April 20, 2007


Pat Sims                       Al Stewart                     Susan Burr                    Dave Socky

Mary Sue Socky            Carl Cornett                   Trish Geiger                   Doug Feller

Hayley Grasty               Todd Martin                   Randy Michael               Cyndi Hutchison

*Carl Alls                      

* Guest

Pat Sims was acting President since Marian McConnell was on vacation.



3/17/2007: Crossroads Cave, VA.  BRG trip.  We couldn’t find the key to Cave Spring Cave, so we went to Crossroads.  Had lots of fun, visited new areas.  David Socky, Doug Feller, Rickey Shortt, Leanne Barley, Pat Sims, Susan Burr, Cole Frantz, Carl Cornett, Carl Alls, Hayley Grasty


4/1: Dixie Caverns Cleanup – 14 people, lots of areas were cleaned up.


4/7: Doug Feller, Rick Shortt, Leanne Barley, John Layman, Cameron Hall visited New Castle Murder Hole, VA.  They talked with the owner, who is upset that the county wants him to get rid of his many cars parked about the property.


4/7: Pat Sims, Carl Alls, Susan Burr, Georgina (NLN) took a “quickie tour” of Grand Caverns.


4/7: Grand Caverns Easter Cleanup – it was cold, snowing, but we accomplished:  Chipping 3 huge downed trees, creating a huge pile of mulch, filling 2 huge dumpsters with remains of a demolished building, and stripping/re-roofing pavilion # 2.  Mary Sue Socky, Meredith Johnson, Bob Thren, Carol Tiderman, Craig Hindman, Jim McConkey, Scott    Ellie, John Pearson, Georgina, Carl Alls, Pat Sims, Susan Burr and about 8 more cavers.


4/14: Maxwelton Cave, WVa.  This was a 13 ½ hr. trip, and 769.15 ft. of passage was surveyed by Dave Socky Larry Fisher, Brian Perkins, Gordon Cole:  ABS Survey went to Long Passage south of the Thunder Hall Passage.  They didn’t finish.  Stopped at the big waterfall on the right.  Exited midnight.


4/14: Maxwelton Cave WVa. Shorter trip, 70 ft. was surveyed by Ed Saugstad, Errol Glidden, Vanessa, Billie (NLN), Drew (NLN) Chuck Frostick. They did a connection to Thunder Hall from the PIG survey.  Out by 7p. 



Tomorrow:  4/21 – BRG Horizontal trip to Pocahontas Poor Farm Cave, WVa.  Pat Sims & Susan Burr are co-leaders.

4/21 BRG Vertical trip to Millers Cove, Cave, VA.  Rickey Shortt is leader

April 27-29 – Spring VAR in Durbin, WVa.

May 5/6 -Grand Caverns project weekend

May 6 – Mary Sue Socky is leading a GS trip in IsF Cave, assistants are needed.

May 13 – Marian McConnell is leading a GS trip in Tawneys Cave, assistants are needed.

June 16-23 – NCRC Weeklong in Salem VA.


NEXT MONTH’s Trip – Patton Cave, WVa.  Pat Sims is leader. 

(NOTE: cave owner said we could come on SUNDAY 5/20/2007) 


Program of the Day:  “Caves of Arizona” – Peppersauce Cave, Nugget Cave, Deadman’s Cave and an old limestone mine that Pat Sims visited with members of an AZ Grotto. 

Program of the Day: – Come to the 2009 ICS Conference/NSS Convention in TX (created by Dave Socky)




TREASURER  4/20/07

General Fund       $ 4916.23

Conservation        $   584.00

Equipment Fund $   248.00

Cave Bucks         $     77.30    

 Total:    $5825.53


Committee Reports:

Newsletter:  a 6-hour power failure could not stop the DUMP from being published on time.  Editor Dave Socky thanks people for articles, photos.  May DUMP may be a little late ‘cause Dave will be climbing Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens.


Membership:  BRG ha 61members and 5 subscribers. 


ROCKS: Dave Socky attended VSS meeting. VSS now owns Crossroads Cave.  The cave will remain open access; a management proposal will be worked out, possibly between VSS/VAR/WVCC/RASS, etc. 

S&T: no report – on vacation.

Conservation: vacant.  See Old Business

Ways & Means: vacant


Membership Proposals

Carl Alls (Carl 2), whose membership proposal was on a flashlight!  Sponsored by Susan Burr, seconded by Cyndi Hutchison.  Carl’s proposal was tabled until the May 2007 meeting.  (NOTE: Carl has joined the NSS, # 58674 RE)


Susan Burr pointed out that Brian Williams NSS # 43870, who is currently a BRG subscriber, really should be a BRG member.  He wrote a letter telling us about himself before he even moved from FLA to VA.  After a short discussion, Brian was proposed for membership (in absentia), sponsored by Dave Socky, and seconded by Susan Burr.  Brian’s proposal was tabled until the May 2007 meeting.



·         Endless Caverns map – project is in limbo (D. Socky)

·         Eight Rivers Environmental Group – Spring VAR will be held very near this site.

·         Perry Saltpeter Cave – Dave Socky – Botetourt Planning Commission, after 2 refusals, suddenly approved the 40 house development to be built on property adjoining Perry Saltpeter Cave.

·         Science Fair Project.  Nick Socky presented his and Elliot George’s project “Acidic Water From Below” at the regional science fair, but took no awards.  Nick and Elliot thank BRG for our help in collecting cave water samples.

·         NCRC Week-long – Dan & Marian McConnell, Harold & Nancy Chrimes, Mary Sue Socky met, chose potential cave sited for the upcoming classes.     

·         DIXIE CAVERNS Conservation –MSSocky- 14 volunteers got a lot accomplished; but more needs to be done.  (See new business)

·         New Cave Trip Checklist – is it working?  Is it helping?  Cavers ARE having fun with it, too soon to tell if it is working. 



2.  New BRG By-Law Proposal - UPDATE

This addition to the BRG By-laws was written by Dan & Marian McConnell.  Marian didn't propose the motion (she can't being chairperson), but she proposed it on Dan's behalf.  Dan McConnell could not be at the 3/16/07 BRG meeting.  It was introduced by Marian McConnell and reads: 


BRG members must abide by NSS ethics, and practice cave safety and conservation. BRG members who behave in an unsafe and/or disrespectful manner may be considered for revocation of their membership. Any such behavior will be called to their attention, (either verbally or in writing) to offer them the opportunity to correct it. If the behavior continues, they will be given a letter citing specific behaviors that need to be corrected, along with the consequences of non-compliance. If they continue to continue the unsafe/disrespectful behavior, their membership will come up for a vote by BRG members at a regular meeting within 2 months of the date of the letter. If a quorum exists and a majority of BRG members vote to revoke their membership, they will be given a letter to inform them of the final decision.

Marian & Dan


After some discussion, Marian McConnell proposed the new By Law.

Susan Burr, Pat Sims seconded. 

The proposal was immediately tabled, will be published in the April CARBIDE DUMP and will be brought up for discussion at the April 20 BRG meeting.


At the April 20 meeting, the BRG membership decided to continue to table the proposal until Dan and Marian could be at a meeting and discuss the by-law proposal. 


In addition, Pat Sims brought up a possible addition to the proposal that he found in the NSS bylaws.  The NSS bylaw reads: 


XI. Expulsion of Members

A. A member not exempt from paying dues shall be automatically dropped for failure to pay.

B. By a two-thirds vote the Board of Governors may expel a member for disregard of accepted safety or conservation practice or the rights of a cave owner or for other conduct detrimental to the Society. A member subject to expulsion is entitled to a private hearing before the Board.



Therefore, the proposed BRG By-Law was tabled until the May 18 BRG meeting.











New Business

Dixie Caverns was vandalized by a tourist on 3/31/2007.  Some asshole keyed/carved the word MEXICO in the flowstone rimstone “magic mirror” in the back of the cave.  It cannot be easily buffed out.  The vandalism was brought up at the VAR Grand Caverns Restoration, and VAR Conservation Co-Chair Meredith Hall Johnson is going to contact NSS Conservation Chair Jim Werker, get advice on how to repair the flowstone, and she and BATs Grotto want to come down and help do additional cleanup at Dixie Caverns. 


On the good side, Dixie Caverns is not longer allowing tourists to touch ANYTHING in the cave (including the mud wedge) are including a stronger conservation message in their talk (depends on the guide) and seem somewhat interested in updating their tour spiel. 


BRG August 17 meeting conflicts with Vinton Bluegrass Days (again).  Parking is a nightmare.  BRG decided that, instead of having a meeting, then a cave trip, BRG would once again have a POOL PARTY at Spring Run Swim Club on SATURDAY, August 18. 




·         Spring VAR is next weekend.

·         Cave Hollow Farm (Balfour’s place in Unus, WV) Sinkhole clean out May 26.  9a - ? Camping, bunks available at WVACS.  See John Pearson for more info

·         SERA Cave Carnival, Monterey TN  May 31-June 3

·         Vote for NSS BOG, and send your ballot in ASAP.

·         Register for the NCRC Weeklong classes, held in Salem this June!

·         Registration for the Baltic Speleological Congress 2007 is now open  http://www/


Meeting ended  8:45p.


Minutes submitted by

Mary Sue Socky

Secretary, Blue Ridge Grotto.