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Caving field trip for schoolsWelcome Scout Troops, School Groups and other Youth Groups!!

If you would like a caving slide show presentation, or a guided field trip to a local cave, then you have found the right web site. The Oregon Grotto has several cavers that are always eager to personally share their knowledge with your group.

The Oregon Grotto has an excellent slide show presentation featuring photos that represent many types of caves. The presentation gives an overview of safe caving, cave types, cave animals and lots of other useful information. Members of the Oregon Grotto will meet with your group and present the slide show, and also bring caving gear for a "show and tell" experience.

Oregon Grotto field trip guides are also available to interested groups. Members are very willing to accompany your group to a local cave.

Click here to request additional information.

Ape Cave Field Trip: a.k.a.The Great Chipmunk Adventure

by Patty Silver

The Lava Cast ForestRoger and I had the privilege of caving with the 5th grade classes of Stafford Grade School in September. We started our caving adventure with a phone call from Barbara McConnell, one of the 5th grade teachers, inviting us to give the Oregon Grotto slide show at the school then a field trip the following week. There were three classrooms full of 5th graders at the slide show, which was followed by a show and tell type talk about caving gear. As always, the carbide lamp and climbing gear were a big hit.

Thank you Roger and PattyOn the day of the field trip there were two bus loads of students, teachers and parents that all met at the Ape Cave parking lot at 10:00 AM. Roger led one bus load into Ape Cave while I went with the other bus down to the Trail of Two Forests for a quick run through the boardwalk and a crawl through the tree cast. What a lot of fun.

After the Trail of Two Forest excursion we went back to Ape Cave to begin our tour through the lower end of the cave. We had deliberately broke the tour into two groups to make it easier to talk to the groups and avoid losing anyone. There was a total of about 150 people, so it would have been unwieldy to try and do the tour as one group.

We stopped at several interesting points in the cave to discuss cave geology, biology and caving safety. The highlights of the trip were photographing the "meat ball" and trying to get everyone to turn off their lights to experience total darkness. The later event is always a bit challenging with such a large group enthusiastic students. After several attempts we managed to get total darkness for about 3 seconds before someone couldn't resist the urge to turn on their lights again. The first several attempts were aborted when a group of girls kept screaming when all the lights just went out. After a lot of ribbing and gentle scolding the girls got the message and quit screaming. Nothing like a little peer pressure to get the job done.

We met Roger's group exiting the cave when we were about half way down tube. There was a noisy exchange of comments as the two groups passed each other. We found it best to have my group stand still while Roger's passed by, this avoided a lot of confusion. We spent quite a lot of time at the end of the cave as a few tried to see if they could "push" the cave a little further.

The chipmunk got on the bus - The meatball.We were under a rigid time schedule so their efforts had to be curtailed as we headed back to the bus for the trip back to Trail of Two Forests to meet up with Roger's group and a lunch break. Now you would think that the trip back to Trail of Two Forests would be uneventful. WRONG!! Nothing is uneventful when you have a small group of natural born screamers to liven things up. If you think the screaming in the cave was loud you should hear it when they discovered a Chipmunk roaming at large in the bus. The shrieking was definitely ear piercing and continued on throughout the entire Chipmunk episode. The school bus driver got the kids off the bus, then started systematically escorting the Chipmunk towards the front door with a broom. All the time this action was accompanied by screams and squeals from the outside of the bus. As soon as the Chipmunk leaped off the last step of the bus, the girls screamed in unison, and it ran as fast as it could on itís little Chipmunk feet straight for the woods. It was a fun field trip, and, as always, Roger and I really enjoyed leading a group through the cave and being able to talk about caving. We look forward to being invited to join them again next year. I think the best part of the experience was receiving all the great drawings from the students a few weeks after the trip. They were really creative and we only wish we could share all of them with you, but there were so any of them and only a little space here.

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