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On Monday, March 5th, 2012 I attended a Troop meeting for Boy Scout Troop 196 of Hampden Township. At the meeting I introduced myself to the scouts, gave a show-and-tell of cave gear, told some stories, and then let them try their hand at the squeeze box. All of this was to help them prepare for today’s trip.
I met the group early this morning, Saturday: Saint Patrick’s Day, and we did our final checks to make sure that everybody brought appropriate gear, and then went to the cave. I made arrangements with the land owners to park in their yard and access the caved entrance in the back corner of their property.
We didn’t waste much time once at the site where we parked under a bunch of white pine trees. We were at the cave entrance by 8:35 a.m. We took a last bathroom break, and then carefully made our way down the steep sinkhole entrance of Lisburn Cave. I only heard one (adult) person state that they were feeling uncomfortable during the entrance passage.
Once inside to what amounts to the junction room I made sure everybody had a caving partner and sent them off to explore in their pairs. A lot of fun was had by all. Folks wanted to explore over top of the breakdown of the junction room, went to explore the “Danger Room,” and everybody gave a shot at entering “The Maze.” Not everybody fit through the entrance passage denying some access to The Maze. For those who fit they had a blast. For those who did not fit they sat back, explored a little more, and were content to tell jokes and rub mud on each others’ faces.
We ended with a lights-out activity, playing with life savers, and exiting without lights. The group had a lot of fun. Dave Messinger made the observation that he liked Peiper and Carnegie a lot more. But several in the group had also been to both, so I offered this cave experience as something different. It was still a success. We exited the cave and bumped into Jim Vaskorlis. We made sure to great him and thank he and his wife for keeping the cave open and allowing us access. He was very kind and told us to come back. We reached the cars at 11:30am.