Roanoke, VA

Meeting Minutes

June 15, 2012 – 7:30p at Vinton Fire Department



David Socky

Mary Sue Socky (Vice)

Nicholas Socky

Sarah Iler*

Elliot George

Alan Staton

Carl Cornett

Al Stewart

Susan Burr

Marian McConnell (Secty)

Dan McConnell (S&T)

Pat Sims (Chair)

Cyndi Hutchison

Stephanie Petri

Doug Feller

Jane Furkert*






a.   Alan Staton went to the National Cave Rescue week-long in Puerto Rico in March 2012.  Two of the participants there were still recovering from the histoplasmosis they got last year. 

b.   Nicholas Socky went caving in Starnes Cave, VA on May 20; Ballards Cave, VA on May 27; and Tawney’s Cave, VA with Sarah Iler and Elliot George on June 2.

c.    Pat Sims, Jeremy Sims, and Carl Cornett took Jane Furkert caving in Greenbrier Poor Farm on June 13th.  Pat took a lot of pictures and they had a great time.

d.   David Socky, Carl Cornett, Pat Sims, Jeremy Sims, and Mary Sue Socky helped rescue a bale of hay from a tight long drop between buildings at the old Southwest Food Bank in Salem.  It was very hot and itchy and they had to wear masks but they got the hay out much to the delight of the owners.

e.   Mary Sue Socky, Cyndi Hutchison, and Pat Sims went to Fountain Cave, VA on June 2nd.  Pat had a mishap when he slid down a steep slope and landed on his knee.  Mary Sue found the “1835” date that everyone has been looking for.

f.     The June 16th trip will be to McClung’s/Lightner Pit Entrance, WV; a relatively easy trip to the breakdown area.  Meet at HROM at 8:30a.

g.     The July 21st trip will be coordinated by Susan Burr – the Masters to Lipps route in Organ Cave with Jordan and Ed Swepston. 


2.    PROGRAM:  Excellent Powerpoint of Caves of New Zealand by Jane Furkert, who is visiting Marian McConnell for a few weeks.  They met when Marian went on a group caving trip to the South Island of NZ in 2005.  Anyone wishing to show Jane around or take her caving, hiking, etc., should contact Marian.  Jane and Marian will be attending the NSS Convention in WV as well.






a.   Newsletter – Thanks for all the photos and articles; please send more! 

b.   Membership – No new proposals.  Tom Tracey, new member, is moving to Charlottesville but promised to visit now and then.

c.    ROCKS – Nothing.

d.   Safety & Techniques – Nothing; Dan is recuperating from neck disc surgery.





a.   BRG Waivers – Pat Sims found out that Virginia is one of 3 States who pretty much blow off liability waivers.  Waivers basically protect BRG from others’ mistakes, but do not protect others if we make a mistake.  A motion was made by David Socky (seconded by Dan McConnell) to continue using our BRG waivers as we always have for BRG trips.  The motion passed unanimously.

b.   Donation to CaveSim trailer project – BRG donated $150 and received many thanks.



a.   “Spelunking” is added to WV’s Recreational Liability Law.  This is actually a good thing because it protects landowners.  The term “spelunking” was chosen for the law because “caving” is not in the dictionary but “spelunking” is.

b.   Reimbursement for last month’s speaker (Wil & Zenah Orndorff) for dinner by the Socky’s of $26.50.  Dan McConnell motioned they be reimbursed (Al Stewart seconded) and it passed with a majority (1 abstention).

c.    BRG summer party this year?  Yes – Dan and Marian will host at their house on (Sat. Aug 18?) from 9a-5p.  Members who want to drop the pit are welcome to come early and rappel from 9-12; then pot luck lunch will be around noon.  BYOB.

d.   Discussion about replacing ropes that Socky’s use to practice vertical work off their back deck; it was decided not to purchase any BRG gear that is “life safety” due to liability issues. 



a.   New NSS is great!  Check it out!

b.   NSS Convention “Mayacon” will be in Lewisburg WV June 25-29.  If you can’t go for the week, come up for a day!  They are looking for cave trip leaders during convention too.  Mary Sue Socky and Wm Shrewsbury will be taking JSS kids in Higginbotham #1 on the Tuesday of Convention.

c.    New WNS Decon protocols – hot (122° F) water for 15 minutes will kill WNS spores.

d.   Fall VAR dates have been changed to September 28-30. Rolland Moore is the coordinator.  Spring VAR will be held in Pocahontas County.

e.   Safety & Techniques (S&T) – let Dan McConnell know of any training topics you would like addressed.

f.     Heritage Day at Grand Caverns is June 16th.

g.    Buckeye Creek cave is closed; however, if BRG members want to go they can coordinate through a WVACS member (David & Mary Sue Socky, Trish Geiger, Ed & Marianne Saugstad, Joseph Caldwell, and a few other BRG members are WVACS members.)


Adjournment and Cold Beer around 8:45p.