This photo of Julie Schenck-Brown was taken by Julie Uselton
at The Fool's Progress the day they finished digging it open and
first bottomed the main shaft. This is one of the many
caves located within the city limits of Huntsville and less
than 15 minutes from the site of the 2014 NSS Convention.
Welcome to the 2014 NSS Convention!Julie Schenck-Brown, 2014 NSS Convention Chair
Planning the 2014 NSS Convention has been a gradual evolvement since the summer of 2010 when Geary Schindel, NSS Administrative Vice President, asked me to consider hosting another NSS Convention in the area known as TAG (acronym for Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia that was termed by the late Richard Schreiber). Geary offered encouragement as he cited the caves for which TAG is world renowned, as well as the popularity of the 1989 and 1998 NSS Conventions that were held in Sewanee, Tennessee and the 2005 NSS Convention that was held in Huntsville, Alabama. As the University of the South seemed to be such an idyllic setting for the 1989 and 1998 NSS Conventions, I asked Julie Uselton to join the staff of the proposed 2014 NSS Convention and make an inquiry with the University to host another NSS Convention. However, much had changed on the domain of the University of the South and while the NSS had a stellar reputation with the University, they simply did not have room to accommodate another NSS Convention.
Although we were dismayed by the lack of availability of the University of the South, Wm Shrewsbury, NSS President, soon came to our rescue when he asked that we consider hosting an NSS Convention at the new headquarters if the NSS BOG approved the motion to purchase the former Cahaba Shrine Temple. Wm invited Julie Uselton, Peter Michaud and I to the meeting at the former Cahaba Shrine Temple where the NSS BOG met to tour the facility and consider the purchase of the property as the new headquarters of the NSS. Following an excellent presentation in which Dave Luckins, NSS Operations Vice President, outlined why the NSS should purchase the former Cahaba Shrine Temple as the new headquarters of the NSS, Wm led a question and answer session. Wm called upon me and asked that I explain to the NSS BOG why I was in attendance; thus prior to the purchase of the new NSS headquarters, I officially announced that a group of TAG cavers, representing several grottos, were developing a proposal to host the 2014 NSS Convention in Huntsville, Alabama at what we hoped would eventually become the new headquarters of the NSS. Our proposal was met with mixed reactions, but mostly enthusiastic support.
Neversink Pit - 162 ft deep and less that an hour from convention
photographed via a fisheye lens by Tony Theriault
The centerpiece of excellence in TAG is the unique karst and caving. Whether you enjoy open air pits, multi-drop cave systems or long horizontal cave systems, there are over 240 caves within the city limits of Huntsville, over 1,850 caves within a 25 mile radius of Huntsville and 3,950 caves within 50 miles. It is quite practical to attend a morning session at the 2014 NSS Convention, bounce a pit at lunch and catch an afternoon session. You can even walk to caves on the property of the NSS headquarters and adjoining land. As TAG cavers, the staff of the 2014 NSS Convention feels fortunate to cave in such a unique area, thanks to the generosity of landowners, and we want to share our backyard with you.
We have also been fortunate to have the NSS headquarters in Huntsville, Alabama since 1971 when Russ and Jeannie Gurnee oversaw the relocation of the NSS Headquarters from Washington, D.C. to Cave Avenue in Huntsville, Alabama. Now as the NSS headquarters moves north to its new home on Pulaski Pike, we embrace the opportunity to welcome cavers home to the NSS and to visit TAG during the 2014 NSS Convention. If you have not had the opportunity to visit the new headquarters of the NSS, please take the opportunity to attend the 2014 NSS Convention and see our new facility and enjoy the multitude of caves that await your exploration.
The staff of the 2014 NSS Convention is excited and we want to welcome you home!