December Featured Geocacher of the Month Nominees – Add Your Comments

The December Featured Geocacher of the Month nominees work tirelessly to shape their communities and to make them stronger. No matter where they live or how long they’ve been pursuing the hobby, these geocachers are truly dedicated to giving the sport and their communities all they’ve got.

November Featured Geocacher of the Month, balkamper13

Now it’s your turn to help select one of them as the Featured Geocacher of the Month for December.

Write a comment at the bottom of this blog about which of these geocachers you feel should be awarded the Featured Geocacher of the Month title.

In November, Ted, a.k.a. balkamper13 was recognized for introducing and helping countless novice geocachers become caching addicts. Balkamper13 is known for donating quality homemade swag, time, and money to geocaching events. He spends numerous hours teaching his secrets and always invites new geocachers on geocaching  outings and events. Ted also shares his geocaching adventures and tips on his blog, LiveLoveCache.com.

Here are your nominees for the December Featured Geocacher of the Month. Some testimonials have been edited for length.



Nominated by jo.b, Nik, a.k.a. ekitt10, “has been caching since August 2001, making him one of the oldest cachers in New Jersey. Since then, he has always been working to improve the geocaching community in the state. Nik is the the founder of the Central Jersey Geocaching group and co-founder of CentralJerseyGeocaching.net. He also organizes our big monthly meetup called, ‘Third Tuesday Beer and Burgers.’ Nik’s favorite phrase is ‘take pride in your hide.’ His view is that every cache owner should put the creativity and effort into their caches to make them truly worth finding. He is also an avid puzzle cache creator. Some of his puzzles are famous and  notorious. Nik has held puzzle solving classes and will always help a cacher out with one of his puzzles, especially if it’s one of their first forays into the sometimes intimidating world of the ‘scary blue question mark’. For over a decade, Nik has been a pillar of the New Jersey geocaching community, but beyond tenure, he has truly made a mark on the game and helped shape it into what it is today. He works hard to make the game more accessible and to make the community larger.”

Team GatorOKC

Team GatorOKC

Team Gilo writes, “Michael and Bonnie, a.k.a. Team GatorOKC has been a great asset and participant in the COG (Central Oklahoma Geocachers) group since 2007. They are instrumental in organizing COG meetings and generally participating in all the social events concerning geocaching in the OKC area. They invest a lot of time and energy in placing and finding caches here in Oklahoma. They are very friendly people who have made many friends from out of state and have influenced them to become addicted to this sport that so many of us have come to love. I believe they would represent geocaching well and would fly the banner of the geocaching community high.”








Kjwx and Cumbyrocks write, “His surname says it all really … Wayne Champion is a champion – of and for geocaching. Such is his dedication to this hobby and its community. The veteran New Zealand player has multiple names to prove it: Moneydorkcamocrab, and Wayne. Whichever handle you know him by, Champion has been a major player in the Australasian geocaching scene for many years. As Moneydork, he has established himself as one of our most prolific cachers, most recently celebrating his 15,000th find. As camocrab, volunteer reviewer for Geocaching.com, he has examined and evaluated New Zealand and Australian cache listings since 2006. And as Wayne, he was involved in the recovery efforts for both the Christchurch earthquakes and the Pike River coalmine tragedy. Last year Champion relocated to Australia for a job, but that didn’t stop him from returning frequently to oversee his dream of hosting the country’s first Mega-Event, GC35TTR. Champion initiated the idea while president of the New Zealand Recreational GPS Society and oversaw its planning from more than 3500km away. His efforts as chairman before and after the four-day event helped ensure glowing logs from all 501 attendees. More importantly, Champion himself is respected by his peers, fellow reviewers and leader board rivals. His own hides and events  are legendary Down Under and he never hesitates to give his all to this sport.”

Comment below to tell us who you think should be the featured December Geocacher of the Month. A panel of Lackeys will use your comments to help decide which geocacher is awarded the honor. Each featured Geocacher of the Month will receive an exclusive special edition featured Geocacher of the Month Geocoin, along with a Geocacher of the Month hat, a Geocacher of the Month profile icon, and a certificate acknowledging their contributions signed by two of the founders of Geocaching.com. This month only, the recognized nominees will also receive a special edition John Grisham THE RACKETEER Geocoin. We will be accepting comments for December’s award through Monday, December 17th.

Those whose nominees were not recognized here are encouraged to submit their nominations again next month. If you know an outstanding geocacher you would like to nominate to be a featured Geocacher of the Month, send an email to geocacherofthemonth@groundspeak.com and include the following information:

  • Your name, the name of your nominee, their username
  • A picture of the nominee
  • Description (200 or more words) explaining why he or she deserves to be the Geocacher of the Month
  • Please inform your nominee that you’ve submitted them for the award

Nominations for the January Geocacher of the Month must be received by Tuesday, January 8, 2013. 

Once we have received all of the nominations, we will choose the top candidates and post them on the blog. You will then get a chance to champion your favorite. Our goal is to involve the entire geocaching community in this process so we might learn from each other.


Eternal Flame Falls EarthCache – GC10VMY – GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK – December 6, 2012

The Eternal Flame

Tucked deep within Chestnut Ridge Park, the Eternal Flame Falls EarthCache (GC10VMY) is a natural phenomenon – a natural gas leak underneath a waterfall that just happens to be burning.

Thanks to Eric and Joe, a.k.a Szuchie and TWU, the natural gas leak under the waterfall is also a difficulty 1, terrain 3 EarthCache located in Western New York that geocachers can explore.

The flame under the cascade of water embodies the spirit of nature that gives the spot an almost sacred feel. It is said that the combination of the falls and the natural gas leak is the only one of its kind on the planet, giving geocachers all the more reason to embark on an adventure to witness nature at its best.

Szuchie and TWU’s inspiration for an EarthCache at this location was simply due to their amazement by what they saw when they first visited the park. Szuchie says, “From a caching standpoint – you don’t get too many things more fantastic than this.”

According to the cache page, ‘upon entering the gorge and approaching the base of Eternal Flame Falls, cachers will notice a change in the ambient aroma.’ That aroma is methane, the natural gas that leaks from the cave, which lies at the base of the waterfalls. The natural gas can be lit to produce the flame.

Hike up to the EarthCache site

The 403 geocachers who logged a “Found it” have shared over 500 incredible images and written the most elaborate logs about their experience.

One geocacher writes, “Wow – what an exceptional place and phenomenon. The Eternal Flame Falls came on my radar when I started checking caches by favorite points and I knew I really wanted to see this. Today was the day since LCSM and I were in the Buffalo area for the Cache-a-Day Challenge Finale. We continued here for our second goal of the day and it did not disappoint. Although the trail is well marked, we missed a turn (when we were distracted by another cache) and ended up on the Orange Trail which took us above the flame where we could see it but not reach it. We circled around, consulted the map at the kiosk, and redirected ourselves for the appropriate approach. I was especially delighted that there was still some water here in the falls despite the dry summer, as it is really the fire and water combination that is mesmerizing. Took our photos and observations, and headed back along the beautiful creek bed. Many thanks for this exceptional EarthCache – I guess there really is natural gas here in NYS! Brought a BBQ lighter but did not need to use it as the flames were already flickering away.”

Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all the Geocaches of the Week on the Latitude 47 blog or view the Bookmark List on Geocaching.com.

If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, send an email with your name, comments, the name of the geocache, and the GC code to pr@groundspeak.com.

Spring, summer, autumn or winter…the flame can be ignited year round
1 Comment

Dracula’s Castle – GC5D8 – GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK – November 29, 2012

Inside Dracula’s Castle

The Geocache of the Week takes us to a place with beautiful views of  the countryside, the Carpathian Mountains, and Dracula’s Castle. That’s right, Dracula’s Castle (GC5D8).

The castle is not only a national monument and landmark in Romania, but home to the country’s oldest published geocache.

Over the centuries, Dracula’s Castle, a.k.a. Bran Castle has been used in defense against the Ottoman Empire, served as a customs point, and has housed a number of residents, including Queen Marie (and let’s not forget Bram Stoker’s Dracula). It is now a museum, displaying art and furniture collected by the queen.

Hand-made cross

Since 2001, nearly 230 geocachers have logged a smiley and awarded the difficulty 3, terrain 3.5 traditional cache over 30 Favorite Points.

The cache owner, Team Romania (now maintained by DJ Storm) was kind enough to include a few essentials, such as a large pencil that could be used as a wooden stake to ward off vampires. Over the years, geocachers have created their own weapons against Dracula when setting out to find this cache. Recently, a hand-made cross was spotted at a “grave” site near the cache.

A very curious local

Locals and cachers from a number of nearby countries and across the seas have traveled far and wide to visit the castle and log the cache.

A geocacher from the UK writes, “What a climb! Totally worth the effort though… Not only did I escape the crowds for half an hour, but I was rewarded with the most spectacular view to the mountains and beyond. Nice, clean, and well maintained cache. Great to bag Romania’s first geocache as well. Over 10 years old and long may it live. I was a bit skeptical about the ‘grave’ nearby, marked with a cross. But now I understand!  …Brilliant. TNLNSL [Took Nothing Left Nothing Signed Log]. Thanks for hiding and greetings from the UK.”

Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all the Geocaches of the Week on the Latitude 47 blog or view the Bookmark List on Geocaching.com.

If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, send an email with your name, comments, the name of the geocache, and the GC code to pr@groundspeak.com.


Signing the logbook