New in 2023: Cave Kids Challenge! Saturday, 9 am – 6 p.m.

Looking for something fun and entertaining to challenge your kids at OTR? Look no further than this year’s newest contest, the Cave Kids Challenge!

This year, we have devised a special challenge to keep your kids active and engaged on Saturday during OTR. The challenge involves competing in several of our regularly scheduled caving-related contests—such as the obstacle course or vertical contests—as well as completing several special educational sessions on topics such as knot tying, bats, and how to pack a cave pack.

Kids who sign up for the Cave Kids Challenge will receive a handmade bat-themed string backpack to hold their supplies for the day. Points will be tallied and awarded for participation in each activity, and the Top Kid in each category (ages 5-9 and 10-13) will be eligible to win $50 in OTR Bucks! As a bonus, any points accumulated are in addition to any prize money earned by winning contests!

How’s it going to work, you ask? Well, we’ll begin the morning with a brief orientation for kids and parents at 9 a.m., followed by a guided tour of The Wild Side and then a knot tying lesson with some esteemed members of our OTR family. Sam Hawkins, a youth himself, will be the youth leader of the program, shepherding kids from activity to activity.

Just before 11 a.m., we’ll break to allow those who wish to attend Batman the Magician’s famous magic show in the Pavilion. After that, kids are free to grab lunch and then head over to compete in as many physical contests as they choose (parental supervision required)! At 4 p.m., we’ll regroup for a lesson on cave packs and a lesson on bats. And finally, at 6 p.m., we’ll gather to celebrate everyone’s accomplishments!

Prizes will be awarded at the Contests Podium on Sunday at 1 p.m. in the Pavilion, and certificates will be presented at the Awards Ceremony on Sunday evening.

We welcome suggestions as well as assistance. Let’s teach the next generation of cavers how to be great stewards of the caves.

Because of the preparations required (such as the handmade bags), please let us know in advance if your kids are planning to participate. For more information or to sign up, please contact Contest General Manager Sharon Brinkman-Windle through Facebook Messenger or by phone at 304-379-7997.

Note: Parents will be asked to sign a photo release to allow photos from the day’s events to be displayed in the Awards Ceremony or on the closed OTR Web site.