Ken Walsh, Dave Duguid, Mark Little, Hayden and Howard Holgate, TJ Smith, and Mark Daughtridge were in attendance. Before the meeting Howard discovered that the internet connections in the museum were 5 Megabits down, 1.5 Megabits up and thus video capable. We could connect long-distance speakers to our meetings, even in Antarctica.
Discussion turned to the purchase of new lamps and helmets, an item that was dropped from last year’s agenda when someone had promised a donation. After talking about the types of lamps that we thought beginners could rent, Howard agreed to price them out and give costs at the next meeting. We also opened up the possibility that we could purchase used gear directly from members.
Another previous purchase approved was the book Cave Minerals of the World, and Dave plans to purchase it for the grotto library. The grotto also thanked Dave and Sandy Duguid for hosting a great holiday party with lots of delicious food.
Mike Broome plans to transition the web hosting to Tiger Technologies when he returns from Greece. He has also posted a Frequently Asked Questions page to the grotto web pages; hopefully he will fix the links that now point to www.askmmikebroome.org. Ken asked that any members with comments share them with him.
Ken also suggested that the FAQ page be spiced up with some doodles or cartoons. Ken will contact Barbi Bailey-Smith for some drawings.
Hayden proposed that the grotto should produce bumper stickers and magnets again. This item will go on the agenda for the next general or officers meeting.
To make the meeting location seem more inviting, the TriTrog officers have chosen to begin leaving a greeter or two at the door as well as set up a sign near Jones Street. Howard promised to spend two months preparing a white sandwich board sign, and the members discussed the appropriate size that could be brought to the meetings as well as to caving events. Then the ideas started flying (LED lights, bonfires, stenccilling, motion sensors, and the need for NORAD approval).
Mark also introduced a discussion about finding a new location to meet, and he asked the members to look for other locations that could compete with the museum.
Howard mentioned that he is working on a new presentation that can be shared with other groups and businesses in an effort to grow the membership.
TJ mentioned the 1000-foot Clinch River overlook in Breaks Interstate Park where he’s working to get access to unexplored caves.
Ken shared a cave trip report written by Linda Waters-Lindqvist. She described a volcanic origin to the cave with an icy floor. The only decorations came from penguin poo, and elephant seals guarded the entrance.
–Ken is planning a cave photography trip to Fountain Cave from March 7-8.
–Spring VAR April 24-26
–Spring VAR April 24-26 at Grand Caverns
–Easter Grand Caverns Conservation Weekend—April 11-12
–NCRC Weeklong training—May 1-9 in Harrisonburg, VA
–Dave plans to survey Boones Cave and produce a map for the kiosk that gets constructed (hopefully the map will list www.tritrogs.org)
–NSS Convention and International Congress of Speleology in Kerrville, TX– July 19-26
–Blevins, Worleys, and Rowlands Spring Caves still need surveying in Smyth County, Virginia—interested members should contact Ken or Dave
Mark Daughtridge mentioned that rock climbers use an online meetup group and suggested the cavers consider using their methods for setting a class and then going on a trip to use what one learns. He might be able to promote the event on the meetup group if it would be of interest to the climbers.
Howard will organize a TriTrog lunch in RTP some time in the near future.
Before closing, members shared some thoughts about White Nose Syndrome.