The air is crisp and clean, the leaves are turning golden, the scent of pumpkin spice wafts through the streets, and school is officially in session. Looking for ways to include geocaching into your back to school lesson plans? Check out our GeocachingEdu page where parents, teachers, and educators can find handy resources on incorporating geocaching in the classroom.
As added inspiration, we’re highlighting six unique ways you can get back to school—geocaching style. Let’s get ready to make mistakes, get messy, and go geocaching!
Boy meets Girl. Boy takes Girl geocaching. Boy falls in love with Girl. Girl falls in love with geocaching. Eventually also warms up to Boy. Here are the 13 dates that made up this imaginary geocaching love story. This is a fictional account, so, basically steal any tips you find here to make your own moves on your potential geo-crush.
THE FIRST DATE
TamsinTugboat and I found this one on our walk through Discovery Park. I got us to GZ, but she
made the find (her first). Had a really great time, hope she did as well.
(Haven’t read her log yet…here’s crossing my fingers).
THE SECOND DATE
Cheers to making this incredibly tricky D3 cache my fifteenth! RusselltheSpaceman and I
spent the good portion of Sunday afternoon looking for this one. We gave up several times
and decided to re-energize with fresh pears from Pike’s Place Market. He convinced me
to try this really odd looking peanut butter drink. After that feat, finding this cache among all the
red-herrings was a piece of…gum!
THE THIRD DATE
Time to spice things up with some good ‘ole EarthCaches. Thanks for bringing
TamsinTugboat and I to this part of the world. Despite living across the water from it,
neither of us have made it out to Bainbridge Island very often. We had a heck of a time
figuring out whether this was glacial till, outwash, or silts and clays…but
guess who’s taken at least one geology course in college? (Hint, of the
two of us, it’s the prettier one.)
THE FOURTH DATE
Let’s get one thing straight—I was not the one to suggest this 4am hike up Sun Top Mountain. RusselltheSpaceman thought it would be “appropriate” to get to the top at sunrise, given the name of the mountain. I thought it would be appropriate to sleep in. Guess who thought wrong? ‘Twas a beautiful hike, I’ll admit, and this geocache was a worthy reward. TFTC.
THE FIFTH, SIXTH, AND SEVENTH DATES
GCPWDY (among others)
If a 4am hike to a geocache on top of a mountain to reach a ‘cache didn’t discourage TamsinTugboat, I think it’s safe to say she’s hooked on geocaching. She came on this three-day camping trip in the Cascades with me, so things must be going well. This cache our fourth find of the trip, and the first island cache for both of us. The swim was frigid, but there was no getting around that. Thanks for the T4 ‘cache!
THE EIGHTH DATE
Geocaching Headquarters on the eighth date?! Smooth move, my friend. Smooth move.
THE NINTH DATE
I reached GZ with TamsinTugboat. We weren’t sure what to expect from a Terrain 4 cache in the middle of a residential neighborhood. If we’d known we’d be climbing this pine, we probably wouldn’t have worn flip-flops. Okay, so shoes off, and up the tree we went, barefoot as Mowgli. Due to technical restrictions, we each went up separately, but I caught this shot of TamsinTugboat waiting patiently for me to get over my vertigo and climb down.
THE TENTH DATE
It was bound to happen eventually — the dreaded DNF. According to RusselltheSpaceman, the streak of 45 finds and 0 DNFs we had going was unusual. Even when you know you’ll have to DNF eventually, it’s hard to accept. But it’s a bit easier to accept when you’re with a friend.
THE ELEVENTH & TWELFTH DATES
First Geocaching Mega event! TamsinTugboat and I took a road trip up to Saskatchewan to attend this awesome event. Met so many other nice folks and found over twenty geocaches.
She’s almost caught up to me (has someone been geocaching alone on the side?!).
THE THIRTEENTH DATE
We came back to the park where we found our first cache to celebrate our 100th find together!
(Actually, this was my 140th find and RusselltheSpaceman’s 132nd find, but who’s counting? Well, I am of course.) This EarthCache took us to the stunning sea bluffs at the edge of Discovery Park, and as luck would have it the weather was gorgeous. From GZ we could see the little lighthouse at West Point. I’d love to someday restore that old lighthouse to live in. Beautiful buildings like that deserve loving inhabitants. Answers to the required
questions have been sent off to the cache owner. We’re both crossing our fingers on this one.
Sometimes geocaching offers much more than a treasure hunting adventure at the intersection of a certain of latitude and longitude. The Long Beach Public Library Foundation in California, USA is tapping into the power of geocaching to encourage kids and adults to crack open the pages of a library book.
Geocaching is now part of an annual event called, “Long Beach Reads One Book.” The book selected this year is Zorro by Isabel Allende. Di LaPlume with the foundation says, “For the first time ever, we are adding geocaching to the lineup [of activities for the event]. For March, we’ve hidden a series of six Zorro-related caches in Long Beach. They are what I would describe as “mini” Multi-Caches. Each cache has its own theme that is related to the story of Zorro.” All the geocache descriptions are in English and Spanish. One of the Zorro-themed geocaches even leads geocachers into a library.
LaPlume says the Library Foundation hopes the Zorro-themed geocaches promote literacy, encourage people to get outside, learn more about the book, and have fun.
Geocachers are given some incentive to find more than just one of the caches. LaPlume says, “During the month of March, anybody who finds all six caches can enter to win a special Zorro prize.”
So far the caches have been logged dozens of times. Geocachers in the Long Beach, California area still have until the end of March to discover all the caches and earn an additional prize. But the real prize might be that snapping open a geocache leads to more people opening books.
Ever think that the only things teenagers do are play video games, lay around, and complain? Think again. Teenagers worldwide have picked up on geocaching and their passion for the sport is only growing stronger with age. A recent survey shows nearly five percent of geocachers are 18 or younger, that’s still nearly a quarter of a million geocachers.
Joey (jmilla210), 15, from California has been geocaching for two years. Joey has loved the game ever since he was first introduced to geocaching. He found his first cache with family members on Thanksgiving Day of 2009.
When asked about out geocaching for the first time, Joey said, “Finding my first cache was amazing. I didn’t really know what it was at first, but I learned much more about the game and quickly developed a regular habit of finding a few caches each day.” Since then, Joey has found 259 caches and hidden 13 caches in his area. Joey also likes to attend geocaching events, as they give him the opportunity to meet people, his age or not, that love geocaching as much as he does. The game always gives Joey something to look forward to wherever he is, and he is always excited to go find a cache.
From Killingworth, Connecticut, United States, 18-year-old Chad Golembeski’s (DeluxeLunchbox) experiences as a geocacher all started with a gift of a GPS device for Christmas at the age of 14. Now, four years later, Chad owns 10 caches and has found 164 geocaches throughout Connecticut, Vermont, and Massachusetts.
When talking about his first find, Chad said,“When I found my first geocache, I thought it was extremely cool that someone had posted these coordinates online and I found them.” Chad was a member of his high school’s geocaching club before graduation, and his first logged cache was the one at his school. With the club, he completed large multicaches, found caches at various state parks, and recruited friends who now like to geocache. For Chad, geocaching is fun way to get outside and explore with his friends. “I personally like geocaching because [it] brings me out to new places that I wouldn’t have known of before.”
Chris (Coldgears), 16, from Pennsylvania in the United States, has recently discovered his love for geocaching. All it took was for him to stumble upon the geocaching app on his new phone about a year ago, and Chris was hooked. Chris then introduced his two friends to the game, in return for introducing him to letterboxing a while back.
According to Chris, what he likes most about geocaching, “ …is the time spent outdoors…Without it I wouldn’t be in the woods nearly as much.” With over 300 caches found, Chris enjoys how geocaching gets him to the outdoors with his friends on a regular basis.
There are many ways teens can learn about geocaching, and eventually love the game as much as these guys do. Finding a local organization or group who geocaches, such as Girl or Boy Scouts, checking for geocaching events in your area, creating an account on Geocaching.com, and downloading the Geocaching application for your smartphone are all simple ways teens can get started. The love for geocaching begins with a simple step like these guys took, creating a passion for the game that can last for a lifetime, and teens everywhere can take that step today.