The Baltimore Grotto was founded on August 20, 1952. We celebrated our 50th Anniversary in 2002.
From the newly-released History of the Virginia Region, Part 2, 2004, pp 197-198:
The Baltimore Grotto, being a highly politically charged organization, is akin to a smoothly running bureaucratic machine. The Bawlmer Grotto is also noted for its spoofs, satires, Hoke's, and lazy procrastinating Slacker Chairmen, who get elected by the apathy of a bunch of lazy bum Bawlmer Grotto members who don't want the job themselves.
The Baltimore Grotto wanted to join the VAR cus weez already belong to the MAR Region and smart folks in MAR didn't have any silly *#?% rulez 'bout joining multiple regions. Now in Fall 1985 (the VAR at Smith Mountain Lake) VAR wized the hell up and dropped their idiotic rules and finally the VAR family adopted us like the bastard step-child they never wanted.
So in (date? [Ed: 1998]) we had one of those fandangled VAR thingys down at Friars Hole with the eclectic folks of Sligo Grotto. Thousands of chickens died and it seemed that B'more Grotto would never finish cooking 'em. And if you ask 'round, you'll find "VAR COOKS SAY EAT BEEF!". In a serious note, proceeds went to the Silers Gate project, which was completed two years later.
Our famous Pumpkin Hunt is attended by millions every year, as is our Xmas Banquet. The Pumpkin Hunt is a combination road rally/cave scavenger hunt. Much sweat, mud & blood, joy & tears are shed over the prize of signing the Hallowed Great Pumpkin, the tedious task of puttin' on the Hunt next year, and a six pack. Baltimore's Holiday Banquet is notorious for outstanding programs, a fabulous feast, and irrelevant and disrespectful awards based on embarrassing events, acts of stupidity, ignorance, or just plain getting caught.
At the Baltimore Grotto, we are preserving a 52-year-old history, initiated by our founders; not to take ourselves too seriously, and to promote caving and good fellowship. At our meetings, don't expect structured formality. Robert died long ago. We're here to socialize, to have fun, and make a little fun of each other. Welcome Y'all!
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