Boy Scout Troop 242 of Kilmarnock recently traveled to Bath County for an underground experience.
Four scouts and two leaders headed out on Friday evening and set up their tents just our side of Staunton in 20 degree weather to try spelunking. The troop explored the passages of Crossroads Cave for four hours on Saturday.
“It is a unique opportunity to crawl around in a cave,” said leader William Barnhardt. “Out here in Lancaster County, we live in sand. The chance to go under the earth and crawl around on boulders, slither through small passages and observe speleothems such as stalactites, stalagmites and columns is maybe once in a lifetime.”
The scouts were lead by caving experts, Martin Clemmer with the Tuscoroa Council of Northern North Carolina and Eric Miller of Charlottesville. Clemmer is an avid caver and has taken many scout troops spelunking.
“The troop went caving with him in this same area two years prior. It was a program that had a fantastic turnout and all the scouts had a great time, we just had to repeat it,” said Barnhardt.
The scouts also considered climbing towers but found the underground alternative safer, more scenic and less expensive, he added.
Chartered in 1955, Boy Scout Troop 242 of Kilmarnock has helped many young men learn essential life skills and produced 41 Eagle Scouts.
In 2014, the scouts applied for and earned the right to attend Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. Eight Scouts and four leaders hiked the back country over 70 miles for 12 days living out of what they carried in their back packs.
“This is the pinnacle achievement of the Boy Scouting experience and our little troop from the Northern Neck conquered it,” said Barnhardt.
Troop 242 meets at 7 p.m. Mondays at the Kilmarnock Baptist Church, 65 East Church Street, Kilmarnock.
“It’s easy to be part of this scouting experience, stop by and join in,” said Barnhardt.