Minutes of the
2006 NSS Vertical Section Meeting
August 9, 2006

The 2006 NSS Vertical Section meeting was held Wednesday, August 9, 2006 at the Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. Executive Board members present were Chair Miriam Cuddington, Secretary-Treasurer Bill Boehle, At-Large members (John Woods proxy for Brice Williams), (Jim Hall proxy for Ed Sira), and (Ernie Coffman proxy for Ed Kehs, Jr.), Vertical Techniques Workshop Coordinator (Bart Rowlett proxy for Terry Clark), and Contest Coordinator Bill Cuddington. Approximately 30 Vertical Section members were in attendance.

  1. Meeting opened at 1:10 PM by Chair Miriam Cuddington
    Announcements - Thank you to all who helped at the climbing contest on Monday and Tuesday.
  2. Minutes of the Last Meeting - were published on the website and read at the meeting. Minutes were accepted as published.
  3. Officer Reports:
    • Secretary's Report - Bill Boehle. See attached.
      Feedback from members is that they seem to be happy with the current membership service (i.e., prompt response to inquiries, checks deposited timely, membership status info available online).
    • Treasurer's Report - Bill Boehle. See attached.
      People ask me about the status of the Annual Volume. I refer emails to Tim White. I send Tim a list at the end of each year on who has paid to get the Annual Volume. However, it would be nice if I knew when the Annual Volumes were actually mailed. I also have received no invoices from Tim for any production or mailing costs. Miriam stated she would check with Tim on the status.

      There were also some questions about the amount of money in our bank account versus what government regulations might allow for an organization of our type. It was believed that that number is about $25,000. We have some expenses coming up such as contest prizes, transportation subsidy, and restocking of T-shirts that will put a dent in our reserves. Excess funds are not expected to be an issue. Workshop items will also need replacement in the future. Also the Section should consider the purchase of "kids sized" harnesses to facilitate the vertical training of the JSS. Most harnesses are too big and don't fit the kids properly. This is a detriment to good training.

    • VS Symbolic Items - Bill Boehle.   See Treasurer's Report.
    • Nylon Highway Editor's Report: -
      Information from Tim White (not present) relayed. Annual Volume was ready but not mailed. Working on next volume. He has some articles that need to be posted. Miriam will check with Tim after convention.
  4. Committee Reports:
    • Contest: Bill Cuddington -
      Thanks to all who help during the vertical contest. We can always use more help. Whether you can only spend a little time or a lot, it all adds up. Without help it would be impossible to run the contest. We appreciate any help from section members and others with timing, pulling rope, running the rack, etc. This year we had 53 climbers in the contest. The contest is a race, but it functions as a workshop as well. People come in with new rigs and get to work out any problems they may have with their setup. If you can't use your rig under ideal conditions, it probably won't work in a cave. Thanks to PMI for donating 1200 feet of rope for the contest. The ropes will be cut up for use as prizes. Awards will be given out on Friday at 1:00 PM.
    • Vertical Workshop: Bart Rowlett for Terry Clark -
      2005 Vertical Workshop expenses were recovered without problem. Due to attrition, some of the equipment will have to be replaced over the next few years at a cost of about $150 to $200. Lynn Fielding could use some general help this year at the workshop. Lynn is Terry's assistant with the workshop and handles all the paperwork for Terry.
    • Education: Bruce Smith (not present). No report.
      Intermediate Training course - ongoing development.
    • Rebelay Course: John Woods for Gary Bush -
      Considering the size of this year's convention, the re-belay course was relatively well attended. Thanks to Peter Jones for helping out with the session. This year 10 people signed up for the rope course. No one got hurt and it was well received by all who participated. A lot of time is spent helping people who come in with problems with their rigs. Improper rigs make rebelay work more difficult. Getting people setup properly would speed up the actual training on the rebelay course.
    • Web Page: Gary Bush, webmaster - No report submitted this year.
  5. Old Business:
    • Miriam reports that the new contest boards are done and paid for.
    • Miriam reports that the screw links needed for the workshop were bought and donated to the workshop.
    • No other old business from the floor.

  6. New Business:
    • Bill Boehle related a conversation with John Woods on what he tells people when they ask why we spend so much time on training. His compact answer is that "we would rather train you than rescue you". John wondered if something like that could be put on to some of our T-shirts. Out of this evolved an idea for a special T-shirt for our Vertical Workshop Instructors to recognize them for longtime service to the Section and to make them more identifiable during the workshop. These could be paid for by some of the income the workshop brings in to the Section. It would offer a more professional look for the instructors. A motion was approved for Bill Boehle to pursue this for next year.
    • There was some discussion on the problems we have from time to time with the facilities provided for the Vertical Contest, Workshop, and Session. Terry Clark to coordinate facilities for the next NSS Convention vertical contests.
    • John Woods raised a recurring problem observed by him and Gary Bush in putting on the Re-Belay Course. There are a lot of problems with the poor and mismatched gear people bring to these sessions and much time is wasted fixing these problems that should be spent on teaching re-belay techniques. They suggest that we might need another type of session where people could come to "tune up" their gear. The need is high but we could be swamped. Is this something we should do? Much discussion followed. A motion was made and approved to try this at the convention next year. John Woods will coordinate this but will need others to help out.

  7. Elections:
    • Secretary/Treasurer (1-year term) -   Bill Boehle was nominated and reelected by acclamation.
    • Editor (1-year term) -   Tim White was nominated and reelected by acclamation.
    • At-Large Board Members (2-year term, 2 to be elected) -   Ed Kehs, Jr., Ed Sira, and John Woods were nominated. A ballot of the section members present was taken and Ed Sira and John Woods were elected. [Note: Current At-Large members Miriam Cuddington and Brice Williams have 1 year remaining in their terms.]
  8. Motion to Adjourn:
    Motion to adjourn was made and carried. Time of adjournment was approximately 2:40 PM.
[ Additional note: Subsequent to the Meeting, the Board Members elected Miriam Cuddington as Chair. The three appointed members were re-appointed to serve for another year. They are:
  • Contest Committee - Bill Cuddington
  • Vertical Techniques Workshop Committee - Terry Clark
  • Education Committee - Bruce Smith ]

Respectfully Submitted,
  Bill Boehle


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