The time has come. Earlier this month, three outstanding geocachers were nominated for March 2015’s Geocacher of the Month award. A winner has been chosen, but first, let’s take a look at the nominees.
Schlurie is famous in Rheinland-Pfalz for creating fun and inspiring geocache hides. His particular specialty is birdhouse caches, which have generated a lot of “WOW” moments for geocachers over the years.
Fivebales is a geocaching team from Idaho, whose behind-the-scenes work for an amazing annual Mega Event and their local geocaching organization has gone a long way in strengthening the local geocaching community.
chuck80196 is always willing to help another geocacher out, and if you know him he is probably number one on your PAF (Phone A Friend) list. He has over 880 FTFs (first-t0-finds) and of late holds back to allow others the chance to get their first FTF…especially if he has already gotten his geocache for the day.
Our March 2015 Geocacher of the Month is based in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. Schlurie sets an incredible example as a geocacher maker, maintainer, and finder. His contributions to the local geocaching community are best described by local geocachers, like Geo-Tootles, who sing his praises:
“There are lots of cachers outside in the woods, searching for caches, for great and for special moments. But without having creative owners these experiences would be reduced to a minimum. Schlurie spent months of crafting new hides, this time with an incredible range of different bird-houses to let cachers smile and especially children laugh. Next to that he had to organize everything else with the local forestry commision office to determine the spots for placing the hides. All that time he could have spent for searching caches by himself, but statistic seem not important for him, much more important is giving other cachers a great time during their trips. Being that unselfish is the reason for my wholehearted vote. And even if he will not be decorated with this little award … every single cacher in our area will know exactly that he will look forward to the next Schlurie-caches.”
Schlurie’s birdhouse geocaches have garnered a lot of attention (and favorite points) from geocachers far and wide. One needs only to read the last few logs on his cache, “VHT 11 schlüsselfertiges Mehrfamilienhaus,” to get a sense of how carefully crafted his hides are. This particular cache earned 75 favorite points in less than two months.
As a geocache finder, Schlurie goes to great lengths — and heights — to sign a logbook. He’s found a whopping 440 T5 (terrain 5) geocaches.
In recognition of his contributions to geocaching, Schlurie will receive a prize package from Geocaching HQ, which includes the earned, never-for-sale, Geocacher of the Month geocoin.
If you know an outstanding geocacher who should be considered for the honor next month, simply fill out this webform. You’ll need to include the following information:
Please inform your nominee that you have submitted them for the award. Once Geocaching HQ has received the nominations, we will choose the top candidates and post them on the blog. You will then get a chance to champion your favorite. Our goal is to involve the entire geocaching community in this process so that we might learn from each other.
Imagine your job is to navigate this rescue helicopter to very precise coordinates in emergencies. That’s Brendan McInnes career as a dispatcher on New Zealand’s South Island. Some people might know Brendan though by another name, TeamMCI. He’s a geocacher. And a recent geocaching DNF (Did Not Find), helped Brendan land that helicopter to rescue an injured child.
Brendan says, “A few months ago a few of us tried for a geocache (Helms Deep 4×4 GCKP9J) where the Lord of the Rings segment for Helms deep was filmed. Little did I know how that adventure would assist me in the near future. Unfortunately due to the weather conditions we had to abandon the search for the cache but managed to get others in the area.”
That knowledge of the location of Helms Deep waited, and waited, until one night Brendan’s DNF turned into a find. “It was about a month ago now, that on a busy Saturday evening we received a call for a child in peril in a place called the Rangitata Gorge up the Havelock river.”
It’s the same waterway near the Helms Deep geocache. It’s inaccessible by traditional roadways. And there’s no cell service. The child had already suffered for hours when Brendan took the first rescue call from the father. “He had ridden his 4 wheel Quad bike for an hour until it broke down, and then walked for another two hours to raise the alarm at the Mesopotamia Farm Station Homestead.”
Brendan acted quickly, “I dispatched the helicopter and nearest road ambulance. It was going to take the road ambulance about two hours to travel to the homestead at Mesopotamia and then at least three hours by 4 wheel drive.”
Brendan says the better the coordinates to land the helicopter, the quicker the child would receive treatment. “Flight time for a helicopter would be an one hour but the weather wasn’t flash. So I needed to get moving on that and also provide GPS coordinates to assist with locating the patient.”
He found coordinates that would work, when the thought of his earlier DNF came to mind, “I was looking at the map and getting information from the call handler when I spied the area had a geocache nearby. I launched the geocaching web site and went to the area we had tried to get to and got the co-ordinates off the (Helms Deep 4×4 GCKP9J) geocache and sent them to the helicopter. I then used routing tools and directions to the hut where the patient was at with his grandfather and a few other in the party.”
And using the geocache as a target to land the rescue chopper worked, “The helicopter managed to locate the patient without any delays and begin treating him. They lifted off and informed me they had the child and heading to the homestead to meet the father and fly to the nearest hospital an hour away.”
The child will make a full recovery, and Brendan may never look at DNF’s the same. “If I hadn’t been involved in geocaching I wouldn’t have known about this cache and the co-ordinates and it would have taken more time for an helicopter to get to this location.”
You did it! You hid the coolest, most creative geocache ever and followed all the necessary guidelines…right? Well, the fun doesn’t end there. As a geocache owner, you have a responsibility to maintain and manage your geocache after it is published. The hide itself is just the beginning of your geocache-owning journey.
There are quite a few geocaches hidden at movie sets around the world, including the Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. To celebrate the beginning of the 2015 Major League Baseball season in the United States, this geocache takes us to a pretty famous place in baseball history. If you’ve seen the 1988 film “Field of Dreams”, you’ll most likely recognize exactly where this geocache is.
“I ended up completely altering my original plans just to visit here. I had originally planned to take 380 down to Cedar Rapids and then catch 80 out of Iowa. Then I remembered this site and decided to see where it was. Turns out, it wasn’t too far off the route I was already on. So I just HAD to detour and check it out. Got here early in the morning. What a cool place! The cache took me way longer to find than it really should have, but I got it. Then I wandered down to the house and ballfield. Looks a lot different in winter than it did in the movie. I took the time to wander around and snap some photos and of course, walk the bases. Based on the footprints in the snow, I’m not the only one to do so recently. It is so cool that they preserved this place exactly how it appeared in the movie. How cool is that? I will have to return here some day when the field isn’t partially covered in snow and the corn is actually up. Thanks for bringing me to this awesome location today!” – Tsmola
“This was a focus cache, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I have seen this movie a few times, and seeing the movie set was thrilling! Walked around the bases, and wandered out into the corn field was exciting! Thanks so much for placing this cache, as I wouldn’t have never seen this place without it.” – outsiders2
“Another must visit cache on our 7 day road trip with outsiders2 and Dr. House. We all remember watching the movie probably more than a few times. Took some time out of the schedule and became tourists and take many photos and even bought a few souvenirs. TFTC” – DDTKR
On the favorite points and positive logs: “I think it is wonderful. It is a special place for me. In the final scene of the movie, when all the cars were driving, with their lights on, to the Field, my parents, who were in their 70’s, were driving one of the cars. I find it unbelievable that, even after 25 years, there are 1,000’s of people visiting the Field of Dreams every year.”
Check out this video of this geocache from the Geocaching Vlogger:
Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, just fill out this form. Thanks!
Cache In Trash Out®, also known at CITO, is an ongoing environmental initiative supported by the worldwide geocaching community. Since 2002, geocachers around the world have been dedicated to improving parks and other cache-friendly places. Through these volunteer efforts, we help preserve the natural beauty of our outdoor resources.
Geocachers around the world celebrate International Cache In Trash Out Weekend annually by hosting and participating in CITO events in their local area. Events might be focused on litter clean-up, removal of invasive species, revegetation efforts or building trails. Together, we make an enormous positive impact. Did we mention that we also have a bit of fun while we’re at it?
The 13th Annual Cache In Trash Out Weekend is scheduled for April 24-27, 2015. So it’s time for you to roll up your sleeves. But what should you bring? What should you do? And my goodness, WHAT SHOULD YOU WEAR? Don’t worry steadfast geocachers – we gotcha covered!
If you’re hosting a CITO, make sure to have:
If you’re attending a CITO:
Definitely dress for the weather, and for the area you’ll be working. For example, if you plan to clear blackberry bushes, shorts probably aren’t your best choice. Always bring work gloves, water, snacks, sunscreen, plus any tools that might come in handy like a grabber, shovel, or rake. Pro tip: labeling your tools with your name and phone number is a great idea in case your tools get mixed up during the event.
What about CIRO (Cache in, Recycle Out)?
Did you know that blue is the new green? Recycling bags are for anything that we can reuse, so make sure to bring some recycling bags to pick up those discarded water bottles, beer/soda cans, and the like. We found 50 bags selling on Amazon (30-gallon capacity) for about $20.00.
You’ve worked hard. You smell like sweat and garbage. You’ve taken good care of Mother Earth. How about treating yourself to something pretty like a CITO Geocoin, Travel Tag, patch, pin, or a fresh T-shirt?
Make it a daily habit:
Why wait for a special event? How about you always bring an extra bag or two, and help keep Mother Earth happy whenever you’re out searching for that next smiley?
Will you be attending or hosting a CITO event this year? Tell us about it in the comments below!
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