Mammoth Cave Restoration Field Camp


by: Larry Matiz & Norm Rodgers

Larry writes

I would like to thank everyone for ALL the help you gave last week at camp. A BIG thanks for the kitchen help, you guys were GREAT! Mike says he would like to do it again next year and I hope he can.
I would also like to thank John Fry for all of his years leading us. John will be greatly missed. Rick Olson will be taking over for John until the Park assigns us a new leader.
I know Norm felt bad for not being able to be with us for all of camp. Every time I called Norm while at camp he was right there by the phone. :) I could tell he wanted to be with us.
For those of you who couldn't make the camp we collected a fund to send to the NSS in memory of Larry Reece. Thanks to all who gave, I know Larry would be proud of us. Nancy Friend took the money home and she will be sending a check to the NSS in memory of Larry Reece from MaCa Restoration Camp.
For our Educational trips on Saturday we went to Violet City for the easy trip and again to Argo Junction for the other trip. There was also a group who went to Roppel Cave via Weller Entrance. On Wednesday we got to go to Gothic Ave. after dinner.
A big thanks to all who stayed around Sunday and helped clean up the camp for the next group that was arriving later on Sunday. The group is trying to reintroduce the wild orchid into the park.

Larry Matiz

And from Norm Rogers

Greetings Everybody,

Another summer camp has come and gone. It doesn't seem possible; time flies . . .
I want to thank everyone that attended. When I arrived at the cave on Friday, Chris and I went to the river via Mammoth Dome, while the rest of the group came through Fat Man's Misery. Alone, we had a chance to enjoy the quiet of the cave, and a chance to walk to the end of the bridge. We were shocked at the amount of work everyone had done. It was incredible . . . like a dream. You know, when you wake up and don't quite know where you are? It seemed like only moments before, the walk to the work site was another mile down the passage. We should have had to walk over three spans of rotting bridge, past the Sands of Sahara, and past the first boat dock before we could reach the work site. And now, we were just down the stairs and around the corner from the Lake Lethe Rise. Unbelievable! All that stuff is gone. All that wood. Those miles of electrical cable. Gone!
Not being at summer camp for the first time since 1989, was like letting go of a youngest child. I had to sit on the side-lines, unable to help, watching and hoping everything would go smoothly. My heart broke not to be there, but you did well without me. I knew you would. It proves this camp is not about Norm. This camp is about you people; the volunteers. Everyone of you make the camp great, and make a great project even greater.
I've never received so many good comments on the meals as I did this year. Brett and Mike really turned it up a notch in the kitchen. I understand they will be back next year. I hope so. I didn't get any prime rib! I can't thank Larry Matiz enough for running the camp. He is an inspiration to us all. Because of his leadership, I had three people volunteer to be camp manager in the future. That's never happened before.
Volunteers of this project are the best. When I think about all the work that's been done, all the miles, the grass sacks, the tower, the stairs, I'm over-whelmed. It's uphill all the way to the entrance! It's just unthinkable that people volunteer for this. Most of you are just now getting over sore muscles and getting your gear put away, and believe it or not, I'm getting phone calls and e-mails from people who want to attend the November 2nd camp!
God bless you all. You're the best.