Groundspeak Lackeys are traveling thousands of miles from H.Q. throughout the year to share smiles, shake hands, and make geocaching memories at nearly 20 Mega-Events worldwide. Justin Dover aka dova dov, attended the Mega-Event Midwest GeoBash 2012 (GC34GFG) The Mega-Event took place in Wauseon, Ohio. Justin has served as a Lackey since 2009 and is an engineer in IT – basically he’s one of the hamsters. Here’s Justin’s account of his adventure.
By Justin Dover:
Working at Groundspeak for nearly three years, I’ve had a few opportunities to travel. My most recent adventure was to the great state of Ohio for the 8th annual MidWest GeoBash. For the fourth year in a row, the event has been held over four days at the Fulton County Fairgrounds in Wauseon, OH. This venue supports several hundred campsites with access to RV hookups and shower facilities.
I selected this destination over other options because of the hype for MWGB around the office. Over the years, dozens of Lackeys have attended, and they each have stories that seemed almost too good to be true. Lackey Raine accompanied me on this trip to make it his fifth time attending. His previous experience and knowledge of regular attendees made for a comfortable and unforgettable experience. When we arrived we were immediately whisked away via golf cart to meet up with main organizers, dubbed “the big three”: Mike (Trippy1976), Sonja (-Eleanor-) and Pete (The Moop Along). They explained the history of the event, why themes play an important role and the several venues that had come before the now permanent home at FCF. It’s amazing how successful this non-profit event has become, and it’s all made possible through the hard work of numerous of volunteers and generous donations.
During the day, this event is like most others that I’ve attended. Cachers walk around socializing, filling out geo-bingo cards and getting to know interesting and sometimes random facts about each other. For the past several years, there has been a geocoin Texas Hold-em poker tournament where the buy-in is three unique, unactivated geoicoins and the lot is split among the top three finishers. Other activities include a campfire cook-off, poker run and tons of opportunities to log new finds.
What happens when the sun goes down is what separates the event from many others. Each night, at 10pm, Matt (Lord Elwood) comes out wielding a propane ditch burner and captures the attention of the masses located near the front of the encampment. This location holds the moniker of “Area 51”, and is typically better known for pyrotechnics, adults unwinding and rekindling friendships over a drink. With torch still in hand, the rounds are made to each of the fire pits and the wood is engulfed in flame faster than thought possible.
There were other activities going on like life-sized Jenga. Either way, you will not leave Area 51 thirsty and you will most certainly not be bored. I felt right at home among Midwesterners. Everyone I encountered was friendly, fun, and knows how to have a great time. As the saying goes at MidWest GeoBash “First of the day!” And I hope I get to say it again next year, especially since the theme of MidWest GeoBash 2013 is Mardi Gras.