MINUTES – March 18, 2011

Vinton Fire Department; Vinton, VA




David Socky

Mary Sue Socky - VP

Susan Burr

Marian McConnell – Sec

Alan Staton

Trish Geiger - Treasurer

Pat Sims – President

Aaron Moses

Stephanie Petrie

Al Stewart

Tom Tracy*

Carl Alls

Jennifer Perdue

Cyndi Hutchinson




          David Socky and team surveyed Gap Cave on February 26; spent about 10-1/2 hours and surveyed about 200’.

          David Socky, Phil Lucas, and Nevin Davis went in Wishing Well Cave (VA) on March 13th.  The entrance to the cave is a 40’ pit that Phil opened with a backhoe and is entered via a vertical ladder.  So far it’s about 4 miles of surveyed virgin shitty cave – muddy, low, small.  Later they found walking passage in another lead with beautiful formations and soda straws.

          The BRG trip to Paxton’s (WV) on February 19 was a great trip; went around in circles, through a small tube, and everyone said “I hope it’s not raining” (referring to the movie Sanctum).  David Socky led the group and they saw parts of Paxtons they had never seen before.

          Alan Staton, Doug Feller, Susan Burr, led a group of 7 Boy Scouts and 1 Leader into Porter’s (VA) on March 12th.  Some of the kids were rather large and 3 kids got stuck in the keyhole.  Then Susan got wedged in the keyhole helping one of the boys get out.  There was also a big splash in the stream – Doug Feller was the culprit!

          Mary Sue Socky went in Fountain Cave (VA) on March 4th and did some digging.  She and Carol used some lavender incense to look for air movement and found some; also a possible artifact or rodent-gnawed antler.  Jim McConkey made voice connection to T159 Cave which was the original entrance to Fountain Cave.  One bat was found in Fountain with WNS.  Rick Reynolds and Wil Orndorff of the DCR plan to go talk with the owners and address their concerns with WNS and their cave.

          Aaron Moses and friends went into Shoveleater cave on February 26; surveyed about 200’.

          Aaron Moses and friends went into Culverson Creek cave on March 5; including death siphon.  The water was so high if you fell in you’d be gone.  Also went to McLaughlin’s and the Psychosump was open.

          Aaron Moses and friends went into Memorial Day cave on March 12.

          Mary Sue Socky, Nick Socky, and Daniel Bishop went to Dixie Caverns on March 11.


          The March 19th BRG trip will be to Lipps entrance to Organ Cave (WV) – meet at 8:30 at HROM.  Will take the Lipps stream to the sump – Doug Feller will be the leader.

          There will be a cleanup at Grand Caverns April 22-24; basically to move gravel, and play, dig, and repair formations in Fountain.  See Mary Sue for more information.

          Various caves were suggested for the April 16th BRG Trip:  Dead Doe, Honnaker (WV), or Maxwellton. 


2.  PROGRAM:  “Hypothermia” by Alan Staton.  Cool, Man!



          Petty Cash            139.00

          General                 5,378.21

          Conservation        266.59

          Equipment            246.12

          Cave Bucks           138.30

          Grand Total          $6,168.22


4.  NEWSLETTER:  Thanks for all the photos, artwork, and articles. 


5.  MEMBERSHIP:  Nothing new.  A get well card was circulated for Tony Preston who recently had heart surgery.


6.  ROCKS:  Nothing new.


7.  SAFETY & TECHNIQUES:  Let Dan McConnell know about any training needs/suggestions.  Practices can be held at Catawba Murder Hole.


8.  MEMBERSHIP PROPOSALS:  Nichols Socky and Elliot George were unable to be present at the meeting – they both had to take engineering tests.  It was verified by the Bylaws that they did not have to be present, so Susan motioned and Cyndi seconded that they be voted upon and both were voted in unanimously:  Nicholas as  a Regular member and Elliot as an Associate member.



          a.  Sanctum:  Members of BRG went to view the movie “Sanctum” on February 20th.  The movie was quite disappointing – everyone killed everyone else!  The best part was critiquing the “reality” of the movie and saying “yeah, right!” when something ridiculous happened.



          a.  BRG Covers – Everyone voted for their top 5 covers*  (The winning covers were February, July/August, October, June, April, and May).

b.  Dixie Caverns – Mary Sue found out when she was there last Friday from Connie that Julie has been laid off due to budget constraints.  Hopefully business will pick up this summer and she can be brought back.

          b.  “Roanoke Outside” organization added us to their website.  Mary Sue suggested we change what they have on their site to focus on cave conservation and safety – she will write up a draft new statement for the officers to review and comment on.  We can also add their link on our website for folks interested in hiking and other outdoor activities.

          c.  Mary Sue updated the Rescue call-down list – let her know if there are any changes.  If you don’t want to be called out for a rescue, then don’t put your name on the list.  Two recent rescues were discussed; the one in Stay High and the one that was originally called out for Miller’s Cove. Suggestions are needed to streamline communication and coordination; e.g. between Grottos and local rescue/police offices.

          d.  David Socky reported on the Virginia Cave Board meeting.  The Board was legislated into existence by law and it would take an act of legislation to decommission it; so the Board is safe for now.  Thanks to all who wrote letters of support.

          e.  Possible relocation of NSS National Office from Huntsville, AL to:

Huntsville, AL – Cahaba Shrine Temple or University Office Park

Mammoth Cave, KY – Indian Cave, Cedar Hill, or I-65 Interchange at Cave City Exit

Bowling Green, KY – Lost River Cave

The NSS wants your input on where to relocate!

          f.  Wil Orndoff will be presenting on WNS at the Tri-County Forestry & Wildlife meeting on Monday, April 11th at 6p at the Roanoke Moose Lodge.  $10/person includes full dinner.  Please RSVP to Marian McConnell or Cole Semones.  WNS is in its 3rd year in Virginia and has resulted in a decrease of 75-95% of pips and little browns.  Also, 42 million bats/year are killed by windfarms.

          g.  NSS reopens John Guilday Cave Preserve (Hamilton & New Trout are open).  Trout Cave remains closed.

          h.  Spring VAR will be April 29 – May 1.

          i.  Spring MAR in PA will be May 13-15

          i.  2011 NSS Convention will be in Glenwood Springs, CO.


11.  Adjournment at 8:55p.