NSS Convention ~ July 25-30, 2021

City arch in Weed, CA

Covid-19 News

Convention will be held online as a virtual event. Dates TBA

  • By Matt Bowers, 2021 NSS Convention Chair
  • Consideratons of the 2021 NSS Convention Team

Hello Cavers -

This is a difficult post to write, but I felt it important to share this development with you as soon as possible.

On March 18, the leadership team of the 2021 NSS Convention was ordered to take the event to a virtual format rather than move forward with an in-person convention at College of the Siskiyous in Weed, California. Despite our team's passion for bringing the live event to the membership this summer, we must now pull back and re-tool the operation for a virtual delivery.

So, with heavy heart, I wanted to let you know that our plans for a live convention this summer must now be put on hold.

The dates for a virtual event are, as yet, undetermined. At this time, our hope is to stick with the alternate dates in late July - presuming that the international congress is postponed as expected.

Registration for the live convention has now been shut down.

I'd like to personally thank the 110+ volunteers who have worked thousands of hours over the last couple years to give you a live convention. When the NSS was unable to secure a host for 2021, they all stepped up to deliver a viable solution in record time. We could not have asked for a better team! Their dedication and passion is the most defining element of the National Speleological Society. Our staff list remains online.

We'll have more details on the virtual event in the coming weeks.

Let's keep in touch!

Matt Bowers, NSS 25863
We Believed



Previous posts...

Decision Timeline

There are 2 scenarios here...

If the convention sticks with the June 28-July 3 dates, we will make a live vs. virtual decision on April 15.

If the convention can successfully move to July 24-31, the live vs. virtual decision will also move back a month and be made on or about May 14th.

Both of these decision dates will still give our caver guests almost 2 months to make alternate plans or cancel any travel reservations.

Please visit this page for up-to-date details on our Covid-19 strategy if we have a live event.

Hey cavers -

It's definitely been a long year of playing "what if", and we're not out of this pile of breakdown yet. But, for now, there appears to be light at the end of the passage.

As of today, here's where things stand...

Every 4 years, the International Union of Speleology (UIS) hosts an international conference on caving (the ICS). The National Speleological Society is a member of this global organization, and in fact, their current president is Dr. George Veni from Texas. As a matter of protocol, the NSS avoids scheduling our national conventions on the same dates as the international congress. The UIS international event is currently set for July 26-30 in France.

The production team for this year's NSS Convention in Weed, California has been trying to move our event to later in the summer. This would give us a bit more time to allow the world to get back on its feet with respect to the pandemic. Unfortunately, the only other dates our host college could offer us are the exact same dates as the ICS conference in France.

The UIS held a meeting on January 22 to discuss postponing the ICS to next year. International travel is expected to remain complicated for some time yet, and we're told the UIS is leaning towards postponing the ICS. While I was hoping they would decide that question in January, it was tabled until their meeting in March.

This leaves the 2021 NSS Convention in a strange position.

As of today, the 2021 NSS Convention is set for June 28-July 2 in Weed, California. BUT... IF the UIS postpones the ICS congress, we plan to move the NSS Convention to take those dates later in the summer. That extra month might be the "magic bullet" we need to hold a safe convention in California. We're hopeful that Covid-19 transmission rates will be controlled by the end of June, but having an extra month would be our better choice. Only time will answer that question.

If the UIS does not postpone, we plan to move forward with our current June dates in Weed and make a determination on April 15th about the overall feasibility of holding a live event or taking it virtual.

This is not the situation we want to be in right now. But, as you all know, this has been a difficult time for the world in general. We're encouraged by the fact that cavers are a tough crowd and can roll with these uncertainties. Rest assured that scientific facts and medical realities will guide us in resolving these questions as soon as possible.

We have no intention of holding a live event if it remains unsafe to do so, but we want to give the world every chance to recover before making any final decisions.

I wish I could have shared better news, but we won't have solid details for a few weeks yet. We certainly hope to welcome you to the "first convention of the post-apocalypse" this summer in Weed, California!

Let's keep in touch.

Sincere regards,
Matt Bowers, 2021 Convention Chair



Regional Covid-19 Resources

Looking for Covid-19 details in your area? The resources below link to health departments in all 50 states, 8 US territories and freely associated states, and the District of Columbia. If you live outside the United States, plesae consult the US State Department for current entry restrictions.



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