Why I joined the NSS

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Why I "joined" the NSS

Postby hunter » Sep 29, 2005 11:07 am

I learned caving from my girlfriend while teaching her rock climbing. After that I worked on a number of projects. For several years I avoided grottoes, working with a college caving club instead, because my experiences with the closest grotto were not so good. Words like elitist, controlling, lazy, and self-centered are unfair to some members of said grotto but accurately describe my initial encounters, mainly on regional projects. I vaguely considered the NSS but lack of money and any immediate reason caused me to not really consider joining.

A couple of years later I went to a couple of meetings of a different grotto during a summer internship. I found them to be a friendly group and joined. I've been a member of that grotto ever since, even when I am a long drive away. The active and friendly atmosphere is worth it.

Back to the original NSS question. After caving for about four or five years an envelope showed up in my mail box with my new NSS membership card. What the $%#! is this? I didn't sign up for the NSS. After reading the registration I realized all my personal information was incorrect except name and age. I was immediately suspicious of several of my "established" caving friends who had occasionally badgered me about joining. I asked around and discovered that two of the other better known non-NSS types I caved with had also received memberships out of nowhere. I investigated and none of my regular contacts knew anything about it.
After a while I realized that the only common project I had done recently with the other two cavers that received NSS memberships was a CRF sponsored dig, where the permit required name and age. Although it remains unproven I assume that some CRF type decided we should be NSS members and sent in registration, conveniently forgetting to mention it.

I have since maintained my membership for a couple of reasons. First while I don't do much with the NSS I figure my money is generally well spent on advocating the protection of caves even if I don't like cave politics. Second, I can order books which are NSS member only. And third, at the time I didn't want to lose the NSS number I got which was kind of cool.

Anyway, sorry about the ramble but at the beginning of the thread someone asked...

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A well dressed dilemma

Postby CaverScott » Sep 29, 2005 11:53 am

kvart wrote:
Are we ever going to see you dressed up in a suit?


Sure thing, as soon as I see you in a suit :shock: I am sure that will motivate me to do the same! :o
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Postby Espeleologa » Sep 29, 2005 1:46 pm


This poor caver will get dizzy, kvart!

Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you don't have a leg to stand on.
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Postby kvart » Sep 29, 2005 4:19 pm

Espeleologa wrote:Image

This poor caver will get dizzy, kvart!

Who's gettin dizzy?

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Postby Nss 11186 » Sep 29, 2005 6:33 pm

I joined the NSS in the 1960's because all the folks I was caving with in TAG belonged. In fact, the lady I met and married joined about 2500+ people before I did.

I dropped out because it wasn't worth it. I also belonged to the ARRL ( http://www.arrl.org ) And it delivered a lot more to its members for about the same annual dues.

In other words, the NSS priced itself out of the market because it had no "bang for the buck."

Perhaps a much better question would be: "WHY did I leave the NSS???"
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Postby PaulSiegel » Oct 4, 2005 1:09 am

I joined the NSS as an afterthought after joining The Dogwood City Grotto. it seemed obvious to me that i should be a member of the NSS if i belonged to one of their grottoes, it also helped that my parents were kind enough to support me by paying for both memberships. My caving mentor left the NSS in the late eighties because of inter grotto politics and posturing of the people in the leadership, to him the politics was not worth it. But he was kind enough to recommend to me to join the NSS, and i have enjoyed every moment of it form 2005 convention to local grotto meetings. in fact, i intend to join the Cascade Grotto, my second grotto, as soon as can make it down to a meeting. if your a new caver and hedging between joining and not joining, join for a year and you may just like it, it is truly the best way to get involved with caving, as cavers in general are an reclusive lot and it is the best way to meet them. in fact i recently renewed for another year, a life membership is a few years away but always possible.
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Postby Buford Pruitt » Oct 4, 2005 6:18 pm

I started attending FSS meetings because a friend who was a member suggested it as a good place to meet fellow naturalists. I caved a little with them but got turned off and left the FSS because of the condescending attitudes of a few of the local BNCs.

I then went caving solo and with a few buds (not beers) in my beloved Archer Caves, some of which were (before the recent hurricanes - :cry: ) within a gorgeous stand of old growth subtropical hardwoods. I found almost a hundred caves in a 10 sq mile area within walking distance of my home. I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

By the mid-1970s, the jerks had left and I rejoined the FSS, and in order to serve as a grotto officer I had to join the NSS. I liked the publications, the contacts made at caver events, the remaining FSS members, and the feeling of being a part of a community of kindred explorers so much that I knew I would probably want to be a member for life, so I signed up for Life Membership.

When I finally got around to learning cave diving (to see those world-class Florida underwater caves), I signed up for Life Membership in the CDS. I remain an NSS member for all the reasons I signed up for Life.

I will make the observation that those here who are unhappy with the NSS, and those who used to be but are not now NSS members, are reading this board for very good reasons. We welcome you all back. :D
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Postby George Dasher » Oct 5, 2005 9:16 am

On my first caving trip, one guy on the trip said, "My NSS number is X, but if had I joined when I started caving, my NSS number would be Y."

The next guy said the same thing, and the next and the next...

I thought to myself, "I don't know if I'm ever going caving again, but I am joining the NSS RIGHT NOW so I don't have to make such a silly statement each time someone asks what my NSS number is."

So I joined the NSS.
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Postby Scott McCrea » Oct 5, 2005 9:21 am

I joined the NSS to get a discounted rate for the '95 Convention in Blacksburg.
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Postby Wayne Harrison » Oct 5, 2005 1:59 pm

George Dasher wrote:On my first caving trip, one guy on the trip said, "My NSS number is X, but if had I joined when I started caving, my NSS number would be Y."

The next guy said the same thing, and the next and the next...

I thought to myself, "I don't know if I'm ever going caving again, but I am joining the NSS RIGHT NOW so I don't have to make such a silly statement each time someone asks what my NSS number is."

So I joined the NSS.

That's funny! I joined in about '79, I think. If I'd joined when I started caving my NSS number would be in the 15000's instead of the 18000's. :doh:
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Postby Sean Ryan » Oct 5, 2005 4:10 pm

I joined because my grotto (the Northern New Jersey Grotto) has an ongoing deal where you get a freee first year of membership with us when you become an NNJG member (and our annual dues are $20, not some token amount). Only one person a year or so takes advantage of it, but theoretically anyone who comes up to us who just joined the NSS can get NNJG newsletters and be on our email list for a year.

The disconnect between grottoes and the NSS seems to be big. Grottoes are independent enough so that the NSS doesn't feel like the head office of every grotto so much as an unconnected organization with much higher dues. A lot of us grotto people feel it's our patriotic duty to re-up with the NSS every year. Some other people never join, and don't know why. Sure, some of that money is going to good purposes, but it'll do the same thing if it goes to a local cave conservancy-or toward beer money.
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