13 Comments

Behind the Scenes with a Geocaching.com Volunteer Reviewer

 

Volunteer reviewers

(German translation – Deutsch Übersetzung)

Volunteer reviewers power Geocaching.com by reviewing and publishing each geocache. They. Work. Hard. As a geocacher you can now choose your own adventure from more than 1.2 million geocaches hidden around the world. Each geocache offers you a custom-made journey to explore your world, and each geocache has the fingerprints of  a volunteer reviewer on it.

The volunteer review team is made up of more than 200 reviewers, from Canada to Japan and the United Kingdom to South Africa. These men and women published more than a 250,000 geocaches last year alone.

Volunteer reviewers like Andy Kramer (stash-lab) review geocache listings submitted to Geocaching.com to promote the consistency and safety of the activity. Geocaching.com Volunteer Reviewers are first and foremost geocachers who were involved in their local geocaching communities long before becoming Volunteer Reviewers.

We interviewed stash-lab, a German Volunteer Reviewer, to find out what the experience is like for those who hit the “publish” button on geocaches.

stash-lab Volunteer Reviewer

Latitude 47: How did you learn about geocaching? When did you start the activity?

stash-lab: I was looking for a GPS device for car navigation. While browsing I found the Geocaching.com website. When I was a child I loved games like “Fox hunts” or “Hare and Hounds” [Paper Chase] with team tasks. When I realized what Geocaching is I was very excited and I knew that I found my new hobby! This was in September of 2004 but I needed some time until I got my GPS device and found my first geocache.

Latitude 47: When did you become a Reviewer?

stash-lab: I was asked in 2007 to become a reviewer. The truth of the matter is that I didn’t exactly know what to do as a reviewer and so I had to think a few days about this offer. But at last I felt it was time to support the game in an additional way. It was a good decision! :-)

Latitude 47: When people ask, how do you explain the role of a Volunteer Reviewer?

stash-lab: There are many different ideas in the community about the role of a reviewer. But I only can explain my understanding of this role. Besides publishing caches there are three important things to do: understand the requests of cache owners, offer solutions, and be kind and helpful to the cache owners.

Latitude 47: What do you hope people know about Volunteer Reviewers?

stash-lab: Reviewers are humans, reviewers are individuals, reviewers are not infallible. The majority of geocachers are very respectful to volunteers. Thanks for that!

Latitude 47: Did you ever encounter anything funny or unexpected in your role as a Reviewer?

stash-lab: Yes, of course. I’d like to tell you two points. First: Sometimes there are reviewer notes like: “Please let me know when you will come to check the cache container. I’ll try to be there, too.” I like to travel a lot but unfortunately it’s not possible for me to visit every cache before I publish it.
And second: When I was visiting the GeoWoodstock VIII last year I met so many reviewer colleagues and it was like being welcomed at a big family event. That was really awesome.

Latitude 47: What advice do you have for geocachers who submit caches for review?

stash-lab: Use the reviewer notes to submit relevant pieces of information. They help us to review the listing in a more timely manner. I like caches where the cache owners implement new ideas. So it is helpful for a reviewer to have some explanations about the concept. We don’t need to know the solutions for puzzle caches but it’s good to know, for example, that there is a way to get coordinates.

Latitude 47: Anything else you would like to add?

stash-lab: Geocaching has became a very important part in so many peoples lives. It is impressive how dynamically it has grown over just the last two years, especially in Germany. But geocaching is a very young activity and sometimes I think about what geocaching will be like in 5 or 10 years. I don’t know what kind of technology the future will bring. I am sure that the fun of playing this game will always remain because geocaching satisfies three important human needs: nature, playing and social relations. That’s great and I’m proud to be a part of that game.

Additional Links:

Cache Listing Requirements

Review Process: Hiding a Geocache

Cache Ownership: A Long-Term Relationship

See the Geocaching.com video about the Basics of Hiding a Geocache. Feeling inspired? See a video that reveals some of the secrets of Creative Geocaches.

10 Comments

“Creative Geocaches” A Geocaching.com Lost & Found Video

WARNING: This video and blog contain spoilers.

Peter Gaylord has a reputation in the geocaching community. He’s know for his jaw-dropping creative hides. Peter goes by the Geocaching.com username Dayspring. He says it best: “Creative geocachers literally think outside the ammo can.”

Unlocking the creative caches may require figuring out how to “make your GPS device go blank” or following the sounds of a phantom doorbell.

Watch as Dayspring and other geocachers like Trez* and goblindust, show you the secrets of creative caches. There are spoilers in the Geocaching.com Lost & Found Video. But the geocachers hope the spoilers inspire other geocachers to think outside the ammo can too.

These pictures of creative geocaching hides to your right are from the Geocaching.com Facebook page. Upload your pics and video of your favorite creative caches to the Geocaching.com Facebook page. Please make sure to ask the cache owner for permission.

Explore more Geocaching.com Lost & Found videos that capture the adventure of geocaching.  Check out  the Geocaching.com Lost & Found video gallery.  Share a video on “Newbie Geocaching 101,” watch a Travel Bug® go around the world and visit the highest and lowest geocaches in existence.

4 Comments

Groundspeak’s Lost & Found Celebration – Geocaching.com’s Lost & Found Video

Geocachers from around the world celebrated ten years of geocaching at Groundspeak Headquarters in Seattle, Washington on July 4th, 2010.  The Lost & Found Celebration brought together thousands of geocachers, dozens of Lackeys, Groundspeak’s mascot Signal the Frog, the Bubbleman, a dunk tank and The Founders of Geocaching.com.

Geocachers were also able to explore the Fremont neighborhood and earn a trackable HQ tag by completing a scavenger hunt.

Groundspeak CEO, President and Co-Founder Jeremy Irish gets dunked.

There’s more celebrating to come. Stay tuned for additional plans to commemorate ten years of geocaching.

Tell us, how have you celebrated a decade of geocaching?

You can see even more geocaching adventures by watching our Lost & Found video series here.

3 Comments

The Founder of GeoWoodstock in His Own Words

Joe Armstrong, JoGPS, had an idea more than eight years ago.  The avid geocacher from Tennessee planned to gather the top ten geocachers in one location.  He thought, why not invite others?  And so, GeoWoodstock began.  Hear JoGPS tell the story in his own words.  JoGPS says it started as “all about the numbers” but continues as “all about the number “of new friends you make and smiles you share.

Watch for a Lost & Found video story from this year’s GeoWoodstock VIII  in Carnation, Washington, USA.  The story will debut on July 20th.