Sunday, October 26, 2014

Dragon’s Breath Lava Tube Trip

By Ethan Wheeler, Life Scout, Troop 214, Helena, MT

I was elected Patrol Leader of the Venture Patrol and was challenged with coming up with a high adventure activity. I talked to the patrol about some options and they voted for a caving trip. We were connected to Vern Bowden through a message left with the Northern Rocky Mountain Grotto.

On September 25, 2013, Vern came to a meeting with the scouts planning on going. He brought lots of interesting pictures, brochures and a slideshow explaining the rules and concerns with caving. He also handed out equipment lists for the trip. He explained what to expect at Dragon’s Breath, and we were excited to check it out.

The actual caving date was set for October 18-19, 2013. We ended up having 6 scouts and 2 adults go on the trip, plus Vern. We followed him out to the camping spot. The area seemed like a desert wasteland. It was hard to imagine anything interesting being out there. We set up camp and cooked dinner. There was an awesome sunset that night and it cooled off quickly, down to 14 degrees at the lowest point-frost points!

The next morning we got up and after breakfast, Vern helped us get our helmets ready, made sure we had the gear we needed, and also showed us how to properly wear a harness, which we hope to make use of on a future caving trip.

We drove to a spot near the entrance and geared up. We still couldn’t tell there was a cave out there. As we walked closer, it finally showed up. It was a big rubble pit with a small opening at one side.

We had to squeeze in through the opening, but once inside, it opened up into a very large area. We had to climb down a rubble pile to get to the floor of the tube. From there, we had to cross more rubble for a short time, and then got to level ground.

Many of the walls and ceiling had lots of melted rock that almost looked like plastic. The floor was a variety of colors with an orange channel through the middle.

When we got to the end of the tube, we had lunch and rested. It was dead quiet. After awhile we headed back to the entrance. Everyone had a great time. It was like a whole different world in there.

A few comments from other scouts:

The caving trip last summer was a blast! I loved the waterfalls that we saw on our way to the desert in Idaho. It was not challenging but that probably just left us with more time to awe at the parts of the cave that the tour guide showed us. Overall the camping experience was fun–especially with all older boys– and the leadership was good. The rides to and fro were exciting (mostly through the desert wondering if we where going to a Zombie cave.) One of our best campouts. – Logan

Jake a man of few words, said “it was cool, caves....dark & fun”. He said it was fun because it was a small group.

Questions?

If you want more information about taking youth groups caving, or you’re just curious about what’s involved with getting kids underground, visit the National Speleological Society Youth Group Liaison Committee at www.caves.org/youth. Or you can email me directly at allenmaddox@youcave.org. I’d enjoy hearing from you.


Subscribe to our newsletter Join me on Twitter @youcave. Check us out on Face Book and Google+. And share us with your friends. If you ask a question in the comment section I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Thanks,
Allen


“Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but well placed footsteps, kill nothing but time.” – cavers’ creed

National Speleological Society Youth Group Liaison Committee. The youth group’s connection to caves and caving.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Youth Groups Liaison Committee (YGLC) Report Q3 2014

Youth Groups Liaison Committee (YGLC) Report
Q3 2014

Regional Reports
·         Arizona Regional Association – No RC
·         Mid Atlantic Region – Allen Maddox
Caving Program for Camp Horseshoe at a stalling point.
Checked-in with Grottos about putting YGL information on their web sites. Some have responded positively, but I haven't seen changes yet.
There was some interest in a cave geology program in a NJ school.
There is an interest is a caving program for BSA Area 6 V-Week (summer camp).
I have solicited to a local YMCA camp to help develop a caving program for their summer camp.
·         Mississippi Valley-Ozark Region – No RC
·         Northeastern Regional Organization – No RC
·         Northwest Caving Association – Debbie Spoon
·         Ozark Valley Region – Eric Edelman
·         Rocky Mountain Region – No RC
·         Southeastern Regional Association – Lewis Baker
·         Southwestern Region - Deanna Younger
·         Texas Speleological Association – Mark Alman
Pretty quiet summer here in Texas.
My kids and I took a local DFW Boy Scout Troop caving in Austin in August and I gave a cave talk at a Powderhorn Course south of Waco earlier this month.
·         Virginia Region – Joey Fagan
 I continue to field requests from youth organization leaders for information on caving by facilitating contacts with cavers who live near the inquiring group(s) and supplying information on cave conservation and safety.  A majority of inquiries seem come from scouting and church groups in the northern Virginia Area.  
The NSS publication "A Guide to Responsible Caving" is a good general introduction that I generally pass along electronically to those who request information.
Earl and Cheryl Suitor have been a valuable resource to offer assistance to some of those groups from time to time.  Cavers from the VPI Grotto and Blue Ridge Grotto (in particular, Marian McConnell) are leading occasional trips for scout groups.  The Blacksburg, Virginia Recreation Department conducts occasional caving trips for youth around Blacksburg (their outdoor program is coordinated by Travis Coad, an NSS member and VPI Caver).
The recent acquisition of New River Cave by the NSS will benefit NSS caver-led youth group caving efforts. 
The VA Region Coordinator NSS website was recently updated, with future updates planned.
·         Western Region - Steve Deveny


Old Business
·         I have been asked to review and submit suggestions for revision to the “Caving: A Policy Statement and Guidelines on Caving Prepared by the Youth Groups Liaison Committee of the National Speleological Society and the Boy Scouts of America”. This is in progress.
·         I have been asked to work on a “Caving Program Feature” for the Boy Scouts of America.
·         I have been asked to review and update YGLC web site and links. This is in progress.
·         I would like to develop some kind of online database for the YGLC that keeps track of contacts for cavers, grottos, and youth organization contacts in specific NSS Regions. No new progress.
·         I would like to change tactics with the YGLC. At this point we have been taking a more passive approach to interfacing with youth organizations. We have a web page that shows what we have to offer youth organizations. From what I have been told that web page received about 100 views last month. With the millions of youth organizations members across the US this is not good. I would like to take a more aggressive marketing approach and actually reach out to other organizations to show them what we have to offer their programs. More details to do this will be explored and reported on later. No new progress.
·         To pull off the last two bullets the YGLC will need some type of budget. I would like to explore how to raise funds to do these and other projects in the future.
·         Looking for Regional Coordinator for Arizona Regional Association.
·         Have a potential Regional Coordinator for Mississippi Valley-Ozark Region
·         Looking for Regional Coordinator for Rocky Mountain Region.



New Business
·         I have tried to increase activity to generate awareness of Youth group caving on social media sites. Some success.
·         Starting to look at what resources are needed to increase the outreach of the YGLC.
·         Starting to look at what would need to be in a budget for 2016.

Problems
·         Need to get more Regions and Grottos involved in the YGLC.

·         Need more visibility.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Boy Scout Halloween Events at Lincoln Caverns, Pennsylvania

Lincoln Caverns has great activities for youth groups. I want to share with you their calendar of events for Boy Scouts. If you want to make a reservation for any of these activities, send them an email or call 814.643.0268. Let them know where you saw this. Enjoy these great activities design specifically for your Scouts.


Announcing...2013/2014 Great Events for Great Boys at Lincoln Caverns! 
Pennsylvania's Scout Friendly Cave



Registration is now open for 2013/2014 Scout Events at Lincoln Caverns!
Events for Cub Scouts, Webelos and Boy Scouts of All Ages and Interests! 
 
FALL 2013 EVENTS...


September 20 - 22, 2013 - Boy Scout Geocaching & Mammal Study Camporee  *NOTE DATE CHANGE
October 12 - 13, 2013 - Boy Scout Ghosts & Goblins Party with Geology Merit Badge
November 9, 2013 - Webelos Geologist Day
November 9, 2013 - Cub Scout Geology OR Map & Compass Beltloop & Pin Day
November 16, 2013 - Webelos Geologist Day
 
WINTER/SPRING 2014 EVENTS...
January 24 - 26, 2014 - Boy Scout Geology & Geocaching Winter Indoor Camporee
March 8, 2014 - Webelos Geologist Day
March 15, 2014 - Cub Scout Geology OR Map & Compass Beltloop & Pin Day
April 26, 2014 - Webelos Geologist Day
June 6 - 8, 2014 - Boy Scout Geocaching & Geology Camporee

 
How to register...  

Now is the time to plan a great weekend of fun at Lincoln Caverns!  Small troop?  Enjoy meeting Scouts from other areas?  Register today for one of the great events listed above.  No minimum fees apply!  Full descriptions are available in the Scout Leaders Area of our website.  Now register online by clicking on the event of your choice in our online calendar Of course, reservations are also accepted by phone, fax, or mail, too!
All registrations accepted on a first-come/first-serve basis.  Don't delay - contact us today!

border bats
 Individual Troop Programs...  

Any Day...Any Time...Year Round...Subject to Date Availability                                              
Troop 36 at LC
Customize your program to suit your troop's interests, needs & budget...

Individual Pack and Troop programs for Cub Scouts, Webelos, and Boy Scouts are available year round.  Minimum program fees apply.  Lincoln Caverns offers indoor slumber party style lodging and seasonal camping on site.  Other group camping and lodging options in the area are also available.   
Lots of choices for one day programs...
Geology and Map & Compass Belt Loop & Pin
NEW SCIENCE Belt Loop & Pin features water, rocks, & caves in a hands-on 5 ¼ hour program, including cavern tour!
NEW WILDLIFE CONSERVATION Belt Loop & Pin includes endangered, species, bats & cave life PLUS bat house building and cavern tours for 6 hours of fun!
 
Webelos Geologist Badge
Our Own Geocaching Program for Webelos
Our Own Junior Cave Explorer Patch Program
Geology, Mammal Study (All About Bats), and Geocaching Merit Badges 
 
Combine two for a great overnight experience...Combo Choices for Cub Scouts, Webelos & Boy Scouts!     
 


Scout Out Huntingdon CountyWe are a proud partner with Scout Out Huntingdon County Heritage Trail Patch Program!  A five segment patch program exploring some of the lesser known areas of our spectacularly beautiful and diverse county - Hike, bike or canoe between some great campsites and visit us along the way for the Badge program of your choice!  Visit Scout Out Huntingdon County at Raystown.org for all the details or give us a call today!  
More Cub Scouts   
Lincoln Caverns has been providing quality programming to Scouts since 1990.  It is our goal to exceed your expectations and to provide program in a safe and comfortable environment for you and your Scouts.  Directed by a Girl Scout and Cub Scout veteran with over 30 years of volunteer experience, Lincoln Caverns' staff members are first aid and CPR certified, have criminal and child abuse clearances,follow the strictest safety standards and guidelines, are registered Merit Badge Counselors, and have completed Boy Scout Youth Protection Training.
 
 
Visit our website for all the details or call 814.643.0268 today!
border bats

30th ANNIVERSARY EDITION!
 
GHOSTS & GOBLINS 2013
 
Pennsylvania's ULTIMATE HALLOWEEN EXPERIENCE!
The ideal fall event for your pack or troop!

FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS, October 4th through 26th, join Lincoln Caverns, Huntingdon, PA, for their 30th Anniversary  Edition of GHOSTS & GOBLINS 2013, Pennsylvania's Ultimate Haunted Experience including Cave, Trail & Hayride. 11 AM - 5 PM Saturdays enjoy a very special one hour family tour through two beautiful crystal caverns, one HAUNTED and one NATURAL, followed by a family hayride
6 PM - 10 PM FRIDAYS and SATURDAYS experience the totally spooktacular haunted caverns, horrifying haunted trail, followed by the new haunted hayride. 
Gift shop, picnic pavilions, party rooms, primitive camping, and gem panning too!  Group reservations anytime - advance tickets,on sale September 4th! 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Girl Scout Halloween Events at Lincoln Caverns, Pennsylvania

Lincoln Caverns has great activities for youth groups. I want to share with you their calendar of events for Girls Scouts. If you want to make a reservation for any of these activities, send them an email or call 814.643.0268. Let them know where you say this. Enjoy these great activities design specifically for your Scouts.

Take A Journey With Us!
Announcing...2013/2014
Great Events for Great Girls at Lincoln Caverns! 
Pennsylvania's Scout Friendly Cave

Reservations NOW OPEN For 2013/2014 Girl Scout Events at Lincoln Caverns...
  
FOR GIRL SCOUT BROWNIES & JUNIORS
One-Day Featured Patch/Badge Days
  • Saturday, November 23 - Junior Cave Explorer Patch Program
  • Saturday, April 5 - Going Batty Patch Program
  • Saturday, May 10 - Brownie Letterboxer OR Junior Geocacher Badge Programs
FOR GIRL SCOUT BROWNIES
Two-Day Combination Event Dates: 
  • Saturday, November 9 - Sunday, November 10     Geology Rocks (Rocks Rock & Fossil Fun)
  • Saturday, December 7 - Sunday, December 8     WOW Wonders of Water (Love Water & Save Water)
  • Saturday, March 15 - Sunday, March 16      WOW Wonders of Water (Love Water & Save Water)
  • Saturday, March 29 - Sunday, March 30     Geology Rocks (Rocks Rock & Fossil Fun)
  • Saturday, April 26 - Sunday, April 27     WOW Wonders of Water (Love Water & Save Water)
  • Saturday, May 17 - Sunday, May 18     Letterboxer Badge and Going Batty Patch
  • Saturday, May 31 - Sunday, June 1     WOW Wonders of Water (Love Water & Save Water)
SPOOKTACULAR Halloween Events Just for Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors & Ambassadors

Your adventure begins with tours of a haunted Lincoln Caverns, followed by an interpretive tour of a natural Whisper Rocks, Halloween party with games, crafts, costume contest and pizza supper, followed by the haunted trail and NEW haunted hayride.  Spend the day Sunday earning a badge or patch!
-Saturday, October 6 - Sunday, October 6     GS Junior Ghosts & Goblins Party with Geocacher Badge
-Saturday, October 19 - Sunday, October 20     GS Teen Ghosts & Goblins Party with Directions Matter Patch
-Saturday, October 19 - Sunday, October 20     GS Junior Ghosts & Goblins Party with Going Batty   Patch

Plan now to help us celebrate 30 years of hauntingly good times...
                                  In the CAVE...Through THE Woods...& ON THE WAGON

FOR GIRL SCOUT JUNIORS
 Two-Day Combination Event Dates: 
  • Saturday, November 2- Sunday, November 3     Junior Cave Explorer Patch and Geocacher Badge
  • Saturday, November 23 - Sunday, November 24     Geology Rocks Patch and Animal Habitats Badge
  • Saturday, March 8 - Sunday, March 9     Geology Rocks Patch and Animal Habitats Badge
  • Saturday, March 22 - Sunday, March 23     Junior Cave Explorer Patch and Geocacher Badge
  • Saturday, April 5 - Sunday, April 6     Going Batty Patch and Geology Rocks Patch
  • Saturday, May 3 - Sunday, May 4     Geocacher Badge and Geology Rocks Patch
  • Saturday, June 14 - Sunday, June 15     Going Batty Patch and Junior Cave Explorer Patch

Weekend Combo Events for Girl Scout Teens:
  
Friday - Sunday, November 15 - 17     Going Batty and Geology Rocks Patch Programs Friday - Sunday, February 21 - 23     Going Batty and Directions Matter Patch Programs Friday - Sunday, April 11 - 13     Directions Matter and Geology Rocks Patch Programs

How to register...  
Now is the time to plan a great weekend of fun at Lincoln Caverns!  Small troop?  Enjoy meeting girls from other areas?  Register today for one of the great events listed above.  No minimum fees apply!  Full descriptions are available in the Scout Leaders Area of our website.  Now register online by clicking on the event of your choice in our online calendarOf course, reservations are also accepted by phone, fax, or mail, too!
All registrations accepted on a first-come/first-serve basis.  Don't delay - contact us today!

Individual Troop Programs...  
Any Day...Any Time...Year Round...Subject to Date Availability                                              

Customize your program to suit your troop's interests, needs & budget...
Individual Troop programs for girls of all age levels are available year round.  Minimum program fees apply.  Lincoln Caverns offers indoor slumber party style lodging and seasonal camping on site.  Other group camping and lodging options in the area are also available.  
Lots of choices for one day programs...
Girl Scout Brownie GEOLOGY ROCKS PATCH:  Rocks Rock & Fossil Safari, Letterboxer Badge, Going Batty Patch, Brownie Cave Explorer Patch, and WOW Wonders of Water Journey
Girl Scout Junior Geology Rocks Patch, Geocacher, Animal Habitats, Junior Cave Explorer Patch, Going Batty Patch
Girl Scout Teens Going Batty Patch, Geology Rocks Patch, Directions Matter Patch

Combine two for a great overnight experience...Combo Choices for Brownies, Juniors & Girl Scout Teens!


Mixed age level troop?  Not a problem - choose one of our patch program offerings and we will
customize to your group! 
"Our troop, 40855 Brownies, spent a night there and they had a ball!!!  I've been hearing about cave bacon and popcorn for days now. Thanks for the good time."   Brownie Troop 40855, GSWPA
"I just wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed our WOW weekend at Lincoln Caverns. We were really impressed by the program you put out for the girls. It was all so well done and we ALL learned so much and had a great time. The caverns were wonderful!"   Julie, Brownie Troop 5789, April 14, 2012, Potomac, MD
"We had an absolutely wonderful time this weekend. Thank you so much for your passion and energy... I never realized how interesting caves were until I met you. You made learning so much fun that we are looking forward to visiting more caves. Our guide, Alyssa, and our instructor, Jennifer, were both top notch-such great examples of strong, capable, smart female leaders for our girls. What a treasure you have. Thanks again for a memorable weekend."  Robin A., Girl Scout Troop 5462, Fairfax, VA

"Thank you so much for taking the time to hold the overnight Girl Scout workshop with our troop. The girls had a wonderful time learning about speleology and bats, touring the caves and making their very own bat house. It will definitely be an experience they will never forget."  Girl Scout Troop 15, Northumberland, PA
Lincoln Caverns has been providing quality programming to Girl Scouts since 1990.  It is our goal to exceed your expectations and to provide program in a safe and comfortable environment for you and your girls.  Directed by a Girl Scout and Cub Scout veteran with over 30 years of volunteer experience, Lincoln Caverns' staff members are first aid and CPR certified, have criminal and child abuse clearances,follow the strictest Girl Scout safety standards and guidelines, and have completed Youth Protection Training.

Visit our website for all the details or call 814.643.0268 today!

 30th ANNIVERSARY EDITION!



GHOSTS & GOBLINS 2013


Pennsylvania's ULTIMATE HALLOWEEN EXPERIENCE!

FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS, October 4th through 26th, join Lincoln Caverns, Huntingdon, PA, for their 30th Anniversary Edition of GHOSTS & GOBLINS 2013, Pennsylvania's Ultimate Haunted Experience including Cave, Trail & Hayride.  11 AM - 5 PM Saturdays enjoy a very special one hour family tour through two beautiful crystal caverns, one HAUNTED and one NATURAL, followed by a family hayride
6 PM - 10 PM FRIDAYS and SATURDAYS experience the totally spooktacular haunted caverns, horrifying haunted trail, followed by the new haunted hayride. 
Gift shop, picnic pavilions, party rooms, primitive camping, and gem panning too!  SAVE and avoid a wait by purchasing advance tickets, on sale September 4th!  Tickets also available at the door.  Special rates, Corporate Night on Fridays, group tour and birthday party packages with advance reservations.
PHONE:  (814) 643-0268, FAX:  (814) 643-1358, Visit:  www.lincolncaverns.com, E-mail: info@lincolncaverns.com or write:  Lincoln Caverns, 7703 William Penn Highway, Huntingdon, PA  16652.




If you want more information about taking youth groups caving, or you’re just curious about what’s involved with getting kids underground, visit the National Speleological Society Youth Group Liaison Committee at www.caves.org/youth. Or you can email me directly at allenmaddox@youcave.org. I’d enjoy hearing from you.

Subscribe to our newsletter Join me on Twitter @youcave. Check us out on Face Book and Google+. And share us with your friends. If you ask a question in the comment section I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Thanks,
Allen


“Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but well placed footsteps, kill nothing but time.” – cavers’ creed

National Speleological Society Youth Group Liaison Committee. The youth group’s connection to caves and caving.