Access Procedures

Please read all the access procedures, rules and waivers before contacting the manager about gaining access. There are may be new rules and new waivers!

Boy Scout leaders must read and adhere to all BSA regulations and NSS guidelines. Please go to the Sinnett-Thorn homepage to access the information by clicking on the "Boy Scouts and Caving" button.

Youth group leaders must read and adhere to all NSS guidelines and any organizational regulations or guidelines.

The purpose of having a cave manager is to screen out people who have no business being in the cave, and to keep the cave itself safe. The safety of your group is YOUR responsibility. The STCC manager is not a safety officer. The manager is concerned with keeping the owner and any associated caving groups out of civil court. People have been denied access because of various reasons. Your cooperation is needed so that the manager can learn about you and your group. The owner and STCC want to have people enjoy the cave, but we need to know who you are.

Maps of the cave and directions to the cave are not provided by STCC.

Read and print all three pages of the Sinnett waiver by going to the "Sinnett Waiver" button on the Sinnett-Thorn homepage. If you plan on going through the gated Thorn entrance (this is not the Connection), you need to read and print the Thorn Addendum in addition to the Sinnett Waiver. If you have any problems, please contact the STCC manager at the e-mail address listed on the Rules page.

The manager will communicate only with the trip leader. Do not have trip members contact the manager. For youth groups, the contact/trip leader is the cave guide and is not necessarily the group leader.

Keep the total number of participants to 15 or less. According to BSA regulations, Boy Scout groups are limited to ten participants. This includes the adult leaders and cave guides.

The completed original signed waiver must be received before the combination is given. Copies, faxes, and promises are not accepted. Please have participants complete a second waiver, with original signatures, so that if the first gets lost in the mail (and this has happened) you can quickly send the back-up. If there is a problem getting all the cavers to sign a single form, have the cavers download their own individual copy off the website, sign it, and send it directly to the STCC manager with a note listing the date, the shift (applies only to Sat.), and the name of the trip leader.

Get the waivers to the manager at least one week before your trip. Several groups have waited until the last minute to send the waivers and did not gain access because of mistakes made in signing the waivers. In one case the waiver, sent overnight express, was received a month after the scheduled trip. This group did not gain access. Please be sure to waive the signature requirement when sending the waivers express or overnight mail. The manager may not be at home to sign a receipt and your paperwork will not be picked up at the post office. STCC needs to have time to review the information and to e-mail a confirmation. Your procrastination is not the manager's emergency.

BIRTHDATES for all participants under 21 years of age must be included. Parental signatures, birthdates AND the signatures of the minors who enter the cave are also required. The parent CANNOT sign for the minor.

STCC is not responsible for verifying that the waiver is correctly completed by each person. This is the responsibility of the trip leader. If an individual does not complete the waiver correctly, he will not receive permission to enter the cave or access the property.

When a waiver is received by STCC, the trip leader will be sent an e-mail that lists all individuals who have permission to go. All minors and those under 21 will be listed separately and noted as such. If a name is left off the list or is not correctly designated as a minor or person under 21, you MUST notify STCC as soon as possible so that person may receive permission to enter the cave. If an individual is not listed correctly on the STCC response to the waiver, that person does not have permission to enter the cave or the property to the entrance.

When a correctly filled-out waiver has been received the trip leader will receive the combination the Tuesday night before the trip. If the combination is not received by the Tuesday night before your trip, contact the cave manager as soon as possible! This may indicate that there is a problem.

If someone is not sure they are going, have them sign the waiver anyway! Having fewer people on a trip than originally intended is not a problem as long as the minimum group number (4) and numbers of experienced cavers meet the STCC requirements. Do not include extras on the waiver unless you have sent a quick e-mail as a heads up and have received an ok from the manager.

Gaining access to the gated Thorn entrance (not the Connection) requires special permission and the use of the Thorn Addendum. The lock on the Thorn entrance requires a combination that is not the same as the combination for Sinnett. If permission to enter the Thorn entrance is given and you do not receive 2 combinations (one for Sinnett and another for Thorn), you need to contact the manager.

Individuals do not have permission to access the property to the Thorn entrance unless each has received prior and specific written permission from STCC to enter Thorn. There are BULLS in the pastures leading up to this entrance.

Trip leaders need to answer the following questions when they first contact STCC for cave access. These questions must be answered in the first e-mail to the manager. If you have been a trip leader since 2001, answer only questions 2,3,4,5,9, and the requested info (see 6) of the other experienced cavers. Update any changes since you last visited the cave. Boy Scout cave guides must list their vertical work certification held that meets the BSA requirements.

1. Have you been in Sinnett-Thorn before? If so, when and how many times?

2. How many (maximum) in your group?

3. How many newbies vs. experienced (at least 5 caves) cavers?

4. What group or grotto is going in with you?

5. What is the purpose of your trip?

6. Describe (very briefly, but with specifics to include cave names, dates, etc.) your caving experience and the caving experience of your experienced cavers. You don't have to list all of the experienced cavers, but list at least two. There needs to be at least one experienced caver for every 4 newbies, and all groups need at least two experienced cavers.

7. Are you an NSS member and, if so, what is your number?

8. Please list your phone number and address.

9. What dates do you want? List them in order of preference. Specify the day or evening shift if asking for a Saturday.