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Grotto Yahoo! Group
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Welcome 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
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
Roger 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.
On 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
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
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
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.
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.