Back to School with Geocaching

The air is crisp and clean, the leaves are turning golden, the scent of pumpkin spice wafts through the streets, and school is officially in session. Looking for ways to include geocaching into your back to school lesson plans? Check out our GeocachingEdu page where parents, teachers, and educators can find handy resources on incorporating geocaching in the classroom. 

As added inspiration, we’re highlighting six unique ways you can get back to school—geocaching style. Let’s get ready to make mistakes, get messy, and go geocaching!

Geology 

Get off to a smart start with some science! 

EarthCaches are special geological locations people can visit to learn about a unique feature of the Earth. Visitors to EarthCaches can see how our planet has been shaped by geological processes, how we manage its resources, and how scientists gather evidence. Earthcache I – a simple geology tour of Wasp Head is the first EarthCache ever placed. Located in New South Wales, Australia, it teaches about the unique geology of the Bimberamala National Park.  

Chances are there is an EarthCache near you, offering a great opportunity to learn about the natural forces that shaped your unique landscape. 

What created this structure? Finding EarthCache GCHFT2 will teach you! Image by StarsAlign.

Social Studies

Cache In Trash Out® (CITO) is an environmental initiative supported by the geocaching community. Since 2002, CITO Events help preserve the natural beauty of cache-friendly spaces. In that time, more than 363,000 people have volunteered at 18,000 events.

You and learners big and small can show some love for your community by volunteering at a CITO event—or even by hosting your own.

Glorious trash in Washington, Italy, Taiwan, Iowa, Japan, Brazil, Australia, and Vietnam. Images by Bl4ckH4wkGER, albi.fc, jamg0121, kennyk4165, なかチン, danilo_melo, Mummy Short Legs, and steve4nlanguage.

Lunch 

GeoTours combine geocaching and travel, with GeoTour Hosts highlighting the best of the best from their destination. This particular GeoTour has a theme any kid hungry for and from learning can get behind: donuts!

You’ve CITO’d, now it’s time to EATO! The GT77 Butler County Donut Trail GeoTour includes a total of 14 stops across Butler County, Ohio, showcasing the best of its local donut shops. Looking for something healthier? There are lots of GeoTours to choose from—although not all are food themed. Find a GeoTour near you.

Image courtesy of the GT77 Butler County Donut Trail.

Foreign Language 

Teamwork caches are created cooperatively by two owners from different areas. They encourage two geocachers to work together to find a cache in the different areas. Geocachers trade information that leads each to the final container in their own area.

Since geocaching is a worldwide game, the possibilities are endless. If you’re studying a foreign language, consider finding a teamwork cache and learning some new geocaching lingo.

Teamwork makes the geocaching dream work. Image by AJ&Rose. 

Literature 

Geocachers love to read! While it’s common to find caches stashed in tiny roadside trading libraries, many cachers worldwide have partnered with their local libraries to hide caches inside reading rooms, books, or card catalogs. There’s even one inside the British Library in London. 

There might be one at your local library, so it’s worth checking when you go in to return all the books that you devoured off your summer reading list.

Nothing like curling up with a good cache…erm…we mean book! Image by Geosmokies.

Math 

Nothing teaches real world math skills like a Mystery (puzzle) Cache. Sure, you can ask kids to calculate how many watermelons Suzie has after she gives half her watermelons to Bill and a third of her watermelons to Jane, but your students will surely be much more motivated if they know they’ll be able to find a cache after all those calculations.

Find some tips and tricks on how to solve Mystery Caches here. And don’t forget there are caches accessible for every age and skill set—just remember to check the Difficulty rating before you assign them as homework!

Image by kiReGPS. 

Geocaching can be used to help teach almost every subject. Looking for more inspiration? Check out how Washington teacher Ellis Reyes has incorporated caching into the curriculum for her fifth grade classroom. 

From all of us here at Geocaching HQ, happy school year, and happy caching!

Sarah
Sarah is a French-speaking Community Coordinator at Geocaching HQ. She likes cats and musicals, but only separately (this has oddly become particularly relevant). In her spare time you can find her knitting, snuggling her cat, and waiting impatiently for the next season of Cosmos.