Tuesday, February 22, 2022

From the Chair...

From the chair:

Greetings! I'm Aaron Deal, the new chair for Central Ohio Grotto trying to carry on the great work done by Kim Deal in her 2 years as chair (my editor told me to add that bit). See this post for some fun facts about Kim and I with one big addition of our son Elliott that keeps us on our toes. He's almost two now and showing signs of being a great caver (probably hear his scream throughout the cave if he got even slightly stuck though).

I just wanted to take a couple minutes to discuss my thoughts and goals for the grotto in 2022 although somehow it's already the middle of February. 

The first goal is to keep everyone safe and healthy, which is why we will continue to have a virtual option for all meetings. For those who have joined virtually in the past, we've recently upgraded our virtual setup that has greatly improved the ability for folks to participate and hear the meeting. 

Secondly I'd like to increase the number of grotto planned events and trips including the central Ohio area. The increase will provide more opportunities for current members to mingle, exciting opportunities for interested members, and visibility to the public. This goal will be aided once again by the Caving Stimulus program that provides $50 to trips (up to 4) that Post the trip, have at least 2 grotto members, and report the trip at a meeting. 

The last goal is to increase membership although we did rebound well in 2021 with roughly 40 members. I like Kim Deal's idea of 75 members by our 75th anniversary in 2027, which only requires each current member to get 1 new member. Along with increased events, other ideas to recruit new members is workshops at REI, flyers at outdoor gear stores, or hand out "ask me about caving" stickers. A larger membership will provide more folks to fill volunteer opportunities, create more exciting events, and hopefully work into the executive committee to provide new ideas for the direction of the grotto.

I would encourage everyone to checkout the updated website (centralohiogrotto.com) and to provide feedback on how it could be improved. I'm especially looking for someone that can provide good content for the "About Us" section as we have a much longer and interesting history than the 2 sentences currently written. In the process of updating the website, I noticed how the old newsletters provided an archival of our history and was especially cool to see some of the hand drawn cover pages from the early editions. Hopefully this post will be the first of many that archive the fun events of COG in 2022.

Let's make 2022 the year of mud! Feel free to reach out with any feedback, questions, or concerns (chair@centralohiogrotto.com).

Your Chair,