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90 Year Old Inspires Geocachers

Ons Oma with her gifts from Groundspeak and friends

By: Kelly Ranck

Have you ever felt that you are  not athletic, outdoorsy, or tech-savvy enough to go geocaching? Perhaps you think that you are too old to hit the trail? We kindly request that you go ahead and let those excuses go. Here’s why.

According to the geocacher Ons Oma, “Geocaching is a sport for people of all ages. Young and old.” If anyone deserves the right to make this claim, it is Ons Oma (Dutch for “Our Grandmother”).

Recently, a group of Ons Oma’s closest family and friends came together to surprise her for her 90th birthday. This was a celebration of her 90 years of life and for the adventure that’s been Ons Oma’s life since 2008. That’s when she started geocaching.

Ons Oma signing a logbook

According to her grandson Paul, “She was very surprised” by the party. “She knew that something would happen, because home-care was early that day. In the morning people were invited to her [Ons Oma’s] house, in the afternoon, we picked her up to have a BBQ at her daughter’s house.”

Ons Oma is a perfect example of that fact that anyone can geocache. The geocaching community is diverse, ever-expanding, and a place for people of all shapes, sizes, and ages.

Although Ons Oma is a tad bit older than the average geocacher, her age does little to keep her from regularly going geocaching. She has been caching since she was 87 and has now logged more than 30 finds.

Ons Oma with friends and family during the party

According to those who know her, before heading out on the hunt, she runs a Pocket Query to find caches that are wheelchair accessible. Ons Oma then picks her favorite of these caches. She tends to favor Multi-Caches that have a puzzle element. She prints out the cache descriptions in a larger font and hits the trail with family and friends.

Ons Oma’s geocaching group may have to assist her with her GPS device, but she is the first one to log her finds on Geocaching.com.

Not only has geocaching enabled Ons Oma to become more computer literate, it has also been a hobby that challenges her to remain active, spend time outdoors and solve puzzles. Her love and appreciation for geocaching is evident in the guests and gifts that were present at her 90th birthday party – Ons Oma even received a gift from Groundspeak.

As articulated by Ons Oma, “It’s unbelievable that there are people in the world, who do things (hide geocaches) to make other people, who they don’t know, happy and expect nothing in return for that.”

Ons Oma's 90th birthday cakes

Ons Oma is not the only geocacher who is grateful for the sport and the way in which it brings families and communities together.

Check out this video to view other families who have bridged age gaps by geocaching.

If you want to see Ons Oma in action, click here and watch her geocaching music video debut.