Sunday, November 8, 2009

Encore: Central New Jersey Council Girl Scouts Caving IPP 8-03-08

Since Geocities is closing down, I have to move all my trip reports. They are in a sort of blog form, so I'll be moving them over here, one at a time.---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Central New Jersey Council Girl Scouts wanted to do a Caving Interest Project Patch for their Cadette and Senior Girl Scouts. They asked me if I could help them with this. They were going to Laruel Caverns in the middle of August, but wanted to do a pre-trip class to lean what they could about caves and caving.

I guess I didn’t figure on traffic being that bad. What should have taken about an hour and 15 minutes was more like two and a half. This was all the notorious “Surekill Crawlway” that caused the problems.

I eventually arrived and went in to see what was happening. They all were there and just settling in to start. They helped me unpack all my props from the car and sat down to review their safety protocols for running a trip like this, just so the girls understood what was involved.

Talking about caving, or rather listening to someone talk about caving, is not as nearly as exciting as actually going in a cave and seeing everything first hand. But I try to give this a shot at every cave talk I do. We did go over all the personal safety gear they would need. As they gave their idea of what was important I pulled it out of my bag and dressed one of the girls in the gear until she looked like she was read to cave.

We talked a little about the geology of the caves and how they are formed and showed a few slides from Rupert Cave’s New Section (I wish I had brought the maps of Rupert with me).

After that I had them build a cave out off giant sheets of black plastic and the soda cans that represent stalagmites. Then we talked a little about planning a trip and reading a cave map. Topping the whole this off with a discussion about bats and WNS.

I wish I could go with them to Laruel Caverns next week. They are going to have a lot of fun. It’s a great cave for first time youth group to explore caves in a dark environment. Actually experiencing the youth’s first caving trip with them is a great experience and one of the reasons I enjoy doing this so much. I can’t wait to hear how their trip goes and to see pictures of their adventure.

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