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A Night at Camp
by Stormy on July 25, 2007

Most people who attend NSS conferences chose to camp and with attendance usually breaking 1000, the campground could be a very interesting place! Each night of the conference comes with a different theme.

There are certain traditions that go with NSS conventions. Caving is at the top of the list. Then there's beer. There's a lot of beer. I think that beer is really the second and third item. My fur still smells like beer. There's a lot of beer. Monday night is the informal opening of the conference. There is a big bash at the campground. The Howdy Party is a catered event and cavers mingle, reestablishing old friendships and securing new ones. That's easy to do with beer in your hand and a band playing up on stage. Tuesday nights are more relaxed. There's an open microphone on Monday night's stage and karaoke music is available for those who are willing to make fools of themselves. Beer dilutes inhibitions and there are always plenty of takers for the microphone. Perhaps there are too many takers. Drunk people don't readily acknowledge their lack of talent. Wednesday nights there is a big bonfire for people to gather around. This year the fire marshal took offense to a 15 foot high pile of wood and had it broken down. Instead of a bonfire everyone got to sit around a fireline. But even that was blisteringly hot as close as 50 feet. Most people chose to stay a respectable distance further back. Can beer catch fire? Thursday night the event becomes more formal. A Photo Salon is held, showing the best images taken by cave photographers. Awards for achievements in the arts are also given. This is a very popular program. On Friday night the conference wraps up with a catered banquet. At this event awards are given for scientific accomplishments by members of the caving community. On this night beer is replaced by wine, although those who really want beer can still drink themselves silly.

On the way back from Mammoth Cave, Stormy stopped for a snack at the Louisville Hard Rock Café. This night had a live performance by a country rock band.
(taken by Max on July 25, 2007)
Driving through New Albany, Indiana, Stormy could not resist posing on a police cruiser.
(taken by Max on July 25, 2007)
The New Albany police building entrance was a tempting scene, too.
(taken by Max on July 25, 2007)
Instead of a tall fire, this year saw a long fire. But a bonfire is a bonfire. Bring on the beer!
(taken by Max on July 25, 2007)
As on all other nights, Rocky Mountain cavers congregated at the Rocky Mountain Region tent.
(taken by Max on July 25, 2007)
The Colorado cavers are a particularly hard partying late night crowd.
(taken by Max on July 25, 2007)

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