An Anniversary

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An Anniversary

Postby Grandpa Caver » Sep 2, 2013 8:21 pm

I answered the phone one night and this fellow from Michigan was asking me if our relatively new caving club could take a large group of scouts on a cave trip. I offered many reasons why we couldn't but he was very persuasive and seemed to have all the basic needs covered.

Next weekend the Eastern Indiana Grotto will accompany BSA Troop 43 on our 20th annual caving adventure. Over the last two decades many friendships have developed and many young (and not so young) folks have shared a marvelous adventure. I'm proud of this milestone and want to thank everyone who's been involved.

Over the years we have shared our love for caves with many youth groups but they were the first. Glad I answered the phone that night.
Brian Leavell
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Re: An Anniversary

Postby amaddox » Sep 2, 2013 9:53 pm

Those repeat ones are the best. Building a relationship bets the "one and done".
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Re: An Anniversary

Postby batrotter » Sep 3, 2013 4:54 am

Our group took a couple of different Scouts troops for about 10 years. It was always fun taking first timers.
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Re: An Anniversary

Postby amaddox » Sep 3, 2013 7:55 am

I like when you get those kids who's first time in a caves and you see their eyes widen and a smile forms and hear them say, "Wow." Even when it's the same cave over and over, this makes it new again.
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Re: An Anniversary

Postby buddyh » Nov 19, 2013 10:26 pm

Just this past weekend a Troop I have about 10 years for Caving and Climbing adventures with had their latest caving adventure. Only two Scouts were repeat cavers, at the pre-meeting they told the other Scouts that their last caving adventure was one of their favorites of their Scouting adventures. When we went to get ready for the walk to the cave, two scouts had talked themselves out of going. The Scoutmaster had to give them a little pep talk. Once in the cave, they were suddenly ready for any challenge I put in front of them. Nothing but smiles afterwards.

Their words exactly "I really liked this camping trip because its something new that I've never experienced. Also it was nice to do something different for once. I can't believe I didnt want to come and miss this!" and the other Scout wrote, "On this camping trip I learned that we always need a buddy, ALWAYS. The scariest thing I saw was the drop 45 feet from the top to the floor. I was scared to do the LEAP OF FAITH." the both did the leap of faith. I tell them if I don't scare them, I haven't done my job. What is amazing, is how tears of fear can turn instantly into smiles of victory.

I try to have everyone including the leaders write three sentences I have started calling, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. What they write is always a real treat to read. The Smiles, and challenges accepted and met along with what they write makes it all worth while.
:cave softly:
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Re: An Anniversary

Postby amaddox » Nov 20, 2013 9:00 am

That's a great idea asking them to write something. How do you handle that? do you give them paper and pencil or do they send it electronically? I'd like to try this, too..
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Re: An Anniversary

Postby buddyh » Nov 20, 2013 7:19 pm

I take a laptop. I start the document with the group name date and location, title it the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. I then ask one of the participants to type in their name and at least three sentences. I find, I have to keep asking if everyone has had a chance to write their comments. Paper would mean I would have to transpose their responses. I have never gotten any comments from anyone after we have departed ways. No one ever fills out the online form either. Adults are no better than youth, they are all too busy. Get it while you got em.
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Re: An Anniversary

Postby ohiocaver » Nov 26, 2013 2:02 pm

Just curious: how many of those scouts you have introduced to caving have become active cavers, grotto members?
Do you know?
[url=http://postimg.org/image/lex35gcbv/][img]http://s9.postimg.org/lex35gcbv/curt_Bryants_Cave_Indiana.jpg[/img][/url]
[url=http://postimg.org/image/eta4ctvar/][img]http://s21.postimg.org/eta4ctvar/cn_oh_isl_coils_cave_curt_sketch.jpg[/img][/url]
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Re: An Anniversary

Postby buddyh » Nov 26, 2013 8:26 pm

I do not know how many continue to cave or join the NSS. I always tell them that if they really enjoyed the adventure, the NSS and local Grotto would be happy to hear from them. Plus I give them the URL to the NSS. I talk up the NSS and try, weather permitting to wear something NSS. I have a link to the NSS on my website plus NCRC, and even the Jamaican Caving Org.
Remember they have School, Church, cars, girls and jobs for the next decade to deal with. I tell them the college they go to will likely have an outdoor club they should check out. I like it when we meet college groups and grottos while out. All this may be the spark that lights the fire.
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Re: An Anniversary

Postby buddyh » Nov 30, 2015 10:00 pm

A note about The Good the Bad and the Ugly. I am changing it to Roses, buds and thorns. I get too many less than positive comments. It is amazing the difference a few words can make. An example, "The Good: It was fun and had tight spaces. The Bad: When there were rocks everywhere and it was hard to find direction and walk down/up. The Ugly: When there was dirt everywhere but it wasn’t that bad."
I want them to come up with more positive memories than negative.
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Re: An Anniversary

Postby amaddox » Dec 1, 2015 9:15 am

I do a "Thorns and Roses" with my own Crew. It helps to teach them to plan. For the Crew or Troop we take, I leave that up to their adult leaders.
I talk about the NSS and Philly Grotto. Usually there are few other cavers from the Grotto along, too. I feel it just goes over their heads. But what I do is let them know if they've had fun and want to do more they can come caving with Dragon Breath Grotto. And usually a couple of those kids are on the trip as well. There are a couple from our caving Crew that are members of Philly Grotto, but they have been doing this for years and want even more adventure. They have also been caving with the Philly Grotto members for a while through the caving Crew.
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