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The Creator of EarthCaching talks about the 10th Anniversary

 

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EarthCache I, Australia

Editor’s Note: Gary, Geoaware, placed the very first EarthCache on this date in 2004. Today there are more than 17,000 EarthCaches around the globe from the peaks of mountains to the desert floor. This is Gary’s story of that first EarthCache.

Gary aka "Geoaware"
Gary aka “Geoaware”

By Gary, Geoaware: Ten years ago I was a lucky guy in the right place at the right time. The Geological Society of America (GSA) had just employed me to work on education and outreach programs, a GSA member mentioned the new game of geocaching to my boss, and I was on holiday here with my kids looking at the rocks in Australia.

So that day we wandered around a rock platform that I had been on a thousand times before but now with a new purpose. How could I bring others here geocaching so they left learning something new about our amazing planet?  Fossils, evidence for glaciers, weathering – so much in such a short walk. This was the perfect place. And so EarthCache I GCHFT2 was born—and so was the concept of an EarthCache: a place where the Earth was the treasure. A place where you would learn about the geology of the planet while you geocached. If you have not experienced an EarthCache, its time you tried. It’s a different experience – but who would ever not enjoy learning when it’s fun!

Since then we have gone through many changes, twists and turns – always in partnership with Geocaching.com and always edging forward so that we can add to the game of geocaching as well as teaching people about our Earth. We even now have a Mega-Event held each year just for EarthCachers (GC4JD1B).

What an amazing ten years the EarthCache program has had. Since the first EarthCache was placed, four million people have visited over 17,000 EarthCaches in 165 countries around the globe. It is a truly outstanding impact to get people outside, have fun and learn about our dynamic planet all at the same time. And all of that amazing credit goes to the whole community that visits, develops and loves EarthCaches and the wonderful group of community volunteers – the ‘geoawares’ that work with EarthCache developers to get the very best EarthCache submissions published.

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EarthCache: Gullfoss (Golden Falls)

Finally, I can’t ignore the amazing support of The Geological Society of America, who sees this program as the jewel in its outreach to the wider community.

I hope you will all celebrate the amazing 10th year of EarthCaches by finding and logging an EarthCache or even joining the next 3rd International EarthCache Mega-Event!

 

 

 

 

 

EarthCache in Dorest, UK
EarthCache in Dorest, UK

 

 

 

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Geocaching in Space Event Center

[Click here for information the Seattle Geocaching in Space event]

Mark your calendar for early November, 2013! Geocaching is rocketing into space once again. Astronaut Rick Mastracchio will deliver a Travel Bug® to the International Space Station. Mastracchio will be using the Travel Bug as an educational tool to help teach students around the world about geography and provide other educational lessons. The mission is currently scheduled to launch from Kazakhstan at 4:08 GMT on November 7  and we want you all to be there (at least in spirit). That means the launch is planned to liftoff at 5:08 a.m. in Berlin and November 6 at 8:08 p.m. in Los Angeles. Find out here what time the launch is in your part of the world!

spaceevent

Every geocacher who attends a Geocaching Event on November 6 or 7, 2013 will be awarded a “Geocaching in Space” souvenir.

*Quick note: As this is a  real-deal rocket launch, it could be delayed. In this case we’ll issue the souvenir for attending an event on November 6 or 7, and for attending an event on the the actual launch date.

If you feel that you are an expert when it comes to Geocaching Event guidelines and are up to host a space event in your area, take a look at these tips to help your guests have an out of world experience:

1.) Think ahead. Neil Armstrong did not spontaneously decide to hop on a rocket and fly to the moon one day. Rumor has it there was some careful planning (and serious calculations!) involved. The same should apply to your Geocaching Event. Do you need to make reservations for a venue? Do you need to craft or decorate? Are there any questions you have to clear up before submitting your Event Cache? Keep in mind that you have to submit your Geocaching Event at least 14 days prior to the rocket launch, which means October 22 or 23 are the cut off days for your online submission.

2.) Think collaboration. You’ll want to get a crowd together to celebrate this once in a Trackable’s lifetime opportunity. To maximize the number of geocachers at your event, check to see if there is already another event published in your area. If there’s already an event, be a team player! See if you can help the event host with planning their event. You can share the load and maybe even serendipitously make a new friend.

3.) Think atmosphere. Unfortunately, NASA has a few rules about who gets to go to space, so we can’t all be out there with Rick Mastracchio, but that shouldn’t stop you from making your Event location look “spacetastic.” Here are a few ideas to space up your place:

  • Hang up dark fabric sheets and stick a few aluminium foil stars on them.
  • Remember the glow stars you  stuck to the wall next to your bed when you were a kid (or an adult, we’re not judging)? It is time to get those out of the old dusty boxes in your basement.
  • Collect a few paper towel rolls and get together with your family on a rainy day to craft some mini-rockets. Then have a contest at the event to see who can throw them the furthest up into space (or the air, as we call it on Earth).

We are sure you have many more ideas on how to decorate for the launch too. Share them with us in the comments below.

4.) Think astronauts. What are astronauts like? They are really, really smart—just like geocachers.  To further improve the brain power of the international geocaching community, put together a little quiz for the event to keep everybody entertained and your brain cells in action. For example: “What year did the first man set foot on the moon?” or (some would say) more importantly, “When was the first geocache hidden?” You see the possibilities are endless and so is the universe (or at least it’s really, unimaginablybig).

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American astronaut Rick Mastracchio

 

We hope that our tips will help make your geocaching in space event a superstar. Now we want to know from you, what you wouldn’t want to miss at a space event you are attending! Tell us in the comments below.

A few things to remember:

Scheduled Launch Date: November 6 (EST), 2013

Watch Launch Live*: at 04:08 a.m. GMT on November 7 (11:08 p.m. EST on November 6) – Convert to your time zone here

*NASA TV will broadcast the launch live. You can download a free NASA TV app for Android or iPhone, watch NASA TV live on their websitewww.NASA.gov, or watch the launch on the NASA channel on your cable TV. More questions? Check out NASA TV FAQs here.

Facebook Geocaching in Space Event Page: Coming Soon!

Geocaching in Space Souvenir Image: Coming Soon!

Geocaching in Space Souvenir Patch:  Proceeds go to the educational charity Donorschoose.org

Check out the Geocaching in Space FAQ to have all your questions answered!

 

 

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31 Days of Geocaching in Review

31 Days of Geocaching SouvenirWe did it! Whether you found one geocache in August or a geocache every day of the month, you joined a global team of more than a half-million adventurers who geocached last month. How many completed the 31 in 31 challenge? An amazing 26,228 geocachers found a geocache each day in August. That’s 10 times the number from August of 2012.

Would you like to relive the 31 Days of Geocaching? Do you have 31 seconds? Check out the 31 Days of Geocaching in 31 seconds video. You can also relive the memories, over and over again with this printable 31 Days of Geocaching calendar.

Geocaching Block Party Video and GIFF Winners Revealed

Adventurers from around the globe joined Geocaching HQ staff on August 17, 2013 to celebrate International Geocaching Day.  It’s tempting to measure the Geocaching Block Party 2013 in attendance (more than 3,000) or by the number of countries represented by geocachers (more than 12), but we preferred to look up from shaking hands and swapping stories and just measure the Geocaching Block Party in smiles—and there was plenty to smile about. Geocachers soaked up the creative geocaches, clever wordplay and tricky clues of a newly launched Geocaching HQ GeoTour. Geocaching HQ also debuted a new geocache type, Lab Caches, and asked geocachers to help test the new style of geocaching (potentially coming to a Mega-Event near you). Plus, did we mention getting to meet 3,000 other geocachers from around the world?

Check out the new Geocaching Block Party 2013 video to experience the thrill of the event. Make no mistake, we want to see you in the next video. Put it on your calendar, make your travel plans and log your ‘Will Attend’ for the Geocaching Block Party 2014 on August 16, 2014. Keep scrolling down for the winners of the Geocaching International Film Festival (GIFF) and more pictures from the Geocaching Block Party.

Click the image to see more than 450 pictures from The Geocaching Block Party 2013
Click the image to see more than 450 pictures from The Geocaching Block Party 2013

The Geocaching Block Party didn’t stop when the sun went down. Geocachers rallied for the first annual Geocaching International Film Festival (GIFF). Annnnnnnnnnd the winners are…  GIFF coins

Most Adventurous Film
The Story Behind the Log – By: FredericBrot

Most Instructional Film
Geocaching Norway – By: Woodneyepatch

Best Cinematography
Galaxycache – By: aak7

Audience Award
My Geocaching Addiction – By: Mayberryman & Drjbroke

Most Inspirational Film
The Best Days of Our Lives – By: FrederikHast

Most Creative/Experimental Film
My Geocaching Addiction – By: Mayberryman & Drjbroke

Congratulations to each of the winners and all of the entries. Each finalist received a 1-year Geocaching Premium membership. Each award winner received a 5-year Geocaching Premium membership, a personalized (and super cool) trophy and a GIFF Geocoin. Want to see the finalists? There are two ways: attend a Mega-Event that will be screening them or view them online in Spring 2014. Mega-Event hosts should contact Geocaching HQ to request a DVD to screen at their event.

The view from the waaay back at GIFF
The view from the waaay back at GIFF

 

 

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Coming Down the Homestretch: The Great Geocaching Block Party 2013 Travel Bug Race

TB Race 2013

They’re lean, they’re mean and they’re swarming back to Geocaching HQ as we speak. Almost a full year ago at the 2012 Geocaching Block Party, we released a collection of Travel Bugs in The Great Geocaching Block Party 2013 Travel Bug Race. The trackables entered the wild to start the race of their lives. Geocachers and Geocaching HQ Staff (Lackeys) alike watched their intrepid racers start their journey with a singular goal: to make it at least 2013 miles and return to Geocaching HQ in Seattle in time for the 2013 Geocaching Block Party. Additionally, Travel Bugs competed in the following categories:

  • Fastest TB back to HQ (after traveling the minimum mileage)
  • TB with the most mileage
  • TB to travel to the most countries
  • TB with the best picture
  • TB with the best log entry
  • TB with the most geocachers who moved the TB
  • TB with the most creative Hitchhiker (item the TB is attached to)
Summer Time Geocoin's Travel Map
Summer Time Geocoin’s Travel Map

We’re in the homestretch now, less than 72 hours left! But who will win each prize? Will the mileage race be won by budda63’s 28,000 mile powerhouse Summer Time Geocoin, which has already traveled further than the circumference of the Earth? Will “most geocachers involved” go to Pinscreen’s Hippo Safari racer, or will belaviz’s Pass’n Gasser Racer Tag take the prize? All questions are answered once and for all this Saturday in Fremont at the 2013 Geocaching Block Party.

In the meantime, keep up that 31 Days of Geocaching streak (we sure will)! You can also check out the status of all the Travel Bug® racers here. Who’s your favorite to win?