New Policies added 9/28/2012 are in blue, old policy is in red and will be removed in a few weeks.

Policies and Procedures for Reservations and General operations of Dok’s Tower, COPE course and Natural Areas gear boxes 1 & 2.

Forms requirements; Medical, Hold Harmless and Informed Consent

  1. All participants for all events need an Informed Consent hold harmless (Links: adult minor).
  2. Events at Dok’s Tower and the COPE course require a BSA med form parts A & B
  3. Natural Areas events require a completed BSA med form parts A,B & C. (This REQUIRES a physician’s signature) 

Dok’s Tower

  • The tower may only be used under the control of a current BSA Level II Climbing or COPE Instructor trained by either CAC or one of the Sister Council members. Training from other councils may be recognized on a case by case basis at the discretion of the Climbing and COPE Committee. See below for instructor definition. (The tower may only be used under the control of a CAC trained and current Climbing Instructor or CAC Climbing Director.)
  • As of January 1,2012 the cost to use the tower is $150. (Old pricing will apply to those units that made reservations prior to 1/1/2012.)

COPE Course

  • The COPE course at GLSR may only be used under the control of a CAC COPE Director.
  • For a one day Low Course, the cost is $40 per participant with a $200 minimum. (not including food)
  • For a Weekend High Course the cost is $60 per participant with a $300 minimum. (not including food)

Natural Areas

  • The Natural Areas supply boxes 1 & 2 may only be checked out by CAC climbing instructors who have been qualified by a CAC Climbing Director in a natural areas setting. They have a Natural Areas endorsement.
  • Any gear damaged beyond normal wear and tear will be the responsibility of the unit to replace. Beyond normal wear and tear typically means rendered unusable.
  • As of January 1,2012 the cost to use A natural areas box is $150. (Old pricing will apply to those units that made reservations prior to 1/1/2012.)

General Climbing and COPE operations

  • Those rappeling should be encouraged to place the non-braking hand or ‘upper hand’ on the activity line, not the belay line. The belay line is a safety line and should be ignored by the participant.
  • A CAC Instructor does not necessarily have to be a registered member of the Capitol Area Council. The term “CAC Climbing Instructor” refers to someone who has completed the Capitol Area Council’s CI training program or accepted equivalent and is current.

Climbing Instructor Definition

  1. One must have successfully completed the Capitol Area Council Climbing Instructor Course (or CAC accepted equivalent).
  2. One must currently be listed as an “Instructor” in good standing on the most-recent CAC Climbing Committee Instructor list.
  3. One must be currently registered with the BSA as an adult leader of a Unit (Troop, Crew, Pack, etc.) or in a District or Council-level position (such as Unit Commissioner, etc.).

Lead Instructor Definition

  1. The “Lead Instructor” is defined by event; he or she is the ultimate authority at that event.
  2. All CAC trained Climbing Instructors are qualified to be Lead Instructors upon graduation.
  3. National Camp School requires a Lead Instructor to be at least 21 years of age.

Natural Areas Endorsement

  1. A current CI who has successfully completed a natural areas checkout day with one or more CAC Climbing Directors.
  2. In the opinion of a director, this person has demonstrated competence and confidence in setting up and operating natural areas climbing systems.
  3. Only current CI’s with a Natural Areas Endorsement can check out the Council’s natural areas equipment.

Dok’s Tower Endorsement

  1. A current CI who has completed a Dok’s tower facility familiarization with a CAC Climbing Director.
  2. In the opinion of a director, this person has demonstrated competence and confidence in setting up and operating the tower related climbing systems.
  3. Only current CI’s with a Dok’s Tower endorsement can check out the tower.

Endorsement Renewal Extension Requirements

  1. Extensions of the CI and Endorsements are granted in 2 year increments from the date of the “Module 1” session per requirement 2 below.
  2. Log at least 12 hours per year supporting BSA Climbing Events as qualified instruction and/or climbing staff.
  3. 4 of those hours must be on Dok’s Tower to renew a tower endorsement.
  4. 4 of those hours must be in a natural areas setting to renew a Natural Areas endorsement.
  5. In a two year period, attend at least 2 CAC sanctioned Climbing Instructor Training Class modules as a teacher or staff, not as a participant. A CI MUST BE CURRENT during both of these training modules. This requirement cannot be met once the 2 year CI qualification has expired (i.e. there is NO grace period).
  6. At least one of the 2 modules must be “Module 1” where the National Standards are discussed.
  7. For a Dok’s tower endorsement, at least one of the 2 modules must be a Site-Specific Emergency Procedures and Incident Resolution session at Dok’s tower.
  8. One must have evidence of completing “Climb on Safely” training within 6 months prior to the renewal date.

Definitions & exclusions for Renewal Policy

  • “Climbing Events” as used here are defined as events involving at least one Unit (Troop, Crew, Pack, Team, Ship, etc.) where the majority of the participants are youth members of BSA. District or council climbing activities including summer camp staffing are also acceptable as long as the participants are youth members.
  •  Climbing Instructors in Training, CIIT’s, may renew under these same criteria. It is strongly recommended that instructors who receive their original CI by renewing from CIIT status re-take the full CI course when they reach 21 years of age
  •  Participation in any climbing instructor course, either as a student or as a teacher, is excluded from counting towards the twelve hours in requirement 1.
  • The Instructors log shall be maintained on the CAC Climbing Committee website as filed by the lead instructor for an event. It is the individual instructor’s responsibility to verify proper logging and work out any discrepancies with the Lead Instructor.

CAC Resource Reservation Procedure & Policy

The CACCCC manages Climbing and COPE resources through this reservation system. Making and completing a reservation is a simple but multi-step process. There are 4 resources available: Dok’s Tower at LPSR, The COPE Course at GLSR, two Natural Areas Gear boxes (1 & 2). Each resource has it’s own requirements for who can request a date but the process is the same for all.

Who can request?

Dok’s Tower: A Level II Lead Instructor listed in the CAC Database.

COPE: The requestor must be a current CAC COPE Facilitator, Director or BSA Level II COPE Instructor listed in the CAC Database..

Natural Areas 1 or 2: The requestor must be a current CAC Climbing Instructor with an NA endorsement or a CAC Director listed in the CAC Database.

Council Wide Events

“Council wide events” refer to OA weekends, Hornaday, Powderhorn, Venturing is Happening, Camporees, Wood Badge, Training and similar. If the leadership of the event wishes to include activities for Dok’s tower or the COPE course they must identify a Level II instructor to be in charge of the event. That instructor is responsible for making the reservations for the resource and staffing the event. If the resource is already reserved, the event leadership may negotiate time with the holder of that reservation. See “Sharing a Resource” below.

The reservation process

1: The requestor fills out a date request for an open date on the calendar and specifies the resource. The calendar will show the resource as “Pending Approval” and the request date is recorded.

2: A director approves the request and the calendar will show “Pending”.

3: Payment is submitted to the council office via the form provided. When payment is received at the council office the calendar will show “Reserved” and the date will be locked.

* For Natural Areas gear, the event owner will be contacted by someone in the gear handling team to arrange pick-up and return of the gear. (Please do not try to contact them as the gear moves around and premature contact tends to cause confusion.)

4: The requestor will be notified via email that the reservation is complete and their email address will be linked to the reservation.


IF no payment is made within 2 weeks of the initial request, the slot is automatically released and the process starts over.

IF a unit cancels they forfeit the slot and are responsible for working out a refund or credit directly with the council office. (Cancelations must be made at least 2 weeks in advance.)

IF a requestor can not find sufficient help in staffing the event, the CACCCC will try to get the word out but does not guarantee the availability of staff – this is the units responsibility.

Sharing a resource

If a requestor wants to use a resource on a date that is already reserved, he or she may contact the owner of that time slot to request sharing of the resource. The decision to share rests entirely with the owner of the time slot, not the council office, not the climbing and COPE committee. It frequently works out in the spirit of scouting that units share both staff and participants very effectively. Other times the nature of the planned event may not fit with a shared situation. The CACCCC encourages sharing where possible but respects the first come first serve nature of the reservation system. Council Wide Events do not take precidence.

If a sharing situation is worked out, the Lead Instructor for the owner of the time slot is the ultimate “Qualified Instruction” authority for that event and responsible for the safe, fun and orderly delivery of the activity to the participants.

This includes meeting standards for health and medical form processing as well as close out paperwork.

Use of Personal Gear

Personal climbing gear that has been procured and maintained in accordance with BSA National Camp School Standards and manufacturers recommendations may be used if allowed by the Lead instructor or Qualified Instruction for the event.

This includes all types of gear. The lead may require proof of purchase and service dates as well as relevant logs for the gear. The lead does not need a specific reason to disallow personal gear.

It is strongly recommended that personal gear use be limited to trained instructors only. Participants having access to council provided gear should use it whenever possible. Similarity or gear reduces the risk of incidents involving improperly used equipment.