See also the Short Version.
Congratulations on volunteering to co-ordinate a meet. You are a Caving Star.
This is the stuff that needs doing - feel free to delegate any or all of it,
just make sure someone responsible is doing it.
A week / 10 days before the meet
Have a rough idea of who's going from Oxford. This will enable you to plan
transport for Oxford people. (People coming from elsewhere tend to sort
themselves out.) Depending on the number of people and number of car owners/van
drivers, choose from 3 options as outlined below:
- Use members' cars. Write down who owes who how much petrol money, *if* you
want it to go through the club accounts; otherwise get people to settle it
- Rent a van from Hotson's Eurodrive, the company the University has a deal
with. Drivers need to have passed the University's minibus driving test -
several club members now have. "Over 25" is OK, but it costs more unless they
have taken the test. Please note that a Hotson's minibus may have been
pre-booked by the meets sec, find out and, if you're not using it, you need to
cancel them a.s.a.p. by e-mailing Hotson's: firstname.lastname@example.org. (Hotson's
officially require 48 hours' notice for cancellations, but to avoid hassles
give them as much notice as you possibly can.) (
- Hire a car/cars - there are couple of places in Oxford that hire out 2nd
hand cars, and they're reasonably-priced. Oxford /Hatchback Hire (Old Road,
Headington, 763615, £40-45-50 for small-med-large car) and Fransman (Lyme
Walk, Headington, 763979, prices about the same I think) are two we have used.
The earlier you book, the more likely you are to get (a) a car (b) a cheap car
- ringing the day before has sometimes worked in the past, , but often it
doesn't, so leave time. Also Spareacre Hire, 881316 (but it's in Eynsham, just
outside Oxford - buses go there). For hire cars the driver almost invariably
need to be over 21 (in fact almost invariably need to be over 23, but 21 for
these 3 firms).
The week before a meet
- Actively encourage people to go on the weekend. Vocal advertisement
on the Wednesday night and a few emails/phone calls to individual country
members tends to do the trick. (Some people actually need poking to go caving,
apparently. I know it's pathetic, but c'est la vie.) Also give the weekend a
mention in DTT - email to the dtt-master before 4.30pm on the Wednesday.
- Get people to tell you they're coming - you need to plan food as
well as transport.
- Send round an e-mail telling people when & where to meet for transport
from Oxford (often 6pm Friday at the hut, but whatever).
- Delegate food-buying, if you're not doing it yourself (see below).
- If any novices are coming, they'll need gear. The club has helmets
& lights / belts / wellies, and some respectable furries/oversuits too (and
plenty of knackered ones). You'll need to borrow SRT kits (if applicable) from
club members. Luxuries like wet suit socks and knee pads go down well too.
- Find out from your incredibly friendly local Meets Sec what the
arrangements for accommodation keys are.
- Also get any permits from the Meets Sec. If you can remember to
take them with you too, so much the better - you're one up on me :-)
Thursday / Friday
Trip Registration with OUSF
Meet Sec know and he or you must will enter the trip on
http://www.sport.ox.ac.uk/sportsfed/safety/, hit the "Trip/Fixture
Registration Form" (top left), fill in the mandatory fields (*) and do your best
for the remainder. Common driver reg's and mobiles, also first aiders on
additional sheet. At a pinch, Email the OUSF Safety Officer, Howard Jeffs [email@example.com]
giving the location and contact details for all club trips (e.g. see list of
club huts below) together with the names, and if possible colleges, of everyone
going on the trip. It is not expected that this name list be 100% accurate, a
best effort will suffice. This is useful for the University in the event of an
First check the food box in the hut - use whatever you can from there,
especially semi-perishables, before buying more stuff. The Hut Has Spices (and
usually some marge, tea, coffee, sugar, cooking oil, pasta, often other
stuff too). Club policy is normally to be relatively skinflintish on shared food
(some of us don't have incomes, and people with money can treat themselves
individually!) - so mainly go for Value brands etc.
You'll normally need 2 breakfasts and 1 evening meal.
Tips on what food to buy - ignore this if you know what you're doing
- Breakfast is English fried, i.e. toast / bacon / eggs / sausages /
mushrooms / baked beans; it has to be big as has to power several hours caving
with no lunch. Calculate reasonable amounts based on the number of people. Be
nice to vegetarians - they don't eat half of this. Try veggie
sausages/burgers, cheese on toast, anything else you can think of.
- Evening meal - "caver slop" (= pasta and a suitable mixture of vegetables
and e.g tinned chickpeas, often including tinned tomatoes), or (better) use
your imagination/recipe book. Making the main evening meal veggie saves
- Also get a several loaves of bread, a few pounds of cheese, a few cartons
of orange juice, a carton or 2 of milk, some chocolate bars for caving.
Pick up group gear from the hut. Depending on what trips you're doing,
you'll need a mixture of ropes / ladders / spreaders / wires / tapes / hangers /
maillons / tackle bags. You always have too much, except when you think "we
always have too much" and go minimalist - take lots! The club helmets / lampsets
(don't forget some spare batteries).
On the weekend itself
- Make sure any trips with anyone with no caving experience get treated as
special novice trips - i.e. there is a designated experienced "leader"; see "guidelines
for novices on novice trips" and "guidelines for
leaders on novice trips".
- Make sure any novices & inexperienced cavers get suitable (& good!) trips.
- Make the Treasurer's life easy by filling in the Meet Sheet. PLEASE!!!
Give/email a completed copy to the Treasurer the following week.
- Extract cheques from any new people on the weekend, if possible. Members
with club accounts can either pay by cheque or let it go through their
account, or some combination. (Cheques to "OU Cave Club")
- Make sure the accommodation is left very clean and tidy - **this is
important**, keeps people sweet and will make sure we don't have any future
hassles getting places to stay. Also apparently it is polite, or some
similarly alien concept. Also make sure the keys go back to the right place
when you leave.
Just-possibly-useful phone numbers
Bull Pot Farm phone: 015242 71837
Greenclose: unlucky - no phone!
The Belfry phone: 01749 672126
MCG hut phone: 01761 462797
MNRC hut phone: 01761 241 609
Wessex hut phone: 01749 672310
SWCC hut phone: 01639 730613
WSG cottage phone: 01685 811080
Whitewalls phone: 01873 811510