Caver--Artistry's Re-release/expansion of retired council's own

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For Scientists, caves are among nature’s unique workshops. Natural laboratories where you can observe and study almost any science – geology, biology, paleontology, hydrology and many more. The study of caves has its own branch within science called Speleology, and a person who studies caves is called (you guessed it) a Speleologist. Let’s find out more about his fascinating underground world filled with amazing formations and specialized animals, uniquely adapted to live where most creatures could not.

Brownies/Daisies: Complete 4

1.) Visit a commercial cave with your troop or view a video of a famous cave.

2.) Learn how bats "see" at night. Play "Bat and Moth." Have girls stand in a circle holding hands. Choose four girls to be moths and one girl to be the bat. Blindfold the bat. The object is for the bat to catch a moth by simulating "echolocation". To do this, every time the bat says "Moth", each moth will have to respond by saying "moth" as if the words said by the bat are bouncing or echoing off of the moths. Switch players often to allow everyone the chance to be bats and moths.

3.) Make a clay model of a cave. Use a box as the cave and add cave formations with clay. The following is a good clay recipe to use because the salt adds a slight sparkle. Add paper cutouts of bats, salamanders, and any other cave life about which you may have learned. Clay recipe: Mix 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of salt together. Then add as little water as possible until the mixture becomes like a dough.

4.) Make a "pretend" cave out of several large boxes and practice duck-walking, crawling, bellycrawling, and bear-walking.

5.) Learn about how your flashlight works. Practice taking your flashlight apart, changing the batteries and changing the lightbulb.

6.) With your troop, go in a room with no windows and turn off the lights. Sit completely quiet for one minute to feel what it is like in a cave with no lights. After turning the lights back on, talk about your feelings about the dark with your troop.

7.) Try on some caving equipment. Know why cavers dress the way they do OR invite a caver to come to your troop meeting and show you her equipment.

Juniors: To earn this badge, you must complete 6 of the 10 areas of inquiry listed below. Find out the answers to these questions or do the activities suggested. If you complete the Caves Rock program at Cave of the Mounds, all of your questions will be answered!

1. Plotting the places You can find caves on every continent, in almost every country and in practically every state of this country. Search for answers to the following questions. Use a map of the US and of Wisconsin to plot your findings.

• Where are caves located in the United States?

• Where are caves located in Wisconsin?

• Where did glaciers cover the surface of Wisconsin?

• What is the name of the area of Wisconsin not covered by glaciers?

2. What’s in a name We often say that words matter. How you define a geologic feature is important to understanding how it came to be. Use the web, books or ask a guide to find out what’s in these names.

• What is a cave?

• What are the names of the different types of caves?

• Does the name of the cave help you to understand how the cave was formed?

3. Tales of the Dead Most sedimentary rocks are formed from the shells of things that lived in the past. These shells combine with other sediments at the bottom of the oceans or seas and form layers. Limestone is a good example of this type of rock.
• If you had special eyes and could look below the surface of the ground in your area, what would you see?
• Find out what type animals shell’s make up limestone in your area?
• Start your own fossil collection
4. Acid Rock Limestone caves are formed by the dissolution of the limestone rock by acids. Carbonic acid is the most common type of acid that forms caves. A common example of a weak carbonic acid is soda pop.
• Learn the chemical equation for carbonic acid
Acid Rock:
1. The Chemistry of Erosion: Water (H2O) dissolves carbon dioxide (CO2) and becomes carbonic acid (H2CO3).
2. The Chemistry of Speleothems Carbonic acid (H2CO3) dissolves calcium carbonate (2CaCO3) in the limestone to form calcite crystals (2CaHCO3).

• Stream carved sections develop when water begins to flow rapidly through the rock (mechanical erosion) • Cave of the Mounds was formed from both chemical and mechanical erosion

5. Make your own speoleothem Speleothem is the term used to describe all of the decorative formations found in a cave. They develop from the precipitation of dissolved minerals in the acidic water that drips into the cave. It can take a long time for a cave formation to grow. • How long does it take for one inch of growth on a stalactite? • Make your own stalactite (see sidebar) • What are the different types of speleothems found in caves?

Make Your Own Speleothems!

Materials (per student, pair or group): 2 glass jars 2 nails 2 15in. pieces of heavy string Epsom salts or sucrose solution water food coloring sheets of cardboard or tag board (1 sq. ft. each)

Procedure: Make a saturated solution of Epsom salts and water. Add a drop of food coloring to this solution. Fill both of your jars with the solution. Now, securely tie the two pieces of string together. Tie a nail to each end of the string. Put one nail into one of your glass jars and the other nail into the other jar. Carefully place your set-up so that the glass jars are separated enough to make the strings taut. Make sure the nails are completely submerged in the solution. Place your cardboard sheet under your string. Evenly place it between your two jars so that any solution that drips off the string will land onto the cardboard. Record your observations daily.

6. World of Wonder Cave formations turn underground worlds into fairylands of color, shape and imagination. Many people can see, or imagine they see, shapes in the cave formations – just as when you lay on your back and look up at the clouds. After your cave tour, use the websites listed to look closer at the many formations. Do any remind you of other things? Draw some of your favorites and answer the following questions:
• Ribbon stalactites are often called bacon strip stalactites. Why?
7. Go see a cave Nothing compares to seeing the real thing. Take a tour of a cave in your area and discover the excitement and beauty of the world Down Under! See if you can identify what type of cave it is. Do you see any speleothems (the beautiful formations found in most caves)? What are the rules of behavior in the cave you visited?
8. A place protected
• Zoos, aquariums and botanical gardens are places that help to manage and protect endangered species of plants and animals. They recreate the habitat in which these species are found. State and National Parks are places that help protect species in their native habitat. They help to keep species alive in their natural environment rather than trying to replicate one.
• Caves are “parks” below ground. They are places that preserve rare formations and animal species of many types. Some caves are protected from humans, whose very presence can harm the fragile ecosystem. Other caves are developed for wild caving or cave crawling. Often, these types of caves have few fragile formations that can be broken. Still other caves are developed for people to walk through, often with a guide who “shows” them the cave. This allows people to see the formations and living things either close-up or from a distance.
• Compare the protected places you’ve been. Are the rules the same? Different? How? Make a list of some of the common similarities and differences in how you behave in the protected places you’ve been.
• What does a guide, interpreter or ranger do? Describe a tour or program you were on at a “protected place”.

9. Findings from the field In Columbus’ day, people believed that the earth was flat, not round. When Columbus set sail, many people predicted that his ship would fall off the edge of the earth. Columbus and other explorers and scientists eventually proved that the earth was round. Likewise, cave scientists seek to help people understand that the world is three dimensional. The surface of the earth is only a small part of planet earth’s environment. Understanding underground features like caves is an important part of understanding our world.

• Approximately 20% of the United States is considered a karst landscape. Karst areas are characterized by sinkholes, caves, springs and surface streams which disappear underground. Karst develops on or in water-soluble rock such as limestone.

• Tour a karst landscape. What surface features do you see? Compare an active sinkhole to an inactive sinkhole. How are they different?

10. Career Explorations Use a Venn diagram to explore all of the skills necessary to study caves (Speleology). Label each circle with a branch of science, then fill in each circle with the definition of that science. Next, make a list of how this area of science relates to caves.




Complete eight requirements, including the four *starred. Do activities 1, 2, and 3 before you do activity 4.
1. *Clothing and Equipment (Complete all three parts).
a. The average temperature in caves in our area is around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. With this in mind, make a list of appropriate clothing needed for comfort and safety. Remember that different levels of caves may necessitate crawling or wading through water.

b. Learn about at least five types of light sources and how many of them you must carry with you. Know which light sources are permissible to use per GSUSA. Explain why a helmet-mounted light is the best source to use as your primary source. Demonstrate that you know how to use and maintain your light sources. Know how to properly dispose of your spent light source equipment.

c. Learn about what other items you must pack into the cave with you, how you will carry them and how you will manage them in the cave.

2. *Cave Formations and Cave Conservation Find out what types of caves are in your area and how they were formed. Know what a “Speleothem” is and be able to recognize at least five examples such as stalagmites, stalactites, soda straws, gypsum flowers, rimstone dams, flowstone, helectite, etc. Choose one formation and explain how it formed and from what materials it was formed. Practice good cave conservation manners such as not defacing walls in any way and not touching cave formations. Be able to explain why these are good practices.

3. *Cave Safety (Complete all four parts)

a. Discuss the reasoning behind these cave safety rules: • Never cave along • Tell someone where you are going and when you think you’ll be back. • Always carry three forms of light. • Conserve energy at all times.

b. Keep in mind that prevention is the best cure, what should you know to prepare yourself for a caving experience? Find out the basic first aid required for treating hypothermia and falls. Discuss what action you could take in the event that you or a fellow caver becomes scared, stuck or lost in a cave.
c. The minimum and maximum number of people recommended for a caving group will differ according to the cave. Discuss what will determine the size of the group.
d. Find out what organizations are available for cave emergencies and cave rescues. What careers are connected with cave rescue?
4. *Wild Caving (do both parts)

a. Know how to correctly and safely move through a cave. Explain the “three points of contact” rule. Demonstrate that you can comfortable move in the following ways: walking, bear-walking, crawling, bellycrawling, squeezing, duck-walking, crouching, chimneying, traversing and scrambling. Show that you can balance yourself in both wet and dry environments.

b. Apply the skills that you have learned by participating in a wild cave trip of at least one hour or 12 mile duration with an established, experienced caving group. Make sure that you obtain the proper permissions (parents and landowners) before you leave.

5. Cave conservation is a big issue for today’s cavers. Besides the basic conservation practices that you have already learned, what other things can be done to help preserve the fragile cave environment? Learn about things that can be done to restore caves to a “semi-original” state and participate in a cave clean-up project.
6. Learn how to read a cave map. Be able to explain the symbols. Learn about how a cave is surveyed to make a map. OR
Go with a group of experienced cavers and help them survey and map a cave.
7. Read about and report on a famous cave or caver. If you choose a cave, be able to tell how this cave is similar to or different from caves in your area.

8. Visit a commercial cave and take one of its guided tours. Listen to your guide to learn about the significance of this cave. Find out why this cave became commercial and why it is better for the cave for it to remain commercial. Make mental notes on how this type of cave tour differs from a wild cave tour. What types of people can go on this kind of tour that might not be able to go on a wild cave tour? Find out if there are any tours available for the physically disadvantaged.

9. Learn about the caving or caving related organizations: National Speleological Society (along with local grottos), American Cave Conservation Association, Bat Conservation International. Find out if there are any chapters near you and attend one meeting from one of these groups.
10. Study bats. Learn what types of bats are found in our area and which ones are endangered. Know what measures are being taken to preserve bats in our area. Understand how a bat lives, sleeps, eats, breeds and flies. Be able to explain why most bat myths are false. Help educate people about bats by creating and distributing a flyer, talking to your troop, performing a play or puppet show for younger girls or some idea of your own.
11. Learn about the other types of animals found in caves (besides bats) and any plants that live there. Know what parts of the cave in which different species live. Choose one to study and make a poster, diorama or other educational item. Share this item with others.
12. Many caves have an interesting history that involves people. Sometimes the only way a cave’s history is known about is through archeology. Find out about cave archeology by talking to a person who has worked on a cave excavation or visit a cave excavation site with a knowledgeable person.
13. Many careers can be associated with caves. Some of these include wildlife biologists, geologists, hydrologists, park rangers, tour guides, naturalists, recreation managers and historians. Interview someone whose job is associated with caves. Ask if they needed higher education, what their major field of study was and how they learned to apply it to the cave environment.

14. Find out what karst is and where there are karst regions in Kentucky. Find out about how different above ground activities directly affect both caves and our water systems.

15. Math and science often play an important role in modern caving. Read about different scientific devices that are currently used in cave study. Some examples are cave radios, devices used to electronically measure depth, devices for bat echolocation and instruments to find fault lines and other geologic features.

16. Specialized forms of caving provide a variation on the caving experience. Vertical caving, cave diving and some ice caving require specialized training and unique abilities. Learn about another type of caving and what kids of equipment are required. If you choose vertical caving, you may be able to take a training course and try a beginners cave under BOTH an experienced vertical caver and a Girl Scout adult who fully knows Safety Activity Check Points for caving and rappelling/rock climbing. (Do not attempt any specialized caving; even with experienced cavers without the approval of the Girl Scout Council.)

17. Many caving events are held in our state each year. Find out about such events as the “Crawlathon” and “Speleofest” and make arrangements to attend one.
Using your caving knowledge and experience, put on a caving event for younger girls. Be sure to consult Safety Activity Check Points. Do not lead any tours by yourself. Make sure that you have qualified, experienced cavers as trip guides. Consider the proper number of adult to girl ratio for the age level you choose. Remember to prepare for emergencies and how to deal with someone who gets in a cave and becomes frightened or upset. You may consider using the requirements for “Our Own Council’s” Caving Badge.
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