Showing posts from May, 2012

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

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…

Caving with Troop 1

Troop 1 from Wayne, PA has the claim to be the oldest continuously chartered Boy Scout Troop in the US. There’s a lot of rich history with this Troop. Check out their web page for more information about them

We started planning this trip back in July of 2011. Yes it does take time to coordinate a bunch of volunteers with the Troop’s schedule, but we did it. Finally agreeing on a date we planned on meeting near the cave that Saturday morning. The Troop leaders wanted to make this a special trip, and since we can’t take all of the 55 members of the Troop, they decided to make it an activity for the Color Patrol. This Patrol has the distinction of taking responsibility of the flags and banners for Troop 1. The members from the Color Patrol meeting us that Saturday morning are Doug Miller (adult), Jack Zambinski, Zack Kravitz, Luke Ditton, Ross Cochran (adult) and Clay Cochran.
We arrived at the designated parking place for the cave where Andy and Will w…

CaveSim Teach your children well

"Dave and Tracy Jackson are cavers and NSS members, and we build cave simulators in our free time. We love introducing kids and adults to real caving (and to many other outdoor activities). We do lots of free outreach to the public with CaveSim, and we hope you get to crawl through soon!"

This is Dave's post number 6 on CaveSim. It expresses the need to get CaveSim on the road to outreach to people.

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Caving Levels the Gender Playing Field

Somewhere around 2002 I started helping to guide caving trips for Boy Scouts through the Philadelphia Grotto. With my history as a Scoutmaster I had experience dealing with Scouting issues. I just needed to develop my caving chops, and my friends in Philly Grotto where helping me do that. After a couple years and some very successful caving trips with the Boy Scouts one of the women in the Grotto asked, “Why don’t you take Girl Scouts caving?” The only answer I had was, “Because they don’t ask.” I had to look into this some more.
Generally, caving at this point is a male dominated activity. There are some women in the grotto, but it is mostly guys. Maybe that has something to do with it. I went on line and looked around for local Girl Scout Troops that I might be able to talk to about this. HHmmm, that’s not that easy to do. I asked everyone I knew to ask around for an introduction to someone involved with the Girl Scouts. Apparently there’s a mistrust of some old guys saying, “Hey, …

Caving with Westtown School

I met up with Amos, Andy, Marcy, Hanna, and Dave at McDonald’s. The day started out sunny but rain is in the forecast. It wasn’t long till the rain started and the driving was a little less than ideal. Along the way Hillary called and said she’d be meeting us there.

We met up with Michael and the rest of the Westtown gang at a rest stop along the way. We talked a little and introduced ourselves to everyone and they introduced themselves to us. A few of them had been on our trip last year and one had done a little caving up in New York. But most had never been underground before and were looking forward to trying this.

When we got to the cave it was still raining though not as hard. It was enough to make getting changed a little miserable. We suited up and we all met up in the cave entrance where it was just a little drier, we did a check of helmets and headlamps and all the light came on. Onward through the entrance and the first little squeeze. This is always great to see how the new…