Above left: Dave installs a giant mending plate to reinforce some cribbing in the new CaveSim trailer. Dave makes many of the mending plates from scrap electronics enclosures. This helps reduce the cost and environmental impact of the project. Above right: Dave about to install a wall in the new passage in the trailer. The old passage will continue to be used — we’re just adding to it. Photos: Tracy Jackson.
Left: Cavers gather around CaveSim waiting to explore it. Right: JSS kids try the Loyalhanna squeezebox. Photos by Natalie Pheasant.
In case you had any doubts, CaveSim is great for people of all ages. We had a great time talking with this Airborne veteran at MayaCon, and he did really well crawling through CaveSim.
Here he is reviewing his score with Tracy and Carolyn Parsons:
Photos by Gill Gilliland
Brentan and Liz Alexander
Maureen and Bill Barton
Dick Blenz (see note below)
Mike and Lisette Casey
Marshall and Shannon Comisar
Ann-Li and Mike Cooke
Gill and Theresa Gilliland
Andrew and Tricia Gregg
Michael and Fish Gundlach
Scott and Amy Hall
Juli and Robert Jackson
Mary Kay and Charles Jackson
Brad and Alice Kaanta
Ben and Sarah Knighten
Nathan and Elizabeth Long
Matt and Laura Martin
Christina and Jesse Rochette
Groups (click to visit)
Amber (left) and Hailie (right) from Atlas Prep enjoy CaveSim during their REACH summer program. Photos: Kelsey, REACH staff.
Hailie, playing Bat And Moth, tries to tag other students (moths) using her echolocation. Photo: Kelsey, REACH
Quentin plays the part of a bat in the Bat Migration Challenge. The orange tape represents a bat armband (bats get banded for scientific research, just like birds). Photo: Kelsey, REACH.
A new women’s world record for CaveSim was set today by Larissa Phillips of Colorado Springs. Larissa’s score was 0 damage in 1 minute, 20 seconds. She set her record on her first trip through CaveSim ever, and she seemed really pleased and surprised to have done so well. Larissa has limited caving experience, which makes her record even more impressive. She is a climber who works at CityROCK Climbing Center, which is great climbing gym located in downtown Colorado Springs. The previous record was 0 damage in 1 minute, 27 seconds held by Andrea Corlett of Alberta, Canada.
Over 150 kids and adults attended the Catamount Institute Symposium today at Colorado College and learned about both caving and invention from Dave Jackson of CaveSim (“Dave from a Cave!”) The Symposium is like a science fair where 4th and 5th grade students present their projects about caves, bats, water and underground ecology. Instead of just answering a scientific question, the students take community action to solve a cave-related problem. Dave’s talk emphasized the importance of using creativity to solve real-world problems, like Dave did with CaveSim. Of course, the talk was also fun — who doesn’t want to hear stories about digging giant holes?
Watch a high-energy talk by “nationally known caver and inventor… David Jackson”: http://youtu.be/7_dQbg67KWk
Quick story: Tracy and I went caving today with some first-time cavers and we saw these incredibly beautiful cave formations (see picture below). Then we saw some super-delicate formations that someone had vandalized by pressing mud spheres into the formations in at least 30 places (see attached picture again). Because of the ignorance of some unknown person on a previous trip, at least hundreds of years of natural growth had been wiped out in minutes, with the formations never to be the same again. I found this extremely sad, and I told our group that this is why I haul around a 1600 pound cave simulator to teach kids about caves. Because people can only protect what they understand.
I thought that I would share this story as a reminder that we could use your help to put cave education and outreach programs on the road. Even if you only want to give $1, you’ll help us a lot by increasing the number of people who’ve pledged. My standard joke is that everyone has at least $1 in change between the seats of their car. Of course, if you can’t find a dollar between your seats, you can always tell a friend to support our project.
Ms. Downey’s YES Club from Taylor Elementary had a great time visiting CaveSim today. They learned about safe caving, cave rescue, and about some formations that they hadn’t heard of before.
Right: Students watch monitors and video feeds to see how well a classmate navigates CaveSim.
Left: A student having a great time in the popcorn crawl.
Photos by Katy Downey
It’s 3AM Eastern, and Dave, Tracy and Scott (Tracy’s brother) just got back to Atlanta from participating as rescuers in a successful cave rescue in a cave in Alabama. This was Dave and Tracy’s first real rescue, and we were extremely well prepared by our CCRN (Colorado Cave Rescue Network) training. Thanks, CCRN! The Huntsville, Atlanta and other rescue teams did a great job. Dave, Tracy and Scott were with the patient from almost first contact all the way to the ambulance, and we are glad that the patient was doing well when they arrived at the ambulance.
We look forward to bringing CaveSim to many future cave rescue training events. If you’ve donated to us, thank you! If you have yet to donate, here’s one more reason to give. Donate now!
Dave and Tracy (in the yellow helmets) work with Eddie (Alabama SAR) to package the patient during the Tumbling Rock rescue. Photo: Jonathan McDole.
Students from Mr. Rochette’s YES Club at Buena Vista Elementary School (in Colorado Springs) crawled through CaveSim today and learned more about caves and bats. Quote of the day: “I just want to say, you’re awesome for building this cave!”
Students from the Canon City High School Caving Club stopped by the CaveSim garage to experience their first mock cave rescue. As they learned, cave rescue is extremely difficult (especially with uncooperative patients!) The students also went caving with Dave and other Williams Canyon trip leaders on a trip to Swirling Mist. The students did an awesome job helping with digging and erosion control projects.
Club members pose inside Swirling Mist after a long day of caving. Photo by Ken Cline.
Students from the Canon City High School Caving Club went caving with Dave, Tracy and other Williams Canyon trip leaders on a trip to Huccy’s. The students did an awesome job taking care of the cave and one another.
Tracy (left) and students from CCHS pose after enjoying the mudslide in the Buffalo Room. Photo: Ken Cline
The National Speleological Foundation (NSF) has agreed to fund CaveSim’s return transportation to Colorado from the 2012 NSS Convention, MayaCon. Now all we need is help getting to convention is the first place. The NSF was generous enough to fund half of this trip, bringing CaveSim to thousands of convention goers, community members, and teachers across the county. Can you or your grotto help CaveSim with the rest? Contact us.