The first chapter in the history of the Greater Allentown Grotto is quite simple. Most of our grotto members were introduced to caving through a series of learning experiences. Two of the founding grotto members are school teachers. One introduced the other to caving, who in turn began teaching students about caving. After a few field trips run by the two teachers, the enthusiasm increased. A few of the students took a greater interest in caving and began telling relatives and friends. Love for the underground did not end with the school year. They continued caving together and our small, informal fraternity was formed. At the 1980 NSS convention in Minnesota, we decided to organize into an official grotto.
During the late 80's and early 90's members of the grotto worked on local projects including MAR Bulletins for Lehigh and Northampton Counties, as well as a complete quarry survey of Berks county. As interests began to diversify, the reach of the grotto began to expand, and started to include frequent trips to Virginia and West Virginia. During this time, the grotto members worked on Caves in the Richlands Area of Greenbrier County.
Currently, members regularly participate in caving events in Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. Individual member's interests include casual site seeing trips, local cave discovery explorations, surveying, photography, historical research, cave biology and hard core scientific exploration.
We now have over 60 members. For information about joining, please contact our membership chairman Vince Kappler or download an application. Membership applications should be mailed to: Greater Allentown Grotto, Post Office Box 373, Neffs, PA 18065-0370.