The Lew Bicking award may be given to an individual, or to a pair of cavers who, through specific joint actions, qualify equally for the award based on the exploration they have done together. One such award may be made each year. Names of candidates will be solicited from NSS members and Internal Organizations by the Awards Committee, and the recipient(s) will be approved by the Board of Governors upon recommendation of the Awards Committee. The recipient(s) must have been member(s) in good standing of the Society for at least two years immediately prior to his/her/their names being submitted as a candidate(s). The Awards Committee shall give preference to candidates who have not received the Outstanding Service Award or Honorary Membership. The name(s) of the recipient(s) shall be announced at the annual convention and the recipient(s) will receive an appropriate certificate signed by the President. The Chair of the Awards Committee shall notify the recipients in writing of the award and shall enclose a check in the amount of the award.
Tips for Writing a Good Lew Bicking Award Nomination
The Lew Bicking Award is one of the highest awards bestowed by the NSS. It is competitive. There are usually several nominations with strong letters of support.
The main nomination letter should be at least two pages long and outline exemplary cave exploration accomplishments of the nominee that makes them a good candidate for the award. It is also helpful to have three or four or more letters of support – each about a page in length with personal insights - than the main nomination letter.
No matter how worthy the nominee is, if the main nomination letter doesn't include enough detail and a few supporting letters, it will not stand up to other nominations that do include more detail and more letters. Keep in mind that the Awards Committee generally does not know the accomplishments of the nominee - so you have to show them via documentation, why your nominee is deserving.