New To Caving -Local Grotto Question

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New To Caving -Local Grotto Question

Postby Cavo Profundus » Jun 2, 2011 3:59 pm

Hey folks,

New to caving. In fact I will be making my first trip in a few days. I have attended a few grotto meetings, but have a question. How do you choose the grotto that is best for you? I am not actually near any grotto, but could reasonably make the meetings at two different ones about an hour to an hour and a half away. There is a third, larger, and seemingly more active grotto that meets a few hours away, that I could attend possibly on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, but they actually meet two or three times each month. This larger grotto has a much better training plan, but it seems to be open to anyone, not just local grotto members. The closest grotto seems (in the two or three meetings I attended there) to be pretty much run by only a very few people. There seems to be limited involvement wanted from other members. As a guest, I just observed of course, but it seemed that one lady was the final word on everything. I like the people in the closest grotto, but am concerned about the lack of member participation. The largest grotto with the extensive training program, would seem like the place to be, but again it is several hours drive and I would be able to make a meeting only once a month at most. Possibly could be every two months. Any advice?
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Re: New To Caving -Local Grotto Question

Postby NZcaver » Jun 2, 2011 4:21 pm

Welcome to the forum, and good luck with your first caving trip! :waving:

Those are good questions and yes, different grottos have different personalities and pros and cons. There's nothing wrong with joining multiple grottos, or just being a visitor at different grotto meetings. Even if one is not a perfect fit, you'll probably find some like-minded people to connect with. Hopefully they can help you avoid some of the BS and steer you towards appropriate beginner trips with good leaders.

In short, connecting with a more active grotto or caver group within a grotto is probably the best option for you IF they are doing trips appropriate to your skill level. But hooking up with the closest grotto - even though it may be less active - might make it easier to get your "fix" of caving meetings and stay connected locally.
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Re: New To Caving -Local Grotto Question

Postby Cavo Profundus » Jun 2, 2011 4:28 pm

Thanks for the advice. I am definitely going to make the drive for the training. Just can't decide whether it would be worthwhile for me to do so on a regular basis. If I can't help in some way, I would just be dead weight for the grotto. Of course, that is the same reason I am unsure about the closer grotto! :doh:
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Re: New To Caving -Local Grotto Question

Postby NZcaver » Jun 2, 2011 4:43 pm

I've heard grotto members call other grotto members a lot of things, but never "dead weight." The vast majority of grottos welcome newcomers, and provide encouragement. Some members are less active than others, some come and go with the seasons, and some are always there and always have something going on. Cavers are a strange and interesting bunch. :laughing:
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Re: New To Caving -Local Grotto Question

Postby 2.0 » Jun 2, 2011 8:38 pm

What part of the country do you live in?
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Re: New To Caving -Local Grotto Question

Postby Crockett » Jun 3, 2011 8:47 pm

Join them all. Let them sort it out.

I know a caver who is a member of over 20 grottos and they all seem to be glad to have him as a member.

I wonder who holds the record for the most active memberships at once.
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Re: New To Caving -Local Grotto Question

Postby nathanroser » Jun 4, 2011 11:26 pm

Crockett wrote:I know a caver who is a member of over 20 grottos and they all seem to be glad to have him as a member.


Sounds like someone is a rambling caver who likes to scoop booty all over the place.
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Re: New To Caving -Local Grotto Question

Postby Crockett » Jun 5, 2011 12:08 am

muddyface wrote:
Crockett wrote:I know a caver who is a member of over 20 grottos and they all seem to be glad to have him as a member.


Sounds like someone is a rambling caver who likes to scoop booty all over the place.


The reference was to Dr. John Craft Taylor NSS 5624. He will be extremely amused by your characterization of him as a wide ranging scooper.
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Re: New To Caving -Local Grotto Question

Postby nathanroser » Jun 5, 2011 12:40 pm

Well of course by scooping booty I mean surveying cave passage.
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Re: New To Caving -Local Grotto Question

Postby JR-Orion » Jun 6, 2011 3:06 pm

Welcome aboard.
:waving:

I was in a similar situation, with nothing in town or close by, but a few different grottos an hour or two away. I got lucky in that the first one I went to (90 minutes away) was welcoming, friendly, and active, so I signed up with them. I go on trips with them and try to make the meetings.

Now I'm thinking of joining a second grotto. I don't think I'll ever make a meeting, as they are six hours away, but I've met some of their members, have spent plenty of time underground in their state, and would like to meet up with them for the occasional weekend trip.

So yeah, nothing wrong with joining a couple of different grottos.
Letting the days go by / water flowing underground
Into the blue again / in the silent water
Under the rocks and stones / there is water underground.
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Re: New To Caving -Local Grotto Question

Postby Cavo Profundus » Jun 20, 2011 9:13 pm

I think it probably is a good idea to join both grottos. The membership fee is small and I'm sure both grottos could use it. Besides, I will be taking advantage of advice and knowledge from both.

Thanks folks.

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