JRG Info...  




If you have questions about the JRG that aren't answered here, just contact one of us and we'll try to get you the answers.Below you will find answers to questions about the James River Grotto, such as...

Organ Cave, West Virginia



Who we are…

The James River Grotto (JRG) is a local chapter of the National Speleological Society (NSS) .  Further, the JRG is a member of the Virginia Region (VAR) of the NSS.  We are a dedicated group of cavers who are committed to the principals of cave preservation and conservation, safe caving techniques, and to responsible caving practices.  Our membership is comprised of people from many walks of life and from all age groups.  We are from Lynchburg, Virginia and many of the surrounding communities. 

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What we do…

The JRG is involved with the exploration, study and conservation of caves.  We do go caving, and we usually have fun while we do it.  We do this while having the utmost regard for safety and the conservation of the fragile underground world.  We consider it an honor to be able to experience this most interesting and unique environment.  We participate in a variety of cave conservation projects and take advantage of opportunities to educate the non-caving populace of the need to protect this magnificent non-renewable resource.  Some of our members participate in cave surveying projects, and some are involved in cave rescue operations.  We visit a variety of caves, from easy-beginner to hardcore-advanced, horizontal to vertical and all points in between!  We also participate in a host of other caving related and non-caving related events from time to time.

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Why we do it…

Because we share a common love, admiration and respect for the underground world more commonly known as "caves" and the exploration thereof, more commonly known as "caving".  Plus, we're just a little bit strange!

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The History of the JRG…

The James River Grotto was established alongside the James River in the lofty heights of Lynchburg‘s Central Fidelity Building eighth floor on May 25, 1989.  As best as can be determined from registers unearthed in various places, there were approximately 25 initial members, led by Board members Mike Greene (Chairperson), Bob Daniel (Vice-Chairperson & Membership), Bill Foot (Treasurer), Howard Kirkland (Vertical techniques), Ted Andrus (Programs), Jenni Stewart (Secretary & Fund Raising) and Barb Mayne.  It is interesting to note a couple of NSS #’s as low as 1579 (Porter Echols Jr), 6837 (Dr Lynn Ferguson) and 11937 (Bob Daniel).  It should be acknowledged RASS contributed $500 to the new grotto for helmets and lights to promote membership. 

One of the new Grotto’s first recorded caving trips, even though there had been lots of caving going on before, was to Clarks Cave in Bath County.  Just to prove some things never change, the trip report starts with “We met at 8AM (at least those of us who didn’t lock their keys in their truck at Hardee’s).”   The report ends with “It was a great ending to a great trip to great cave with great friends.”

The JRG’s first VAR was in the Fall of ’89 at Natural Bridge, VA and its first newsletter “PITS” (People InTo Caving) was published in ‘89.  By June ’97, the newsletter was renamed "Tales From the Cave" and had become “in-color”, and in ’03 it  was moved to the grotto’s website http://www.jamesrivergrotto.com.  In May of 2007 we changed our web host to the NSS.
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When and where we meet…

Please view the Meetings page to find out exactly when and where the next grotto meeting is!  We normally meet on the last Tuesday of each month, except for December.  The meeting time for regular meetings 7:00 PM.  (The Executive Board meets typically at 6:30, all are welcome to attend)  Our meeting is now being held at the Lynchburg College Drysdale Student Center.

Hope to see you at a meeting soon!
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When we go caving…

Check out the JRG Calendar for the latest information on scheduled cave trips and other events. Another way to keep informed about trips is to come to the meetings and let the people know that you are dying to go caving!  That way, they will know to contact you when something comes up. There are also non-scheduled cave trips from time to time, sometimes planned at the last minute.  The rendezvous location and time is at the discretion of the trip leader, but we typically depart at ~8:00 AM from somewhere.  We usually return, but only after we have had as much fun as we can handle!  Traditionally we stop for vittles on the way back to unwind and re-live the trip! 
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The JRG Newsletter…

The JRG currently does not have a printed newsletter.  However, we do have a Facebook group, James River Grotto, and maintain an online newsletter called Tales from the Cave Online!   This is where you would go to find the latest information about James River Grotto happenings. There you will find trip reports and photos of our past outings, information about upcoming events and trips just in the planning stages, the latest scoop on grotto members, and occasional articles submitted by our members or posted by the Online News Editor. Check out the Online News to find out what's been happening and what's in the works!

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How to join the JRG

If you think you might be interested in becoming a member of the JRG, here's what you need to do...   Come to a grotto meeting and check us out!  Then go caving with us.  Make sure you're gonna' be comfortable hanging out with our group of deranged ground dwellers!  Meanwhile, we'll be checking you out... we may run a little background check to see if you've served time for a cave vandalism rap or any other crimes against caves!  We just want to make sure you have as high a regard for cave conservation and cave preservation as our other members do, and that you are safe underground.  If you're clean, and I don't mean your coveralls, then you will be a prime candidate for membership in our grotto.

If you still feel like joining the grotto after you get to know us, then all you have to do is tell one of the officers that you want to join.  They'll get the paperwork for you to fill out, or download the Membership Application and Caver Information Sheet and bring them with you to the next meeting.  (You will need a JRG member in good standing to sponsor you!)  Then pay your dues and you're in!  Simple, huh?

Visit the Membership page for more information about the types and classes of membership that we offer and the dues associated therewith.
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How to contact us…

You can visit the JRG Contacts page to find the names and contact information for all of the JRG officers, committee chairpersons and other grotto officials, as well as the mailing address of the JRG.  Should you have any questions or would like more information about the JRG, one of our contact persons will be glad to assist you.  If they can't help you directly, they will help you find the answers or information you are looking for.

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The James River Grotto