By Kara Bonilla
Ever think that the only things teenagers do are play video games, lay around, and complain? Think again. Teenagers worldwide have picked up on geocaching and their passion for the sport is only growing stronger with age. A recent survey shows nearly five percent of geocachers are 18 or younger, that’s still nearly a quarter of a million geocachers.
Joey (jmilla210), 15, from California has been geocaching for two years. Joey has loved the game ever since he was first introduced to geocaching. He found his first cache with family members on Thanksgiving Day of 2009.
When asked about out geocaching for the first time, Joey said, “Finding my first cache was amazing. I didn’t really know what it was at first, but I learned much more about the game and quickly developed a regular habit of finding a few caches each day.” Since then, Joey has found 259 caches and hidden 13 caches in his area. Joey also likes to attend geocaching events, as they give him the opportunity to meet people, his age or not, that love geocaching as much as he does. The game always gives Joey something to look forward to wherever he is, and he is always excited to go find a cache.
From Killingworth, Connecticut, United States, 18-year-old Chad Golembeski’s (DeluxeLunchbox) experiences as a geocacher all started with a gift of a GPS device for Christmas at the age of 14. Now, four years later, Chad owns 10 caches and has found 164 geocaches throughout Connecticut, Vermont, and Massachusetts.
When talking about his first find, Chad said,“When I found my first geocache, I thought it was extremely cool that someone had posted these coordinates online and I found them.” Chad was a member of his high school’s geocaching club before graduation, and his first logged cache was the one at his school. With the club, he completed large multicaches, found caches at various state parks, and recruited friends who now like to geocache. For Chad, geocaching is fun way to get outside and explore with his friends. “I personally like geocaching because [it] brings me out to new places that I wouldn’t have known of before.”
Chris (Coldgears), 16, from Pennsylvania in the United States, has recently discovered his love for geocaching. All it took was for him to stumble upon the geocaching app on his new phone about a year ago, and Chris was hooked. Chris then introduced his two friends to the game, in return for introducing him to letterboxing a while back.
According to Chris, what he likes most about geocaching, “ …is the time spent outdoors…Without it I wouldn’t be in the woods nearly as much.” With over 300 caches found, Chris enjoys how geocaching gets him to the outdoors with his friends on a regular basis.
There are many ways teens can learn about geocaching, and eventually love the game as much as these guys do. Finding a local organization or group who geocaches, such as Girl or Boy Scouts, checking for geocaching events in your area, creating an account on Geocaching.com, and downloading the Geocaching application for your smartphone are all simple ways teens can get started. The love for geocaching begins with a simple step like these guys took, creating a passion for the game that can last for a lifetime, and teens everywhere can take that step today.