What child between the ages of 9 through 16 would not find having an overnight caving experience sans parents intriguing?
The answer is not many and that is precisely why the winter camping program at “Blue Spring Caverns” in Bedford, Indiana is so popular with children and parents alike.
While the children are having fun exploring the cavern and enjoying what they believe to be a temporary parental reprieve, what they are actually doing is learning about the natural world in a way not possible in a traditional classroom setting. And although they may be sans parents for the evening, they are not without proper adult supervision.
What follows is a brief description about the unique, winter, overnight camping program available at “Blue Spring Caverns” and some of what parents need to know in order to get their children involved in it.
A Brief Description of Blue Spring Caverns Winter Camping Program
The winter overnight camping program is geared towards children between the ages of 9 through 16. It is crafted to provide them with a unique understanding of underground geology and cave safety as well as foster a love of exploration and natural science.
The program generally begins at 7:00 pm with the program participants trekking their way to the designated camping area known as “Canyon Hall.”
To get to “Canyon Hall” the guide will transport the participants on a customized tour boat along the cavern’s underground river until the boat must be docked.
From the docking point participants will be exploring sections of the cavern not used during normal, guided tours. As such, participants will be walking, climbing and crawling through virtually uncharted areas of the cavern.
During the trek to “Canyon Hall” the participants will receive an informative, hour long lecture on safe caving techniques that they will be able to employ as the exploration proceeds.
Once inside “Canyon Hall” there are bunks that the participants will use for sleeping purposes. Sometime before bed a slide show will be given from inside the cave on both “Blue Spring Caverns” and cave exploration in general. Then it is lights out for the participants.
Upon awakening, the participants will be given breakfast and then escorted out of the cave and above ground by 9:00 am.
Hours of Operation and Admission Fees
“Blue Spring Caverns” is open daily for regular, guided cave tours from Memorial Day through October 31st and weekends only April and May.
Winter youth camping programs take place on Friday and Saturday evenings from October 1st until April 30th by advance reservations only.
Due to the intense popularity of the winter youth camping experience it is best to make reservations as far out as 90 days of more.
As of 2010 the admission to the overnight camping event is $28 per person, payable in advance. The price is inclusive of the overnight accommodations, guided cave tour, safe caving lecture, slide show and breakfast.
Things to Know Before You Go
The “Blue Spring Caverns” staff has strict policies of what can and cannot be brought into the caverns. Camping participants are asked to bring with them a hand towel, flashlight, an extra change of warm clothes and suitable footwear stored in a sealable plastic bag, sleeping bag, small pillow and a warm coat.
Participants under the age of 18 must have signed parental permission to participate in the winter camping program.
Those that are interested in learning more about having their children participate in the winter camping program at “Blue Spring Caverns” should contact the cavern staff directly at 812-279-9471.
Blue Spring Caverns
1459 Blue Spring Caverns Road
Bedford, IN 47421