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Camping Area
by Stormy on July 23, 2007

The NSS conventions have been known to amplify the population of the towns or counties they occupy in a significant manner. Well over a thousand cavers add up to traffic jams very quickly.

The NSS conventions have been known to amplify the population of the towns or counties they occupy in a significant manner. Well over a thousand cavers add up to traffic jams very quickly. Just like in the old boom days of the west when a gold strike would build a city overnight, the NSS convention has a tendency of doing the same thing. Small communities are built not based on treasure finds, but on the call of the wild. Caves and karst bring cavers from all over the world to camp in a common area, attend workshops and seminars and find time in between to hit a few caves, check out the local sites and party hard late into the night. Over 70% of the conference attendees choose to camp rather than stay in a hotel and the NSS tent city will easily have a population of 1000+ residents and will offer services such as showers, hot tubs, electricity and even wireless internet access. Campers select their "homesteads", park their cars and pitch their tents. The groupings end to be by grotto or regional affiliations, although it's not uncommon to see geographical lines crossed and have groups of friends from around the country camped together. The convention hosts will provide their own security and medical personnel for the duration of the convention, covering the campground 24/7. A nearby facility will host the conference offices, vendors, sessions and workshops, giving attendees a dozen or so parallel tracks of things to do. Finding an activity to take part in, though, is very difficult. The number of options often forces participants to make hard decisions as to what they absolutely have to see and what they believe they can live without. In addition, throughout the course of the conference, there are field trips ranging from cultural events that showcase the region to geology field trips that explain the formation of the area to underground expeditions that allow the visitors to explore local caves. Going caving on your own is also an option that many participants exercise. Daytime activities range from panels to seminars to presentations and cover a vast variety of topics. There are also contests and games available for cavers to participate in and there are many exhibits covering various areas of arts and sciences. To round things out, a large number of vendors peddle a vast assortment of items. In the evenings cavers tend to congregate around the campground, watch videos, relax at a campfire or party the night away to the tunes of live music.

NSS 2007 campsite.
(taken by Max on July 23, 2007)
NSS 2007 campsite.
(taken by Max on July 23, 2007)
NSS 2007 campsite.
(taken by Max on July 23, 2007)
The Rocky Mountain Region communal shelter where RMR cavers would gather in the evening to tell tales of their daily adventures.
(taken by Max on July 23, 2007)


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