Editors Note

By: Al Kosmal
Netherworld News: March 1966

For some time now, there seems to have been a general lack of communications between the old and new cavers of the Pittsburgh Grotto.

It appears to me to be developing into an organization of little cliques rather than the intended group function that it should be.

I donít think that any of it is intentional, but Iím sure it is obvious to the newcomer. Herein lies the purpose of this editorial: to criticize constructively our own shortcomings and to propose a few ways to overcome them.

You canít possibly expect enthusiasm from the outside when you donít generate it from the inside. You should make it a personal as well as a concerted effort to integrate.

I should hate to think that any knowledge of caving and caving techniques is to be limited to a select few. How can you possibly pass on what you know to a newcomer when you confine yourself to your own self designated triangle of caving buddies?

And consider the safety factor! We have an envious record of safety. But will it continue? We canít expect it to if we let neophytes venture into something without proper instruction, guidance and advice from our older and more experienced members.

It is precisely at that time, when something happens to mar the record, that we will throw our hands up in horror and bemoan that this dreadful thing has brought unwanted and adverse publicity to the organization. And it is also precisely at that time that we should ask ourselves what advance preparation and training did that caver have and with what experienced cavers was he.

We canít expect professional results with non-qualified people.

I think it is up to the older members of the Grotto to break the ice and make the overtures to any and all newcomers. We canít expect response when weíre not responsive. We should be constantly aware of new members and should make every effort to see that each is made welcome.

We should try as a group to participate in M.A.R. meets. And perhaps the best way to get acquainted and re-acquainted is to have more weekend outings or field trips with the entire Grotto participating.

These newcomers are eager to go caving, and we should be just as eager to see that they go about it in the right way.


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