These were my first out of state merit badges. I earned Mammal Study and Geocahing! I went o Lincoln Caverns and had a GREAT time! I worked with another troop of scouts and the staff. Ann was super helpful in getting everything arranged.
In Mammal Study, we focused on bats. Did you know that there has been a huge decline in the bat population because of white nose syndrome? It was likely brought to the US by hikers on their boots or packs. It is terrible because it annoys the bats and wakes them when they are supposed to be hybernating. Each time they wake up, it uses up their stores of food energy. If it happens too often, they will starve to death over the winter. Bats are very important because they control bug polulations and help plants. They drop seends in their poop as they fly, moving plants and they also help with pollination. We got to see bats in the caves and we built a bat box too!
In Geocaching, we learned about a new (to me) type of cache (I was VERY excited). It is puzzle caching and you have to actually solve a puzzle to get the coordinates you need. Dad and I did one on our way home at a base. We had stopped there to visit the memorial for his soldiers.
The best part was the cave tour. We got to tour by flashlight AND black light. It is amazing how different the cave walls look under black light. I would really encourage everyone to try it.
Lincoln Caverns offer other merit badges as well. I would definitely reccomend a visit! It is well worth the drive from Michigan.