Grottos and Youth Groups

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Grottos and Youth Groups

Postby amaddox » Jan 6, 2006 2:50 pm

I was going to just ask Pat about this, but then I thought there might be someone out there that has done this already.
As the Pennsylvania Regional Coordinator, I've been putting a lot of effort into going out to different youth groups and Scout leaders meetings and spreading the word about safe and ethical caving. I’ve also run a poll with the grottos in PA to see who’s available for youth groups to contact.
I’ve come across two different scenarios with a lot of grottos. One scenario is that the grotto has no interest at all in running youth group caving trips. I can appreciate this stance. There are very many reasons why they don’t do trips. However, if the NSS and the BSA is encouraging youth groups to contact grottos and they just say “NOâ€
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Postby cave rat » Jan 6, 2006 3:36 pm

Allen,

I have learned to just lead a trip for the Scout troop. Even though Regional Coordinator's are discouraged to lead trips, I have been doing it so long, it is no problem for me to do so. I enjoy leading scout caving trips.

I sent out the grotto forms to see if any the grotto's here in the state would be interested in leading a trip, if a troop approches them to do so. Some say they will, while others say they won't.

I am the Caving Director for the Black Warrior BSA Council in Alabama. That means I oversee 12 counties here in the state. That is a lot of troops. I have a strong staff ranging from this state to Georgia. So getting cavers together that are interested in helping out is no problem. Plus, the amount of trips that I do, is maybe a 1-3 trips a year.

I have also become the Cave Trip Guide for a Boy Scout Camp in Alabama. I spent all last week taken them caving. I did 4 night trips to one cave, Manitou, in Ft. Payn, Alabama. It is a old Commerical Cave that does not operate no more. I had about 10 to 16 boys in each group. BSA rules state, a 4:1 adult/child rational of every scout trip, so adult help was not problem. And sense there was nothing to the cave, me being the only experianced caver was not a issue.

When I work the 6 week summer camp next summer, I will have other experianced cavers from my staff helping me out and the trips will be all night trips.
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Postby amaddox » Jan 6, 2006 3:57 pm

cave rat wrote:Allen,

I have learned to just lead a trip for the Scout troop. Even though Regional Coordinator's are discouraged to lead trips, I have been doing it so long, it is no problem for me to do so. I enjoy leading scout caving trips.

I sent out the grotto forms to see if any the grotto's here in the state would be interested in leading a trip, if a troop approches them to do so. Some say they will, while others say they won't.

I am the Caving Director for the Black Warrior BSA Council in Alabama. That means I oversee 12 counties here in the state. That is a lot of troops. I have a strong staff ranging from this state to Georgia. So getting cavers together that are interested in helping out is no problem. Plus, the amount of trips that I do, is maybe a 1-3 trips a year.

I have also become the Cave Trip Guide for a Boy Scout Camp in Alabama. I spent all last week taken them caving. I did 4 night trips to one cave, Manitou, in Ft. Payn, Alabama. It is a old Commerical Cave that does not operate no more. I had about 10 to 16 boys in each group. BSA rules state, a 4:1 adult/child rational of every scout trip, so adult help was not problem. And sense there was nothing to the cave, me being the only experianced caver was not a issue.

When I work the 6 week summer camp next summer, I will have other experianced cavers from my staff helping me out and the trips will be all night trips.


You have a staff? How do I get one of those. No, seriously, I have a few friends who will help out, but I'm afraid I'm going to burn them out. We're averaging at least one Scout caving trip a month. Sometimes more. And if you include all the presentations, it's a lot more.
I think I can get other grottos to help out, I just want to get everyone on the same page.
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Postby Patricia Bingham » Jan 11, 2006 6:18 am

Do we need a presentation, perhaps available on the website, addressing ways for grottos to handle youth group requests? Maybe an article in the magazine addressing this. Any volunteers?

I think the only way to overcome the negativity towards youth groups is to lead by example. This will take time. We've got a good start with the new website and the new regional coordinators program. We have new brochures and a FAQ in development. I just had 3 more folks volunteer for the regional coordinators, so the word is getting out, and apparently folks like what is going on.

Burn-out is a real issue. That's why I encourage the regional coordinators to focus on coordinating and not so much feeling responsible for taking groups caving. But, it's great when they do take youth groups caving! However, I would hate to lose you folks to burnout. You're too valuable, as are all cavers who volunteer their free time for youth groups.

So, I think to sum it up, we need to pace ourselves, keep a longterm view of things, make sure we don't get burned out, be active and patient.

I'll be working on transferring files from the old computer to the new one this weekend so that I can send them off to Glen for the website.
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Youth Group Program

Postby amaddox » Jan 11, 2006 8:03 am

Patricia Bingham wrote:Do we need a presentation, perhaps available on the website, addressing ways for grottos to handle youth group requests? Maybe an article in the magazine addressing this. Any volunteers?

...............


I like the idea about an article in the NSS News. Probably should be done by our shining Youth Group Liaison Committee Chair :grin: . Pat, that's you, right???? If you don't want to write the article, how about one of those "caver interviews" about the Chair and what the program is about and what is intended to be accomplished?
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Regional Coordinators

Postby amaddox » Jan 12, 2006 12:41 pm

Patricia Bingham wrote:........
I just had 3 more folks volunteer for the regional coordinators, so the word is getting out, and apparently folks like what is going on.
..............
.


Pat,

We use to have an e-mail group for Regional Coordinators. I forget why that was abandoned. Is there something in the works for knowing who's who?

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Postby Patricia Bingham » Jan 13, 2006 5:51 am

There was one, but it died off due to inactivity. It was a Yahoo-based group. I think it was a great idea (thanks, Van!), but I personally found it easier to just put all the committee folks in a e-mail sub-group and send it off that way. I can do with with hotmail for up to x number of folks (want to say it's 50, but I'm probably wrong).

I've cancelled out of a cave trip this weekend 'cause I am way behind in getting committe stuff (and other things!) done and will spend it getting the webpages sent off to Glen. That way we will know who is who.

Then I'll send everyone a note including their e-mail addresses to make it easier for you to add them to your address book.

Sound good, or is there another way that could work better?
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Postby Patricia Bingham » Jan 13, 2006 5:55 am

Oh, about the magazine article; several months ago I was asked to write an article about the committee's purpose and activities for the NSS News. I think each committee chair was asked for this. I ended up writing 2; the first was a bit on the dry and boring side. Well, maybe more than a bit; it was really dry and boring. Anyway, I've not seen any article from any committee chair. I'll see what is going on with this and push for an article. I'll send off the preview to the RC folks for input.
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Postby amaddox » Jan 13, 2006 8:25 am

Patricia Bingham wrote:There was one, but it died off due to inactivity. It was a Yahoo-based group. I think it was a great idea (thanks, Van!), but I personally found it easier to just put all the committee folks in a e-mail sub-group and send it off that way. I can do with with hotmail for up to x number of folks (want to say it's 50, but I'm probably wrong).

I've cancelled out of a cave trip this weekend 'cause I am way behind in getting committe stuff (and other things!) done and will spend it getting the webpages sent off to Glen. That way we will know who is who.

Then I'll send everyone a note including their e-mail addresses to make it easier for you to add them to your address book.

Sound good, or is there another way that could work better?


Actually, either way would work for me if Van wanted to start the e-mail list back up again.
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Postby cave rat » Jan 14, 2006 5:34 am

I can start the Yahoo thing back up. I would have to build another one. The one we had got deactivated. I would need everyone's email address that is interested in having it going again.

It would have to be a site that is only for the Youth Liaison Committe.
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Postby Cheryl Jones » Jan 14, 2006 11:23 am

just put all the committee folks in a e-mail sub-group and send it off that way. I can do with with hotmail for up to x number of folks (want to say it's 50, but I'm probably wrong).


A problem with this method is that spam filters sometimes identify spam as e-mail with more than a handful or two of addresses in the header. :hairpull:

An advantage of a yahoo list is that not everyone will need to stay up with changes in individual e-mail addresses to send messages to the full group. The list manager just changes the address in the Yahoo list.

On the downside, some people may need to manually set their/their ISP's spam filters to allow the yahoo list, for I've heard of a couple instances where it too is rejected as junk. :hairpull:

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Postby mgmills » Jan 14, 2006 6:21 pm

Cheryl Jones wrote:An advantage of a yahoo list is that not everyone will need to stay up with changes in individual e-mail addresses to send messages to the full group. The list manager just changes the address in the Yahoo list.


Actually the list manager should not have to change addresses. Individuals can update their own information.

The list "owner" or "moderators" have to invite new members to the group or approve e-mail subscriptions. It sounds like Van has set up a group before.
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Postby cave rat » Jan 14, 2006 11:20 pm

I run three Yahoo Group rooms. So setting it up to everyone's liking is not problem.
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Postby cave rat » Jan 16, 2006 3:38 pm

The Yahoo Group is up and running:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NSS_Youth_Groups/
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Postby Patricia Bingham » Jan 18, 2006 5:17 am

Cave Rat, Cave Rat, Cave Rat.....

How about if you be the monitor rather than me? I have enough to procrastinate about already! I'm a firm believer in spreading the misery. That's why there is a Regional Coordinators program. :)

I didn't get to the youth groups work this weeked, but I've decided to get a sinus infection and am probably going to skip surveying this weekend, too. I will get all this stuff done. Really. I promise. Feel free to nag. Guilt works wonders with me.

Is this for only Regional Coordinators/Committee members?

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