October 16, 2020


BRG Meeting (via ZOOM)

Note:  There were lots of technical difficulties making it difficult for Susan to lead the meeting (excerpts from Susan - “…Basically once the majority got on, then no one could hear me in real time. There would be no one talking for long periods. I would start speaking & ask a question or make a statement & then I would wait for a response. Again, long period of silence, so I moved on to the next question or statement. Then while I am starting on another statement, someone would start to say something that had to do with the first question. It would then interrupt that person because apparently you were hearing me VERY delayed…It was just you all didn't hear me in real time. How would I know you couldn't hear me in real time? I thought you all just wanted me to move on. Then I tried messaging you all with no response. Under chat I could not see Dave's name to private message him, so I sent a message to Trish, but she didn't see it for a bit.”


Introductions & Trip Reports:  (No trip reports due to time constraints)

Susan Burr – Chair

Dave Socky – Vice Chair

Trish Geiger – Treasurer

Marian McConnell – Secretary

MarySue Socky

Bob Gulden

Lynn Ott

John Fox

Alex Sproul

Meredith Weberg

Kevin Johnson & Carrie Doupnick*

Lauren Appel

Nick Schmalenberger

Sharron & Chuck Smith*




This Month’s trip – Susan Burr is planning a trip to Porter’s Cave, VA on Saturday October 17th. Meet at HROM at 8:30a. She has 10 people signed up:  Doug, Braven, Braven’s dad, Jeff, Nick, Brandon, Brandon’s daughter Kandyce, Kevin and Carrie.




Treasury Report – Trish Geiger, Treasurer  

Cave Bucks    -                                               0                                 

            Conservation -                                                0                 

            Equipment –                                            133.87               

            General -                                               2,947.90

            TOTAL                                                $3,081.77



·         Newsletter – CARBIDE DUMP – No October issue; Editor was out West exploring slot canyons.

·         Membership – Kevin is a previous BRG member; MarySue has encouraged him to join.

·         ROCKS – No report.

·         Safety & Techniques – None at this time.

Membership Proposals:


Old Business

·         Christmas cards and design – Submit your ideas/photos by November 1st. Everyone seemed to like Nick’s award winning photo.  Marian will get some quotes from Shutterfly (what we use in the past few years to print the cards – she gets deep discounts) on 70 cards, 80 cards, and possibly 200 if we were to have some generic cards to sell as a fundraiser.


·         Grotto Christmas party – Marian and Dano are offering to have it at their house (outside on the back deck which does have covered areas) in Catawba on Sunday November 15th from 10a-4p.  There will be access to a bathroom inside. Everyone to wear masks when indoors. Bring your own food and drink (no pot luck). Weather permitting they will rig a rope down the talus slope for going into the daylight cave (upper level) of Catawba Murder Hole. They will need feedback to know if there are enough BRG members interested to do this.

·         Grotto Elections in November – Any nominations? Volunteers? The nomination slate so far is:  Marian McConnell for Chair, Lauren Appel for Vice Chair, Dave Socky for Treasurer, and MarySue Socky for Secretary. We will vote at the Nobvember 20th BRG meeting.

·         All Grotto meetings will be held virtually via ZOOM until further notice. Meredith was able to take advantage of using the NSS Zoom capabilities and scheduled us for each month through April. We will have 2 hours for each meeting if needed. Meredith will host it since she has the links. She will share the info with the Socky’s. Hopefully by then we can resume in-person meetings.  Please submit your written cave trip reports to the secretary for the minutes, and to for the Carbide Dump. Note:  Do we want to consider having audio-only conference calls due to technical difficulties with Zoom?

·         Marian McConnell was contacted by Larry Johnson who caved with the Roanoke College group in the 50’s. He went into Catawba Murder Hole, and was also rescued out of Porter’s Cave in May 1957. Back then it was called Anderson’s Cave since that was the owner at the time. See 2 attachments.


New Business

·         NSS Award Nominations – deadline is Nov. 15.  Know of a deserving caver?  More info can be found at:

·         Dave Jackson of Cave-Sim is wishing to expand, and wants to know if we can continue to support them. He would like our Grotto to donate $299 (or more). He is also building 2 more simulators. Last year we donated $75, this year $25 so far.  Mary Sue will send out Dave’s information so we can discuss if we want to donate, and how much.  It was noted that Cave-Sim is a for-profit business.



·         PETZL Rope recall.


Program:  None.




·         October 24-31 is Bat Week.

·         Fall VAR will be via Zoom on October 25 at 6p.

·         October 29-31 – SERA Cave Carnival – Rock Island, TN.

·         VSS is November 1st.

·         Next BRG meeting will be November 20 via Zoom. Dave Socky will have a program about slot canyons (topless caves) in Utah from his recent trip.

·         Spring 2021:  MAR/VAR at Grand Caverns, VA.


Adjourned:  8pm