Cave Talk

Cave Talk

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Cave Talk
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Cave Talk
Bob Holt ( suggested by )
National Cave Association
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Resource Management ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )
United States


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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.
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(January 31, 1977)
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See Extended description for more information.

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k26.938 ( USFLDC Handle )
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NATIONAL CAVES ASSOCIATION January 31, 1977 k Barl::lara Munson, Ccordinator 1026 BaJ.m:)ra1 Drive Signal MoW1tain, TN 37377 (615) 886-2995 TRAVEL WRITERS PRESS KIT MONITORING PROGRAM N.T. B. A. CONVENTION "MINI SURVEY" On the recommendation of our Public Relations Committee and the Executive Committee, NCA is to be included in the 1977 Travel writers Press Kit, produced by Richard Newman Associates. Each year this kit features not more than ten non-competitive attractions or destinations. This kit is used throughout the year by some 500 newspaper and travel editors allover the U. S. Sixteen Members indicated they were not interested in participating in the Cooperative Monitoring Program. Twelve wanted to participate these were rather closely grouped in the central U. S. and findings would, therefore, not be representative of conunercial caves IIthroughout the United States". For this reason, and because the small number would have greatly increased the per cave costs, the Program Head, together with the Executive Committee, felt the cooperative Program should not be undertaken by the N.C.A. Consultants' names and addresses are available from this office. Our thanks to Jack Herschend who headed this investigation. Past President Andy Anderson, who represented the National Caves Association at the National Tour Brokers Association Meeting this month in Vancouver, reports the Convention was a great success and that he made several good contacts for the NCA. A summary of the results of the Guides Wages and Hours survey is enclosed we hope you find it useful. A number of excellent suggestions for additional "Mini Surveys" and round-table discussions have been received. If you have a pe t lt topic you'd like to hear from other NCA members about, let us know. HCA OFFICERS Missouri Cave Association officers for 1977: President, Jerry Hunter Vice President, and Secretary-Treasurer. Dwight Weaver is Editor State Courier. Bob Bogart Bob Hudson of their Cave TEXAS HIGHWAYS 1977 SYMPOSIUM FOREIGN TRAVEL IN U. S. INNER SPACE, WONDER CAVE, NATURAL BRIDGE CAVERNS, and CASCADE CAVERNS will be featured in the March Texas Highways magazine in liThe Caves of the Balconier Fault Area. II The 1977 National Cave Management Symposium will be in Bozeman, Montana. According to the United States Travel Data Center, growth in foreign visitor travel in the U. S. will assist expansion of America's travel industry in 1977.


FOREIGN VISITORS ROADSIDE BUSINESS ASSO. CARLSBAD CAVERNS GENERAL ELECTRIC BRIDAL CAVE CHANNEL 13 RESOURCE INFO GOVERNOR BLANTON John and Gladys Bridges report CASCADE CAVERNS always seems to have a higher presentage of foreign visitors during the winter months. During the last week of 1976 visitors from 12 foreign countries alrnos~ outnumbered the visitors from TexaS8 A meeting with Rep. James Abdnor's (R-SD) Legislative Assistant, Larry Parkinson, has given RBA further support for future legislation proposals. South Dakota's recent landmark ruling has given both Congress and FHNA reasons to give the Highway Beautification Program a closer look this session. According to a recent news release from CARLSBAD CAVERNS a five year program to reduce energy consumption and to restore environmental conditions inside the CAVERNS is nearing completion. The new environmental lighting system is designed: "---to reduce electrical energy used and resulting heat input through the use of more efficient types of lights; ---to emphasize natural beauty and bring out cavern features not previously seen by visitors; ---to bring out natural color without adding artifical color; ---to be unobtrusive and unnoticed by visitors." GE featured the new lighting system at CARLSBAD CAVERNS in a recent Products article. Raymond Grenals, AlA, was the Lighting Consultant. Greg Gray, Acting Manager of BRIDAL CAVE, is interested in flying a 3 x 5 National Caves Association flag in addition to their American flag. If any other NCA members would be interested in such a flag, Greg asks that they contact him and maybe a group purchase can be worked up. Greg Gray, BRIDAL CAVE, Camdenton, Missouri 65020. CASCADE CAVERNS monitors Channel 13 at their two base stations. A great help to groups camping in their campground. Nick Noe, NSS Conservation Committee Chairman, is offering the use of the Committee's extensive computorized listing to Cave Management Symposium participants. NCA was a participant. The listing could be used for a conservation alert either nation-wide or to a particular geographic region. The list can also serve as a cross-reference for those seeking professional advice or expertize in a specilized area of cave management. Contact: Nick Noe, Chairman NSS Conservation Committee, P. O. Box 41091, Indianapolis, Indiana 46241. Tennessee's Governor Ray Blanton has been made Chairman of a special National Governor's Conference task force on Foreign Trade and Tourism. Gov. Blanton, featured in the January '77 DATO Newsline, has stressed the need for a national tourism policy.


NATIONAL CAVES ASSOCIATION Findings from January 1977 Guides Wages and Hours "Mini-Survey" Our thanks to each of you who replies 27 cards were received one indicated self-guided tours and was not used in the tabulations. Minimum. Rate: Maximum Rate: Promotions: Hours: Uniforms: Lowest 1.00 Highest 4.00 Average 1.65 Breakdown: 1.50 or less (5), 1.60 thru 2.00 (7), 2.10 thru 2.50 (10) 3.00 and over (3) Notes: In some instances this is for part time work only One pays a salary of 70.00/week for 48 hours. One pays full time guides 125.00/week for 40 hours, another has a monthly salary starting at 300.00/month plus house, utilities and two week paid vacation for 37~hour week. One has only one hourly rate but pays a bonus of .10 per hour to those guides who stay to the end of the season. Others offer various incentive bonuses. Lowest 2.00 Highest 4.99 Average 3.06 Breakdown: 2.50 or less (8), 2.60 thru 3.00 (7), 3.12 thru 3.75 (4), 4.00 and over (2) Notes: Several have only one rate as noted above. Automatic (1), On Merit (20), Both (3), Not applicable (3) 30 35 (5), 35 40 (3), 40 (11), 40 48 (6) One cave indicates women work 7~ hours per day and men 9~. Full uniform supplies (8), Partial (13), None (4) Two'give 125.00 yearly uniform allowance. Fringe Benefits: None listed (12), Discounts (5), Meals, lodging or housing (2), Staff activities (2). Some type of bonus (6), Paid vacations or sick leave (4), Employees: High School students (16 or older) (19), Young adults (22), Mature adults College students (24), (14).


BOREDOM IN PARADISE During the 1976 Cave Management symposium Bill Austin and Tom Chaney presented a paper dealing with cave guiding in general and with MAMMOTH ONYX CAVE's new approach to the guiding in their own cave. Bill has been kind enough to let us share this paper with our NCA members. We've had a look at some of the artwork going into the projected "A Guide's Guide to Mammoth Onyx Cavell and it's exciting!


BOREDOM IN PARADISE: A HARD LOOK AT CAVE GUIDE TRAINING by W. T. Austin and Tom Chaney What the Cave Experience Is For a long time management at Mammoth Onyx Cave has been dissatisfied with the quality of the cave experience we were offering to the public. In an effort to get our bearings, we decided to visit a number of caves in the Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky area to see just what others were doing. What we found was general confirmation of our own experience at Mammoth Onyx. Cave management everywhere seems to commit the major portion of its revenue to advertising and surface facilities, yet demonstrates only vague unease about the actual quality of the cave experience the ads are touting. We found guides who had either learned their spiel by rote or had given it so long without thought that the chief body of information conveyed was the guide's own boredom with his job. That appearance of boredom comes from some specific causes. And those causes have roots in the guides' training and in the way he proceeds on his job after he is trained. In nearly every cave we visited, we found the same terribly insufficient method of guide training in use. Reduced to its essentials, it is a mo nkey see: monkey do" approach. A new guide trails other guides until the new man has learned what the old one knows. He is shown the light switches, given a flashlight and put in the cave on his own. Along the way he may be given a whole complex of rules having little to do with the tour. He will be told not to chew gum, to dress neatly, not to make any passes at the opposite or same sex. As a result, he is armed with second hand facts, second hand responses to the features of the cave--in short, a second hand tour. In reality, a third, fourth or fifth hand tour for that is the way his teachers were taught. Facts get out of date. Events that happened "thirty years ago" in 1950 still happened thirty years ago in 1976. There is very little follow-up on the work of guides in any cave we visited. Ruby Falls makes use of its guest register to check on glaring misbehavior of its guides, but the register does not provide any indication of what the guide could be doing but is not. In conversations with the guides at Mammoth Onyx, we learned that the only question anyone in management had raised about performance was when a tour was too long or too short. This sort of training and lack of follow-up leads, it seems to us, to the boredom that most guides seem to communicate. There are a number of elements involved in that boredom.


-2In the first place, as we mentioned earlier, the tour is not the guide's own. He has got it from another with little added. Ccnsequently, there is little sense of personal excitement possible. To illustrate this, take an example of its opposite. The one cave trip which was exciting and engertic and on which the guide was worth the price of admission was at Blue Spring Cavern in Indiana. The party was small--three of us and a guide. The guide was one of the owner-developers of the cave. He had made the cave what it was, and he was eager to show others what he found and improved. His involvement in the process was artlessly communicated to us. It is that sense of spontaneity that must be learned by most guides, since the caves that most of us show for profit have long since been explored and the explorer and guide are no longer the same person. The guide, however, must act as if he were on his first return trip in a virgin cave--full of excitement about what he has found--eager to show it to others. In short, cave guiding is a form of theatre in that it is the creation of an illusion--not a lie--but an illusion of a truth bigger than life--information selected and focused to involve the customer--whether sitting in a theatre or standing in a damp cave an experience related to his life. That involvement in a cave ought to do precisely what the actor and director seek in a theatre--delightfully inform the customers--extend the bounds of their experience --excite them about the special world of the cave. That makes every cave guide a solo performer. Any actor who was party to the charging of admission for a boring play would be hooked off the stage in a minute. Yet guide after guide droned on and on this summer. At one cave the young man came rushing up from an adjacent swimming pool, changing from his life-guarding sun glasses to his cave-guiding jacket and voice on the run with no thought given to the difference between jobs. And it was evident all through the tour of what might have been a most interesting cave, that the mind of the guide was back,at poolside where the girls were bathing in the sun. At Mammoth Onyx we claim the second largest onyx column in the country. On tour after tour it is described in precisely the same tone as customers are cautioned not to smoke or not to bump their heads. In Tennessee a young guide greeted his group with a pleasant smile and a soft voice. On that tour there were two families of the worst possible variety of flatland touristers. They screamed, shouted, spewed flash cubes and candy wrappers from one end of the cave to the other. The guide's grin,persisted, the voice never varied. He chose to ignore the outrageous behavior of the ugly Americans and the trip was spoiled for the rest of us. His monotone had no emphasis. Neither his body nor his voice betrayed one gram of energy. These are some of the most glaring flaws in the tours we took. They should not be construed as exceptions. They are, unfortunately, simply the most vivid examples of 15 or 20 bad tcurs in about ten caves.


-3'Twould be nice if there were some evidence that our experience were the exception and not the rule. We didn't see it. If we are going to invite customers to pay to see our caves, then we must give serious thought to what we are asking them to pay for and how we are going to show it to them. What the Cave Experience Ought To Be We have looked at several of the electronically augmented tours and have decided they don't fit within our concept of what the cave experience ought to be. Since there is no way tape recordings can adapt to constantly changing groups, we are committed to individual guides. Within certain limits, the quality of guide training in vocal techniques affects the size of group the individual guide can handle. As the actor adapts his voice and body movements when he moves from a small to a large theatre, so the well-trained guide can effectively communicate with larger groups without mechanical aids. I have alluded is not a metaphorc directly related to to the relationship between the showing of caves and theatre. This Cave guiding is a form of theatre and the craft of the guide is that of the actor. Many of the same standards apply. Much of the intent is the same. It follows that acting techniques can apply to the guide as surely as they do to the stage performer. In the first place, the cave is much like the play. features of the cave remain constant. An audience brings to both, and it has a right to have those needs gratified the constant cave. The text of the play and the a variety of different needs in all their variety within The cave trip should be a blend of fun and information adapted to the specific group within the cave at the moment. The guide must take time early in his tour to discover something about the make-up of his group. If he has folks along who have never been in any cave before, then he must stress elementary information about cave development. customers familiar with caves must be given information which will make some contribution to their needs at a more comples level. You see, we have ruled out, at the start, the passive guide with a set spiel. What works at nine in the morning won't work at two in the afternoon. The guide must have at his fingertips enough facts, enough ideas about those facts and about people to adjust his focus to whoever comes along. And he must take the time necessary early in the tour to get enough information about people to know his audience. That means that for the time in the cave, and just before entering, the cave and that bunch of customers must be the most important thing in his life. The entire tone of his body--every nerve and muscle must be geared to the performance he is about to give.


-4Not too many days ago two men active in theatre came to Mammoth Onyx Cave. They took a typical tour. After they emerged from the cave we asked for their response. liMy God: n they exclaimed, "Disney World spends millions to build what you have here. And the guide was as casual as if he were showing us the way to the bathroom: n The potential was there. They liked the cave. They wanted something out of the ordinary. They were geared for caviar: the guide gave them cold oatmeal. What We Intend To Do About It We have a serious problem. We believe we see some ways of solving it. The solution will not be easy and it cannot be done once and forgotten. A new method of training guides must be devised that is more than a reinforcement of traditional habits. In the imitative approach the new guide is never any better than his teacher--and he is usually worse. We must break away from imitation so that while the new guide may adapt what works for the old into his own performance, he is encouraged to devise his own approach. For the personality of the guide must be the mediator between the cave and the customer. In the first place, the guide must have much more pertinent information about the cave and the area than he could possibily use on anyone tour. What he uses must be only the tip of the iceberg. Of course, he must be able to answer questions with authority, to admit he dosen't know the answer when he is stumped, and to know where to get the answer when he gets out of the cave. But he must do more. What he has to say must be so stimulating that he evokes those questions in the first place. In the second place, delivery of the information is a problem. A guide at Mammoth Onyx Cave observed that he used to have many more people ask about the cave three years ago when he began leading tours than he did at present. He couldn't understand why nobody. talked any more. The fault, he opined, was all with the customers. He couldn't see that he had raised subtle barriers to questions and discussions. A few days before, I was in the cave with that guide. He described a colorful feature of the cave in a drab voice, and, as he turned to go on down the path, he asked over his shoulder whether there were any questions. It became obvious that we had to work on these two facets of the tour at the same time. We had to provide the guides with sufficient information so that they were knowledgeable about every aspect of the cave. And we had to set to work improving the manner in which this information was presented. After we decided to revamp our tour, the first step was to talk to the guides and include them in our planning. Those conversations revealed that the guides themselves were as unhappy with what they were doing as we were. All of them have been cooperative and have made useful suggestions. After talking with each one, we asked them to jot down over a period of a few days


-5every question that had been asked them that they could recall, We are in the process of researching in detail complete answeIS to all quest.ions--however obvious or complex. This led to a major decision about the organizati.on of the cave tour" When a director of a play approaches a script, one of the first things he must do is to break that script down into its component parts. He must ask of each scene: "What do I wan to accomplish here, at the opening of act one, that will contribute to the final, total impact of the play? That seems to be an appropriate approach to the cave tour, We asked ourselves just what it was that we wanted of our customers after the price of admission. In a general sense we want the tour to be delightfully informative about the cave and the people is has affected through the centuries (lOOOBC). But to be more specific, we want to provide interesting information about the fOllowing: 1) The geologic process of the formation and decoration of caves; 2) How that process happened in this specific cave; 3) The relationship of Mammoth Onyx Cave to other caves in the Central Kentucky Cave Area; 4) How caves in general and this cave in particular were used by humans; 5) How the peculiar topography of which the cave is a part affects the life of those who live in the area. With these aims in mind, we decided to examine each stop in the cave tour. We have defined a specific purpose that we wish the guide to achieve at each point, and we have organized the informat,ion necessary to that point much in the manner of the puramid style familiar to newspaper reporters. That means that the basics are given first, and succeeding elements are expansions of the opening paragraph. The first stop on our tour will illustrate. Legend has it that a young girl, Martha Woodson, discovered the cave while picking berries on a hillside. She followed the draft of cool air, lowered an Indian ladder, and with her two brothers entered the vertical shaft and looked around. That happened in 1799. That shaft is in an enclosed building and the tour visits that building before entering the cave by a man-made entrance nearbYQ Guides for generations have been droning the story of Martha and adding extraneous information at random. For a time, examples of cave life were kept in the room and they were discussed, as was the story of the commercial development of the cave. We now have phrased a specific purpose that we want the guides to achieve in that discovery room. It has two related points: "To describe the scene around the cave in 1799 and to recreate the sense of anticipation which Martha Woodson felt as she found the cave and entered ito" Now, any information that contributes to tha purpose may be used here. Information not relevant is saved for ana her point in the tour. We know a good bit about the deployment of Indians and settlers in the area at the time of discovery, and as customers are interested the guide is free to go into increasing detail.


-6The guide. is also freel' wi.thin the confines of the ~tat,ed purpose, to arrange the information in the manner which best suits his own judgement of the individual tour. One of the crucial decisions we made had to do with the form of the information provided the guide. We phrased it in a terse, telegraphic style in order to force the guide to develop his own personal narrative. We are providing the same approach to all aspects of cave formation, development, decoration, human use, etc" Of course, there is a great deal of informat,ion that is not necessarily related to any specific station in the cave. The guide is provided with this as well, and he may insert i.t where it is most appropriate in his own judgement of the group he is guiding. Any well-written play employs p l an ts"--that is references to events which are to occur, statement,s that will be clarified in a later scene" We are using the same technique in ou.! organization" For example, Mammoth Onyx Cave is so formed that there are fine illustrations of cave decoration Just within the man-made entrance. At that point our purpose is to explain those formations but we include allusions to the earlier, flowing water stage of cave development which will be explained later in the tour~ As we analyze the entire tour of the cave, we are providing guides with rough copies of information. By the time our larger summer crew is ready for training we will have prepared a series of panels containing the purpose for each stop in the cave and the information about that stop. These will be illustrated with a graphic design intended to give the purpose visual form. The second part of the training program is infinitely more complex and individual. Before, during and after the time the guides are being provided with the newly organized information, we are working with them on the basics of good delivery. This will include rigorous work in vocal production. Without destroy~ng the savory elements of a rich regional dialect, we are trying to achieve good diction, audibility, and variety--three elements which seem to deteriorate as a spiel becomes rote. Beyond vocal production, we are working on achieving a good, conversational, storytelling styleo This involves developing a good rapport with the customers, eye contact, a sense of what. works at the moment and what doesn' to Out of this conversational, informative style comes a mood that encourages questions, and the questions, in turn, generate more delightful information. We are in the middle of this process at the moment. We have a core of four or five guides who workin the winter season. When the summer 1977 season comes around, they will be better able to participate in the training of the summer crew. We have been slowly introducing the newly organized information to our guides at Mammoth Onyx Cave, and we have begun working with the most serious problems of voice. To this point our results have been somewhat mixedo The younger guides have eagerly assimilated the new information and are working it into their performance quite well. The older guides are finding it difficult to break out of firmly entrenched habits.


-7They tend to add some of the new information to the old spiel without grasping the sense of focus. All the guides thus far have responded favorably to advice on the art of communication. One guide reports that his use of a more direct, face to face approach has increased noticeablY the number of questions that he is asked. The training we envision has no terminus. We are trailing guides with their knowledge. We are discussing their work on a regular basis. We will continue to encourage all guides to be aware of what others are doing and to discuss their common problems among themselves and with management. Tn doing this we want to develop a delight and pride in the art of guiding--a pride that will cause them to be eager to share the cave with our customers and their techniques and problems with each other. For, after all, the cave experience is total immersion of the customer in a world alien to his usual haunts. We provide him with an information summary of millions of years of geologic history and three thousand years of human use of that geology. And we give him that information while he is surrounded by the sights, sounds, odors and touch of that very world. With our resources we ought to be the envy of every director of theatre, movies and television who must cope with the distance imposed by their medium. It is the guide who can make the moment magic.


TEN TIPS FOR PLEASING EDITORS The following suggestions were presented during the "How To Work with the Press" workshop at the 1976 Discover America National Conference. The following checklist will help you put your best foot forward in your dealings with the press: 1. Before sending out a press release, be sure you have a story worth telling. Don't flood publications with developments of limited interest. 2. Keep press releases short but let the editor know where he can get more details if he wants them. 3. Be scrupulous in honoring commitments. If you have promised to get information to a newsman by a specific time, do it. If you have delegated someone else to supply editorial information, follow up with a personal call to make sure it was delivered promptly. 4. Don't badger an editor to find out if he intends to use a press release or other material you have supplied. A good story will stand on its own merits, and the editor must be the judge of what his readers want to see. 5. Keep in touch with writers and editors on publications in your field, even when you have no immediate story to tell. Let them know you are available to answer questions about your business, industry or profession. Keep the relationship on a professional basis. 6. Make sure you are using an up-to-date mailing list. A letter or press statement addressed to an editor who has long since retired from his job will win you no credit. If possible, send material to the personal attention of the writer or editor who regularly covers your field. 7. Check for legibility the press releases or other duplicated material you send out. Put your name, address, and telephone number on all releases, photos, and letters so an editor has your correct name in front of him and assurance that he can get more information with a phone call if he needs it. 8. Use first class mail. Some mail consultants also caution against sending press releases in large manila envelopes, which often do not get priority attention. 9. If a photo is enclosed with a press release, be sure all identification is on the back of the picture itself, not on a separate paper. Use glossy prints no smaller that 5 x 7. Prints of 8 x 10 size are better. 10. If you supply information to an editor by phone, send a confirming letter for his files and yours. This can be important when figures, technical data, or individuals' names are involved.


NATIONAL CAVES ASSOCIATION Barbara Munson, Secretary-Treasurer Hl26 B"LMCRAI.. DRIVE: SllJNAL MOUNTAIN, TENNEBSEE 3'7377 January 28, 1977 Jack Herschend, who headed our proposed NCA Cooperative Radiation Monitoring Program, has asked me to let you know that only twelve caves were interested in participating in this Program. For this reason the cooperative Program would not be feasible and will not be undertaken. Two consultants bid on doing this Program. If you would be interested in contacting either on an individual basis, they were Richard Powell (who was the low bidder), 712 S. Park Avenue, Bloomington, Indiana, 47401 and Tom Aley, Protem, Missouri 65733. Again, thank you for your interest .... sincerely, NATIONAL CAVES ASSOCIATION Barbara Munson, Secretary BCM/er


NATIONAL CAVES ASSOCIATION Minutes of Annual Meeting Business Sessions November 4th & 5th, 1976 Luray, Virginia The 12th Annual Meeting of the National Caves Association was opened on November 4th at 9,15 A.M. by President H. L. Anderson. Minutes of the 1975 Annual Meeting and of the Mid-Winter Meeting were read, diacussed and approved. Mr. Anderson asked Mr. Griswold to present a report of the recently held Cave Management Symposium. A discussion of the Symposium followed. The financial report for the year was presented and explained by the Treasurer. Reports were heard from each of the Regions. A motion was made, seconded and approved to have President Anderson represent the NCA at the annual meeting of the National Tour Brokers in January 1977. The Secretary stated applications for membership had been received from Shenandoah Caverns, Lost World Caverns, and Bluespring Caverns. Reports that each of these caves met all membership requirements were heard and all three were accepted. Clara Heidemann announced the National Tour Brokers Association would be meeting in San Antonio in 1978 and stated there was a possibility of having a pre-convention Bar"'B-Que, jointly hosted by Natural Bridge Caverns, other NTBA member caves, and the NCA. On motion by Ted Graves, seconded by Tom Gibson, NCA participation was approved and the president requested to appoint a coordinating committee. NCA at a Washington He stated he would meetir..g present President Anderson announced he would be representing the on November 5th to promote domestic travel in the U. S. a report of the meeting to the NCA at the Final Banquet. A general dues increase of $50.00 per membership beginning in 1978 was approved. Chairman Tom Gibson presented the report of the Legislative Committee and introduced speakers Mathison, Robinson, and Studebaker. President Anderson asked for an early Nominating Committee report and election of 1978 officers so he could be freed to attend the tourism meeting mentioned earlier. The following Officers and Directors were elected, Roy Davis President, Mark Trimble Vice-President, Barbara Munson Secretary-Treasurer, Directors William Carr~bell, Marion Smith, Joe Waggoner, Muriel Schmidt, Reginald Wuest, and E. J. Rooney. Legislative Committee Chairman Gibson requested that the NCA continue to retain Mr. John H. Studebaker as congressional Liaison Man at $200.00 a month and that a sliding scale for additional work be approved. This action was taken. Following discussion of possible need, times, and locations for a Mid-Winter the motion to hold the decision in abeyance, possibly scheduling the meeting in conjunction with a DATO conference, was passed.


Fred Conway announced the 2nd and 3rd at Corydon, Indianao Caverns and Marengo Cave. 1977 NCA Annual Meeting would be November 1st, This meeting is to be co-hosted by Squire Boone Following extended discussion of possible radiation hazards in commercial caves, Jack Griswold moved, seconded by Clara Heidemann, that the NCA compile information on this subject, becoming a central repository, and that an ad hoc committee be appointed t:o implement this. This action was taken by the group and Jack Herschend was asked to chair the committee. Lester Dill was recommended for special Honorary recognition by the National Caves Association. The recommendation was presented by Clara Heidemann and received unanimous approval of all present. Special recognition was given during the Final Banquet. Fred Conway and Clara Heidemann were asked to investigate writers or Public Relations agencies that could provide more newspaper coverage for the National Caves Association. Following discussion of individual problems encountered by members during the past year the meeting was adjourned by newly elected President Davis. Barbara Munson, Secretary Approved: Roy Davis, 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


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