Four eyes see more geocaches than two. Many hands fumbling under benches, in nooks, and crevices are more likely to make the grab. A difficult puzzle is solved more easily with combined brain power. If you took our Geocaching Quiz and learned you are a Social Butterfly, chances are that you know the advantages that come with geocaching in a group.
But finding someone to go geocaching with can sometimes be difficult, especially when just starting out. Luckily, there are geocaching organizations and associations all around that world that connect geocachers to other local geocachers, strengthen the local and global geocaching community, help beginners get into the game, and so, so much more.
To learn what it means to be a part of a geocaching group, we asked two geocaching associations, Washington State Geocaching Association (WSGA) in the United States and Geopt.org in Portugal to share a little bit about what they do.
Washington State Geocaching Association (WSGA)
WSGA was founded in 2002 when 19 geocachers learned that geocaching would be banned in all Washington State Parks. (But don’t worry. Thanks to WSGA, geocaches are still allowed in Washington State Parks and there is now an official Washington State Parks Centennial GeoTour.) Since then, the association has grown to almost 500 members. Abby Wolfe, President of the WSGA, says, “We work with parks at all levels (city, county, state, federal) to promote geocaching as a beneficial, family-oriented activity through our highly regarded Park Liaison Program and CITO activities.” Their efforts continue to nurture successful partnerships with parks and allow geocaching in most parts of the state.
The organization in Washington also hosts events, meet and greets, and organizes special outings such as an annual Summer Campout.
WSGA also functions as the local news for geocachers. Geocachers in Washington can stay updated on geocaching events in their area by following WSGA on Facebook. If you are a Washingtonian geocacher and want to become a member, you can join on this website.
Geopt.org, Portugal’s equivalent to the WSGA, has collected an impressive 6442 registered members since being established in 2010. This accounts for approximately 30% of the Portuguese geocaching community.
Gustavo Vidal, Vice-President of Geopt.org, describes the work of the Portuguese geocaching association: “Our organization has a Geocaching portal at www.geopt.org, where you can find all our activities. We have a Geocaching discussion forum, an online TV network (www.geopt.tv) where we play Geocaching vídeos and broadcast live some of our main events, and where we give annual awards to the owners of the best Portuguese caches, or the Mini-Super Liga, a soccer tournament with geocachers from allover the country.” The club also releases the free GeoMagazine and provides discounts for their members in Geocaching and adventure shops or camping parks.
The sense of community geocaching organizations offer can be a great help for new geocachers and old pros alike, and are an easy way to make new geocaching friends. You can find a geocaching group in your area in the geocaching forums or by searching for your location and “geocaching organisation” online. Other words to search for are ”geocaching club” or “geocaching association”.
Are you part of a geocaching association? Please send us your contact information through this form!