Caving With Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania Council 11-18-18

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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…

Powder Horn 2018


Broad Creek Scout Reservation, in Maryland, hosted a Powder Horn two weekends in May 2018. A Powder Horn is a training course for Boy Scout and Venturing Leaders on how to run high adventure activities. Sounds interesting? Look here for more information.

They needed someone to run a cave exploring session for them. A mutual friend introduced us around the end of April and we started seeing if we could make this work on such a short notice. 



Meg Hutchins, from the Baltimore Area Council, BSA, had a good idea what was needed, which was a big help. All other Powder Horns I’ve done in the past were classroom style. Meg wanted to actually take Scout Leaders into a cave and experience what caving was all about. I really like this idea. Okay, so it’s another excuse to get underground, but it’s so much easier to experience what it’s about than see slides and listen to me talk. This was going to be fun.

The cave we settled on is not my first choice. It gets a lot of “party traffic”, or as us cavers call them, SPELUNKERS. It’s a shame such a fun word to say has evolved into a derogatory term.

We meet up pretty close to our scheduled time, which is really good for me. Yes, I’m usually late. I passed out all the gear they would need and we started out hike up the hillside to find the entrance of our destination. As I mentioned this cave does get a bit of traffic through it. When we arrived there was another group just leaving the cave. They were not as well equipped as we were, but they seemed to do okay.

Just as a foot note, the month before there was a cave rescue at this cave. I wasn’t sure of all the details of what happened and why. 

This cave is notorious for being a little cooler than other Pennsylvania caves. Today it seemed extra cold. Plus with all the rain we’d been having there were no dry rooms or passages in the cave. Everywhere we went water was continuously dripping from the ceiling soaking everyone within an hour of being in there.

Because everyone was soaked and cold we didn’t stay as long as I usually do. Hypothermia was a concern and I’d rather be safe and have folks ready to go caving again than miserable and never wanting to see another hole in the ground. Besides, I did achieve my goal and give them a good experience they could take back to their Troops and Crews.
I did leave them with plenty of information and links to help them take their Crews and Troops caving. I’ll include all that information here for you as well.

National Speleological Society - Youth Group Liaison Committee, http://caves.org/youth/.
Guide to Safe Scouting section on caving, https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/gss/gss08/#b.

My website, Youth Opportunities Underground - YOUCave http://www.youcave.org/.
YOUCave - Come Caving With Us, http://www.youcave.org/p/blog-page_26.html.

Social Media:
YOUCave Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/YOUCave.org/.

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