May 26, 2009 General Meeting Minutes

Dave Duguid apologized for starting the meeting a bit late and began the meeting with introductions: Mike Broome, Maddy, Kevin, Diana Gietl, Howard Holgate, John Plyler, Ken Walsh, TJ Smith, Warren Pusak, Mark Daughtridge, and Mark Little were also in attendance.

Mark Little continued collecting funds for the NSS White Nose Syndrome Rapid Response Fund. [In total the Triangle Troglodytes donated $460 from their month-long campaign.]

Mike Broome announced that the new web site is up and running. He has been working on restoring the photo gallery but is being too picky about how the old photos should be organized [his own claim]. It was suggested that he examine the amount of hair to determine the age of the photos. He will share the new password for the photo gallery site when he is ready. He also plans to install plugins that will let you link to Flicker to Picassa sites and upload your photos directly.

Howard Holgate announced that he will start working on the new sign to put outside the museum in July. Dave and Howard promised to get back on the stick with regard to programs. They will get the programs listed on the web page send out notices. When Ken suggested a program about lamp maintenance, the electric cavers joked about just banging it on the ground until it worked again.

Mike Broome and Diana Gietl had spoken about caving to Venture Crew 469, and that was successful for trying to understand what people new to caving might ask.

Warren, Kevin, Matty, and Ken went with Venture Crew 469 for a trip to Atwells Tunnel Cave in Smyth County. Unfortunately Maddy took a spill at the entrance before she went inside and cut her hand. The crew members especially enjoyed the freedom to explore rather than just follow a leader through the cave and would like to go again. Ken remained informative during the trip, and Warren discovered why we wear helmets.

Diana visited natural bridges and an impressive sea cave in Capri. She also went shopping for cave harnesses in Italy and discovered one for a frog system that allows the wearer to undo the delta in the front to stand up straight while in the harness.

Mike and Lisa went up to the BCCS property over Memorial Day weekend and listened to the discussions about the BCCS position on the WNS situation. BCCS voted to adopt the Virginia guidelines.

Ken then described that Matt, Linda, Christian, Gordon, and Brian had recently discovered a fungal growth on bats in Hancock Cave. They reported it to Ken, and he passed on the information to the landowner, Virginia cave specialist, Virginia bat biologist, and VSS county director. The state workers collected pipistrelle samples a few days later and sent them to Madison, Wisconsin for laboratory testing. When discussing WNS later, one suggestion about vertical gear was to dedicate a rope to exploration in a particular cave.

Upcoming trips (with more details on the web site) include:
SERA Summer Cave Carnival—May 29-31
Hancock Cave Cleanup—put on hold based on the bat situation
Worley’s Cave—Dave Duguid (June 5)
Karst-o-Rama—still on (June 26-28)
NSS Convention in Texas in July
Boone’s Cave wrap up—June 28 (Dave Duguid shared a new rumor about the road fill leaking into the cave)
John Plyler planned to propose a service project at Lechuguilla Cave and it was discussed briefly.

Side discussions included using Mr. Bubble for stream tracing and having a grotto program teaching people how to be calm in a rescue litter.