Boy Scouts of America Troop 1097  Serving Gaithersburg, Germantown & N. Potomac 

Spelunking/Caving Adventure

  • 13 Aug 2021
  • 6:00 PM
  • 15 Aug 2021
  • 12:00 PM
  • 1065 Skyline Drive, Farmington, PA 15437


Registration is closed

Intro to Caving - Activity Level: Moderate

Fri 8/13/21: We will meet at the IWLA-R chapter house at 6:00pm and leave promptly at 6:30 pm. Bring a bagged dinner to eat on the way. 

We will camp out at Heritage Reservation-Camp Independence at the Great Meadows Shelter/Campsite. Upon arrival at Heritage, proceed to the Ranger Station/Stockade Bldg to check in (Turn right at Keystone Bldg, go around circle to Valley Forge Rd and take first right to stockade Bldg.

Sun 8/15/21: We will return to the IWLA-R chapter house approximately at noon.

Introduction to Caving

Discover a hidden world beneath your feet. Whether you call it caving, spelunking, or potholing you will experience the adventure of a lifetime. Our knowledgeable guides will introduce you to the basics of cave exploration, safety, and stewardship.

We will be going to Laurel Caverns Park in Farmington, PA - that's right, very close to our summer camp location! 

Caving is the more contemporary term for what is popularly called spelunking.  It refers to going into a cave completely in its natural state.  Due to its conservation mission, Laurel Caverns is the only developed cave in the world having its largest rooms and passages completely in their original state.  Because the elevation difference from the upper passages of Laurel Caverns to its lower passages is about 45 stories (450 feet) two caving activities (i.e. spelunking) have been created.  For the most part, these two trips cover different parts of the cave, though both have in common the main passages of the traditional tour as well as the ballroom and the bat room.


  • Caving requires participants to bring at least two good sources of light: A headlamp and a handheld light are best. Cellphone lights, keychain lights, and other such dim sources are not acceptable. 
  • Each participant must wear long pants, a long sleeved shirt, and shoes with good tread and ankle support. 
  • Laurel Caverns will supply the hard hats.
  • Each participant must fill out and sign a release form.  
  • The cave temperature is 52 degrees.  Bring a change of clothing; this is a real caving trip and participants will get the wet sands of the cave on their clothing.

Laurel Caverns is a large natural calcareous sandstone cave located 50 miles south of Pittsburgh.   Most of the passage ceilings in its three mile labyrinth are between ten and twenty feet high (many as high as 50 feet) with an average width of over twelve feet.  This makes it the largest cave in Pennsylvania.  The cave itself is situated beneath a 435 acre privately owned geological preserve.  Because this property is at the top of Chestnut Ridge, all of the water that enters the cave is pristine.

Cost is: $70 per Scout.  $25 per Adult. 

Release Form: 2016-Upper-Caving-Release.pdf

Permission Slip: Troop 1097 Blank Permission Slip.pdf

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