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It's too dark!

by Jenny Watson

Published in Australian Scout, November 2008, page 12

Caving - It's too dark (or is it)! "No! I really couldn't go underground. I wouldn't be able to breathe in a small, dark area"

This statement is often heard by our Caving leaders - not from the younger generation but from Unit Leaders and helpers.

No amount of talking changes the person's perception however when a Scout or Venturer re-appears with a beaming smile and a "Hey! That was great - simply awesome", the rather timid adult quietly says "Will you take me in but just a little way?" The obliging Caving Leader smiles, knowing from experience that that "little way" will be anything but!!

Entrance to "Ribble Dripple Cave", Mt Eccles National Park
Photograph by Tony Watson

Caving is educational, awesome, beautiful, challenging, peaceful, dark, pretty and quite unique. If you are interested in photography then caving opens up a whole range of opportunities. Some of our Caving Leaders are also keen photographers and will assist and give you hints on achieving a photo with a difference.

The Victorian Scout Caving Team are all trained, dedicated leaders and each month they conduct a weekend experience for Scouts, Venturers, Rovers and leaders. The program and cave challenges are geared towards the various age groups attending the activity.

Scouts enjoying "Smoko Cave", Mt Eccles National Park
Photograph by Tony Watson

Many a young leader recalls his/her unique investiture into Venturers made in a cave that had previously been 'set up' by Caving Leaders. Caves take on a very different atmosphere when dozens of small candles emit their soft glow and the making of the Scout Promise takes on a whole new meaning.

"Federal Cave", former tourist cave, Buchan
Photograph by Brett Wakeman

Group Leaders, District Commissioners - why not try caving as a means of team building for your leaders? Special trips can be arranged by contacting Tony Watson (Branch Activity Leader) on 03. 9704.7750 - or email:

For all Scout trips please contact Tony however to book an experience to be remembered.

For Venturers and Rovers, you will need to contact our booking officer, Erica Baddeley on 03 9808 7248.

Leaders who are thinking of changing sections and would like to join the Victorian Scout Caving Team invite you to contact Tony Watson who will tell you how to become a member of this dedicated "underground" Scouting Team. Come on - enjoy an experience of a lifetime!

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