against the interests of the BCA and its members, and whether the Company should be suspended or expelled from the organisation and stripped of its status as a recognised Access Controlling Body.

Other Projects

We are putting together a comprehensive pack for clubs on how to help and support young cavers in clubs and the support available to them from BCA. Over the last few weeks I’ve been in contact with several clubs regarding what to do about a group of keen under 18s and what the legality is in membership and taking them on trips. So, this pack is desperately needed. We have a budget to produce these materials and go out and meet the members in person. We need Graphic Designers and people to write press releases.
We have also put together awards for recognizing cavers contributions to youth caving. There are also a couple of projects we are working with the scouts on but these are being delayed owing to time pressures. We need event organisers for a BCA under 18s event.

Thank you for reading and hope to see you at the AGM/around in general caving life.

Offline Minion

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Re: Youth and Development AGM Report 2018-2019
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2019, 08:44:21 pm »
 :clap2: :clap2: :clap2: :clap2: :clap2: :clap2:

The sooner the CCC is dismantled, the better!

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Youth and Development AGM Report 2018-2019
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2019, 08:52:00 pm »
Is this another example of the UKC lynch mob? Certainly looks like it. Don't get too rabid...

BCA is likely to kill itself at this rate. Regional Councils and constituent members are autonomous, according to BCA's own constitution, 2.1, also see 4.2, 4.3 & 4.4 which have relevance. Access is determined by regional negotiation, not by diktat from on high.

While quoting, perhaps worth mentioning "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand".

Be careful what you wish for.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2019, 09:01:27 pm by Cap'n Chris »

Online Badlad

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Re: Youth and Development AGM Report 2018-2019
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2019, 08:56:50 pm »
Good work Y&D. 

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Youth and Development AGM Report 2018-2019
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2019, 09:36:22 pm »
Charterhouse Caving Company Ltd and access for young people
by Will Burn

During my last two years as a DIM I have been working on an issue brought about by the actions of Charterhouse Caving Company Ltd, which administers access to caves as an Access Controlling Body. The CCC Ltd made the decision to completely ban under 18s from the caves on their land, justifying this with legal posts by Bob Mehew on UKCaving pertaining mainly to the ability of an U18 to sign waivers (Insisting that U18s can’t sign waivers and that even if they could that this would be somehow contrary to the Human Rights Act)
For transparency, please note the advice I gave is at https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=22192.msg280945#msg280945 and at https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=23390.msg294871#msg294871

when I held the post of BCA's Legal & Insurance Officer.  No where did I "insist".  I offered some arguments supporting the position that there were difficulties in letting children or their parents (etc) sign wavers. 

I have not seen the counter arguments so can't comment further.

Online ObviousSpectre

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Re: Youth and Development AGM Report 2018-2019
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2019, 10:29:22 pm »
Fantastic work Y&D. You're doing a great job and I'm sure that your work will help to introduce the next generation of cavers to the sport.  :clap2:

Offline NewStuff

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Re: Youth and Development AGM Report 2018-2019
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2019, 02:21:28 pm »
Access is determined by regional negotiation, not by diktat from on high.

It's a local cave, for local cavers...

Permission? Wassat den?

Offline 2xw

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Re: Youth and Development AGM Report 2018-2019
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2019, 02:57:48 pm »
Is this another example of the UKC lynch mob? Certainly looks like it. Don't get too rabid...

BCA is likely to kill itself at this rate. Regional Councils and constituent members are autonomous, according to BCA's own constitution, 2.1, also see 4.2, 4.3 & 4.4 which have relevance. Access is determined by regional negotiation, not by diktat from on high.

While quoting, perhaps worth mentioning "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand".

Be careful what you wish for.

They're autonomous but should also meet the very minimum standards outlined in the constitution which includes not engaging in active discrimination.

Charterhouse is the divider here. They have been fighting for two years to justify banning an entire segment of the caving population from all caves - not just theirs. As an outdoor instructor you should be thoroughly opposed to what they are doing - doesn't your job depend on young people going in caves?

The BCA should not allow legally unjustified discrimination in its name. L

As far as a "mob" we publish our reports here for the sake of transparency, which you will see from the report is sorely lacking. We also tried to email the editor about publishing it in Darkness Below but you can guess what the response was.

Offline 2xw

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Re: Youth and Development AGM Report 2018-2019
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2019, 03:30:37 pm »
NB to last comment: actually dB (Tony) did reply and I just wasn't CC'd so I restract that and will apologise to him for it. DB would have used it but rostam put it on here cos it's easier and less work.

Offline nearlywhite

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Re: Youth and Development AGM Report 2018-2019
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2019, 03:39:00 pm »
Regional Councils and constituent members are autonomous, according to BCA's own constitution, 2.1, also see 4.2, 4.3 & 4.4 which have relevance. Access is determined by regional negotiation, not by diktat from on high.

Actually ACBs aren't listed in any of those parts of the constitution. Here's one though:
4.6.   Where caving bodies have control of access delegated to them by the owners, such access should be obtained and granted as freely as possible for all responsible cavers, within the terms of those agreements. When obliged to make new agreements, the appropriate body should endeavour to ensure that this freedom is maintained or improved.

I'm pretty sure Y&D count as an 'appropriate body' ensuring a previous 'freedom is maintained or improved'. So again, not unconstitutional. Let me remind you the constitutional imperative to become involved.

3.1.   To support Members of the Association in obtaining, ensuring, maintaining and encouraging the development of access arrangements at national, regional and club level in accordance with national, regional or club practice.

You see supporting members in obtaining access is in accordance with the constitution (preventing discrimination 4.7 and advocating for members 3.3) and BCA draft policy regarding discrimination. We have not tried at any point to negotiate access. Therefore we haven't even touched the autonomy of the ACB anyway. However it is clear that there is a coming conflict and it is only appropriate that we do everything in our power before we have to invoke 11.2 of the constitution, which contains:

any member deemed to be acting against the interests of the Association may be suspended and subsequently expelled from the Association.

It's clear that the BCA, Y&D and CCC have lost faith amongst the caving community for not finding a solution and creating bureaucratic hurdles that are tripping up our members who notably make up the rank and file of the CCC. Most of the anger over this issue comes from Mendip Chris, and it's clear that most clubs flatly ignore the CCC permit system because it isn't practicable or necessary.

I resent being accused  of being part of the 'UKC lynch mob' and I hope you see the need to apologize.

Offline BradW

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Re: Youth and Development AGM Report 2018-2019
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2019, 04:30:32 pm »
 Reading this report carefully, it deserves 5 nice ticks and one badass cross. What in heaven's name are you thinking? Beware of serious unintended consequences. Could do better.

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Youth and Development AGM Report 2018-2019
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2019, 06:33:16 pm »
I apologise for thinking that this forum was being used to try to bully an access controlling body by publishing a report which gave the appearance of threatening it with sanctions in the form of expulsion from the BCA, using this online resource as a soapbox for whipping up a lynch mob in support of such action.

However it definitely looked like that to me.

Singling out named individuals is also alarming and sinister to put it mildly.

Notwithstanding the whys and wherefores of the particular ACB/cave and the complexities surrounding it I must say I take issue at the notion that any ACB which finds itself on the wrong end of a hostile crowd should run the risk of expulsion from BCA just because some people don't like how to operates and find their representations rebutted.

In the particular case of CCC Ltd, would it be the legal company which is expelled or the constitutent shareholding caving clubs and their members? I'm guessing the former.

My reason for concern does not lie specifically with the ACB in the spotlight but rather other ones with which I am familiar and for whom a similar fate could await if such a proposed course of action (as above) was to become a new tool for strong-arming long-standing arrangements to fit the new order.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2019, 08:16:41 pm by Cap'n Chris »

Offline pete h

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Re: Youth and Development AGM Report 2018-2019
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2019, 08:12:00 pm »
They don’t have the co-operation of cavers (12 permits handed out a year– there are far more trips than that) and shouldn’t be trusted to discuss access with the landowners unsupervised.

This figure of 12 permits is incorrect and is probably referring to the amount of trips that went into Charterhouse Cave as disclosed at the Charterhouse leaders meeting.

Checking the Wessex Cave Clubs accounts, income from sales of permits to guests over the last 3 years equates to around 200 permits issued PER YEAR, plus 20 to 30 1 year permits issued free of charge to members on request.

The Wessex is one of 12 clubs issuing permits so i think it is clear that clubs do not ignore the permit system by the numbers stated above.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2019, 10:42:01 pm by paul, Reason: Added missing end quote token as pointed out by JohnMCooper »

Offline BradW

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Re: Youth and Development AGM Report 2018-2019
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2019, 09:18:42 pm »
Quote
4.7. That the Association will make its services available to all sections of the sporting community. There will be no discrimination on grounds of race, gender, sexual orientation, creed, colour, occupation, religion or political opinion.

The Charterhouse Caving Company Ltd have been actively working against this principle, by attempting to force the BCA, through spurious legal arguments, to accept discrimination on the basis of age.
The BCA guiding principles do not mention discrimination on the basis of age. There may be a good reason for that.

Offline JohnMCooper

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Re: Youth and Development AGM Report 2018-2019
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2019, 09:29:40 pm »
Administrator,

I think pete h has the end quote in the wrong place. Only the first line of his post is a quote. The rest is his response to the quote. If you agree please correct then delete my comments.

Thanks



Global Moderator Comment I have added the missing end quote token as requested. I have left your comment as the reason for the edit of pete h's post.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2019, 10:43:59 pm by paul, Reason: Added comment »

Offline darren

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Re: Youth and Development AGM Report 2018-2019
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2019, 10:19:11 pm »
 Pete h.

 I'm not sure about this, but are you the Wessex Cave Club rep on the CCC. If so it would be interesting to know how the Wessex Cave Club have instructed you to act on this.

Chairman of Wessex is of course Les Williams, who is chairman of BCA.

Of course I could just read the minutes guys a lot of effort.
No, I'm playing all the right notes

Offline nearlywhite

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Re: Youth and Development AGM Report 2018-2019
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2019, 02:00:07 am »
Bully individuals in the ACB how? The only individual named is the outgoing secretary of BCA, and the only requests made are for transparency. Raising the issue that after 2 years of back room discussions we haven't resolved the problem and are inexorably heading towards confrontation. I'm not willing to embroil Y&D in further secretive discussions that only ever result in the can being kicked down the road. The thin end of the wedge argument works for the issue of under 18 access to caves - what if other ACBs take what is happening with CCC ltd as approved by the BCA and we lose access to multiple other systems and kill off under 18 access nationally?

I think this approach is the only option left.

Notwithstanding the whys and wherefores of the particular ACB/cave and the complexities surrounding it I must say I take issue at the notion that any ACB which finds itself on the wrong end of a hostile crowd should run the risk of expulsion from BCA just because some people don't like how to operates and find their representations rebutted.

In the particular case of CCC Ltd, would it be the legal company which is expelled or the constituent shareholding caving clubs and their members? I'm guessing the former.

I think it's ridiculous and argumentative to even imply the latter - especially as I list them as the ones that are discontented with CCC in my previous answer to your persistent misreading of the report. This shouldn't be a surprise given the previous time I released a report on here, not to mention when I was incorrectly listed as absent and with no apologies from a sodding council meeting. See:
https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=22961.0
https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=22045.0

I'm curious what your stance would be if it was a sexist or racist exclusion policy? Surely BCA needs to be able to withdraw its membership to those contravening its policy? Just because it's an inconvenient question doesn't mean it shouldn't be asked. Other ACBs could not be drawn into the BCA disciplinary procedure if they aren't discriminating against a section of the membership and if they are then it's only right that be reviewed.

If these things are referred to BCA and it sides with the ACB then that does give it some more legitimacy. However I suspect you need not worry as the BCA is fairly well set up to be a toothless and inert organisation.

This figure of 12 permits is incorrect and is probably referring to the amount of trips that went into Charterhouse Cave as disclosed at the Charterhouse leaders meeting.

Checking the Wessex Cave Clubs accounts, income from sales of permits to guests over the last 3 years equates to around 200 permits issued PER YEAR, plus 20 to 30 1 year permits issued free of charge to members on request.

The Wessex is one of 12 clubs issuing permits so i think it is clear that clubs do not ignore the permit system by the numbers stated above.

You are correct that this doesn't count the total number, this was noted before but evidently I forgot to add context when editing the report! However it is clear that many clubs do ignore the permit requirements - I personally have talked to many wardens from multiple clubs who issue permits and couldn't give a toss about a 15 year old going in. The issue we face is that if you're not in the know of who to ask you're denied access. This needs to be changed.

BradW - it's included in the BCA draft policy accepted by council in October and will be formally adopted at the AGM. Not to include it in the constitution was an oversight. Although perhaps not as it gives us the ability to ban over 60s from going in caves, or everyone from the Forest of Dean.

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Youth and Development AGM Report 2018-2019
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2019, 07:04:18 am »
... and are inexorably heading towards confrontation. I'm not willing to embroil Y&D in further secretive discussions that only ever result in the can being kicked down the road.

Confrontation, invoking BCA to intervene into the affairs of an ACB is unwise, imo, as it reminds me of that old saw "The people best at messing up access to caves are cavers": I'm not sure whether rescinding a limited company's membership to BCA would stop the limited company from continuing it's affairs though.

Bully individuals in the ACB how?

The thin end of the wedge argument works for the issue of under 18 access to caves - what if other ACBs take what is happening with CCC ltd as approved by the BCA and we lose access to multiple other systems and kill off under 18 access nationally?

I didn't write anything about bullying individuals, but wrote about bullying an ACB, and singling out individuals - the former was the main thrust of the original observation and the latter was something disturbing - akin to hazing.

The thin end of the wedge concern might only have relevance where other ACBs are limited companies; a company is probably not able to engage in written/signed permissions with minors in certain hazardous scenarios but I'm no expert on this area of law; however, a loose association of subject matter experts who provide verbal assurances and mentoring is a different situation and one which possibly better fits other ACBs around the country. Disbanding the company would most likely void the lease but CCC Ltd shareholders would better know the background than me.

I'm curious what your stance would be if it was a sexist or racist exclusion policy?

That would be illegal, surely, and other agencies would therefore be involved in rectifying it.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2019, 07:15:47 am by Cap'n Chris »

Offline BradW

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Re: Youth and Development AGM Report 2018-2019
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2019, 08:39:02 am »
Having slept on this, I now predict that if this ill-conceived plan comes to fruition, it will lead to the eventual demise of the BCA as a meaningful entity. Well done for forging another coffin nail.

Offline JasonC

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Re: Youth and Development AGM Report 2018-2019
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2019, 08:42:12 am »
... Although perhaps not as it gives us the ability to ban over 60s from going in caves,.....

 ;D - now, that is a declaration of war!

Offline Ian Adams

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Re: Youth and Development AGM Report 2018-2019
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2019, 10:07:20 am »
Having slept on this, I now predict that if this ill-conceived plan comes to fruition, it will lead to the eventual demise of the BCA as a meaningful entity. Well done for forging another coffin nail.


The BCA's repeated refusal to get behind it's members, it's failure to listen to it's members and it's unwillingness to embrace progression represent the nails it is hammering into it's own coffin.

People like Rostram have been doing their utmost to work with the BCA but are repeatedly knocked back.

Each time the BCA does this, it's another wound to the body.

 :(

Ian
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Offline BradW

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Re: Youth and Development AGM Report 2018-2019
« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2019, 10:18:27 am »
Ian I have to agree with your first point. I would also love to see u18s better accommodated. But alienating fellow cavers by threatening them with expulsion is extremely poor form. This war against certain factions and individuals has to stop. Reasonable cavers must stand up and say so in no uncertain terms. When two parties are not cooperating the shortcoming rarely lies with one party alone. Blame shifting solves nothing. A hammer is not a very useful tool healing wounds. Surgery is the last tool in the doctor's bag. Targetted and appropriate medication is the best solution, followed by serious changes iin life style.

Offline droid

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Re: Youth and Development AGM Report 2018-2019
« Reply #22 on: June 01, 2019, 10:29:57 am »
Playing Devil's Advocate: it might also be that certain individuals don't get their own way in discussions and throw the dummy out....

No longer 'Exceptionally antagonistic' 'Deliberately inflammatory'

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Re: Youth and Development AGM Report 2018-2019
« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2019, 10:31:51 am »
I've never really understood the reasons for a ban on under 18s (or under 16s for that matter).  I have read some of the advice (Sheffield Hallam) referred to in the OP and listened to the Y&D reports with interest.  As far as I am aware there are no landowners or access bodies in the Dales region who have even considered such a ban.  I'd like to think youth caving is very much encouraged across the board.

The BCA membership through both the CHECC questionnaire and the larger Mission & Vision Group questionnaire both had campaigning for better access prominent in the results.  Both CRoW ballots showed similar support.  Therefore I think BCA will have confidence that working for improvements to access for all is doing the right thing on behalf of the membership and wider caving community.  Certainly there would not be much cave instructor work if an under 18 ban was introduced more widely.

Reading this discussion further it seems that the reason for the ban is only to protect the ACB.  The landowner has not prescribed the restriction and according to the report was unaware of the ban.  The SWT and that sort of organisation are usually duty bound to be open to everyone especially young people. 

Perhaps the ACB has tied itself in a legal knot it cannot get out of.  The answer may be to disband the Charterhouse and set up a new ACB in a form which can allow young people underground.


Offline David Rose

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Re: Youth and Development AGM Report 2018-2019
« Reply #24 on: June 01, 2019, 11:08:37 am »
The whole issue of age limits has become ludicrous and disgraceful. Go to any popular crag, or any indoor climbing wall, and you will see numerous people aged less than 18 enjoying themselves. And indeed, some will be much younger than 16. At my local wall, they often have kids' parties, in which children aged 8 or 9 will be belayed up the 15 metre leading walls. I've seen 12 year olds leading competently on decent routes at places such as Tremadog and Stanage. I've taken my own kids up multi-pitch routes in Snowdonia when they were that age or younger. 

How on earth did anyone ever think that caving was in some unique category that meant any under 18 who signed a waiver in order to risk the fearsome depths of GB Cavern was denying themselves a human right? Where did this ridiculous rule originate? What could possibly justify it? And how could any BCA official have entertained this nonsense for more than half a second?

More to the point, how have we let anyone get away with this, and indeed, any age limits of 16? My son is 15, and as Badlad will attest, pretty competent. The other day we all (son Daniel, Tim and I) went down to the bottom of Juniper Gulf. A smooth, enjoyable trip down a proper grade 4 pothole. Daniel has done many equivalent or harder trips and is extremely responsible when it comes to issues such as not crossing conservation tape.

But because we live in the south, we are hugely limited as to where we can go, unless we make the 4 hour drive to the Dales.  I am staggered by some of what is in the original post here. Secret legal questions? Advice being jettisoned with no democratic debate? No disclosure to the BCA council? Enough, already. Somehow, this situation has to be brought to a decisive end.