Saturday, April 03, 2004

Field tripping

This week my 10-year-old daughter Sarah and I volunteered to help out with a city-sponsored program designed to teach elementary school students about caves. We do a lot of volunteer work, but it's always a joy for me to see my kids excited about sharing something they have a passion for.

When we arrived last week for the training and orientation session for volunteers, we discovered there were precious few actual cavers involved. Initially that was a disappointment, but our spirits picked up when we were asked to do some of the more exciting work, since we were the ones who had experience in that area.

So, when the big day came, we arrive early to rig a climbing rope in a tall tree. Sarah put on her gear and climbed and talked and climbed and answered questions and climbed some more, as bus load after bus load of children arrived. She explained how and why cavers learn to climb and rappel using ropes. She climbed many hundreds of feet by the time we were done, and she answered oodles of questions and told dozens of times about her caving experiences. I took a few turns and did the rigging, but mostly I was Sarah's assistant.

What an awesome kid. And what a great opportunity to share what you love and inspire other kids.

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