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Becoming a member of the GEC

Although the Gaia Exploration Club has four sections with different areas of focus, all members go through the Subterra section before joining the other subsections.

The membership process of the GEC is composed of the following phases:

The GEC Board decides when to open its doors for membership to those who are interested in caving. Recruits should be at least 18 years old, physically fit, and willing to undergo a training process of at least 8 months. Although the organization would like to accept any and all candidates, the rigors of caving dictate that the group selects those who finish the training phase.

There will be an orientation day for all recruits, wherein they will be briefed on the upcoming training phase and what it entails, as well as what they should expect when caving. The orientation is essential for the recruits, as it will be the point where he or she will decide whether to continue to the training phase.

Basic training
Recruits who decide to push through with application are then taken through training. In this phase, applicants are taught all the essential skills needed in caving. These include basic caving, safety, survey and mapping, self-rescue, basic vertical caving techniques and other ancillary skills. The training is conducted by a team of members. Tests will be conducted to determine the skill level for each topic. Applicants can be dropped from the training phase if he or she does not meet the standards set by the organization’s training committee.

Once training is completed, all the remaining applicants will be required to plan, organize, and conduct an expedition for their batch. Members will join the expedition to observe and grade the applicants based on the training committee’s criteria.

All the applicants who successfully completed the training phase and have participated in the batch expedition are then inducted as members on a caving trip.

Advanced training
Newly inducted members undergo continuous training of advanced skills including Cave Science, Cave Management, Expedition Planning, Single Rope Techniques, Digital Surveying and Mapping, High Angle Rescue Techniques, and Cave Rescue.