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 http://www.paoli1.org/index.html.
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 were waiting to help Amos and I with the trip. The weather was clear which helps with changing into our caving gear and getting ready. We pulled out the helmets and headlamps then got everyone suited up and tested before we walked to the cave.
Inside the entrance we talked a little about the cave, how it was made, what they may see, and a few thoughts on cave safety before we started into the cave. We made our way in and to the first break down room. Here we split into two groups. Amos and I took Clay, Ross and Doug. Jack, Zack and Luke went with Andy and Will.
At first I lead our group through some basic walking passage that had very little crawling. Being that this is a Pennsylvania cave there’s not much of that. Tight crawls and mud are more common for this area. After a very short while our group became comfortable with being underground and Clay became more curious about what was behind each turn and hole. There were a few places that Clay could fit that the adults could not. Amos made sure he explored safely while I took Doug and Ross around to great him as they came through the crawls.
We all did go through the “Catacombs” and up the “Chimney” which they thought was exciting. Clay and Amos did the “Key Hole” and the “Wishing Well” while we watched and cheered him on. We did see most of the cave and we were in there the better part of three hours. It was a good tour.
Outside the other group was waiting. They moved faster than we did and saw pretty much the whole cave. They were bushed and hungry and we were too. We all decided to call it a day and get cleaned up.
These guys worked well together. You could tell they were comfortable with their team and made the trip a lot of fun for us. The boys are taking back stories and pictures to the rest of Troop 1 and try to encourage more of them to go caving. I hope they do. It would be good to see them underground again.
For more picture of this trip go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/trailsitter/sets/72157629715483926/with/7192234454/.
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