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.

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

187Days 13Hours 35Minutes 20Seconds

2020 NSS Convention Logo
Welcome to Elkins, West Virginia

Latest News

  • Butler Cave Trip Post Convention
    Mark Hodge will be leading a Butler Cave trip Saturday afternoon after convention. Attendees will be hosted at the Butler Homestead (www.butlercave.org) for the night. The trip duration is variable depending on the size and abilities of those who are participating. If you are interested in attending you will to let Mark know well in … Read more
  • WVACS Pre-convention Camp Update
    West Virginia Association for Cave Studies (WVACS) is hosting a pre-camp from July 20th-25th ,2020 at the WVACS field station located in Renick, WV, about 15 minutes north of Lewisburg and 2 ½ hours south of Elkins on 219. There will be cave trips, a few meals, and other activities. Facilities include showers, flushing toilets, … Read more
  • Who is Attending
    Many people are already registered for this year's convention. See who is attending by scrolling through the list below.
  • Old Timers Cavers Reunion
    The NSS Convention will be hosted in Elkins, West Virginia in 2020 and The Robertson Association (TRA) campground will be the site of general camping for this event.  This campground has been the home of the Old Timers Reunion (OTR) for 34 years.  The actual event is an annual gathering of about 1,500 cavers who … Read more
  • Vendor signup is live
    If you would like to be a vendor at this year's NSS Convention, you should contact the vendor coordinator Mike Warner (mike@speleobooks.com). He can supply you with all of the information you need, and the registration form.

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!!!

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.

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

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 June 30, 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)


  • 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