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Showing posts from 2015

What Makes A Good Cave Guide?

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In my position as Chair the the National Speleological Society's Youth Group Liaison Committee, I've been asked a few times, "How do I know is a good guide?" I put this out in front of a few cavers to see their opinion.



A few links that are mentioned in this video are:
National Speleological Society
NSS - Youth Group Liaison Committee
Cave Chat

Questions?If you want more information about taking youth groups caving, or you’re just curious about what’s involved with getting kids underground, visit the National Speleological Society Youth Group Liaison Committee at www.caves.org/youth. Or you can email me directly at allenmaddox@youcave.org. I’d enjoy hearing from you.


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Join me on Twitter @youcave. Check us out on Face Book and Google+. And share us with your friends. If you ask a question in the comment section I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Thanks,
Allen


“Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but well …

Why YOUCave

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This week I don't have an exciting caving story to tell you. I do want to let you know what's going on in the background and behind the scenes of Youth Opportunities Underground.

As most people know I Chair the National Speleological Society's Youth Group Liaison Committee. The Committee is rather passive. The web-page is up and there for anyone who wants information or needs help with a caving activity for their youth group or youth organization. But you cannot just hang out your shingle and expect the world to see you. If you build it, they will come.” only works in the movies. We have to reach out to the communities that have no idea we even exist and convince them to trust us and to use our expertize. Doing this with a handful of dedicated volunteers and a budget of $0 is not helping with our mission.
YOUCave started out as a hobby blog. Just a way for me to document my adventures and share them with friends and family.
A few year back I found a use for it and all the po…

Do You Eat Well for Caving?

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Most people know that I feel there is little in common between climbing and caving. However, nutrition is a common denominator. Without the right nutritional balance you'll run out of gas too soon and not have an enjoyable and productive caving trip.
Christina Lazarazo has a great climbing website and blog, Conquer the Crux http://conquerthecrux.com. This is a reprint from her enewsletter. I hope you find this informative. Go to http://conquerthecrux.com. Sign up for her weekly tips.

Hello fellow climber! Do you put a lot of thought into your pre-climbing meals?
A well thought out pre-climbing meal will keep you from feeling hungry, will maintain optimal levels of blood glucose in your muscles, and will help boost your climbing performance. 
Do you like the sounds of that?
Well, the good news is that planning and creating your pre-climbing meals is super easy as long as you know what guidelines you need to follow; hence the purpose of this email. :)
So, to help you get well on your way …

Taking Troop 393 Caving

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Dragon Breath Grotto and Philadelphia Grotto took Troop 393 from PA Dutch Council, BSA on a caving trip in central Pennsylvania. I think the boys had a good time. We had a couple "newbies" along too. They had a great time.


If the video does not show in this email, go to https://youtu.be/hSrfD4-vLz8.


Questions?If you want more information about taking youth groups caving, or you’re just curious about what’s involved with getting kids underground, visit the National Speleological Society Youth Group Liaison Committee at www.caves.org/youth. Or you can email me directly at allenmaddox@youcave.org. I’d enjoy hearing from you.


Subscribe to our mailing list* indicates required Email Address *
Join me on Twitter @youcave. Check us out on Face Book and Google+. And share us with your friends. If you ask a question in the comment section I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Thanks,
Allen


“Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but well placed footsteps, kill nothing but time.” – c…

Getting Really Muddy

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We took Venturing Crew 253 from the Baltimore, MD are caving with us in central Pennsylvania. There was a lot of mud and laughs.






Questions?If you want more information about taking youth groups caving, or you’re just curious about what’s involved with getting kids underground, visit the National Speleological Society Youth Group Liaison Committee at www.caves.org/youth. Or you can email me directly at allenmaddox@youcave.org. I’d enjoy hearing from you.


Subscribe to our mailing list* indicates required Email Address *
Join me on Twitter @youcave. Check us out on Face Book and Google+. And share us with your friends. If you ask a question in the comment section I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Thanks,
Allen


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



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I'm just sharing some reminiscing from last year. The "kids" decided to go to West Virginia to do a BIG CAVE...
It was a blast. Had so much fun we're going to do it again, and again, and again....
I hope you enjoy this short version of a spectacular weekend,

Cave Safely, Cave Softly, Cave Often,
Allen







Questions?If you want more information about taking youth groups caving, or you’re just curious about what’s involved with getting kids underground, visit the National Speleological Society Youth Group Liaison Committee at www.caves.org/youth. Or you can email me directly at allenmaddox@youcave.org. I’d enjoy hearing from you.


Subscribe to our mailing list* indicates required Email Address *
Join me on Twitter @youcave. Check us out on Face Book and Google+. And share us with your friends. If you ask a question in the comment section I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Thanks,
Allen


“Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but well placed footsteps, kill nothing but t…

Troop 677, Bozeman, MT Goes To Dragonbreath Cave, Idaho

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    by -  Eli Kutsch, SPL, Troop 677

Troop 677 of Bozeman, MT recently headed to Idaho for our first caving high adventure (low adventure?) experience. We were guided by Vern Bowden, an experienced caver and scouter from Manhattan, MT. We were also joined by an adventuresome scout from Troop 676.      Mr. Bowden came to our troop meeting the week before our trip to show us how to “be prepared” for this trip in terms of the necessary gear, caving “leave no trace” ethics, safety awareness, and positive attitudes. We thought we knew what to expect…..but were soon surprised by the rugged beauty of the lava desert and the cave itself! We followed Mr.Bowden off-road through miles of sage and lava rock and wondered how anyone could have found this cave in such a remote area. We learned later that the rubble resulting from the collapse of a portion of the Dragonbreath lava tube caused a suspicious formation that was noticed from above by someone in a plane!

     When we arrived in the area of the…

Caving with Venturing Crew 26

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by Buddy Hihn
July 11, 2015 Venture Crew 26 Carnegie Cave, Shippensburg, Pa. Cavers: Jordan, Ryan, Julia (newbie), Breanna, Belle (newbie) Advisors: Mr. Ron (logistics and support), Miss Randi and Mr. BuddyH Met at Our Lady of Grace at 8:30 AM. Headed up I-83 and as we approached Harrisburg, Pa the adventure began. PA 581 had an exciting detour through downtown, ugh an extra 20-30 minute detour. So much for an early start. It was after 10 when we finally arrive at the park on Airport Rd.
Having rest room available after the long ride was a big bonus, just don’t use them later to clean up. Being a warm summer day everyone opted to carry their gear to the cave entrance. Yes the electric fence is on. Don’t stand in the stream and test the fence. Just ask Randi who was in flipflops. Mr Bud tried to tell everyone it would be wet and muddy, no one realized how wet and muddy.
With maps in hand the young men take the lead. It is amusing how everyone tried to stay dry while going through the cu…

It's almost like being there

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If you are like me, you really, really wanted to go to the 2015 National Speleological Society's 2015 Convention in Pulaski County, MO . It's all nest week from July 13 to 17. There are also pre and post convention events. And from what I understand Missouri has some awesome caves.

Instead of standing in front of your house with picket sign chanting, “We wanna go! We wanna go!”, there are ways that we can follow what goes on, almost in real time.
First, if you have friends going, (Hi, Amos! Hi, Carol! Hi, Kathy!) you might be able to get “blow-by-blow” commentary by text message. Go ahead. Ask them. See how long till they block you.
The first line communication for the 2015 Convention is the website http://nss2015.caves.org/. They are showing this as, “The Hitchhicker's Guide to Missouri Caving.” All the stuff in a nutshell. Read through it. Enjoy it.
There is a great Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NSSConvention2015?fref=ts. A lot of fresh content is added there …

So You Want To Go Caving

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I came across this great video about what a "newbie" would expect on their first caving trip. It is a British video, but the terms and technics are all the same that we use in the USA. Keith Edwards does an excellent job of showing you what you can expect. This is a great way for Youth Group Leaders to assess if this is something they are personally capable of doing.

Please keep in mind, as an adult, that while this may scare the gajebers out of you, kids love this kind of stuff. We have been working hard to train our cavers to be the most capable guides you can trust with "your kids", even if you choose to not participate.




Questions?If you want more information about taking youth groups caving, or you’re just curious about what’s involved with getting kids underground, visit the National Speleological Society Youth Group Liaison Committee at www.caves.org/youth. Or you can email me directly at allenmaddox@youcave.org. I’d enjoy hearing from you.

Subscribe to our new…

Bridal Cave Discovery News

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I came across this little piece and thought it might be useful for some youth groups with younger kids who would like to talk about caves in their programs. I think this would also be useful for teachers and homeschool providers as well.
Bridal Cave is a commercial cave near Camdenton, MO.

They have special tours that target the imagination and curiosity of elementary school-aged childeren. They also have a PDF file called "Discovery News", which can be used in a classroom setting, even if the teacher doesn't know anything about caves or caving and even if you are nowhere near Missouri.
It can be downloaded at this link


here: http://www.bridalcave.com/pdf/kids_only_adventure_news.pdf. If you find it useful, email the cave owns at info@bridalcave.com and let them know. Oh yeah, and let them know that YOUCave sent you.


Questions?If you want more information about taking youth groups caving, or you’re just curious about what’s involved with getting kids underground, visit the

Kids Trip Into Butler Cave

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- by Tony Canike, President: Butler Cave Conservation Society

The Butler Cave Conservation Society organized a kids trip into Butler Cave over the 2015 Memorial Day Weekend which included five adults and nine kids aged 16-7. Two of the adults and four of the children were new to caving; all of the kids (and the adults!) had a lot of fun crawling and scrambling for three hours. Two of the children, a 15 yo boy and a 13 yo girl were familiar with the route; they led much of the trip and guided the other kids with a little assistance from an adult trip leader. One of the first-time cavers, a 14 yo girl, is an experienced rock climber and boulder and she showed the other kids how to spot each other on scrambles.



Questions?If you want more information about taking youth groups caving, or you’re just curious about what’s involved with getting kids underground, visit the National Speleological Society Youth Group Liaison Committee at www.caves.org/youth. Or you can email me directly at allenma…

Girl Scout and Browie 2015 Badge and Patch Events

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Lincoln Caverns, near Huntingdon, PA, has designed specialized workshops to specifically fulfill GIRL SCOUT BROWNIE BADGE and our own PATCH requirements.  Saturday: April 11, 2015 Event Day – Brownie Rocks Rock Patch OR Junior Geology Rocks Patch Saturday: May 9, 2015 Event Day – Brownie Letterboxer OR Junior Geocacher Badge
Saturday/Sunday, April 11 – 12, 2015: Going Batty Patch & Letterboxer Badge  Saturday/Sunday, April 25 – 26, 2015: WOW! Wonders of Water … Underground!  Saturday/Sunday, May 16 – 17, 2015: WOW! Wonders of Water … Underground!  Saturday/Sunday, May 30 – 31, 2015: WOW! Wonders of Water … Underground!  Saturday/Sunday, June 13 - 14, 2015: Cave Explorer Patch & Letterboxer Badge

For more information go to the Lincoln Caverns website: http://lincolncaverns.com/







Questions?If you want more information about taking youth groups caving, or you’re just curious about what’s involved with getting kids underground, visit the National Speleological Society Youth Group L…

Gretchen Hartman: A Strong Leader & Teacher of Leaders

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Re-blogged with permission from Extrodinary Women Leaders in Speology http://extraordinarywls.blogspot.com/
Gretchen Hartman, 18 years, has been caving with the NSS youth program for almost 4 years now and is a member of the Philadelphia Grotto. "She is not only a strong caver, but a leader and a teacher of leaders.” says Allen Maddox, NSS Youth Liaison. Hartman has staffed and instructed at the National Youth Leaders Training course and is currently organizing a contingent of Scouts from Area 6 (PA, NJ, DE, MD, NY) to the Winter Adventure Weekend in Kentucky.


Besides being an impressive caver, Hartman recently earned the Venturing Silver Award from Venturing Crew 363 after chartering Ephrata’s Our Mother of Perpetual Help Church and serving as president of Crew 363 for two years. As president, she has been hailed for increasing membership of her crew. Her scouting experience has included being the first female youth in the Pennsylvania Dutch Council to attend National Youth Leader…

Women Cavers: Extraordinary Women Leaders in Speleology - Katrina Berry Leader & Environmentalist

Katrina Berry is a 20 year old college student who has been caving with the NSS youth program for 2 years. In this short time she has shown to be a very strong leader and organizer. She attend her first MAR event and is known as a dependable resource by members of the Philadelphia Grotto. Berry has planned and ran her own trip of 12 Scouts and leaders to caving in West Virginia. She is working and studying to become an Environmentalist. "I have no doubt she will be doing this [accomplishing in an Environmental career] soon. She is currently helping me plan several other future trips, at least one of which will be outside of the USA. Her leadership is exemplary." says Allen Maddox, NSS Youth Liaison Committee Chairperson. SOURCES
http://www.youcave.org/
Image: Allen Maddox www.ewls.org