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 make the pilgrimage from around the country, Canada, Mexico and other international locations.
It all started back on Labor Day in 1950, at the Worden Hotel in Davis, West Virginia. Where a group of 45 NSS cavers gathered to honor a fellow caver, Felix Robertson, who had recently recovered from a prolonged illness. OTR was eventually named after the original “Old Timers” who started this reunion.
Over the years this gathering grew rapidly as word spread. They quickly outgrew the Worden hotel, and over time the reunion was held in Franklin, Marlinton, Petersburg, Bowden and finally in 1986 land was purchased here in Dailey where the campground was created.
The number of attendees grew to over 2,400 attendees for the 50th reunion in 1999. OTR has changed over the years, but it is still based on the original caver roots and is still a grand reunion.
During OTR there are contests, a Doo-Dah Parade, bands, dancing, not 1 but 2 bars, caving vendors, a sauna, a central bonfire and recently specialty events and lectures in the Event Tent have become popular. Each year a central party theme is chosen, and attendees join in with the festivities. Many individual campsites are very elaborately laid out and decorated. Some of these camps become major attractions with music, dancing and stranger things. Mostly, it’s a time of bonding with friends both old and new, some of who you only see once a year.
If you are interested in attending this event, look for more information at registration. Old Timers Reunion will take place over Labor Day weekend starting Thursday September 3rd at noon.