Horsham Scouts’ cardboard caving weekend fundraises for memorial project

Cardboard caving
Cardboard caving

A group of Horsham scouts held a cardboard caving weekend, raising more than £1,300 in the process.

First St Leonard’s Forest Scout Group opened up its base to Scouts and Guides to raise money for an artificial caving system to be installed at its campsite.

The group smashed its £250 target, raising £1,308.

This puts it around a quarter of the way to its target.

The event was led by Martin Dold, assistant scout leader at first St Leonard’s Forest Scout Group and one of the driving forces behind the Paul Dold Memorial Artificial Cave Project. Paul, a keen caver, died in 2016.

Paul introduced and encouraged many Scouts to try caving. It was his idea to build an artificial system to make caving more accessible. His brother, Martin, and Peter Scofield, district commissioner for Horsham Scouts, are now making the project a reality.

Planning permission has been granted.

Martin said: “Caving can be scary. If you get young people into cardboard boxes it suddenly becomes fun.

“It breaks down fears and builds team working skills, there’s camaraderie underneath there along with the communication skills they need. It doesn’t become caving, it becomes team work and breaks down the anxiety of being in tubes or dark spaces.”

The Scouts put together the caves using 2.3kg of parcel tape and many cardboard boxes to create 148m of passages.

They built a split level that you had climb up and back on yourself, along with artificial stalactites to be negotiated.

To add to the fun a spider was made from bin bags.

Around 150 Cubs, Scouts and Guides were joined by their siblings and parents over the weekend.

The youngest child through the cave system was three, who once he’d donned a head torch, showed adults how it should be done.

The whole atmosphere was buzzing as the community came together to support this great cause.

Caroline King, a scout parent said: “My kids loved it and went back twice!

“One went from being extremely nervous of caving to absolutely loving it in the space of ten minutes.”

Helen Jones, first Harewood guide leader added: “The Guides had such a great time and I loved the community atmosphere you generated too. All our parents stayed as well.”

For more about the project email martinjdold@gmail.com.

To donate see www.wonderful.org/fundraiser/pauldoldmemorialartificialcaveproject-33f78d15