2020 NSS Convention

The annual NSS speleology and caving conference

July 27 – 31 | Elkins, West Virginia

Acquire the latest information about advancements in the world of speleology. Learn the most advanced techniques offered in the caving world. View award winning cave related art work, maps, videos from talented artists and surveyors. Join in sessions on topics from the leaders in speleology. Enjoy catching up with old friends and meeting new contacts at the Howdy Party.

Welcome to Wild, Wonderful West Virginia

Take a break from the many sessions and explore some the many wonderful caves that West Virginia have to offer. Visit the scenic vistas of Seneca Rocks, Dolly Sods, Black Water Falls, and others. Hear about the historical significance of the area, and take a ride on the Cass Scenic Railroad.

Join us, it’s Almost Heaven in West Virginia

117Days 20Hours 20Minutes 02Seconds

2020 NSS Convention Logo
Welcome to Elkins, West Virginia

Latest News

  • Coronavirus Message from President, Geary Schindel
    Release Date: March 25, 2020 Message from the President Regarding the Coronavirus NSS Headquarters, Huntsville, AL — Folks, the Coronavirus is sweeping the country and will put a great strain on our medical resources including many of our members that work in the health care industry. Health care professionals indicate that we must flatten the … Read more
  • Coronavirus Information
    No doubt you have been following the news regarding Coronavirus – also known as COVID-19.  I want to assure you that the National Speleological Society (NSS) and the 2020 NSS Convention Staff continue to closely monitor the situation and the potential effects to our members and events.  We are committed to keeping you safe as … Read more
  • Abstract Due Dates
    This is a list of sessions that are likely to have formal presentations.  In addition to the session chair’s name and email address, it shows the date abstracts for the session are due.  Abstracts should be sent to the session chair and must be no longer than 250 words.  Please also say how much time … Read more
  • Howdy Party
    The Howdy Party will be held in the Pavilion at the campsite Monday Evening. This is the official meet & greet for convention attendees and a wonderful opportunity to find and catch up with all the friends you’ve met through previous convention attendance and caving. Instead of a sit-down catered affair that limits socializing, your … Read more
  • Art and Music Salons
    NSS Art & Music Salons encourage and recognize cave-related arts, artists, and musicians. NSS Salons are open to everyone; entrants need not be members of the NSS. Rules, entry forms, and deadlines are available on each Salon’s website. For more information navigate to: http://www.caves.org/committee/salons/ The best of each Salon’s entries will be exhibited at the … Read more

Elkins, West Virginia

All of the traditional convention activities will take place at the Elkins High School in Elkins, West Virgniia.

Elkins is located at the confluence of the Tygart Valley River and Leading Creek in the heart of the Allegheny Highlands of east-central West Virginia surrounded by mountains, valleys, rivers, and lots of caves.  Elkins is the Randolph County seat with a population of over 7,000. Randolph County is recognized as one of the country’s micropolitan areas with a regional population close to 30,000.  As a smaller city functioning as a significant economic hub to a broader rural area there are a full array of eateries, lodgings, shopping a brewery, and yes – there is even a Super Wal*Mart!!!

Downtown Elkins

Image 1 of 7

Social events and camping will be about 8 miles away at The Robertson Association (TRA) campground, home of the annual Old Timers Cavers Reunion (OTR) in Dailey, West Virginia.

Traveling By Car:  Elkins sits at the junction of US 33, US 219, and US 250. Heading west of the city, US 33 is Corridor H, a major four-lane highway connecting to Interstate 79 at Weston. Heading east construction continues along Corridor H extending eventually to Interstate 81 at Strasburg, Virginia.  At present Corridor H is approximately 50% open to traffic east of Elkins

Traveling By Air:  Clarksburg, WV Airport is approx. 1 hour to the northwest – however, this is a small regional airport with limited intermittent service.  Beyond that Charleston, WV Yeager Airport is approx. 2 hours to the southwest – however, this too is a smaller airport.  The closest major airports are Pittsburgh International Airport (approx. 3 hours to the north) and Washington – Dulles International Airport (approx. 4 hours to the east).

Weather:  At an average elevation of 2000 feet the summer weather for the area is usually temperate and pleasant with the typical chance of a late afternoon or early evening shower.  However, on some occasions summertime days have been hot, muggy, and stormy.  And on other occasions summertime nights have been cold, windy, and rainy.  It’s really a toss-up so come prepared for anything.

Other Information

More Information: For additional information about what to do around Elkins, please visit the Elkins-Randolph County Tourism web site.

Elkins-Randolph County Tourism logo



Camping will be at The Robertson Association campground facility, 8.1 miles (13-minute drive) south of Elkins High School. Known to many as the location of the annual Old Timers Reunion. This property is approximately 25 acres of flat to gently sloping well maintained grassland.

The entire site will be in use including 2 pavilions (the main pavilion has a stage with sound and lighting); registration building; first aid shelter; gate building; a sauna / hot tub / spa area; riverfront area; and a bonfire circle.

There are 3 shower facilities (his, hers, and theirs) on site but no permanent bathroom facilities – porta johns will be distributed around the site for the week. Numerous water hydrants are available around the campground, however there are no RV hook ups.

As for shade, a number of trees are spread around the campground, you will find the best shade closer to the perimeter.

For those with a medical need, electricity can be made available. Please contact Steve Mosberg at the camp site for information.

The layout is that of a main social corridor parallel to the river with camping spreading back to the road. This will be the primary location of the social activities of convention, including the Howdy Party, and the Wednesday social. It should go without saying that the closer you camp to the social zone the noisier the potential. Cave trips will also leave from and return to the campground.

Lodging In Town

2020 National Speleological Society Hotel Blocks

There are a number of recommended local hotel accommodations available in the town of Elkins, West Virginia. These are all close to the Elkins High School where the sessions will be held. These rooms offer comfortable accommodations at a previously negotiated conference price.

Rates are good from July 27th, 2020 through August 1st, 2020

Elkins Inn & Suites

  • Single (Queen)- $75 + tax
  • Double (Full)- $95 + tax
  • Code- Caver

Hampton Inn

  • Single/Double- $105 + tax
  • Code – Cavers Convention 2020
  • Booking online they must go to this link: http://group.hamptoninn.com/CaversConvention2020
  • Call in mention Cavers Convention Block and provide dates
  • Booking before 7/25 or after 8/01 they will not receive discounted rate, only in between 7/25 and 8/01
  • Booking through www.hilton.com will not work even with a code

Holiday Inn Express & Suites

  • Single/Double- $120 + tax
  • Code- Cavers

Isaac Jackson Wingate by Wyndham

  • Single/Double- $115 + tax
  • Code- National Speleological Society

Super 8 by Wyndham

  • Single/Double- $79.99 + tax
  • Code- 2020NSS

Registration Information


Early Registration is open now. You may register online now and take advantage of the pre-registration discount. After May 31, 2020 you will need to register on site. See details about onsite registration below.

Onsite Registration

During the day registration will be at the Elkins High School. Please follow signs to the registration desk.

Primary onsite registration will be in the Auxiliary Gym.  There will be high visibility navigation aids directing first time traffic that direction.  Once the opening rush subsides after Monday registration will relocate to the guidance office and the navigation aids will reflect this change.   Onsite registration opens at NOON – Saturday 25 July 2020.

After hours, Once the school is closed and locked for the evening (6pm) satellite registration will open at the TRA campground 8 miles south of Elkins. When you check in here you will receive a provisional name badge for the evening and can fully check in at the school the next morning.  Non-camping late arrivals (hotel dwellers) need only return to school the following morning. 



What is included NSS
7 – 17
0 – 6
Workshops* CheckCheckCheckCheck
NSS Photo SalonCheckCheckCheckCheck
Banquet & AwardsCheckCheckCheckCheck
Howdy PartyCheckCheckCheckCheck
Campground SocialCheckCheckCheckCheck
Cave SimCheckCheckCheckCheck
Transportation to CampgroundCheckCheckCheckCheck
Cave tripsCheckCheckCheck
Decon station CheckCheckCheck
Speolo-Olympics CheckCheckCheck
JSS ActivitiesCheckCheck
Onsite Registration$275$325$200$0

* Some workshops require additional cost (see below)

  • Individual day pass ($60 each day)
  • Howdy Party only ($40)
  • Banquet only ($40)
  • Paint with Cheryl Adult Workshop ($25)
  • Paint with Cheryl Children’s Workshop ($20)


  • Guidebook (add $25) (not included in registration fee)
  • Geology Field Trip (add $100)
  • Vertical Workshop (add $25)
  • Speleology for Cavers (add $45)
  • Photography Workshop (add $12)
  • 2020 Convention Pin (add $8)
  • 2020 Convention Patch (add $8)
  • Adult Unixex T-Shirt (S, M, L, XL) (add $17), (2X, 3X) (add $20)
  • Adult Women’s T-Shirt (S, M, L, XL) (add $17), (2X) (add $20)
  • Youth T-Shirt (S, M, L, XL) (add $10)
Banquet Tables
Photo from the 2000 NSS Convention Banquet at Elkins High School