Moaning Cavern – Scouts on Ropes

Many Scouts believe that Moaning Cavern is the best, most exciting outing of their entire Scouting career. It combines underground rappelling, deep-cave spelunking, physical endurance, and old-fashioned brute strength into an epic test of a boy’s inner spirit. After finishing, Scouts can stand a little taller, walk with a little more swagger, and speak with more confidence. (Adults, on the other hand, just need a few days to recover!)

No one is fully prepared for the adrenaline rush you get when dropping into a huge cavern on a small rope. Starting on a wooden platform above the cavern, guides fit everyone with a safety harness and j-rack, then cover the ten safety rules. (Coveralls are provided to protect against the mud in the cave, but they are optional.) One at a time, the boys lean back over the edge, let go of the wooden handrail, and rappel their way slowly to a rocky area 30 feet below. Here they take a deep breath, turn around and inch backwards into the larger, open part of the cavern.

The next seconds are breath-taking and scary as Scouts drop over the edge and hang suspended on their rope Continue reading

Fastest Go Karts for Scouts

Indoor kart racing is one of the fastest growing sports in the country.  Maybe it’s the speed, or maybe it’s because you are so close to the ground, but nothing beats the thrill of driving a go kart through a series of hairpin turns at more than 30 miles per hour.  You get the noise, smell of gasoline, and adrenalin of Formula One racing, but without the expensive pit crews and fiery crashes. 

There are lots of kart race tracks in Northern California.  Some of them are pretty lame!  Our Scouts selected Umigo in Livermore for a Saturday morning trip because they had heard Umigo provides all the excitement they wanted – and all the instruction they needed.  Continue reading

Indoor Sky Diving for Scouts

Real Sky Diving is not allowed in Scouting.  And probably that’s a good thing.  There is something unScoutly about pushing a hysterical boy out of an airplane at 10,000 feet.  (No matter how fun it is for the adults to watch.)   Probably couldn’t get the parent’s permission anyway.  No matter.

The next best thing is IFLY in Union City.  This indoor wind tunnel cost more than $8 million to build according to their web site and it’s so authentic that professional sky divers go there to practice their moves.  IFLY provides all the excitement, adrenaline, and adventure of the real thing, without the screaming Scouts.  Our Troop decided to give it a try. Continue reading