In attendance: Ken Walsh (Chair), Rob Harris (Vice Chair), Carlin Kartchner (Webmaster), Joel Johnson (Treasurer), and Emily Graham (Secretary)
In advance of the meeting Ken had prepared and sent out an agenda. We covered almost all of the items listed.
The bank account is being turned over to Joel. Rob set it up so that Joel will now be notified via email whenever someone pays dues via PayPal. Joel will keep a record of our current members. There was a brief discussion about keeping a member roster, with phone numbers and email addresses, on the Members Only section of the website (once that exists). Ken also suggested having a membership form that could help gather information from willing participants about specific interests, to help members contact photographers, or scout leaders, or biologists, etc.
The next discussion covered possible program topics. These included knots and rigging, salamanders and amphibians, an update on the Homo naledi discovery, geology (specifically regarding fossils we’re likely to find in caves), survey practice (outdoors), vertical instruction and practice (and cookout if at Pete’s), bolt drilling, and WNS decon protocols. Rob is approaching Buford Pruitt about a program on the NC gneiss exfoliation caves that were covered in February’s edition of NSS News.
Discussion turned to the annual grotto trip. Ken suggested looking at cave options near the camping areas that we’ve enjoyed in recent years. Rob proposed joining the SC grotto at Table Rock for a joint grotto trip. Carlin wants to go to Bone Norman. There was agreement that Perkins would be nice if we can get permission and figure out camping. We settled on the weekend of August 20, for now.
Ken asked if there was any interest in putting together the manpower for a conservation trip. Walker Mountain Grotto may have some projects in mind (Buchanan Saltpeter Cave?). Emily agreed to muster some troops.
Carlin is keeping a spreadsheet of changes, fixes, and updates that he plans to make to the website. He has copied the recent trip reports from the old blog over to the new site. The old blog will stay up, with a notice directing visitors to the new website. Carlin floated the idea of using the grotto Google account to share Members Only information via Google Drive.
At the next general meeting Ken will gauge interest in Social Tuesday (bowling, board games, etc.) which was apparently an event the grotto used to have once every few months.
We talked about the possible consequences of moving the grotto meetings to Thursday night to appease the museum. No one is currently pushing for this. If it ever happens we might also change the meeting time to 7. We would also have to change the meeting information anywhere that it’s been published (our website, the NSS, the TriTrog business cards).
Joel is researching caves suitable for the Scouts trip that he’ll be leading.
We agreed that we’d like to make it easier for newcomers to find our meeting space. This can be done by improving the directions posted on the website and by making our signage more obvious (possibly with a freestanding sign on the mall).