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7 Souvenirs of August Achieved

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We always knew you were an Achiever. Thanks for proving us right.

This August, we challenged you to explore more of the geocaching universe by unlocking the 7 Souvenirs of August. The results are now in and it’s official: geocachers are not just Achievers—they are Over-Achievers.

Want proof? Check out 7 Souvenirs of August in numbers:

  • 555,000 geocachers earned the Explorer souvenir. That means 100,000 more geocachers logged a Traditional geocache in August 2014 than in August 2013.

  • 160,000 geocachers found a Multi-Cache to earn the Sightseer souvenir.

  • Nearly 150,000 geocachers earned the Puzzler souvenir by logging a Mystery Cache.

  • Over 85,000 geocachers earned the Socializer souvenir. The number of geocachers who attended an Event Cache more than doubled from August 2013.

  • Over 100,000 geocachers unlocked the Nature Lover souvenir. This doubled the number of geocachers who found an Earth Cache and quadrupled the number who attended a CITO event.

  • More than 100,000 geocachers found a Letterbox Hybrid, Virtual, Webcam or Whereigo to earn the Collector souvenir.

That’s not all. A whopping 69,550 geocachers around the world earned all six souvenirs to become Geocaching Achievers. Not too shabby.

With each new Found It log, geocachers unlocked more than a souvenir. They unlocked a new adventure, a new discovery and a new memory to share with friends and family.

Want to relive the 7 Souvenirs of August? Watch 15 seconds of #7SofA geocaching through the lens of geocachers like you:

Did you find your first Earth Cache? Mystery Cache? Make a new friend? Tell us about your favorite adventure from 7 Souvenirs of August in the comments below.

 7SofA POP6
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An Achiever’s Reflection on the 7 Souvenirs of August


Bri Suffety is one of the awesome Geocaching HQ lackeys who participated in this month’s 7 Souvenirs of August promotion. Here, she tells us how she became an Achiever. 

 

You can’t see me, but my head is held high as I admit that I have a competitive streak.

Not the every-man-for-himself kind; it’s more like I’m in a constant competition with myself. So from the announcement of the 7 Souvenirs of August (7SofA) promotion, I began loosely crafting a plan for which caches I should save for the month. The next thing I knew, Geocaching HQ was split into teams to compete in a 7SofA cache-a-thon.

7SofA partners for life!
7SofA partners for life!

The game had changed, and with it my strategy.

I was going to be out of town during the first part of August and I couldn’t accept lagging behind. With a cup of coffee in hand I sat down to scour the map for caches in Michigan and Ohio. By the end of my “research” session I had all of the caches picked out with the exception of an event cache. There were a few options but none that were logistically possible. [Insert groans of frustration here.]

In order to earn The Socializer souvenir, and with it The Achiever, I was left with two choices: waiting until my return to Seattle to attend an event, or creating my own in Ohio. I don’t know about you, but I always find my stomach a flutter when I arrive at an event where I don’t know anyone. So with much hesitation I found myself with the event cache form filled out and my mouse hovering over the submit button.

I bit the bullet and sent it off.

The event itself was small (unsurprisingly, since it was on an island) but I found myself chuckling not only at the conversations we had but at myself for being nervous.

You might not know who’s going to show up at an event, but they aren’t strangers. You all share a love of geocaching and once you get through the initial exchanging of names, the conversations start flowing.

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There’s no such thing as strangers at a geocaching event!

I knew the 7 Souvenirs of August was going to rock, but I didn’t know exactly where it would take me. The month is now winding down and I’ve attended six events including my own. Each one has been a different and stellar experience. There is something to be said about finding others who are as wildly excited about the game as you are. Not to mention, it’s nice to have a break from the blank stares your muggle friends give you when you geek out about a cache.

Tips for hosting the (geocaching) event of the season:

  1. Location location location! It can be as easy as meeting at a local park, a restaurant you love or a pub you’ve been wanting to try. Remember that entrance into and participation at the event needs to be free.

  2. Pick a time. What does your availability look like? Make sure to pick a time when you are unlikely to run late or miss your own event. And don’t forget the golden rule: the event form needs to be submitted at least two weeks prior to the event date!

  3. Recruit a friend. Reach out to your geocaching friends or acquaintances and let them know about the event. You could even bring that muggle friend who is always following you around the woods while you search for tupperware.

  4. Ask questions. Find out what everyone’s favorite cache is, their best geocaching day or if they’re working on any challenges.

  5. Relax. It’s going to be great!

So close to clearing out the whole island. Back next year!
So close to clearing out the whole island. Back next year!

 

Think you’ve got a compelling 7 Souvenirs of August story? Tell us what it took (or will take) for you to become an Achiever!

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1st Day, 1st Achievers: Geocaching HQ Staff Give #7SofA a Go on Day 1

By Heather Feather

Cool shades
Heather Feather puts her 7SofA game face on.

Editor’s Note: Heather Murdoch (Username: Heather Feather) is a member of the Community Volunteer Support team at Geocaching HQ and (perhaps more importantly for the month of August) a member of The Explorer team for an internal HQ competition. Heather and her teammates,  Founder Jeremy Irish (Username: Jeremy), Community Manager Sara Baarda (Username: Sara B), Community Volunteer Support Team Manager Cindy Potter (Username: Frau Potter), and Engineering Intern Virangi Shah (Username: virangishah) attempted to earn Achiever status on August 1st. This is their (obviously, epic) story.

Friday, August 1st was a whirlwind of a day! The 7 Souvenirs of August had finally been unleashed, sending geocachers out into the world with one mission: GET SOUVENIRS!!!

It was no different for Geocaching HQ. Geocaching HQ staff had been divided into 6 teams: The Puzzlers, The Sightseers, The Nature Lovers, The Socializers, The Collectors, and last but not least (my team) The Explorers. Together, we were faced with a challenge: the team (and all its members) to earn all 7 souvenirs first, wins. Wins what? Well we don’t know yet, but the competitive creature in me only heard WIN.

Thus, the race was on! Several Explorers wasted no time, piled in a van, and jetted out on the ferry (yes, the ferry!) from Seattle, WA to Bremerton (across Puget Sound from Seattle). Founder Jeremy Irish taught us how to play a deceptively “easy” and hilarious card game involving a princess, love letters, and her royal court. This was critically helpful for our team building, but no souvenirs were earned yet.

But that was about to change.

Stop #1: The Puzzler

Ferry ride!
The ferry ride over! Sweet shades!

Silverdale, to see about a Mystery Cache. Ground zero was located in a cute, little library. Quick calculations earned us The Puzzler in no time.

Stop #2: The Explorer

Across the street to “the dark side.” But really, it was a Darth Vader-themed geocache. Along with a few fellow geocachers also on the 7SofA hunt, we oohed, we ahhed, we used the force and earned The Explorer!

Stop #3: The Nature Lover

Next, we delved into the wondrous and dusty epochs of glacial erratics. A refreshing trail jaunt and gettin’ schooled on a few geo-educational nuggets earned us The Nature Lover.

Stop #4: The Collector

Our fourth stop took us right by a beautiful lily pad-filled lake. Rather appropriate, no? We were tempted to go for a quick swim, but stayed the course and earned The Collector with a Letterbox Cache instead.

Stop #5: The Sightseer

With over half of the souvenirs under our belts, the end was in sight! Where else to go next than a cemetery? At a nearby quaint and quiet neighborhood plot, we upgraded the decaying cache with some new digs and earned The Sightseer. At this point we were getting a little delirious, and thought it was a good idea to put on lots of sunglasses for a photoshoot. Maybe it was all the over-ripe blackberries we ate…either way it was a real good time!

Jeremy finds the cache
Geocaching.com Founder Jeremy and Engineering InternVirangi investigate the geocache.

Stop #6: The Socializer

Earning The Socializer was a treat. We attended a nearby Event Cache to swap stories from the day with fellow geocachers, crossed our fingers for the raffle prizes, and had a bite to eat. It was great to put some faces to names that we had seen in the logbooks that day.

7SofA Mission Accomplished!

With all six souvenirs logged, the Achiever was unlocked – for the win! Mission accomplished! Of course, we couldn’t help being over-achievers and logging a few more geocaches on our route back home. Over nine hours of fun and adventure – what a way to kick off August!

Editor’s Note: Shortly following this excursion, the remaining members of The Explorer team also unlocked all 7 Souvenirs of August, making them the first Geocaching HQ team to claim Achiever status. Heather Feather is *trying* not to gloat, but it’s true – they are the winners!

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7 Tips for Achieving All 7 Souvenirs of August

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This August, your mission is to explore more of the geocaching universe and, ultimately, to become one of the super-cachers who earn the highly coveted Achiever souvenir. To unlock this special geocaching achievement, you’ll need to find 6 specific geocache types in the month of August.

Here are 7 tips to help you achieve, well, Achiever status:

beprepared
During the summer, the best TOTT can be a water bottle. You can drink out of it, use it to cool off, and even celebrate your Achiever status.

1. Be Prepared

This motto is not just for the Boy Scouts. Finding 6 different geocache types requires planning ahead, especially if you live in Traditional-heavy area. Check to see what souvenirs might require leaving your neighborhood, and see if you can tie them into a weekend road trip or business travel. And, of course, always carry your tools of the trade (TOTT) in case opportunity strikes. (Never, never get caught without a pen!)

2. Start Early

With only 6 geocache finds needed to earn the Achiever souvenir, it can be tempting to put them off until the last weekend. Warning: This is not college. Cramming is no longer a safe bet. Start knocking off the souvenirs early in the month to allow room for error.

3.  Partner with Friends

Feeling intimidated by finding a new geocache type? That’s what friends are for! As we learned with the Geocaching Personality Quiz, it takes all kinds to make up the geocaching community. Find someone who has a different personality type than you so that you can each specialize in finding specific geocache types. Friends can even help you sprinkle extra awesome on the 7 Souvenirs of August.

4. Throw a Party

To earn the Socializer souvenir, you need to log an Attended at an Event Cache, Mega-Event, or Giga-Event. Sign up for the Weekly Newsletter to learn about upcoming events in your area, or host one yourself! Remember, hosts can log an Attended for their own Event Caches.

5. Host a CITO

Don’t have an Earth Cache near you? No problem! Every neighborhood could use a CITO event. You’ll earn the Nature Lover souvenir and Mother Earth will thank you.

6. Double Check Your Neighborhood

Partner with friends
Sometimes earning a souvenir will take two… or four!

We’ve all done it. You’ve cleared out all the Traditional geocaches in your area, and you feel like there’s nothing left to find. (Okay, you Puzzlers and Collectors. Some of us have done this. Okay, fine. I can only say with certainty that I’ve done this. Happy?) This is your chance to take off your Traditional geocache blinders and see the Multi-Caches, Mystery Caches, and Letterbox Hybrids for what they are: geocaches waiting for your autograph.

7. Put it in Perspective

Yes, earning the Achiever souvenir can be daunting. But let’s put the challenge in perspective: Traditionals are easy to come by, you can attend or host an event, and if there’s not an Earth Cache in your area, you can host a CITO event. Knock those three out and you’re already halfway there! That just leaves three more geocaches to find: one Mystery Cache, one Multi-Cache, and either a Virtual, Whereigo, Letterbox Hybrid, or WebCam Cache. Take a deep breath… and go get ‘em. (But wait for August 1st of course.)

Tell Us Your Tips

Are you an expert in finding a specific type of geocache? If so, leave your tips for finding that geocache type in the comments below. This is going to take teamwork, friends!