Like many organizations, we started as a small group of friends in high school with a common interest. Our particular original interest goes by the label "Urban Archaeology", to put a positive spin on it. This basically just means that we enjoyed exploring abandoned buildings and the many underground military bunkers in RI.
We did this mostly at night, for a number of reasons (free time and going undetected topping that list), and out of boredom over RI's non-existant nightlife. Thus, we called ourselves the "Rhode Island Bored Nocturnal Adventurer's Guild".
One cannot, however, call RI a "big" place by any stretch of the imagination. Sure, it has dozens of old military installations, including particularly well preserved ones on a few islands (Dutch Island stayed remarkably complete over the decades, until a few years ago when the state decided to dynamite it to make it "safer"). But not a big state. So, After exploring what RI has to offer so many times we memorized the floor plans, we settled into relative inactivity for a while.
Then, in late summer of 2000, one of us (Laura) accidentally stumbled across a letterbox. She found the Firetower Ledge box at Wickaboxet. Intrigued, a few of us did a bit of research to find out why people would leave a small plastic container in the middle of nowhere, and immediately we knew we had found a new hobby.
We exist as a very informal group. We have no charter, or organizing body, or even an exact idea of how many members we have. We have a web page, though, so I guess that makes RIBNAG "real", in some sense.
We also have no official rules, although we all abide by two that seem like just plain common sense: Stay safe (don't go alone, have proper equipment, don't take chances with a fun-to-risk ratio below one, etc); and we always leave places we visit in the same condition we found them, or better.
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