Youth Opportunities Underground is about the caves that are the classrooms, the youth who explore them and their own possibilities, and the volunteers who make this possible.
Caves hold some of the most unique geological and biological specimens on our planet. When youth explore caves, they find out a lot more about their natural surroundings and themselves.
While a cave may seem like a cold, dark and hostile, it is in reality a fragile environment
A formation one cubic centimeter, roughly the size of 4 pennies stacked on each other, took about 100 years to form.
A common Small Brown Bat can consume 10,000 mosquitoes size insects each night. Insects that can decimate a farmer’s cops or carry diseases that are infectious to humans. Yet each mating pair has only one puppy each year
We can read about these and other caving related biology, geology, and historical facts in books, but to give youth the opportunity to explore, touch, see and study the earth from the inside out is a very unique experience that helps to build an appreciation to the importance of caves.
When youth explore caves they learn about where they fit in within their environment. They learn their importance in being good stewards for the earth.
When youth explore caves together they become a member of a non-competitive team. They learn to work together and help each other through physical and mental challenges. They learn basic problem solving and leadership skills. They learn to depend on other people and to be dependable themselves. They learn about new possibilities for themselves.
Last year (2007), through different organizations, we took about 80 youth caving. Last year we talked to about 250 youth about caves, caving, and karst studies. We do this at no charge to the youth and we want to keep it that way. I'd like to expand and be able to handle more youth.
Almost every weekend, somewhere a group of kids are going underground. They do this with the guidance of their leaders and the experienced cavers that volunteer to guide them. We applaud the efforts of the cavers who volunteer their time, at their own expense, to teach todays youth to be tomorrows stewards of what's beneath the ground we walk on. We support what they do so they can do more.