2008 SERA/VAR

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Re: 2008 SERA/VAR

Postby Carl Amundson » Jun 4, 2008 10:32 am

Oh yeah, I will be on the road tomorrow morning. I figure it will take me (and my wife) about 7 hours to get Bristol.
Can't wait to get down there and do some caving.

It will be a hot one though:
http://www.weather.com/outlook/recreation/boatandbeach/tenday/USTN0055?from=search_10day
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Re: 2008 SERA/VAR

Postby JoeyS » Jun 4, 2008 10:44 am

We'll be there late thursday night. Looking forward to it.
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Re: 2008 SERA/VAR

Postby Scott McCrea » Jun 4, 2008 10:53 am

JoeyS wrote:We'll be there late thursday night. Looking forward to it.

:beer30: :toast: :waving:
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Re: 2008 SERA/VAR

Postby caverwoody » Jun 4, 2008 9:06 pm

No Scott you have to wait till Saturday night for that much fun
I'll see you underground
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Re: 2008 SERA/VAR

Postby caverwoody » Jun 4, 2008 9:07 pm

Picked up the liquid supplies for that fun today
I'll see you underground
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Re: 2008 SERA/VAR

Postby caverwoody » Jun 5, 2008 6:35 am

HEY GUYS DON'T FORGET GATES OPEN TODAY AT NOON LETS ALL HAVE A BLAST THIS WEEKEND
I'll see you underground
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Re: 2008 SERA/VAR

Postby Scoon1 » Jun 5, 2008 9:23 am

Only 1 more hour till my departure!!! :banana_yay:
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Re: 2008 SERA/VAR

Postby VACaver » Jun 5, 2008 9:26 am

Scoon1 wrote:Only 1 more hour till my departure!!! :banana_yay:



6 to go for me... :driving:
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Re: 2008 SERA/VAR

Postby Tim White » Jun 5, 2008 12:15 pm

:doh: Plans have changed... we won't be arriving until tomorrow around noon. But we will still have the climbing contest rope will up and read by 4:00.

Hey Scott, I will be returning something of yours that I borrowed. :bash:

See everyone there! :beer30:
Be safe,
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Re: 2008 SERA/VAR

Postby caverwoody » Jun 8, 2008 4:32 pm

hey guys and girls I was just wandering what everyone that attended SERA/VAR this weekend thought and what your total opinion is of the overall event
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Re: 2008 SERA/VAR

Postby VACaver » Jun 8, 2008 6:15 pm

caverwoody wrote:hey guys and girls I was just wandering what everyone that attended SERA/VAR this weekend thought and what your total opinion is of the overall event


Here's what I heard from most folks I talked to:

They were disappointed to find that the Saturday night dinner was not included in the registration fee. Most were surprised when they found out it'd be an additonal 10 bucks and thought that $31 for the event without a meal was way too high.

A big gripe was that the event seemed to be totally disorganized. No one seemed to know when things were supposed to happen and where. Having the cave trip sign ups at the gate instead of a local spot to the cavers was also a big complaint. Many felt that there should have been a gathering/information point near vendors row.

On the plus side, the entertainment on Saturday night was excellent...
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Re: 2008 SERA/VAR

Postby mgmills » Jun 8, 2008 6:56 pm

Edited to preface my comment below by saying I had a really good time at the event in spite of the "stroking hot temperatures" during the day both Friday and Saturday. Both bands that played were good. I heard the free beer was good but I didn't drink any due to the heat. I felt dehydrated in spite of drinking large quanties of water during the day and didn't want to add the dehydrating effects of alcohol.

VACaver wrote:
Here's what I heard from most folks I talked to:

A big gripe was that the event seemed to be totally disorganized. No one seemed to know when things were supposed to happen and where. Having the cave trip sign ups at the gate instead of a local spot to the cavers was also a big complaint. Many felt that there should have been a gathering/information point near vendors row.


I agree with the above. I was there too. I know that the hosts probably did "ice sales" at registration for reasons of staffing the sales but registration was quite a distance from the camping and to walk to get ice in the heat would have resulted in getting a 1/2 bag of water by the time one got back to camp. (For future event planners I've been to events where a walkie talking was hung on the door of the ice bin at the ice station and the "buyer" could call for the "seller" to come sell the ice. Of course this requires the "seller" be relatively close by but at least it frees them up for other tasks.)

There was no posted schedule of events and I was told by several staff members that announcements and door prizes would be at 8:30 pm but they didn't start that until after 9:00 pm. . . perhaps they just wanted to insure an audience for the band but it was frustrating for me to hurry to be there on time and then have to wait.

That said, I was there with my husband who was vending at the event. There were a lot of issues Friday after the thunderstorm with power for the vendors. The staff did work to resolve the issues however several vendors were without power most of the night as as a result I'm sure they suffered a loss in sales due to this outage. (For future event planners please be sure you have a good plan for your power.) My husband vends as an outlet for his hobby of oil painting but for some vendors their business is there main source of income. The staff was very apologetic to the vendors about the problems but it still prevented some vendors from operating at full efficiency.

Overall, I enjoyed the event and met some new folks and saw some old friends.
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Re: 2008 SERA/VAR

Postby JoeyS » Jun 8, 2008 11:00 pm

caverwoody wrote:hey guys and girls I was just wandering what everyone that attended SERA/VAR this weekend thought and what your total opinion is of the overall event


Hey Woody; We enjoyed the SERA/VAR event and althought the weather was probably "less than ideal", we got see some great caves and meet many cavers. We went to Worley's and Berry Hill Cave. Both of which were great trips. Thanks for all your efforts to pull off a great event.
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Re: 2008 SERA/VAR

Postby BassProBarbie » Jun 9, 2008 6:21 am

[I am leery of mentioning my thoughts because when I complained about Speleofest choosing a local fairground with absolutely NO shade when it was held in the Glasgow area (just before it had a permanent home), the main organizer blessed me out :boxing: , but I'm hoping this will not be the case here.]

The concept of combining the two events was a really good one...except it led to small numbers because it was too far for the bulk of either group to attend. The shade was ample and appreciated, except it occurred in one LONG continuous row, stretching all of us out too far. Typically the "party area" is right next to the hot tub, but it turns out that camping and partying over there was not appreciated by most neighbors who expected everyone to be quiet after midnight. :shrug:

I agree with the earlier comments on the lack of organization and the frustration of the delay in the doorprize drawing. I was also disappointed that our names were not announced, but instead ticket numbers were called. Many of us did not know this was the case, had lost our tickets for unknown reasons, and therefore missed our numbers if/when called.

The shower houses were less than desireable. One morning I de-clothed completely and set up my stall only to find there was no water at all. I then had to re-clothe and repack to drive to the main shower house only to fight off hornets who had taken up residency. The next day my friend (new to caving) was disgusted to find that someone had deficated in the showerhouse. I know this was no fault of the sponsors, but if there had been ceramic floors instead of carpet, it would have been easier to clean completely. The shower doors did not lock in most cases and people walked in on me several times unintentionally.

On the positive side, the caving and recreational activities in the area were superb: Carter Caverns for caving, The Blue Hole and Watauga Lake for afternoon swimming, and Ridgewood and Cootie Brown's for fine dining. The locals were very friendly everywhere we went.

I appreciate the effort that the hosting grottos put forth. Being that we hosted SERA last year, I know how difficult it is. I suspect cosponsorship and the location were the biggest difficulties this year. I must say, a nice man at registration named Richard seemed to be working around the clock. As the days went by, I could tell he was becoming frazzled, but he kept on trucking and answering as many questions at one time as he could. I vote him MVP of the volunteer staff!
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Re: 2008 SERA/VAR

Postby xcaverx » Jun 9, 2008 6:41 am

BassProBarbie wrote:I appreciate the effort that the hosting grottos put forth. Being that we hosted SERA last year, I know how difficult it is. I suspect cosponsorship and the location were the biggest difficulties this year. I must say, a nice man at registration named Richard seemed to be working around the clock. As the days went by, I could tell he was becoming frazzled, but he kept on trucking and answering as many questions at one time as he could. I vote him MVP of the volunteer staff!


Yes, Richard (and wife Ginny) hung in there despite incredible heat, taking only 10 minute breaks to get some food down the road.

It might help to know that they're both computer programmers -- the pinnacle of creation, you know. :tonguecheek:

--robbie
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