Article by Reid Kuennen
Imagine this: It’s January in Seattle. It’s a dark, rainy Monday and you roll into work at Geocaching HQ. On your desk is a mysterious letter, addressed to you:
Intrigued, you neglect your first sip of coffee to immediately inquire about the contents within. You discover a simple note:
You are receiving this message because we think you are funny. As in, a good joke maker.
It is January. Which means April 1st is basically tomorrow. This is a big deal as Geocaching HQ has come to be known around the globe for its April Fools shenanigans. From geocaching workouts, to T.I.N.Y. caches, to being DNFing awesome – we’ve made an impact on our Gross National Hilarious (GNH).
This is where you come in. We need you to help make this year’s Geocaching April Fools joke even more epic than the rest. If you choose to accept, you will send us an email that says something like, “Duh,” or “I laugh in the face of laughs,” etc. Then, you will patiently await further instructions.
And this is how April Fools begins at Geocaching HQ.
A few weeks later, the 10-15 envelope-receiving comedians have a meeting to get down to some serious funny business. Each person is tasked to prepare two pitches for an April Fools story that will:
- Delight the geocaching community
- Be informative and/or drive the game forward
- Be funny
Sometimes being funny is hard… and vulnerable, so we start the meeting off with setting a safe and playful tone by playing improv games.*
Next, everyone takes turns confidently pitching their ideas as if they are the best April Fools jokes the world has ever seen. Let’s just say the 2016 pitches were… varied:
We narrowed down the stories to pick the most funny yet feasible theme. And #spoilernotspoiler alert, we went with Galaxy Search, caching in the new frontier. You can learn more about how it all played out here.
Serendipitously, we were able to tie-in this award-winning piece from the 2013 Geocaching International Film Festival:
And speaking of GIFF…
The 4th annual Geocaching International Film Festival is on. This means now you have the opportunity tell your own geocaching story that could be seen by the worldwide geocaching community. And if we’ve learned anything from our annual April Fools process, it is that geocaching is ripe with story. It is full of funny, heartfelt, adventurous, and inspiring moments that are waiting to be captured.
And thus, I leave you with my humble advice:
- Invite your friends over
- Provide snacks
- Warm up with some fun games*
- Pitch some geocaching Story Worthy Moments
You never know what you might come up with.
Here is the improv game we played this year:
Person A gives Person B a category, such as ‘Types of Trees.” As quick as Person B can, they have to name five types of trees—the weirder and less accurate the better. (In fact, someone actually said, “Canadian trees.”) Each time they name a new item, the rest of the group counts them out in a congratulatory manner, “One!” “Two!” etc. up to “FIVE!!!” Once they’ve listed all five, Person B gives a new category to someone else and hilarity continues to ensue.