Caving With Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania Council 11-18-18

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Yes, they were at it again. This time there were two new Troops to introduce to caving. Eastern PA Council set this one up at the same time as the one in October. This trip originally had sixteen people, but one Troop backed out at the last minute. It’s a shame because they missed a very good time with these girls. Maybe they’ll come out again when they can. We have been having a tremendous amount of rain and unprecedented snowfall for this time of year. As a result the cave actually had a good bit of water in it.

I like to use this cave for beginner trips because it is stable. But I’ve never seen this much water in this cave. Parts that usually have a little sticky mud had water over the top of my thigh. I choose to avoid the lower parts of the cave. For most of the girls this was their first wild caving trip. I didn’t want to take any chances with them and I didn’t want anyone cold and miserable. But they all got very muddy, and had a blast. How could I tell? Watch the video. L…

BoG Candidate John Hoffelt's reply on Youth Group Liaison Committee

The elections for the National Speleological Society Board of Governors is coming up. I sent an open letter to all the candidates asking them for their views on the role of the NSS Youth Group Liaison Committee and how they would support it if elected to the BoG. I'm posting their replies in no particular order.

I do thank you for your contact and concern for support to youth groups. As for all organizations, the future of the NSS lies with the youth and upcoming generations; otherwise, we stagnate, grow old, and wither away. It is critical that we support parents and group leaders that are interested in showing youth proper and safe cave techniques and appropriate conservation ethics. Literally, the efforts we expend and invest today are the dividends and future we reap tomorrow. These dividends, if invested wisely in our youth, will reap benefits far beyond yours and my tenure in the organization.

The NSS should continue to provide information and local contacts to youth groups interested in learning about caves and in experiencing the great wonders of going underground. Our primary focus should be to facilitate and assist those groups to find appropriate and qualified cave leaders and mentors. Clearly, we should integrate information sources and efforts between the Youth Groups Committee and other committees in the Education Division. I would certainly be interested in learning what efforts or changes you recommend for the Youth Group Liaison Committee.

Again, thank you for your interest in this matter, and please contact me if you wish to discuss the issue further.

John Hoffelt
NSS 20058F

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