Promoting Caving at the Venturing Phenomenon

Phenomenon 2013
Once again I was invited to the BSA Northeastern Region Area 6 Ventuing Phenomenon. For those who are not familiar with what this is, it’s an event that all the Venturing Crews from all over are invited to attend. During the Phenomenon there are many activities to participate in. Some are instructional and some are entertaining, but they are all focused on this age group to have fun for an entire weekend.

I really have to thank Allison McEntee, Bill LaPort and Barb Grover and for pulling together a contingent Crew for Chester County Council. I’d also like to thank Gretchen and Jen Hartman for making things happen for PA Dutch Council. I only had to run the “Squeeze Box” station and enjoy the camaraderie of the 400 Venturers attending the event.

The Squeeze Box
I set up the squeeze box Saturday morning right after breakfast with the help of Damian and a few others. You would have thought I was giving away money. These high school “kids” were gathering getting ready to play and compete for the smallest, tightest squeeze. I lost track after the first group so I don’t have any idea how many people went through the box or who just stopped by to watch. I can tell you we were very busy.
I took a lot of pictures and videos, enough to kill the battery in my iPhone twice that morning. Unfortunately, because I had to recharge my phone twice I missed some pretty impressive squeezes as well as some really funny attempts.
We had no record breakers this year. It’s hard to beat 5.5”. We did have one person get down to 5.75”, but that was one of the times I had to charge my phone. We were having so much fun with so many people we almost missed lunch.

Afternoon Opulence
Luckily lunch was just a cold box lunch you pick up at the dinning hall. I got there just before they closed up. After eating I walked back to my station. There were still a couple people playing with the box. After everyone left I was thinking of packing the whole thing up but decided to take a break and just relax for a while in the quite outdoors.
Occasionally a few old friends stopped by to talk including Gina, who had invited me to this year's Phenomenon, and a few other folks I haven’t seen since last year’s Phenomenon. It was great to catch up with all of them in relaxed surroundings.

Evening Festivities
The rest of the weekend went very well. I’m going to leave that part of this report to someone else, including the bond fire and DJ. And if you really want to know more about what happens you need to come join us next year at Phenomenon 2014. It’s rumored to be at Hawk Mountain Council.

See you then,

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“Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but well placed footsteps, kill nothing but time.” – cavers’ creed

National Speleological Society Youth Group Liaison Committee. The youth group’s connection to caves and caving.


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