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Geocaching event ?


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#1 njdrt-rdr

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:33 AM

I'm interested in setting up some kind of geocaching event for my troop. My first inclination is to hide 4 or 5 geocaches in the park myself and have patrols find the caches in different order. Store envelopes in each cache, one per patrol with something specific written inside the envelope for them to record (this is so that when they return to the start I can look at what they wrote to determine that they found the cache)  

Send the patrols out in different orders or at staggered times, but all covering the same amount of ground and award first place finishers, etc... 

I don't know how many gps units we have in the troop so possibly use an app on the phone that they can put coordinates into. 

Anybody else do anything with their troop and maybe have suggestions? 

Thanks, 

Nick 

 


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#2 Col. Flagg

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:41 AM

I'm interested in setting up some kind of geocaching event for my troop. My first inclination is to hide 4 or 5 geocaches in the park myself and have patrols find the caches in different order. Store envelopes in each cache, one per patrol with something specific written inside the envelope for them to record (this is so that when they return to the start I can look at what they wrote to determine that they found the cache)  
Send the patrols out in different orders or at staggered times, but all covering the same amount of ground and award first place finishers, etc... 
I don't know how many gps units we have in the troop so possibly use an app on the phone that they can put coordinates into. 
Anybody else do anything with their troop and maybe have suggestions? 
Thanks, 
Nick 
 


We do both orienteering and geocaching, but I admit the former is far more fun than the latter.

We work with the Instructors to set up the course, rather than handling with adult intervention. After laying out the course we develop different caches to find; sometimes food (pizzas are popular) sometimes gear or trinkets. We've done Night orienteering (very popular). Setting up false way points helps the patrols rely on their skills rather than where the THINK the cache is. We've added Zombie areas too to make it more difficult to get Fromm Point A to Point B.
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#3 krikkitbot

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:56 AM

You might want to do actual geocaches. You can go to www.geocaching.com and use their caches. Chances are that there are already a ton near you. Some of them hold trinkets. Others are just logs to sign. Some of them can be as small as the tip of your pinky and yet others are as large as an ammo can. There is one somewhere in the US that is a 55 gallon barrell in some woods. I'd love to find that sometime. 

 

The app is pricey but it works great. You don't need to use their app if you have a GPS or a smartphone. 


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#4 ianwilkins

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 09:04 AM

The app is pricey but it works great. You don't need to use their app if you have a GPS or a smartphone.


You could use C:Geo on a smartphone. It usually works for me, and it's free.

Quite fun to get some trackables and set them loose. One of ours has done over 14,000 miles!
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#5 qwazse

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 09:12 AM

One way that I did it for venturers (should work for a bunch of patrols as well):

 

A dry-lock container, gps, tongue depressors, stickers, glue and notebook for each patrol, material for stamps/stencils, ...

  • Train the boys in using the GPS and marking way-points. Be clear about property boundaries and "no go" areas.
  • Have each patrol assemble a cache, the swag will be tongue depressor totems colored with the patrol symbols. (Needless to say, if your scouts are good at mass-producing some other craft, have at it!) Include a notebook.
  • Have each patrol make a stamp or stencil. (For signing the other patrols' notebooks.)
  • Each patrol, then gets an index card and a GPS and hides their cache. They write their patrol name, the coords., and a hint on the index card.
  • They come back to your HQ. First patrol turns their card in and gets the card of the next patrol to come in, etc ...
  • Patrols hunt the cache on the card they pick up from HQ. Pick up swag. Stamp the notebook, and return for another card.
  • HQ can get a little crazy toward the end while patrols wait for the return of a card for a cache they haven't found.
  • The goal is to end the day with swag from each patrol, and a stamp from every other patrol in your patrol's cache notebook.

You can usually get in a couple of rounds of hide-and-seek throughout the day.

The stamps should be prepared the day before (hint: wood carving MB). If you'd rather not go with stamps and notebooks, you could try having the patrols make "drop-off" swag, but that gets confusing.

Pro tip: have spare batteries and back-up GPS!


Edited by qwazse, 13 September 2017 - 09:15 AM.

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#6 qwazse

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 01:37 PM

By the way, you could also play this same game with smart phones.

 

Each patrol prepares a large totem and is given an hour to relocate it to a cool location. They text back the coordinates to the SPL, who then compiles them and group texts the list of locations to each PL's communications officer. Each PL then charts a course to the other totems, the goal being to take a picture of their flag beside each totem (or, what they think is the other patrol's totem ;) ).

 

The PL communicates his hike plan back to HQ for SM approval.

 

This could also be done using a shared map like in CalTopo.com. Train your webmaster in KML format, and upload.

 

SPL's and JASM's may occupy their time placing decoy totems along the designated travel paths. (Those of you who've run in multi-level club courses know that one course's control is another's decoy.) Or, depending on the range you want to cover, providing dead-drops of lunch, etc ...


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#7 4CouncilsScouter

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 08:39 AM

The troop my Venturing crew is affiliated with does a geocaching event every year. They called it the Houston Challenge. On Friday night, we'd take the MetrolRail from a transit station to the center of Houston. We'd then hike to a pre-determined office building that one of committee members (a realtor) had arranged. On an empty floor, the boys would throw down their sleeping bags and hang-out for the night. Sometimes, we would have a movie. On Saturday, an enterprising parent took everyone's bags back to our weekly meeting location, and we had a geocaching hunt all across Downtown Houston. That night, the last "cache" is a restaurant picked by the troop's SPL. When we've eaten our fill and determined who reached the most caches, we get back on the MetroRail and head home.


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#8 Col. Flagg

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 10:21 AM

Shouldn't the Crew be doing all that planning?
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#9 qwazse

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 12:24 PM

Shouldn't the Crew be doing all that planning?

I don't think the crew does the event. 4CS leads a crew that happens to be affiliated with a troop, and the troop does the event.

 

Nevertheless, these things work best, and everyone has the most fun, when the boys call around and ask for adults to help with tasks they specify. You get the boys asking, "What can we do ourselves?" and "Who can help us with what we can't do?"


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#10 Col. Flagg

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 12:31 PM

I don't think the crew does the event. 4CS leads a crew that happens to be affiliated with a troop, and the troop does the event.

 

Nevertheless, these things work best, and everyone has the most fun, when the boys call around and ask for adults to help with tasks they specify. You get the boys asking, "What can we do ourselves?" and "Who can help us with what we can't do?"

 

I must be doing it wrong. We get the SMEs to help the Crew, but the Crew designs, develops and executes their activities.


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#11 4CouncilsScouter

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 09:06 PM

@qwazse

 

That's correct! This an event the troop does. Although, a few Venturers have expressed interest in the idea as well!


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