Robert A. Holt PO Box 625, Cobleskill, NY 12043 E xecutive Director Phone: 573 836 2256 E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.cavern.com February 2014 Executive Director's Message Greetings from the great northeast... well, should I say there has been nothing great about it this winter with all the cold weather we have had much like the rest of the country. One morning l ast week I had 17 degrees and that wasn't with any wind chi ll factor! I have long been ready for spring! I gave our President Rawlings the month off from writing his regular column here so he may continue to enjoy the unseasonal warmth that California is experiencing! He tells me they need rain real bad and that is certainly evident of the photos Matt Doyle has posted on Facebook of Lake Shasta. The water level is extremely low up there. I would like to remind everyone... if you have not sent me your high resolution photographs of your cave, please do so ASAP. We are diligently working on our new website and having high resolution photos is a must! Very soon I will be circulating an "Update Info" form for you to fill out. Your Regional Director will be able to assist if you have questions Again, we want to have the most cur rent information in our database. Please let us know what changes have taken place at your cave. Do you have new Admission Prices? Hours? Representatives? Finally, your Board of Directors will be meeting the first week of March in St. Louis. Our March issue of Cave Talk may arrive a few days later than the normal first of the month so that we may include the happenings of our meetings. Please, always let me know when I might assist you Bob Holt Executive Director Happy Valentine's Day Book Recommendation I just finished reading a book called 'Love Works, Seven Timeless Principles For Effective Leaders' by Joel Manby CEO of Herschend Family Entertainment. A friend of mine at church brought me the book, thinking I might enjoy it. You can imagine my surprise when I realized that it was all about Jack & Pete Herschend's management philosophies! I enjoyed it so much t hat I just ordered six copies for my small business owning girlfriends. I'm sure many NCA members would find it enjoyable, informative and truly inspiring. http://joelmanby.com/ Ann Dunlavy Lincoln Caverns OFFICERS President : Steve Rawlings Mercer Caverns, CA Ph: 209 728 2101 email@example.com Vice President : Patty Perlaky Raccoon Mt. Caverns, TN Ph: 423 821 9403 firstname.lastname@example.org Secretary Treasurer : Bob Holt Mercer Caverns, CA Ph: 573 836 2256 email@example.com Past President : Greg Beckler N atural Stone Bridge & Caves, NY Ph: 518 494 2283 firstname.lastname@example.org et REGIONAL DIRECTORS Region One : (CT, DE, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT) Rob Arey Polar Caves Park NH email@example.com Ph: 603 536 1888 Region Two : (MD, VA, WV, KY) Rho Lansden Lost River Cave & Valley, KY firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 270 393 0077 Region Three : (IL, IN, MI, OH) Claudia Yundt Squire Boone Caverns, IN email@example.com Ph: 812 732 4382 Region Four : (AR, IA, KS, MO, NE) Dennis Boyer War Eagle Cavern, AR firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 479 789 2909 Region Five : (MN, MT, ND, SD, WI) Tom Hagen Rushmore Cave, SD email@example.com Ph: 60 5 255 4467 Region Six : (CA, ID, NV, OR, WA, AK, HI, Barbados, Bermuda) Matt Doyle Lake Shasta Caverns, CA firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 800 795 CAVE Region Seven : (AZ, CO, NM, UT, WY) Steve Beckley Glenwood Caverns, CO email@example.com Ph: 970 945 4CAV Region Eight : (LA, OK, TX) Ed Mayfield Caverns of Sonora, TX firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 325 387 3105 Region Nine : (AL, FL, GA, MS, NC, SC, TN,) John Graves Luray Caverns, VA john.graves@luraycaverns. com Ph: 540 743 6551 Director s at Large Steve Runkle Cave of the Winds, CO email@example.com Ph: 719 685 5444 Aaron Ginn Sierra Nevada Recreation, CA firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 209 736 2708
NCA Buyers Talk When I first started buying merchandise for our gift shops at Lost Sea I thought I should pick things that I would like to pu rchase if I visited another gift shop. I quickly discovered this is not always true as a matter of fact it is hardly ever true. Items that will interest a wide variety of people must be carefully thought out. I feel that it is so important to visit other attractions and hear what sells for them. I also think it is important to visit with children and find out what new things they are looking at. I have to say that most of the items that have been best sellers for us have been recommended from other gift shops in attractions similar to ours. The Wigglees from Pocko have been one of our best sellers for years, Paracord Name Bracelets, and Personalized Knives from Wayne Carver have also been top sellers for us. We ha d always steered away from the name programs but the knives and bracelets have been great. If you can get a company to switch out what you are not selling e ven if it is with something generic you will not lose out. We also have a suncatcher with a picture of the Lost Sea on it and it has been a great seller for us. Something that we have discovered at Lost Sea, and it has really had an impact on us, is that no matter how well the items in your shops are selling if you are not keeping up to date records on reordering and inventory you are losing out. We had become a little sloppy with items that were not properly entered into our system and this was causing e mployees to ring up a lot of merchandise on a miscellaneous key. When this happens your inventory is not current and you may not realize that you need to reorder until an item is absolutely not on the shelf. If this happens during your busy season it mig ht take longer than you expected to be shipped causing you to miss out on selling a popular item. After looking at inventory records for the last three years we realized that something needed to change and we felt it was time to look at a new Point of Sal e System not only for inventory but ticket sells as well. We decided a system that would help us track our inventory was number one priority for us. After looking at several systems we chose the Artisan Point of Sale Software by CerTek. This software wil l include Cash Register Functions, Inventory Control, Accounting Interface (QuickBooks & Peachtree), Customer Tracking, Gift Certificates, Merchandise Credit, Mailing Lists, Consignment Accounting, Import/Exporting, Card on File, Security Etc. We feel tha t this will bring us back up to speed and help plug any leaks that we might have had with mismanaged inventory. We are currently working on getting this software installed and hope to go live with everything February 1 or at the latest March 1. Wish us l uck. Lisa McClung Lost Sea
Batfest at Lincoln & Whisper Rocks Caves Spending part of the Valentine's Day weekend at Lincoln Cavern's eighth annual Batfest may not teach you to love bats, but it will give you an appreciation for these pint sized mammals and what they do for us. At the 10 a.m.to 3 p.m. Feb. 15 event, visitors will meet Pennsylvania's own "Batman," and get a day's worth of schooling on bats, including why they've all but vanished from Pennsylvania's caves, including Lincoln and Whisper Rocks. Parents and children will see a live brown bat and learn bat facts, lore and trivia. You can do bat crafts and learn how to m ake bat houses to shelter the state's few remaining bats. At Batfest's pizza lunch (included in the price), participants will get t o play a few bat games. Why have Batfest without any resident bats? "People must learn how valuable bats are to us, that they must not hurt any they see and that they can play a role in helping the little mammals survive, from building bat houses to shelter them to obeying cave quarantine signs that are posted," says Patricia Ann Dunlavy, owner of Lincoln and Whisper Rocks Bats are major predators of night time flying insects that cause crop damage, she says, and also hunt and devour pesky mosquitoes that plague humans. "Without bats, more ins ecticides have to be applied to crops at a time when none of us wants more chemicals used on our foods. Those extra chemicals mean higher costs for farmers and ultimately, higher food costs for us," she adds. Batfest is scheduled at this time of the year because "it's when bats hibernate in caves. It's also a time when people are looking for activities to keep them from going into hibernation themselves," Dunlavy says. The Batfest programming is conducted in Lincoln's indoor, temperature controlled, natur e workshop building. Cavern tours also are conducted because their ambient, year round temperature is 52 degrees. If snow should make driving difficult, Dunlavy has set a "blizzard date" of Feb. 16. Carl Butchkowski, Pennsylvania's Batman, will start the day's program with a session on why bats have vanished. It's because of a devastating fungus called White Nose Syndrome. The Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife biologist also will provide an updat e on research underway to try to halt the progress of thi s wildlife disease, which has been called one of the worst in our history. "During his talk, we'll offer a story time on bats for children who are too young to understand his presentation," Dunlavy sa ys. Robyn Graboski of Centre Wildlife Care in Port Matillda, Centre County will introduce Batfest participants to Betsy, a live brown bat, at her kid friendly program. Graboski, who rehabilitates all kinds of animals, nursed the bat back to health. Betsy can't be released back into nature because her wing s were damaged. So she spends her days meeting children and even shows off a little when Graboski feeds her a lunch of mealworms. Because Batfest generally sells out before the event, Dunlavy has made some programming changes this year to accommodate a fe w more visitors. Even so, the total number of participants is limited to 100 guests. "We'll rotate guests between our education and craft sessions, as well as the cave tours," she says. The message here: If you have an inkling you'd like to wing it to thi s central Pennsylvania program, you'd better make your reservations immediately at http://www.lincolncaverns.com or call 814 643 0268. Education programs at Lincoln began in 1991, when Dunlavy was asked to create a program for a bat focused Girl Scout wildlife badge. She expanded the information for the caverns' in school workshops and then to their wildlife center. Finally, she establish ed Batfest in 2006 to share the information with parents and children who could not get it from their own scouting or school programs. First documented in Pennsylvania in 2008, White Nose Syndrome has obliterated nearly all of the state's northern long ea red bats and little brown bats and also has dealt devastating blows to the other four varieties that traditionally have spent their winter s hibernating in caves and mines. Lincoln Caverns never had a huge colony (some caves had bats by the thousands), but there were about 50 that called it home, according to Dunlavy. "Last summer, we saw a few. During a recent walk through, I didn't spot any." Betsy the Bat Children show off bat puppets at Batfest
Lincoln and Whisper Rocks are both located in Warrior Ridge. Lincoln was discovered first, when blasting exposed it during the 1930 construction of U.S. Route 22. Dunlavy's grandfather, Myron Dunlavy Sr. of Buffalo, N.Y., bought the cave a year after the fa rm family that opened the cave to the public decided to sell it. Her father, Myron Jr., was an avid spelunker an d discovered nearby Whisper Rocks in 1941. The cavern wasn't opened to the public until 1961. By Diane W. Stoneback of The Morning Call Going Inside: Measuring Bracken Cave's Bat Guano Today, BCI and the National Cave and Karst Research Institute (NCKRI) are going inside Bracken Cave to determine the depth of the guano within. And you can watch it all live on our Bracken Webcam Using measurements from resistivity equipment provided by NCKRI, BCI and NCKRI will select the deepest sites to collect guano core samples later this year. How does resistivity equipment work, anyway? A multi core cable that has electrodes connected to it is laid along the area being measured. The electrodes send out an electrical charge that is recorded by a microcomputer. Because the surrounding limestone at Bracken Cave conducts an electrical charge from a 12 volt battery differently than bat guano, it is possible to measure the depth of the different electrical charges and see where the guano ends and the floor of the cave begins. You can learn more about geological resistivity here Preliminary results indicate that in certain parts of the cave the guano reaches depths of 19 meters (62 feet)! Once the sites are selected and the core samples taken, paleontologist s and other scientists will study them to better understand this important bat roost. Now, that's the science of bat poop! WNS Report There is not much new this month it can be expected that more localities with WNS to be announced in the spring. Three bats on Prince Edward Island have been found with white nose this season. In case you mis sed it: The Forest Service has recently completed a new 14 minute film that talks about the value of bats, what government agencies a re doing to mitigate the WNS crisis, and how the public can become involved. The new film is currently available at www.imdb.com/video/wab/vi2951587865 or you can do a search for: Battle For Bats: Surviving White Nose Syndrome Heat killing bats in Australia: Over 100,000 bats in Australia have died due to an intense heat wave (close to 109F). Twenty five separate colonies in South Queensland have been affected. Patty Perlaky WNS Committee Chai r
WNS Map Summary from the Wisconsin DNR Thanks to Joe Klimczak for providing this to us.
NCA Insurance Column Top 10 Identified Hazards Identified By Keith Dobrolinsky When reviewing loss recommendations for our clients, we came across a trend in hazards identified. We thought you would find this infractions: 10. Staff NOT wearing their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when requir ed. In shops, we frequently saw employees working with safety glasses, but the others (standing right next to them) were not wearing any! 9. Improper and worn out ladders We found many old wood stepladders which should have been discarded years ago! The heavy duty fiberglass ladders. 8. Housekeeping problems in boiler, mechanical, and electrical rooms These are rooms t hat should NOT be used for storage, especially flammable stuff! Get those gasoline cans, propane cylinders, and snow blowers out of these rooms! 7. Improper storage of medical supplies. This stuff needs to be kept locked up! In addition, many were found t o be depleted of band aids and other medical items. 6. Expired eyewash bottles and non working emergency eyewash stations. The sealed bottles are only good for about 2 years, and ed on a weekly basis. Do you even have an eye wash station? This is something that should be considered. as this type of equipment is somewhat to p heavy and can be knocked or tipped over. he wheels, 3. Chemical storage 2. Slip/fall hazards in the cave entryways, kitchens, gift shops, and serving areas. Water and grease on very slippery floor tiles, missing and worn out anti skid strips on the floor, and power cords on the floor create trip hazards. 1. Extension cords and outlet strips EVERYWHERE! There are never enough electrical outlets, and cube taps, power outlet strips a nd extension cords seem to multiply almost overnight. Cube taps and grounding adapters must not be allowed, and only ONE multipl e outlet power strip can be plugged into a branch circuit (not even one per outlet one per circuit). And remember extension cords are one shift or one day is considered temporary. If you need it for longer than that, consider a new, permanent outlet! A surfer recently sued another surfer for "taking his wave." The case was ultimately dismissed because they were unable to pu t a price on "pain and suffering" endured by watching som eone ride the wave that was "intended for you." Contact Us: If you have any comments, questions or suggestions for the NCA Insurance Column, please contact me. Heather Ginn Insurance Committee haginn@caverntours.
JENOLAN 2014 The 7th Congress of ISCA The first ISCA Congress to be held in the Southern Hemisphere... The perfect opportunity to visit Australia.. Furthering Show Cave Management in an exciting venue in a sp i rit of friendship and collaboration... We look forward to welcoming the world to JENOLAN 2014! Thanks to our good friend Dan Cove at Jenolan Caves, host of the 7th Congress of ISCA, he has provided the link below which gives all the information for the upcoming Congress http://www.jenolancaves.org.au/imagesDB/wysiwyg/JenolanCaves The7thCongressofISCA Newsletter2_1.pdf Deep Freeze Reveals Lake Superior's Hidd en Caves F or the first time in five years, visitors to Lake Superior's Wisconsin shore can experience the winter beauty of the Apostle Sea Caves completely frozen and safe to visit, thanks in large part to this winter's exceedingly low temperatures. National Park Service officials, who monitor conditions along the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, say that the last time Lake Superior's ice was thick eno ugh to safely hold visitors to the caves was back in 2009 ; but with weeks of frigid temperatures caused by the polar vortex, Lake Superior has iced over enough to support adventurers on their one mile trek from mainland Wisconsin out to the caves. Bob Krumanaker, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore superintendent, told Wisconsin Public Radio that the caves are one of the most unique sites in the park, which includes 21 islands formed from sandstone over a billion years ago Visitors to the caves who make the mile long trek over an icy lake are greeted by an amazing winter v iew, with icicles hanging like stalactites from the cave ceilings and a clear ice floor that reveals the lake floor below. During the summer, visitors can kayak through the caves, but a solid lake offers adventurers the only way to experience the caves on foot. On a peak weekend day, more than 1,000 people can visit the caves. Krumanaker hopes that weather conditions will allow the ice caves to remain visitable for another six weeks, though with fickle winter, the caves could be closed as soon as the comin g weekend. By Natasha Geiling Smithsonian.com
Affiliate of the Month Let us first start out by saying how fortunate we feel to be associated with the National Caves Association. We value the man y relationships that we have made through the years. Village Originals is a family owned business that was established is 1973. We are a leader in wholesaling semi precious stones, minerals, fossils and gemstone jewelry. We pride ourselves on our quality, competitive pricing, new products and display desi gns. Village Originals has a phenomenal variety of minerals ranging from Uru guayan amethyst, Brazilian agate, geodes and quartz down to a huge array of rough minerals. Our focus is to provide this selection to you the customer for the best price possible. In fact, we always try to provide a price that our customers can fairly reta il for 3x 4x cost. One new product line that we're very excited about this year is Uruguayan amethyst. This is an incredibly beautiful and completely natural product. The quality is guaranteed to amaze! Uruguayan Amethyst We also pride ourselves on our collection of semi precious gemstone jewelry. You cannot go wrong with our line of gemstone chip jewelry and the unique variety of gemstone bracelets. Our l ine of gemstone pendants is not only beautiful but you will not be able to find better prices. We have been selling gemstone pendants since 1975 and over the years have proven successful not only because of the prices but because of the variation of minera ls and new designs. Being in this industry for over 40 years we at Village Originals have learned that new and exciting products and displays that are priced right, along with great customer service are key to a successful business! Tony & Gwynne Grilli Village Originals, Inc. 1125 Gills Drive #800, Orlando, FL 32824 d: 407 277 8837 o: 407 855 4004 f: 407 855 2441 email@example.com www.villageoriginals.com
From Deep Down in the Archives... Timeline 19 65 Photographs Anyone? Our supply of old photographs is getting low... I need your help. Please look through your archives for NCA related photographs we can use in Cave Talk and ultimately feature in the NCA's 50th Anniversary Celebration The big event is only a year away! Contact Bob if you have something to share. Dates to Remember Mark Your Calendar! Tucson Gem and Mineral Shows 2014, Tucson, Arizona, February 1 16, 2014 NCA Mid Winter Board of Directors Meeting, Renaissance Airport Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri, March 3 5 2014 NSS Convention 2014, NSS Headquarters, Huntsville, Alabama, July 14 18, 2014 NCA Convention 2014, Host: Cave of the Winds, Colorado Springs, Colorado, September 29 October 3, 2014 International Show Caves Association Congress 2014, Jenolan Caves, New South Wales, Australia, November 2 8, 2014 IGES/SSS 2014, Sevierville & Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, November 4 8, 2014 IAAPA 2014, Orlando, Florida, November 17 21, 2014 Tucson Gem and Mineral Shows 2015, Tucson, Arizona, January 31 February 15, 2015 NCA Mid Winter Board of Directors Meeting, Renaissance Airport Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri, March 2 4 201 5 NSS Convention 2015, Waynesville Missouri July 13 17, 2015 NCA Convention 2015, (50 th Anniversary) Host: Cave of the Mounds, Blue Mounds, Wisconsin, September 19 24, 2015 IGES/SSS 2015, Sevierville & Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, November 3 7, 2015 IAAPA 2015, Orlando, Florida, November 16 20, 2015 Tucson Gem and Mineral Shows 2016, Tucson, Arizona, January 30 February 14, 2015 NCA Mid Wi nter Board of Directors Meeting, Renaissance Airport Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri, February 22 24 201 6 NSS Convention 2016, Ely, Nevada, July 17 23, 2016 NCA Convention 2016, Host: Squire Boone Caverns, French Lick, Indiana, September 19 23, 2016 IAAPA 2016, Orlando, Florida, November 8 11, 2016 Got News? Please make sure you let Bob Holt know when you have news to share with the membership regarding you and your cave It is the goal of the NCA office to produce more issues of Cave Talk and this can only happen when you help with the sharing of your news. P lease send your articles, photographs to firstname.lastname@example.org March 2014 Cave Talk Deadline Please have all articles to Bob Holt no later than F ebruary 15. Thank you! 1965 Orga nizational meeting of the NCA in Missouri. Do you recognize anyone besides Jack Herschend our first president?
Cave Talk is a
publication of the National Caves Association, a non-profit
trade association founded in 1965 by a small group of private
show cave owners. These initial members sought to bring
together show cave owners and operators from across the United
States to promote the show cave industry to the public, to
share information and ideas, and to lobby for legislation
favorable to the show cave industry.