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How to Throw an Awesome New Year’s Geocaching Bash in 5 Easy Steps

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New Year’s is an opportunity to celebrate the end of one year and welcome the beginning of the next. While end-of-year traditions come in many shapes and sizes, celebrations around the world will all have one thing in common this year: geocaching.

We invite you and your loved ones to say goodbye to 2015 and hello to 2016 with two new geocaching souvenirs. Find a geocache or attend an event on December 31 to earn the Goodbye 2015 souvenir. Then, start your year off right with the Hello 2016 souvenir, which can also be earned by finding a geocache or attending an event on January 1.

Sounds like a good way to start your year off, right?

So without further ado, here are five easy steps to hosting a great New Year’s geocaching bash!

Step #1: Pick a theme.

Like creating a new geocaching username, all great Event Caches start out with a theme. Here are a few examples to get your creative juices flowing:

SignalWedding
New Year’s could be the perfect time for Signal the Frog to marry Signal the Frog.

Host a “DNF Forgiveness” party. In Japan, New Year’s is considered a time for renewal — for forgetting the problems of the past and forgiving any grudges or misunderstandings. Make your event a safe space for geocachers to move on from those DNFs that have haunted them in 2015.

Throw a muggle initiation party. Do you have friends who would love geocaching, but haven’t tried it out yet? Planning a New Year’s Event Cache can be the perfect way to get them started! Make the event both fun and educational, and invite your fellow geocachers to bring their non-geocaching friends too. Newbies can then get started by finding their first geocache the very next day.

Keep things warm & cozy. Plan a daytime event on January 1 at a coffee shop or cafe so that geocachers can warm up (or cool down) with a tasty beverage after finding their first geocache(s) of the year.

Step #2: Select the date and time of your event.

This is an easy one: plan your event for December 31 or January 1 so that it qualifies for a souvenir. In picking a time, be sure to think about your guests. If you’re encouraging families to bring young kids, you may want to plan your event earlier in the evening on New Year’s Eve or even schedule a daytime event on January 1.

Reminder: The geocaching guidelines prohibit event stacking. To avoid event stacking, Event Caches should be separated by time, organized by different geocachers, have a minimum duration of 30 minutes and take place at a different location than other events. Please check out the geocaching guidelines for more information about planning an Event Cache.

Step #3: Find your venue.

You can host Event Caches anywhere available to the public — a restaurant, park or even your house. But be sure to find a place that has enough space.

Step #4: Plan fun and engaging activities.

Have you ever been that person at a party who hovers awkwardly around the buffet? I sure have. A great way to make your event fun for all is to schedule activities that help your guests meet each other. Here are four ideas to get you started:

geocachingmugsSet up a photo booth. This can be as easy as finding an area with a simple background. Have your guests share their geocaching resolutions for 2016 using this downloadable template and take a photo. (Don’t forget to then share these using #geocaching on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.)

Play the “geocaching predictions” game. Ask guests to write down their geocaching predictions for 2016 (e.g. “I will find my 25th T5 geocache” or “Moun10Bike will finally beat me to an FTF this year”) and throw them into a bucket. Take turns reading the predictions out loud and guessing who wrote them.

Geocaching bingo. Create a bingo card based on geocaching achievements (e.g. “Earned a new country souvenir” or “Found more than 100 geocaches”). Guests will need to find other geocachers at the event who have completed the achievements in 2015 to fill in their board.

Bake a lucky trackable into a cake. In Bolivia, coins are baked into sweets so that whoever finds the coin has good luck for the next year. Give your guests the gift of geocaching good luck by hiding trackables in the dessert. But maybe mention this to them beforehand…

Step #5: Invite friends, new and old!

Create a new event on Geocaching.com to have your event listed on Geocaching.com. (This will also qualify your event for the Goodbye 2015 or Hello 2016 souvenir.) Remember, events must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the event date. Once your event has been published, share the event listing with your local geocaching organization and social media.

Whether you’re already a well-established social butterfly or a first-time attendee, geocaching events are a great way to meet new people who share your love for geocaching. We hope these tips help you host a rockin’ New Year’s geocaching bash and we’d love to hear your ideas too!

What tips do you have for throwing a great geocaching New Year’s event? Tell us in the comments below.

 

12 Geocaches Guaranteed to Give You Goosebumps

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As a geocacher, evil nanos, tricky puzzles and even fake spiders may no longer surprise you. That’s why we’ve created a list of the world’s spookiest geocaches — geocaches guaranteed to make you shriek, shudder and have a frighteningly good time.

Check Out the World’s Spookiest Geocaches

What’s the most frightening geocache you’ve found? Share your most terrifying tales on the Geocaching Facebook page.

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You’ve Got Mail: The Latest Geocaching Message Center Updates

 

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Last April, we announced a brand new feature: the Geocaching Message Center. With this feature, you can send and receive messages from Geocaching.com and the Geocaching Intro app.

So why are we talking about the Message Center again? Well, when we launched this feature, we promised to keep making improvements based on your feedback. We recently wrapped up work on a few biggies so we want to make sure you know about them!

The big ones:

  • You can now reply to geocaching messages directly from your email!
  • Choose how you want to receive Message Center notifications: receive email notifications for every new message, notifications only after inactivity or no email notifications at all.

Note: You can change your notification preferences in Account Settings.

Other improvements made at geocacher suggestion:

  • See images in the email notifications.
  • You can load more conversations in the Message Center.
  • We raised the character count limit to 4000 characters.
  • TB and GC codes automatically hyperlink in messages.
  • Trackable and geocache names automatically hyperlink in messages to owners.

Watch this short video, featuring two awesome Geocaching HQ developers, to learn a little bit more about what went into making the Message Center:

Thanks to all of you who participated in innovation games, completed surveys and participated in the User Insights Forum about Message Center! Interested in giving your two cents on future geocaching features? Check out this blog post for some ideas on how to get involved.

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What’s Next for Geocaching: Trackables

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Trackables Now Available in the Geocaching Intro App

We’re pretty excited for this update. Are you ready? It’s now easier than ever to find and log trackables from the field by using the Geocaching Intro app. Now you can:

  • Search for trackables by TB code and log them
  • View trackable details pages
  • Learn more about trackables with built-in tips

This is just phase one, so more updates will follow soon. There are plenty of trackables out there just waiting to be discovered. Who knows? You may even find one of these unusual trackables.

Download the free Geocaching Intro app for iPhone or Android.

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Earn a new souvenir for International EarthCache Day

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International EarthCache Day is October 11

On October 11, you can earn a new souvenir for celebrating the geocaching game board. What’s that, you ask? The whole entire Earth!* All you have to do is go out and find an EarthCache on International EarthCache Day.

EarthCaches don’t have physical containers, but instead bring you to a unique location and teach you an earth science lesson. To make the find, you’ll have to check the EarthCache’s description and answer questions based on where you are.

If you’re using the free Geocaching Intro App, finding and logging an EarthCache is easy. You can just send your answers to the cache owner via Message Center. Visit the search page to find an EarthCache near you.

Find an EarthCache Near You

*and one lonely space station