February 1st, 2019 Friday high was a nice sunny 46 and Saturday the same with a high of 57.  Almost no wind.  The group of 67 came from 10 churches represented.  The Better Boy Brotherhood from Stockton AOG with the largest group of 20 were the last to arrive and the string of lights being lead by Mike Herman was a site to behold.  Men and boys carrying all they would need for a night in the deep dark reaches of the Big Bat Cave.  

Special thanks to Rob Batchman,  Dave Yonke, Kevin Styles , Ryan Evarts and Mark Jones for sharing their pictures with us.  Click on a picture for a larger view.  Zip File of all these pictures.

Some links to Youtube Videos of our fun time.

https://youtu.be/DDD7KS-p8e0  https://youtu.be/9u5j7vdlW14   https://youtu.be/8RH8gsLiD1E  https://youtu.be/G78x23qxXpg   https://youtu.be/BNy0F8eZvn4  https://youtu.be/XEGgobv0XtU 
https://youtu.be/0TGKxpfg8iM  https://youtu.be/yFsqRYe2mmk

Most of the team that helped us Clear the Trail and cut firewood. A few are camera shy.

The week started out with a cold and windy forecast.  Praying for a break in the weather the Lord Blessed us with 2 of the nicest days we can remember.  Just 3 days before it was 8 degrees in Springfield with record setting temps of the century.  Yup we were blessed by our Lord and Savior.  ​
The days leading up are always filled with calls and e-mails and texts of those that had something come up.   it's always saddens my heart when they can't show up.  Yet there is always hope for next year.  This place is awesome.  The 26 years I have been camping in this cave have always been filled with the harshness of cave living.  The bat guano and the damp and Smokey air from the campfire yet in all that there is the Challenge and the over coming of these conditions that bring the Royal Ranger Spirit into being what "Living the Adventure" is actually all about.  While the stuff we teach in the classroom is very necessary and foundational to what we do outside.  It's the going and doing that makes "Living the Adventure" real and life changing with memories that last for decades.  These events change lives.​
Mike Herman shared a testimony with me that started from one of our Backpacks 10 years ago where we had 3 Ranger Kids and their Dads and Dave Yonke and I.  The entry level backpack and camp was a 10 miler and I was amazed at the Ranger Kids that went the distance.  A Dad's life was changed at that event.  He went on to being a Pastor and he told Mike that that event was a turning point.  Right place at the God ordained time.  ​
This weekend I saw 17 Servant Leaders go down early to clear the path and cut firewood and haul it to the face of the cave.  Also constructed a Jerky smoking fire and setup for Rappelling where we all witnessed over 30 people rappel the 47 foot cave face as other like minded Christian folk cheered them on and encouraged and instructed them as they made their way past FEAR, ANXIETY and the many other things that are in their mind as they go down a rope building Character and Courage and Skills.​
We enjoyed a 8:30 candle light service and Pastor Kaylor from Ozark AOG delivered a message of being Strong and Courageous in the back of that cave.  Yes we did turn off the lights and talked about separation from God.  Everyone was challenged to take the message of Jesus to our world.​
So much to talk about it would take pages to write it all down and you would get tired of reading.  So click on a picture it's worth a 1000 words each.​


Best Jerky Ever Smoked!

Biolight Wood Stove cooking Pork Steak

Ernie in his New Hammock

What a Brotherhood!

Nerd City. Me cooking

A team! Bat Cave Facilitators


Young and Old alike go down the rope

Union Guy on Break

James clearing the Rappel

Skully welcomes you to the cave

Even in the depts of this cave the Holy Spirit finds us!

Justin! Great Friends!

Half mile hike to get here

Making a Difference in these boys lives!

Great shot Rob!

Me stalling while a rescue party goes to retrieve the last Treasure chest that slipped down deep into a hole.

Ok..another new tarp is needed someone burnt holes in my tarp.

Dads and Leaders teaching boys!

Three generations here at his cave!

tools gotta have them.

Treasure Chests

A foam skull called Skully...got to add some mystery.

Lost man hunt we found him.

Boys learn hard work pays off.

With out God's Blessing and protection even a trip in a car can be dangerous. I am thankful He looks out for us.

Anticipating some of the best Jerky ever! Thanks Devon!

Yup a pickup load of firewood

Osage Fork river. My Dad is buried about 15 miles from this place. He visited here when he was a boy!

Cave breaths. It sometimes get smokey and sometimes its clear.

We all have our mysteries...so here is one of mine.

Biolight is like having a campfire between your knees.

Evans know how to camp!

I can only amagine what God has in store for us.

5 feet wide and 13 feet long campfire for 67

Only Rob can sleep in a tent on it's side...best nights sleep!

God gives us Friends and then God gives us FRIENDS!


Pictures sent in by Kevin Styles

Ryan Evarts Pictures!