Showing posts from November, 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…

After You've Caved a Mile in His Boots, Then You Can...

Phillip Rykwalder wrote an excellent article on "Cave Now" about BOOTS ( He says that when asked what to wear when caving his first answer is "boots".

Good Answer.
I've not thought about that as the number one answer until now. After all when we take Scouts and other youth groups caving we supply helmets and lights. The rest of the gear they must supply themselves. So he's saying not worry about the helmet and light, I'm taking care of and worrying about that. Here's your number one concern for personal safety equipment. BOOTS!!

What He Said!!
He goes on to explain, "The correct footwear can literally save you underground. Boots offer great traction to save you from spills, slips and falls - and the wrong footwear leaves you more prone to all of the above. Caves are full of mud, loose rocks and crumbly dirt that are properly dealt with by footwear with deep, open lugs and a firm (but compliant) sole. Overly soft shoes (…

I ‘m a Dirty Boy

I was looking through my notes and realized I never told you all about my adventure with Troop 8 from Downingtown, PA ( Yeah, I know. Troop 8 meets in Gutheriesville at the Township Building, but more people know Downingtown, PA. Or do they???

The Cave Talk
I was invited to go talk to them at one of Troop 8’s meetings. All my gear and other stuff I had to carry up to the second floor, but it was worth it. These guys were great to be around. They asked questions and put up with my talk about cave geology and biology. They just wanted the adventure and get underground. That’s normal for this age group.
The Cave
We went to one of our favorite caves and distributed helmets and lights and suited up. Heading inside and up to the first room they soon understood what I was talking about when I told them to maintain three points of contact. We divided into smaller groups and headed on into different parts of the cave.

The guys in my group you could tell had done high …

Girl Scouts in Service to the Lewis and Clark Caverns

This article was originally posted on the Caving News on 11/7/12. This is re-posted with permission.

A local Girl Scout troop recently ventured underground to help clean up Montana’s Lewis and Clark Caverns.
Lewis and Clark Caverns, the main attraction of a state park of the same name, have been open for tourists off and on for more than a century. During the years lint from thousands of visitors has accumulated inside the cave.
Comprised of clothing fibers, hair, dead skin cells, dust, and other foreign objects, the build up of lint negatively impact the cave environment by interfering with formation growth, and adding an artificial food source for cave life.
Equipped with toothbrushes, dustpans, brushes and garbage bags the Girl Scouts worked meticulously removing the unnatural deposits.
"It was so satisfying to me to look up from my own meticulous work and see the headlamps of our troop scattered about this amazing place, all intent on their chosen area," - Ann Brooks, G…

Three Stitches Later

A Little History With Crew 94
I had met some of the members ofVenturing Crew 94 when we all went to Phenomenon 2012 this pastspring. Some of us from Dragon Breath Grotto Venturing Crew 9, andVenturing Crew 23, along with Venturing Crew 94 went there with theSqueeze Box to promote caving to other Venturing Crews. You can checkout that trip report and pictures here.
Over the summer Our Crew and Crew 94did a geocaching trip in Center City Philadelphia. Again over the summer when I went tothe Chester County Council Powder Horn to talk about the VenturingCave Exploring Elective I ran into a few of my friends from Crew 94again. Christen attended one of my sessions there and decided thatCrew 94 needed to do an actual caving trip. So I was a littlesurprised when Salina, who I had not met before, contacted me about acaving trip.
The Cave Talk
A week or so ago Damian and I went to aCrew 94 meeting to talk about caving and what to expect and how toprepare for it. Like most of these talks we had fu…