NSS Convention 2018
Frequently Asked Questions
Remember, we are an all-volunteer event with only a handful of people (who also work full-time) to answer your questions in advance. Please be patient if we do not respond immediately and check below (or look around our website) to see if your question has already been answered.
- Where is the main venue/fairgrounds/campground located?
See our interactive map here. You can get directions by clicking on the item of interest and then using the road sign icon on the details. It will take you to google maps.
- What is the schedule of events?
Check our website here.
- What are the events?
Convention is full of great events; it can be a little overwhelming to decide what to do if this is your first time attending. We suggest reading over the schedule on our website, taking note whether structured events are offered in the evenings (such as the Howdy Party, Photo Salon, or Banquet). Ask any Convention volunteer (or any friendly caver nearby) for more details about what you can expect from these events when you arrive.
- Where do I sign up for an event?
You can sign up for events like the Geology workshop, bat workshop, etc. during online registration. You must sign up for the daily cave trips in person when you arrive.
- When/where is the Geology workshop?
The Geology workshop takes place the Sunday before Convention; it is an all-day trip and you must be registered in advance. More specific details on the workshop are here. *Update* the Geology workshop is FULL.
- How do I get more information about or enter the salons?
Information about the photo salon, etc. is available on the NSS website.
- Where is the campground?
See our interactive map here.
- Is the campground free?
Yes, use of the provided campground is free with registration. If you are an RV and require electric hookups, you may choose to stay at the Lewis & Clark County Fairgrounds for a fee.
- When does the campground open/close?
The campground is open from 12 PM Saturday, July 28th until 12 PM the following Saturday, August 4th.
- Can I sleep in my vehicle/park my car or trailer where I camp?
- Will there be showers/restrooms?
There will be portable toilets and showers available for your use in the campground. Keep in mind that the showers are low-flow warm water (due to the demands of shipping all waste water off-site daily). Higher volume, ADA approved showers are also available for use at the high school.
- Can I bring my dog?
Dogs are not allowed at the Convention campground due to safety concerns of having unattended animals in the campground during the day.If you must bring a pet, dogs are allowed on leashes at the Fairgrounds. Service animals are welcome.
- Can my friend/spouse who is not attending convention camp with me at the campground?
The only way for people to camp at the convention site is to be registered for the convention. This includes family members, guests, etc. The campground will be a secure area and people will need to show their registration badge to get in. If he’s only coming for a few nights, he might consider registering for just those days with the Day Pass option, and camping would be included for those nights. There are events all week that appeal to both cavers & non-cavers alike, including nightly events (many of which are at the campground). Definitely check out the schedule on the web site, and the descriptions of each evening’s events - this might help you make a decision. If he’d prefer not to register, you might look into camping options at the Lewis & Clark County Fairgrounds. Tent camping there is $11/night. http://www.lewisandclarkcountyfairgrounds.com/facility-rentals/
- Will there be loaner gear available to use?
There will be some loaner gear (both vertical and non-vertical) available for people who are traveling from a WNS-positive state. We ask for a small donation when you register to help us cover these costs (even a small donation helps us provide more gear for more folks!) You can plan to purchase items like new gloves and/or rubber boots in Helena.
- Will there be a WNS decontamination station?
Yes--like previous Conventions, we will have a mandatory WNS-decontamination station in the campground.
- What cave trips are available? Are they horizontal/vertical or easy/difficult to access?
You will find helpful information on our website here. Local cavers who are familiar with these caves will be present at Convention to answer more detailed questions about individual caves.
- Where do I find Registration when I arrive?
Go to Capital High School between Noon and 9pm on Saturday, July 28 or 8am and 9pm on Sunday, July 29. If you arrive after registration is closed, you can just head to the campground and register the next day. Otherwise, go to registration before you go to the campground.
- I made a mistake on my registration. Can I fix it?
- Can I list another organization besides a Grotto as my primary affiliation?
Yes--select the “other” option and input your own organization.
- I live in Montana and would like to get involved in caving outside of Convention. How do I get involved?
Join the Northern Rocky Mountain Grotto (NRMG) at nrmg.org. Their members are currently busy planning Convention, but they would be glad to have you!
- Can I mail things to the convention?
Yes! Capital High School has been generous in accepting mailed packages to arrive as early as July 23. Please do not mail packages to arrive before then! Capital High School, ATTN: NSS Caving Convention, 100 Valley Drive, Helena, MT 59601
- Can I get a refund?
No refunds within 30 days (June 28, 2018 or later) of the convention. Any additional items purchased (patches, pins, etc.) will be mailed to the address provided.
Didn’t see your question above? Contact us via email or at our Facebook page.