Youth from Maine visit Tumbling Rock Cave

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Youth from Maine visit Tumbling Rock Cave

Postby Realms » Jun 11, 2006 11:17 pm

I got the chance to lead a group of 6th graders on a trip in Tumbling Rock cave Jackson Co, AL. They had come down to go to Space Camp for the week. The teacher of this class brings a group every year to our camp and plans all kinds of cool activities for them on the side. This year I was contacted by our grotto as well as work and asked if I could lead a trip like this. We had about 6 weeks notice which was very nice. The grotto and a good caving buddy of mine helped provide gear. The day before the trip we got the kids together and I explained good caving practices and then fitted the helmets to each kid. If you have a big group and can do this prior to going to the cave, do so. It will save you a good half hour. A couple of local cavers went along and we had a blast. The kids were amazingly well behaved and the chaperone's were wonderful as well. They worked to help the kids while at the same time trusting our judgment and knowledge. I had allotted 6 hours of in cave time. We only ended up taking 4 hours. I was really impressed with this group. We went to the topless dome and I lit it up and turned on the tunes. For 30 min everyone just stood there in awe at the site. It was a cool time.
Later on the teacher told me he wants to do this next year when he returns with another class. They were really impressed with our organization (NSS) and how we are so passionate about caring and respecting of caves. I pointed out many broken formations and explained how important it is to not damage what you see so that others may see it as well. This was not just a great experience for the group but for me and my caving buddies as well. When we got out of the cave the adults were all tired and we looked over in the grass and the kids were playing football. We just had to pause and laugh for a moment. Only kids can drive a good cave trip and end up playing football when they get out.

fun times
some pics of the group are posted here.
http://www.realmsofreality.net/trip%20reports/freeport_tumbling_rock/index.html
Nathan
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Postby Hatch » Jun 12, 2006 12:29 pm

Was the topless dome dry that day?
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Postby Phil Winkler » Jun 12, 2006 12:37 pm

Nathan,

Wonderful trip report. It reminded me of one where a few of us from the HG took a group of girl scouts into Guffey Cave back in the early 80s. I think there were 3 of us as leaders and maybe 10-12 scouts. After finishing the trip everyone was covered with sand and mud. As we drove into the camp ground near Guntersville Lake I suggested the girls all change and shower before heading over to the mess hall. Instead, they wanted to go eat just as they were--dirty or not.

Well, as they all walked into the chow hall the other scouts there turned and saw them and gave them a standing ovation. For bravery and imagination, I guess. It was a very cool moment.

And, one of those scouts that day was our own Jennifer Pinkley. The only one that stayed as a caver as far as I know.
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Postby Realms » Jun 12, 2006 5:39 pm

Very cool Phil. Jennifer told about getting into caving through Girlscouts. Your story paints a vivid picture. You could tell these kids didn't mind getting dirty. A real fun bunch.
Hatch, there was a little bit of water falling. Not much but enough to cool things down a bit. The kids loved it.

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