Join at least one of the grottoes near you.
Why? If you’re religious, you should belong to a church. If you’re a fitness buff, you should belong to a gym. If you’re a caver, you should belong to the NSS.
The dues money others have invested provides the maps you use underground, supports cave conservation, helps train the NCRC rescuers who will give up their weekends (and, perhaps, risk their lives) to respond to your underground accident (whether you paid your dues or not). In fact, your dues support this very forum.
I'd suggest you show up at Cave Capers in August (Harrison County, Ind. Fairgrounds). You'll meet dozens more cavers and have a good time.
Don't be a free-rider. If you can't afford the $10 Grotto dues, I'll pay your first year for you.