Friday Through Sunday, April 5 to 7, 2019 New-Comer’s Caving Trip.
From Susan Clark:
The Windy City Grotto will be hosting a newcomer’s trip on April 5-7, 2019, near Bloomington IN.  We are inviting you to join us on a trip to Sullivan cave.  Sullivan offers an array of new opportunities, slight challenges, and a variety of obstacles.  Some significant features of Sullivan are a short climb down into the opening, a narrow walking passage, a very long stoop walking/crawling passage (called the back breaker), climbing over breakdown, a stream passage, and a short belly crawl.  Some areas are dry and dusty, but most areas are damp and may even have a flowing waterfall.  The stream passage may be anywhere from ankle deep to waist deep water.  This cave is not overly strenuous, but the trip will average 6 hours underground.

Here are the specifics:
You are welcome to camp onsite Friday and Saturday nights.
We will be caving Saturday starting at 10:00 AM.
We will provide a meal Saturday night for all cavers.
You provide your own tent, food (except for Saturday night) and equipment.
The grotto has helmets, headlamps, and packs to loan if you let us know ahead of time.
We are capping this trip at 15 people, so signups are “first come, first serve”.  If we max the trip out, we will begin a waiting list in the event someone can’t go.
All attendees have to either have attended a Caving 101 session with WCG in the past OR attend the upcoming Caving 101 at the Oak Park Public Library on Saturday, March 23, at 1:00 PM.  We will provide you with a list of items to bring, equipment and clothing needed, caving etiquette, and safety precautions.  This is mandatory for all new cavers with WCG!
The cost is $25 per person for this trip.
There is a commitment form that you will receive when you express interest in the trip.  This form, along with payment, will be due by March 30, 2019.
Payment can be made via paypal at or by sending a check to:
P.O. Box 410964
Chicago, IL 60641
If you opt to mail a check, please let me know by responding to this email so we can be watching for it.
If you are interested in going, or if you have any other questions, please respond to this email and I will respond promptly.
Hope to see you underground!

Wednesday April 10, 2019 @7:30 PM – WCG Membership Meeting.
Aurelio’s Pizzeria
1455 W. Lake St.
Addison, IL 60101
Tel: (630) 889-9560

Saturday April 13, 2019 @9:00 AM. Workday at the Pautler Nature Preserve
Please join KCI for a workday at the Pautler Nature Preserve on Saturday, April 13 starting at 9:00 AM CDT.
The efforts of cavers at past workdays have resulted in significant progress in removing invasive honeysuckle from the three-plus acre Preserve.
What to bring?…. Definitely bring good work gloves. If you have pruners, loppers, a folding saw or small bow saw, bring them. We need one or two chainsaws as well. We will provide neoprene gloves for those handling the herbicide. Lunch will be provided.

Directions from Waterloo Illinois.
Navigate to “Jason Drive in Waterloo, IL.
GPS: 38 deg. 19 min. 26.1 sec. N  /  90 deg. 12 min. 12.3 sec. W
Illinois Route 3 south to Route 156 (turn right)
Route 156 to Jason Drive (turn right)
Palter Nature Preserve is at the end of Jason Drive on the left. Please do not disturb the neighbor to the right or park a vehicle on his property.
Questions or to RSVP:
Please contact the Ralph Sawyer, the project coordinator.

April 27, 2019 – Indiana Cave Symposium 2019 – at Orange County Community Center, Paoli, Indiana.
This year will mark the 27th anniversary of the Symposium being sponsored by the Indiana Cave Survey and the Indiana Karst Conservancy. The address is: 1075 N Sandy Hook Rd, Paoli, Indiana 47454. The traditional pitch-in dinner will start at 5:00 PM EDT. The ICS and the IKC will provide dogs, burgers, veggie burgers, cheese, buns, paper plates, plastic ware, napkins, condiments, soft drinks and ice. Please bring your favorite covered dish. The presentations will start at 6:30 PM.
The tentative Presentation Topics and Presenters are:
Cave fauna of the Garrison Chapel Karst     – Jerry Lewis
The Cave Rover (TM) Project     – Christopher Dick
Oral Histories of Indiana Caving     – Matt Pelsor
Cave Maps- the Art of Cave Survey and Cartography     – Marion Akers
Binkley update a year to deep!     – Rand Heazlitt
A Packed Year at the RBNP     – Anmar Mirza, Jessica Deli, Laura Demarest
Aquatic Fauna of Upper Twin Cave     – Tom Sollman

May 2 – 5, 2019 – SERA Cave Carnival – at the Lazy G Wedding Chapel, Union Grove, AL.
The 68th SERA Cave Carnival will be hosted by the Huntsville Grotto of the NSS. The site is in a private, shaded cove that is near to Huntsville and other conveniences. The large property has at least four caves on the site, and many nearby. Some luxury cabins are available to make the event a great caving getaway. Indoor/outdoor bars, covered patio and dining room make it a great rain or shine venue. On-line registration will be available at

May 11 – 18, 2019 – NCRC National Training Seminar – at Camp Riverdale, Mitchell, Indiana.
Details are available at

Tuesday May 14, 2019 @ 7:30 PM – WCG Membership Meeting.
First Ascent Climbing & Fitness (Avondale)
3516 N. Spaulding
Chicago, IL 60618
Tel: (773) 564-9815

May 24 – 27, 2019 – Speleofest – at the Lone Star Preserve, Bonnieville, Kentucky.
The Louisville Grotto is hosting their 49th Speleofest caving event; always on Memorial Day Weekend, always a great time. Close proximity to lots of caves, kayaking, Mammoth Cave National Park, and other local attractions for surface dwellers. There will be lots of caving, gear vendors, banquet, bonfire, and fun for the kids. Follow us on Facebook for updates at:   Details are available at

Wednesday June 12, 2019 @7:30 PM – WCG Membership Meeting.
Aurelio’s Pizzeria
1455 W. Lake St.
Addison, IL 60101
Tel: (630) 889-9560

June 17 – 21, 2019 – 2019 NSS Convention – at Cookeville, Tennessee.
Details are available at

Tuesday July 9, 2019 @ 7:30 PM – WCG Membership Meeting.
First Ascent Climbing & Fitness (Avondale)
3516 N. Spaulding
Chicago, IL 60618
Tel: (773) 564-9815

July 18 – 21, 2019 – Karst-O-Rama – at Great Saltpetre Cave Preserve, Mt. Vernon, Kentucky.
Hosted by the Greater Cincinnati Grotto. Cave trips on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. There will be cave vendors, children’s activities, cave box for the flexible, climbing contest, and more. Howdy party on Friday night and a live band on Saturday night. Theme for the party is still TBD. Pre-registration discount will be available, once the website is updated. Please check back here for details to come. In the meantime, questions can be emailed to the Karst-O-Rama committee, at

August 30 – September 2, 2019 – CaveFest – at Cavers Paradise in Sewanee, Tennessee.
Sewanee Mountain Grotto is hosting their annual auction and party in the heart of TAG over Labor Day weekend. There will be the auction, led cave trips, bat flight float trips, music, dancing, homebrew (available ALL weekend with the purchase of a $10 mug) and a potluck dinner. Please bring a side dish for the potluck if you wish to participate. SMG will provide the meat. Caver’s Paradise Campground amenities include: Bath house with hot showers, volleyball court, dish washing station, RV hook ups, hot tub and a sauna… And not to mention thousands of caves within an hour drive or less. Please refer to the Caver’s Paradise website for directions.   There is no registration fee but the campground does charge a $10.00 camping fee for the entire weekend and RV hookups are available for an additional $25.00. All of the proceeds from our event go back into the caving community!   To follow or join the event on facebook, go to:

 Additional national and international events may be found on the NSS Events page: