Geocaching Events have been put on hold for quite a while to make sure that we all stay safe. It’s been a long time since we put on our “people” faces and attended an Event. With some restrictions slowly lifting, attending one could be a possibility in the near future.
Does the thought of striking up a conversation overwhelm you? You’re not alone. One of our Community Coordinators, Megan, has some tips and tricks on how to use that nervous energy to transform you into a geocaching social butterfly.
They told us that “As someone who is socially anxious, attending an Event can be a mentally taxing activity. The good news is this: You already have something in common with other Event-goers. You are all geocachers. You are warm, welcoming, and always ready for something new. That’s a great place to start.”
Here are some of their tips on how to make friends, questions to break the ice, and affirmations to remind you of how stellar you really are:
On your way there, tell yourself these statements to hype yourself up!
“My geo-senses are immaculate.”
“I can find a nano in the woods easily.”
“Muggles never catch me. I am a stealth machine.”
“If there is a trackable on Mars, anything is possible. I can do this.”
2. Seek out other solo cachers
Chances are, you aren’t the only person who is at the Event alone. Cachers attend Events to meet new people and celebrate our community, so find a fellow solo-flyer and strike up a conversation! Compliment their fun-patterned mask and then ask them how they stayed passionate about caching this past year!
3. Bring your favorite trackable
Geocachers love trackables. Before leaving for the Event, make sure to grab an interesting trackable and put it in your pocket. If you find that you are running out of things to say, whip out that unique geocoin and have your new pals “Discover” it. You’ll forever be in their hearts and in their statistics.
4. Take a break!
If you are feeling tired, find a quiet spot to take a few deep breaths or text a friend. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. You got this.
5. Embrace who you are
When all else fails, smile and be yourself. You are an incredible person with caching stories and friendship to share. It was a long year. Some people are social butterflies. Some people are quiet until they have the world’s funniest joke to say. The best thing about geocaching is that you can come as you are and be celebrated.
Starting a conversation with a new person can be intimidating. Here are some questions to ask to get that new friendship blooming:
Hi, what’s your username?
How long have you been geocaching?
Where are you from?
Can I pet your dog?
I’ve been trying to crack this Mystery Cache for ages, can you help me?
Have you done an Adventure Lab yet?
Have you signed the logbook yet? Let’s do it together!
What is your favorite cache in this neighborhood?
What is the oldest cache you have found?
We asked some Lackeys what tips they had to share. Here is what they had to say:
- If going alone is a scary thought, meet up with a buddy beforehand and go to the event together!
- Set a timeline for how long you want to spend at the Event. This will allow you to enjoy your time and leave before you feel tired!
- Pick three questions that you can ask, and come prepared to make new friends!
- Sometimes leaving can be awkward. Practice saying exit lines like, “well, I have to get a move on, it was nice talking to you!”
- I would recommend CITO’s as a first event, because you can socialize while you are working and often that can be easier for introverts!
Even if your region’s health guidelines are not yet open to attending Events, don’t worry. The future is full of promise and smilies. Practice your affirmations and conversation skills and know that geocaching will always be there for you.