Why I joined the NSS

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Why I joined the NSS

Postby Herman Miller » Sep 25, 2005 7:01 pm

It was suggested to relate the reasons we joined the nss, so here is mine

I was always interested in the outdoors leaning more towards the extreme rather then the serene. I've done pretty much everything; hiking, mt. climbing, rafting, scuba, etc. It took me quite some time to approach the loal grotto as I have never floated easily through different social circles. When i did finally join my grotto they urged me to join the nss but did not require it. Upon my first cave trip I was absalutely awestruck at the beauty of the small single room cave I was in, the stals and stags yes, but more so the glittering minerals sorrounding me, and yes the entire serene environment. I was struck at this point with such a fervor that I knew I had found my niche and immediately joined the NSS. As a young initiate in the society my primary benefit was the monthly NSS NEWS, this magazine itself justified what i had spent as the photography could easily have been the entire content but after the pretty photos, the articles stopped me in my tracks and time froze for the next our as I absorbed the information displayed, from the vertical jargon that made me wanna go out and rappel off the side of the house to the articles on the carroll cave dig, well I was about ready to go outside with a shovel at that point.

Now as I have renewed my membership and donated my four dollars 8) to the great x cave, I wish I had known of this society earlier as Im sure I'll be with it until I a great old armchair caver with nothing else to think about except for how i wasted my time and money before I had discovered caving and the fellowship that the society provides
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Postby speloman » Sep 25, 2005 8:03 pm

I joined the NSS to Be amongst cavers. I Was new to caving and wanted to do it responsibly, Learn Ethics, and learn about conservation. Cave with responsible people who understand the importance of the underground wilderness and even above ground.
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Postby JackW » Sep 25, 2005 8:53 pm

I don't remember what I was thinking when I joined. I was caving with some NSS members and it seemed like the thing to do at the time.

That was over ten years ago. Last year I forked out the cash to be a life member and *I* can tell you why I did that: It was the right thing to do.

For ten years the NSS has: alerted me to events, helped me meet other cavers, listed grottos on the other side of the country I've called asking for trips and getting to go, previously given me a research grant (OK it was 50 bucks but it was a grant!), provided me with reading material and many other things that I can't recall at the moment. I've gotten out of it what I've put into it, and then some. I've been elected chair of my grotto. I've been involved with other IOs and believe that it is the place to belong as a caver.

That is why I'm a life member. On a side note: Apparently I'm going to die in March of 2031 according to my mailing label. So I guess knowing that is a draw back. Gotta get busy with the caving then... (ie, gotta get off the computer).
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Life Line

Postby CaverScott » Sep 26, 2005 8:30 am

JackW wrote: On a side note: Apparently I'm going to die in March of 2031 according to my mailing label. So I guess knowing that is a draw back. Gotta get busy with the caving then... (ie, gotta get off the computer).


If you were a life member before last year, your "life expectancy" was around 2010 :shock: or something. I finally breathed a sigh of relief when we were all granted an extension to 2031. :calvin::
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Postby Jep » Sep 26, 2005 8:35 am

Gee Scott. They let me be a member until January 2049. :P I must admit though, when they had me dying before I was set to retire, I wondered who they knew that I should know. Jep.
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Postby caverbob » Sep 26, 2005 2:23 pm

Got me down until March 2049, i'll be 101 :D
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Postby Phil Winkler » Sep 26, 2005 2:58 pm

Jack Stellmack wrote the office about this, too. Quite a funny letter, actually.

Here's what is happening. NSSTrak is our membership database and has been for over 10 years. Every member record must have an expiration date value. This value is used for many, many purposes like renewals. But, since Life members really don't ever expire (What a deal!) we select some date far in the future, but not too far.

Still, ensure you contact the office when you really expire so we can update our data. 8)
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A question...

Postby cob » Sep 26, 2005 7:50 pm

Recently there has been more than a little bit of discussion concerning a "drop" in NSS membership.... even to the point of "advertising" in various publications (Outside magazine??)

bremen66 mentioned in another thread "roping in" unregistered users of this DB...

Now I ain't trying to start a fight :shock: , in fact I am genuinly curious, as to why this is a problem?

Look,... My point is this (I am way too tired to make it coherently)(I get up at 3:30 am) I joined the NSS for a purely selfish reason (My sponser laid it out as a condition of my getting into Lech) I REMAIN in the NSS for ENTIRELY different reasons... that have nothing to do with Lech (I don't go there anymore) I stay in the NSS because of what it means to me (not what it means to others)(and indeed I DO, from time to time, disagree with the "official position" of the NSS, but STAY in the NSS because WE ALL CARE ABOUT CAVES... we just can't always agree as to what helps, and what does not) If others choose to leave the NSS because it doesn't mean what they want it too... Why is that a problem?

As far as I am concerned, the NSS is about caves and cavers. If people want to leave the NSS because of that....


bye, bye...

Opinions?
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Postby Cherul Jones » Sep 26, 2005 9:11 pm

Right on Jack W! :banana: :woohoo:

I joined when I ran for a grotto office, since I had to. I didn't join before because the importance of belonging to the NSS hadn't been explained to us newbies, and membership wasn't particularly encouraged, although I'd been a grotto member for two or three years. I just caved on in the little world of the grotto and my caving partners, not realizing a bigger world of caving and cavers was out there, and how much fun it would be to be a part of it. Now I know and I'd never think of dropping my membership.

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Postby CKB69 » Sep 26, 2005 10:48 pm

I was a caver for many years before I actually got around to joining the NSS.
So what do I get as a member?
I get a list of other members around the world,with contact info.
Should I decide to visit an area,I have a list of contacts who can point me in the right direction.
This is supplemented by meeting these folks,and,caving with them,at various regional events.
We even have a yearly convention,although I have yet to attend 1 of these(Murphy makes out my schedule...).

As a member,I recieve the News,and,the Journal.
The News is usually a good read,and some fantastic photos. It is,however,a bit thin.
I know the Journal is aimed at the scientific community,and though some of it is a little beyond my immediate grasp,I have little trouble following it.

The NSS owns,or,leases,a number of caves. These are called preserves,and we can visit most of them with without a lot of hassle.
This means WE own these caves. US. As a collective.
This idea is also why I am a member of the SCCI. Our primary focus is protecting caves through purchase,or,lease,thereby assuring access to future generations of cavers.

We fund grants for scientific studies,and,expeditions.

The NSS publishes books about caves,and,caving,which cover a wide range of topics.

The bookstore gives members a discount!

We have a very decent BB(between crashes,and,anti-society trolls..).

All in all,I believe Our society serves the purpose for which it was founded,to promote fellowship among cavers,and,further the exploration and study of caves.

I am not usually a "joiner",and am somewhat of an anarchist.
But I will be renewing my membership. 8)
Slide. Slide on the ice...
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Postby chaz » Sep 27, 2005 12:04 am

Nice post!
I'm sure there are many reasons for a decline in NSS membership but then you get that in many types of groups.
I would like to say that I am a very proud member of the caving community. I admire and respect the officers and administrators who work so hard to keep this organization going foreward for the protection and welfare of our caves.
They say you can please all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. I have met so many different types of people within the NSS and various grottos in my area. Many of whom, the only thing they have in common, is caving. There are; serious partyers, thrill seekers, Naturalists, scientists, family folk, technical geniuses, people from every demographic and every occupation that you can think of, even some that may be legally insane, still yet, we all Love caves!
How do you mix a pot like that, and not have at least some bitter taste? I think that every one of us would do well to remember how diverse our group really is, and strive to not offend others. To encourage rather than criticize. Maybe then we wouldn't scare so many off. We might even invite more friends over for dinner and a cave trip. I don't have to like all my relatives but we do better when we try to get along.
Respect the past and learn, Be active in the present and enjoy, Contribute to the future in a constructive manner. Chaz NSS 55321
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Postby Herman Miller » Sep 27, 2005 1:05 am

i agree with the original post 100%, I dont know the ins and outs of the society as im still waiting for a members manual, but i see what can happen when people come together and focus there attentions, and with a resource as valuable and unique as our caves I really would hate to see a "younger & cooler" organization materialize with several thousand "spelunkers" and destroy much if not all that we have strived for from landowner relations to the gates we hauled up the sides of so many mountains. Im sorry for rambling as i to am dirt tired but i just feel that a wider membership would further the goals of our societies goals and hence make better caving for all of us
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Postby Cindy Heazlit » Sep 27, 2005 8:17 pm

chaz wrote: How do you mix a pot like that, and not have at least some bitter taste? I think that every one of us would do well to remember how diverse our group really is, and strive to not offend others. To encourage rather than criticize. Maybe then we wouldn't scare so many off. We might even invite more friends over for dinner and a cave trip. I don't have to like all my relatives but we do better when we try to get along.


I think that is one of the things that concerns some of us. When I joined the NSS (over 20 years ago), it seemed that there was room for people to do their own thing. If the people wanted to do their caving through the NSS then fine! But if not, that was OK too. They were gently encouraged to join the society. But they were allowed to do their own thing if it benefited caves and caving as whole. This was the right attitude, and gave people the freedom they needed.

Lately though, it seems as though the NSS is threatened by people that want to do their own thing. It seems as though the NSS wants to be the control point for every cave-related activity in the US - to the point of interfering with activities that are non-NSS but could benefit caving in general. Why? It will only slow down the development of new things, and alienate the people that want to do their own thing. It is also rather impractical, as the NSS doesn't have the time, money, or volunteers to control all the caver related activities in the US.

If people are questioning if they want to stay in the NSS, it may be because they feel like they can't do their own thing anymore. That is the biggest problem, because it is the mavericks that refresh and renew the organization.

Let people wander around and look at the DB. Let them have a cave project that isn't part of the NSS. As long as they're not harming the caves, it is OK. Maybe they'll get around to joining the NSS, and when they do it will be fully informed.
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Postby bigalpha » Sep 28, 2005 8:28 am

hmmm, well - I technically haven't joined the NSS yet, but will join when I can. So, instead of joining the NSS, I did the next best thing, and joined the DB. For last summer, I got a job working at Dunbar Cave State Natural Area. Prior to that, I had never been in a cave. I thought it was the most awesomest thing ever. That, and I am a Geology major in college. I like to learn, and I come here to read up, learn and ask questions. When I am not so poor, I will be joining the NSS [even though I have not been on a "caving trip"]. The most I've done is crawl through the south section of D.Cave. But, when I can, I be looking for stuff to do between tests, field trips, and find equipment. :)
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Postby bigalpha » Sep 28, 2005 8:43 am

perhaps, cindy, [and I also don't know the ins and outs] but the NSS's apparent stand on people doing their own thing has to do with the way society is now, compared to 20 yrs ago?

I can say for sure [though I am only 20 years old] that times have changed. There is no respect left in the world, and people suck a lot more than they used to.

Maybe the NSS is trying to prevent the [excuse my language] sucky people from going in and trashing everything. I know that there are people who cave responsibly; but I'm sure that there are significantly more who don't.

Just my opinion; as I don't know anything about anything. :wink:
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