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Boy Scouts Badges
Boy Scout Programs
Laurel Caverns is closed during bat hibernation season to protect the bats. The bats depart around the end of April.
Reservations Are Required for all scout programs
All merit badge and Webelos pin programs have a 6 scout minimum; so, classes will not be set up until 6 paid reservations are received. Any Boy Scout badge or Webelos pin program outlined below is available on any day Laurel Caverns is open. Please send your prepayment, along with the reservation form at the link below to: Reservations – Laurel Caverns – Post Office Box 62 – Hopwood, PA 15445. Plan well ahead. You do not have a reservation until we have full payment in advance and you have a written confirmation. Phone: 724-438-3003 if you have any questions concerning the reservation form.
A Tour Permit Is Required
The BSA Insurance, which helps protect scout Leaders, activity providers, and even scouts, is not valid without a Tour Permit. (Please refer to The Guide to Safe Scouting, A Unit Leader's Guide, for current policies and procedures to safe activities.) Therefore, if a group arrives without its Tour Permit, we cannot provide service and our No-Refund Policy will apply.
Rappelling, Climbing, Lower Caving, and Upper Caving Have Release Forms
Also, please note that the release forms for Climbing, Rappelling, Lower Caving, and Upper Caving must be signed by all participants; and for anyone under the age of 18 to participate in the activity, it must be signed by a parent or legal guardian as well.
Upper & Lower Caving
These three-hour programs are offered at either 10:00 AM or 2:00 PM and includes a 20-30 minute orientation on cave safety. The appropriate release form, which explains the spelunking activity, must be signed by a parent for each participant under 18 years of age.
There are no Boy Scout badges for cave exploring. However, most scout troops like to combine a caving activity with a badge or pin activity. The BSA reservation form (above) has a place for caving reservations. For younger scouts you may choose either BSA Upper Caving or the Laurel Caverns Pin Webelos Cave Explorer program (ages 9 & up @ $18 per person). For older scouts there is Lower Caving (ages 12 & up @ $20 per person). Please go to Spelunking – Caving for more information and for the links to their respective release forms. The above rates are subject to troop minimums.
The Boy Scout Geology Merit Badge
This three hour program is offered at either 10:00 AM and includes a one hour class, a one hour field walk and a one hour geology oriented cave tour. This program has no prerequisites. * Important! Please bring blue cards.*
Participant $18.00 per person
Observer $10.00 per person
The Boy Scout Forestry Badge
This program takes about two and a half hours and is offered as an afternoon activity beginning at 2:00 PM. Many troops combine this afternoon program with a morning geology badge program. The first hour is done indoors as a classroom and the second as a field walk. There is no cave tour in this activity and thus, no charge for adult observers. Appropriate dress for the day and season is suggested. This program has no prerequisites. * Important! Please bring blue cards.*
Participant $10.00 per person
Observer no charge
This activity is designed for beginners. The activity begins with an instruction session. A double belay (two-ropes – two staffers) is used. All equipment is provided by Laurel Caverns. Every participant is guaranteed at least three drops. Since our rappelling cliffs are in the cave, rain is never a problem.
The cave rappelling activity requires a signed release form which, for anyone under 18 years of age, must also be signed by a parent or legal guardian. This form must be read carefully for it will convey a sense of the risks associated with high adventure cave rappelling. Any individual under the age of 18 arriving without a parentally signed release form will not be admitted to a rappelling activity. Trip sponsors and leaders may not sign for anyone as a proxy for the parent.Rappelling Rate $35.00 per person Add our in-the-cave Climbing Wall for only an additional $10.00 per person
PLEASE NOTE: No individual(s) under the age of 18 may participate in Cave Rappelling unless an adult having supervisory authority for the individual(s) is present during the program in the cave with them - Visit the Cave Rappelling tab for more information.
Webelos Pin Programs
The Geologist Pin
This three hour program is offered at 10:00 AM and includes a one hour class, a one hour field walk and a one hour geology oriented cave tour. The morning program allows for a 30 minute lunch break, though lunch is not included in the program. Participants should dress for the weather and wear suitable shoes. Participating siblings will be charged the same as the scouts, except for preschoolers. There is no charge for preschoolers, but it is asked they be excluded from the classroom part of the program. Cost: $14.00 per scout or sibling and $10.00 per adult observer.
The Webelos Forester Pin
This programs is designed to permit the scout to meet all the requirements of the pin program. It requires at least two to three hours and is offered only at 2:00 PM. Thus, both Geologist and Forester pins can be acquired in a single day.
The first hour is done indoors as a classroom and the second as a field walk. There is no cave tour in this program and thus, no charge for adult observers. Participants and siblings will be charged the same as the scouts, except for preschoolers. There is no charge for preschoolers, but it is asked they be excluded from the classroom part of the program. This pin is offered May through October. Appropriate dress for the day and season is suggested. Cost: $8.00 per scout or sibling per program. Adult observers are not charged.
Reservations can be made 12 months a year.
Tigers, Bears, and Wolves
The Fun Patch Program
This family oriented program combines our one hour family tour of Laurel Caverns with Kavernputt, a miniature golf game through the largest simulated cave in the world. Siblings are invited as participants. At the conclusion of activities participants receive a bat patch as a memento of their adventure. (Many groups add panning for gemstones or panning for fossils to this activity for an additional $5.00 per child.) Cost: child participants: $12.00 each, parents: $10.00 each, Pre-kindergarten siblings are not charged.
Note: Prepayment is not required for any program involving Tigers, Bears or Wolves but we do need notice of your plans so that we may be properly staffed.
Campgrounds close to Laurel Caverns Listed by order of travel time Primitive Camping at Quebec Wildlife Area - Contact Ed Callahan (724-238-1200) or email@example.com 5 Pines Campground (15 min) 724-329-8120 Benner's Campground (20 min) 724-329-4097 Tall Oaks Campground (20 min) 724-329-4777 Ohiopyle State Park Campground (25 min) 888-727-2757 Greater Pittsburgh BSA Council Heritage Reservation (30 min) 724-329-8534 Scarlett Knob Campground (30 min) 724-329-5200 Jellystone(Yogi Bear) Campground (35 min) 724-455-2929 (800-439-9644) Rivers Edge (Confluence 40+ min) 724-628-4880 Pine Cove Beach Club & RV Resort (45 min) 724-483-2000 Johnny's Country Campground (45 min) 724-887-7605