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RASS Record

1st Qtr, 2016

The RASS Record is to note, record, summarize and highlight significant plans, actions, achievements, elections,
events, awards, occasions and undertakings. The Record does not replace Board meeting minutes, but is intended
to make RASS information more widely available to the membership and improve the corporate memory. This will
be an occasional publication, perhaps quarterly. It will be the responsibility of the RASS Historian.

The first General meeting of the year was held on the 7th and went well. There were about three
dozen attendees, including four who showed an interest in perhaps joining RASS. After a review
of caving activities in the last month or so, Stevan Biggers gave a very informative talk about
what he carries into a cave and how it is used. The talk was very well received and he was
answering additional questions until the end of the meeting and even afterward.
Vanessa showed slides and spoke about her recent caving in Virginia and Puerto Rico.
The first Board meeting of the year was held at Bob and Patty's.
The first order of business was the election of officers:

Chairman:
Rich Geisler was re-elected
President:
Jason Hart was re-elected
Vice President: Jeff Benford was re-elected
Treasurer:
Garrie Denson was re-elected
Secretary:
Rhian Senkalski was elected. She replaces Kristen Taylor, who has
served very well for a year and, before that, assisted the previous secretary significantly prior to
assuming the position.
The Board approved the Convention stipends for those members (10) who attended the Missouri
Convention and submitted verbal reports at a general meeting or submitted a written report. The
stipends for the two members who attended the weeklong NCRC training were approved.
The Board approved the posting of very small brass plates of deceased RASS members on the
mantel of the pavilion at the Field Station. Bob Barns will put this in effect.
The Board reviewed the first draft of the new RASS information pamphlet to be made available
at outdoor stores. The pamphlet is in color with a photograph a caver on the cover. It looked
very good, but there were a few small glitches to be addressed. It will be taken up again at the
Retreat in February.
Jason discussed an e-mail voting arrangement for those rare occasions when a Board vote is
necessary between the regular Board meetings.
The February General meeting on the 4th was well attended and there was a very good
presentation on caving equipment.

The February Board meeting and Retreat was scheduled for Saturday, 27 February. As always,
all members were invited and it was the Virginia Fish and Game building.
All officers and directors were in attendance; Vanessa was the only visitor and it was announced
that she is pregnant with a little girl and is due in August.
After a relatively short Board meeting we moved into the Retreat:

2016 Retreat Agenda


Called to Order:
Conflict of Interest Policy
Establish 2016 Goals for RASS:
Conservation
Roadside Clean-up
Education
Membership
Field Station
Re-opening of caves closed by the State
2016 Calendar

Rich G.

Committee Chairs Report:


Membership
Current numbers and 2016 dues
Margot
2015 Meeting/Event Attendance Review
Conservation Chair
Jason
Education Chair
Field Station Chair
Novice Caving
Outings and Expeditions
Programs
Safety & Techniques Stevan
Web site
Garrie
Historian
Ted
Review:

2015 Budget results

Creation: 2016 Budget


Support for attendance NCRC - Convention

Garrie
Garrie

Other matters:
The Agenda was adhered to and by the time the Board broke for lunch it had gotten to the 2016 calendar.
Margot had recently fallen, which resulted in a significant head wound. She was scarcely able to read, so
it was not possible for her to review the Meeting/Event Attendance. Hopefully she will recover quickly
and be able to do so at the March meeting. Everyone wished her well.

When you look at the different committees that are headed by Officers and Directors, it becomes apparent
that greater involvement by the leadership on committees is needed from the general membership.
As so many of the most active members will be attending the Banff Film Festival in Richmond next
week, the March general meeting was postponed one week.
Rich Geisler took possession Alex Sproul's complete collection of the RASS Register, thru 1999 and will
have them scanned.
The March General meeting was held on Thursday the 10th. It was well attended, about 30 members and
guests. After the portion dealing with 'Who has been caving?' and other announcements, under Jason's
direction the majority of Directors gave short, three to five minute presentations on the different aspects
of RASS, its history and activities, and some of those things that it is hoped that it will accomplish over
the next year.
It seemed to be particularly well received. Some of the more mature members did not realize that there
are newer members that had no idea of what RASS has accomplished. Or even that RASS once
sponsored the largest bingo game in Richmond (for many years) and that the members volunteering to
work the bingo games were what enabled RASS to buy the Field Station property and was the source of
RASS' funding, which enables it to support other caving/conservation/educational activities.
The March Board meeting was held on the 17th at the home of Jason and Ashley Hart. Jeanie London
and Patty Barns were guests.
It was reported that the 2016 Internal Organization report was submitted to the NSS. RASS has received
the ten helmets for novice trips that it bought from IMO.
A donation of $250 to the White Nose Study conference was approved. A small donation was made to the
Eastern Region, NCRC.
It was reported that there is a slow leak in the bath house at the Field Station. The Spring RASS Fest will
also be a work weekend and a list of things that need doing will be disseminated to the membership.

The membership is reminded that the Balloting for the National Speleological Society Directors has
begun. The NSS is the organization that holds cavers together in this country and it is critical to the
ongoing success of Caving, Conservation and Education.
Two notable items pertaining to this election:
-There are six Directors positions to be filled, rather than the normal four.
-A RASS member, Bob Barns, is standing for election. He is a long time, dedicated member and you may
wish to consider him when you are completing your ballot.