Blue Ridge Grotto of the NSS


January 18, 2013 - 7:30p – Vinton Firehouse



Dave Socky –Vice                                 Susan Burr                             Carl Cornett                                         

Joseph Caldwell                                    Trish Geiger                          Mary Sue Socky – Secretary             

Stephanie Petri - Treasurer               Cyndi Hutchison

Chair Marian McConnell stayed home with the flu, so Dave Socky presided over the meeting.                                         


Trip Reports:


·         11/12/2012:  Cold Sink Cave, VA.  Stephanie Petri, Brian Williams, Dave Socky, Ken Walsh, etc.  (A total of 14 cavers, 4 survey teams).  Frikkin’ miserable stream crawl, they got to the END.

·         11/24/2012:  Dave Socky and Stephanie Petri went with a bunch of other cavers to survey virgin leads in Gap Cave, VA.  They surveyed 298’ of passage on a 15-hour trip.

·         11/30/2012  Alan Staton, Glen Hugus, and Mary Sue Socky did an awesome multi-media Caving Presentation for several science classes at Covington H.S. 

·         Mock Rescue recap (from 12/1/2012).  Was very well attended by VPI Cave Club (hosts); Pat Sims, Trish Geiger, Alan Staton, Susan Burr, Stephanie Petri, Nick Socky, Dave Socky, and Mary Sue Socky attended.  Good Experience – the patient (Wil Orndorff/”Ernie”) was successfully hauled from the back of Tawney’s Cave, VA, out through the roadside gate.   

·         12/8/2012:  WVACS Christmas Party.  There was also caving – Dave Socky, Stephanie Petri, Brian Williams surveyed 454’ in a very wet part of Maxwelton Cave, WV. 

·         12/16/2012:  Carl Cornett, Ivy Lidstone, Dave Socky, Carol & Joe Zokaites dropped the Daylight Cave of Catawba Murder Hole before the BRG Christmas Party.  Thanks to Dan McConnell for rigging the pit!

·         1/1/2013: Stephanie Petri, Alan Staton, Glen Hugus took a bunch of friends and their kids into an unnamed VA cave for the New Year tradition.

·         1/5/2013:  Pat Sims, Doug Feller, Brian Williams, Alan Staton, Trish Geiger, Susan Burr, visited James Cave, VA.  They went in through the “Field Entrance” and managed to go to the back of the cave where the formations are.  Some of the group had forgotten how much crawling – both hands and knees, and belly crawling, there was in James!  They exited through the “Garbage Pit” Entrance on the other side of the road.  Good trip, several folks took nice photos. 


Upcoming Trips:

·         Jan 19 – Grotto trip to Crossroads Cave, Bath Co. VA.  Doug Feller is leader

·         Feb 16 – Grotto trip to Steele’s Cave, Monroe Co. WV.  (Note: this cave floods!)  Dave Socky is leader.


Program:  Ended up watching “Playing Smart Against Invasive Species” (US Forest Service DVD, which cavers helped make.)  NOTE:  Firehouse player/projector remote control does not work. 




TREASURER’S REPORT (Stephanie Petri):

1/18/2013 Balance Sheet

Petty Cash                             110.00

General Fund                    3,801.26

Conservation                        266.59

Equipment                             225.36

Cave Bucks                            164.30

TOTAL BALANCE:     $4,567.51




1.        NEWSLETTER – printer charged more for Jan. 2013 newsletter.  Postage will go up $.01/stamp in 2013.


2.        MEMBERSHIP – Pay your dues!  Thanks to all who have already paid.


3.        ROCKS – nothing new.


4.        SAFETY & TECHNIQUES – nothing new. 


5.        MEMBERSHIP PROPOSALS – none.


6.        OLD BUSINESS:

·         Christmas Cards.  72 mailed out; three came back.  Files have been updated.

·         Mock Rescue 12/1/2012  recap -was a Good Experience.  BRG worked well with VPI.  Patient survived.

·         BRG Christmas Party was very well attended.

·         11/24/2012 – Alan Staton welded, repaired Goodwin Cave Gate.  Thanks!


7.       NEW BUSINESS:

·         BSA Troop 221 (Cave Spring UMC) has requested the BRG do an “above ground caving orientation” for the troop.  2/11/2013, 6:30p, Mary Sue Socky will attend, welcomes other caver’s help and input.  T-221 will be taking their scouts to the Lost Sea (TN commercial cave), but may schedule a later wild cave trip with BRG.

·         Dixie Caverns owner and manager have requested that BRG come to their commercial cave and help “Clean the Green” from the cave formations with hydrogen peroxide.  BRG agreed to help; we still need to know what date(s) they would like us there, if we would be doing cleaning during open hours, or after hours, and if the water system in the cave will be “on” for our use, or do we have to haul water?

·         Spring VAR dates have been changed to May 17-19, 2013.  These new dates conflict with the May BRG meeting.  Do we move the May meeting, or forget it?  Membership present voted to cancel the 5/17/2013 meeting, and go caving, camping at Camp Buckskin in WV that weekend.     



·         New NSS website is great!  Take a look at it! 

·         NEW WNS Decon protocols – HOT water (122 F) for 20 min. will kill WNS spores.  (Yes, the time keeps increasing.  Go figure.)

·         Spring VAR is now May 17-19, 2013.

·         Spring MAR has moved its date to May 4-5, 2013 so it will not conflict with Spring VAR. 


·         River Rock Climbing Gym – should be opening sometime in Feb. 2013.

·         NSS Members Manual needs photos for the cover  Deadline in Jan. 31, 2013.

·         NSS Convention 2013 will be in Shippensburg, PA, Aug 5-9, 2013.  Forms on desk.  Mail in your registration with a check today to save the NSS money. Pre-registration special discount ends 1/31/2013.

·         MURDER HOLE book by Marian McConnell is available and is selling like hotcakes!  Marian’s next book signing is April 15, 2013, at the Salem Historical Society.  NSS members can get discount if they order MURDER HOLE through the NSS Office.  


Meeting adjourned at 8:45p. 


Minutes Submitted by

Mary Sue Socky

BRG Secretary