Dear Editor: Although this entire article, "The science of chocolate" by guest columnist Terri Kimble, captured my attention, the mention of the children in a cave really got me excited. I am attending the annual conference of the National Speleological Society, being held this year in Lakeland, Fla. The convention is a small one this year, a little over 500. As I look around, the majority of the attendees are gray or graying. Larger conventions, held while schools are out of session, attract more youth.
The society composition includes scientists of varied fields, including exploration, geology, biology, hydrology, medicine, engineering, communications and electronics, even paleontology and history. The disciplines extend into fine arts, music and photography.
Caving attracts many people. White and blue collars are left behind for a helmet and light, knee pads and coveralls. Science and technology abounds. There is much left to be discovered and researched. We grays are depending on the youth of the world to continue our works.
Thanks to 4-H for encouraging learning through fun activities. We cavers dip our nets into underground pools and streams. We trace surface water into and through caves and back out. We need that chocolate, (or do we?), to endure extended trips beneath the surface of the earth.
The allure of the underground is calling for more youth to explore the many wonders of caves, to discover the incredible, to become engaged in fun. Fun which will ultimately lead to a career in science and technology.
Thank you, Terry, for bringing attention to a world class youth organization and a group which still concerns itself with agriculture, but extends far beyond the fields into science and technology, in space and in the dark holes far below the surface of the earth.
Carol S. Jackson