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And the April 2016 Geocacher of the Month Is…

Danie Viljoen

Danie Viljoen, April 2016 Geocacher of the Month
Danie Viljoen, April 2016 Geocacher of the Month

 

 

Since beginning geocaching in 2008, geocacher Danie Viljoen has been an active member of the southern African geocaching community. After reading an article about geocaching and finding an excellent geocache near his house, he was hooked. And, Danie says, the game fit well into his personal interests. “As an engineer, the technical aspects of geocaching appealed to me.”

There were less than 3000 geocaches in South Africa at the time.

Danie finds GC11H2Z, and a view overlooking the Blyde River Canyon
Danie finds GC11H2Z, and a view overlooking the Blyde River Canyon

“I remember attending a technical event shortly after I started caching, where somebody said that there are 3 aspects of caching: finding caches, hiding caches and solving puzzles. Although I like all three of these, I want to add a fourth (my favourite) – generating statistics on finds, hides, locations, etc. I publish these on the local (South African) geocaching forum.”

Geocacher Carbon Hunter adds: “[Danie’s] biggest contribution to geocaching, both locally and globally, has been his consistent and interesting inputs into the statistics of geocaching across Africa. His inputs on the forums are legendary and he was also used by Geoaware to develop statistics for the global Earthcache program on their 10th anniversary. This has provided unique insights to our game and added a lot of value to many people he is unlikely to ever meet.”

Danie finds the cache...and a muggle nearby.
Danie finds the cache…and a muggle nearby.

When asked what the best geocache he’s ever found was, Danie shared a story about a geocaching expedition very few others can say they’ve had.

“There are so many [geocaches] that stand out. I’ll answer with my most memorable cache: GC1KNCX – JohanChristel. I found this cache in 2009 and it has remained unfound since then! To get to the cache required quite a long walk in a reserve on a farm (7 km, 4 miles). The owner warned me that one of their leopards recently had cubs, so I was quite nervous during this walk (I was alone). On my way back I stopped to rest and to take a photo of a calf, and the next thing I heard was a bellowing bull, which chased me all the way down the mountain! Remarkable how that energized me.”

We can only imagine.

Thank you Danie for your outstanding contributions to the Geocaching community!

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If you know an outstanding geocacher who should be considered for the honor, simply fill out this webform. You’ll need to include the following information:

  • Your name, the name of your nominee, their username
  • Description (200 or more words) explaining why he or she deserves to be the Featured Geocacher of the Month. These descriptions can be written in any language.

Please inform your nominee that you have submitted them for the award.

 

 

And the March 2016 Geocachers of the Month Are…

Carina & Lasse!

Swedish geocachers Carina & Lasse have found more than 8,500 caches together, but the really impressive number for this team is 4,838. That’s the total number of favorite points on the geocaches they own.

Their prowess as geocache hiders and their positive influence in the Swedish geocaching community is the reason Carina & Lasse are the March 2016 Geocachers of the Month.

Congratulations Carina & Lasse!

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Carina and Lasse having a snack.

Carina & Lasse picked up geocaching as a hobby in 2011. They were already avid explorers, and thought that geocaching would be a fun addition to their outdoor experiences. “At first we tried to navigate using our car GPS. We switched to a handheld GPS almost immediately when we realized we really enjoyed and wanted to focus on geocaching.”

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Carina, making her way through the bush.

For them, the appeal of the game came from the many secret places they discovered through geocaching, which they wouldn’t have otherwise found. And it’s usually just the two of them searching for caches on their own — “Group logging isn’t for us,” says Carina.

Pretty soon they began hiding their own geocaches, which have garnered much praise from geocachers local and from afar. Their hides are typically cleverly hidden and are complete surprises to those who find them (there are no spoiler images to be found in the cache galleries!).

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Lasse goes after GC22JED.

Thanks to this geocaching team, anyone passing through or near Skåne, Sweden has at least 150 amazing geocaches to find.

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Lasse making a reach…
Carina signing a log.
Carina signing a log.
800 finds!
8000 finds!

 

If you know an outstanding geocacher who should be considered for the honor, simply fill out this webform. You’ll need to include the following information:

  • Your name, the name of your nominee, their username
  • Description (200 or more words) explaining why he or she deserves to be the Featured Geocacher of the Month. These descriptions can be written in any language.

Please inform your nominee that you have submitted them for the award.

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And the February 2016 Geocacher of the Month Is…

The people who earn the Geocacher of the Month title are not superheroes in the traditional sense: instead of the power of flight, they possess the power to transform a park bench into a treasure chest; instead of teaching the baddies how to be good, they teach newbies good geocaching etiquette; instead of stopping monsters from tearing down the city, they stop decaying geocaches from being archived.

There’s a new geocaching superhero in town.

Congratulations seastar255!

Mr. and Mrs. seastar255
Mr. and Mrs. seastar255 in their favorite zone.

Seastar255 is the kind of geocaching team we’d like to clone and have living in every city where geocaching happens on Earth. That sounds extreme…until you hear about their contributions to the Space Coast of Florida Geocaching community.

Not only are seastar255 co-founders of the Space Coast Geocachers Association, you can also thank them—and the attendees of their CITO events—for some unusually clean Florida beaches. Their many CITO events are well-known in the south Florica area.

Mr. seastar255
Mr. seastar255

We spoke to Mr. seastar255 and heard from him in his own words.

Tell us about how and why you first began geocaching?
“With my wife working most Saturdays, I found myself and my daughter (Young Money Girl) (8 at the time) sitting on the sofa, watching tv, and eating bags and bags of chips. I knew this wasn’t right and there must be something out there for us to do and magically, the very next day there was an article in our local paper about Geocaching. This sounded just like the very thing we needed. I ordered our first GPS (Magellan explorist 100) and waited for it to arrive. Once it came, we manually punched in the nearest cache (about .3 miles away) and set out. The cache was an underwater cache you had to find the string and pull it up. The cache itself was trashed from water intrusion but I will never forget that feeling of our first find. As cliché as it sounds, we were hook ever since. My daughter has been my caching partner for this whole time and I feel lost the times I am on the hunt without her. When we come upon an exceptionally evil hide, mom gets involves as our secrete weapon. We would occasionally get our son involved but it would cost me in some ways and that’s how he got his name, rent-a-kid.”

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12 years later…why do you still geocache?
“The game has changed a lot over the years but one thing has not and that is that feeling you get when you make the find….that feeling never gets old. The camaraderie. We have met so many people over the years and made so many friends for life and have stepped outside our comfort zone by trying things we would never have tried if it weren’t for Geocaching (kayaking, day and night caching in a swamp, climbing trees, camping).”

Mrs. seastar255
Mrs. seastar255

Can you tell us more about your CITO events?
“As you can see by our profiles, CITO is a very important part of our Geocaching philosophy. It is just as important to give back our communities that either knowingly or unknowing support our hobby. The space coast geocachers is a very tight knit community and we all share this commitment to our communities. The SCGA tries to hold a CITO event every month but sometimes, life does get in the way.  I wanted my daughter to understand this feeling, so she is equally involved.  We started our mega CITO day during the 2012 international CITO day. That year we had 4 clean-up events and 2 meet and greet food events. After that amazing day, we sat down over dinner and wondered how to make it better. So we did what every genius does, we grabbed a table napkin and jotted down our plans for the next year, 7 clean up events and two meet and greets. And we have been doing that ever since.”

Anything else you’d like to say to the Geocaching community?
“Let’s boil this hobby down to its core value, it is all about having fun. And as long as people are having fun, Geocaching will continue to grow. As long as we all understand different folks interpret fun in different ways. Patience, tolerance, and acceptance are all qualities I have learned from ‘playing‘ this game.”

Celebrating a big milestone!
Celebrating a big milestone!

 

One Geocacher of the Month winner is selected from a list of nominees each month.

If you know an outstanding geocacher who should be considered for the honor, simply fill out this webform. You’ll need to include the following information:

  • Your name, the name of your nominee, their username
  • Description (200 or more words) explaining why he or she deserves to be the Featured Geocacher of the Month. These descriptions can be written in any language.

Please inform your nominee that you have submitted them for the award.

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And the February 2015 Geocacher of the Month Is…

Each month, geocachers around the world nominate members of their community for the prestigious title of Geocacher of the Month. The people who earn this title are not superheroes in the traditional sense: instead of the power of flight, they possess the power to transform a park bench into a treasure chest; instead of teaching the baddies how to be good, they teache newbies good geocaching etiquette; instead of stopping monsters from tearing down the city, they stop decaying geocaches from being archived.

There is no doubt in our minds that the folks nominated for February 2015 Geocacher of the Month are our geocaching heroes. Here are the three nominees.

TexasWriter
This geocacher from — you guessed it — Texas, is always rushing out the door to be the FTF, but won’t hestitate to help out a fellow ‘cacher along the way. If you live within 50 miles of him, he’s probably at the top of your Phone-A-Friend list.

TexasWriter and CornDoll
TexasWriter and CornDoll

Ramgab
This geocacher has found just about 58% of the geocaches in his country. That’s quite a feat when the total number of geocaches in Hungary around is over 6000. Aside from placing stellar kayaking cache series, Ramgab has also helped organize multiple geocaching Mega events in Hungary. As a result, the Hungarian geocaching community has grown significantly over the last few years.

Ramgab on the hunt
Ramgab on the hunt

TeamPommes
This German geocaching Team has amassed hundreds of favorite points for their creative gadget caches, tricky Mystery caches, and stunning cache locations like this one, which has been featured on the geocaching Instagram page. You’ll recognize a TeamPommes cache by their signature pommes frites (french fries) page background.

TeamPommes
TeamPommes

 

All three nominees are outstanding members of their geocaching communities, and every comment that came in to us about them was full of praise. They will each receive a prize package from Geocaching HQ. But there can only be one winner.

 

A panel from Geocaching HQ has collected and reviewed your comments.

 

The February 2015 Geocacher of the Month is:

 

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After we opened our blog post on the nominees for comments from the geocaching community, stories of TexasWriter’s generosity and leadership flowed in.

afe2c2e6-47a9-42e0-9d89-ec0f8902cf80_lMike tells of the second time he met TexasWriter: I was with a group of cachers and we were caching his (locally famous) “Warrior Series” of caches. TexasWriter called me to ask about a cache that we had DNF’ed. (He knew we were getting his caches because I was uploading finds from the field). I told him I couldn’t talk to him right now because my phone battery was about to die and suggested that he should call one of the others in the group I was with. He surprised us when a half hour later he showed up on the trail and handed out water bottles. He then handed me a battery that plugged into my phones charging port and extended my phones battery life.”

TXDinoTrax says: “He’s also one of the nicest cachers I’ve ever met. My kids love that he’s shared his pathtags and helped build their collections. He’s always available for a PAF (Phone-A-Friend), and he and his wife have graciously opened their home to host educational geocaching events. And if that weren’t enough, he has had some truly epic adventures (think night caching in a Louisiana bayou surrounded by hundreds of shiny gator eyes at kayak level).”

Kind words from OMA&OPAof5: “We vote for TexasWriter. If there were such a thing as an International Geocache Goodwill Ambassador, he would be the perfect choice to fill the position. He has a passion for geocaching that is contagious. He uses his love of geocaching to mentor newbies like us and is always willing to answer any questions we might have.”

So says Swagglepuss: “My vote is for TexasWriter. His numbers are impressive enough to win based on those alone, but they don’t even begin to tell the story about the tremendous positive impact he has had on the geocaching community. I appreciate the time he puts into writing meaningful, thoughtful, helpful, encouraging, and at times, extremely entertaining logs on every cache he finds. I love the time, effort, thought, and craftsmanship he puts into placing and maintaining his numerous hides.”

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The outpouring of praise we received for TexasWriter goes on. The impact he has made on the Texas geocaching community (and elsewhere!) is clearly significant. We’re happy to award him with the Geocacher of the Month geocoin.

The earned, never for sale, Geocacher of the Month geocoin.
The earned, never for sale, Geocacher of the Month geocoin.

 

Know an outstanding geocacher who should be recognized? Nominate them for next month’s award!

 

 

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December Geocacher of the Month Nominees – Add Your Comment

The earned, never for sale, Geocacher of the Month Geocoin
The earned, never for sale, Geocacher of the Month Geocoin

This month’s nominees for the very special Geocacher of the Month award take the geocaching cake for their contributions to the game we love.

Among them are a geocaching icon who hosts regular geocaching workshops for ‘cachers new and old, a husband and wife team who are the heart and soul of geocaching on the Space Coast of Florida, and a geocaching duo whose 27 geocaches have received an incredible 2949 favorite points in total.

The decision won’t be easy. Luckily, we have you to help. Post your vote below and let us know who you think should take home the earned, never for sale, Geocacher of the Month Geocoin (at left).

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Mr Donut WP, November’s Geocacher of the Month

Although all the nominees will receive prizes, the featured Geocacher of the Month will receive the exclusive special edition Geocoin, a Geocacher of the Month hat and a profile icon. They’ll also receive a certificate that recognizes their contributions, signed by two of the founders of Geocaching.com.

Mr Donut WP was the official Geocacher of the Month for November 2014. StridentUK says: “A real lynchpin of the local caching community, organizing many excellent events each year, Mr Donut’s enthusiasm and passion for caching and definitely make him worthy of the Cacher of the Month award.”

Now  it’s your turn to decide which geocacher should be further recognized. Read the profiles of this month’s three nominees, and write a supportive comment below this post describing why you think this person should be recognized.

A panel from Geocaching HQ will then use your comments to help guide the decision of which geocacher is awarded the Geocacher of the Month honor.

Here are your nominees for December 2014 Geocacher of the Month.

 

Geocaching team Ralph en Thomas
Geocaching team Ralph en Thomas

Ralph en Thomas

This geocaching duo is responsible for a lot of smileys, both on maps and on faces. Their creative geocache hides run the gamut from a beautifully crafted trackable hotel in a surprising locations to an electronically marvelous and well-favorited night-cache that’ll send chills down your spine.

T-Team! says, “In the local geocaching community (Noord Brabant, The Netherlands), Ralph and Thomas are famous for their fantastic caches. They have made many caches with 100+ favorite points and several in the top of the Netherlands.The caches are usually a fun way to be opened combined with an AHAAA moment…. Their latest multi-night-cache (GC5BP0T) has been online for just over 1 month… and already has 100+.”

“Finally, they continuously take care of their caches and do regular (night) checks on them. This ensures that everyone can continue to enjoy their work. There are not many cache-makers who can make you smile as they do. For this reason they deserve to be the Geocacher of the Month!”

Starkiller_, taking geocaching to new heights.
Starkiller_, taking geocaching to new heights.

Starkiller_

Starkiller_ has found just over 9000 geocaches, so it’s no wonder he’s got something to teach others. This geocacher organizes and hosts a monthly workshop for geocachers interested in leveling-up their game through third-party software, advanced GPS maps and functions, or just by tackling more difficult puzzle-caches. Some months he even brings in guest speakers to host a workshop on a new topic…birdwatching while geocaching, anyone?

Starkiller_ has even worked with Ontario municipalities and conservation authorities to help manage geocaching in their areas. Not to mention the fact that he created a “Geo-Passport” which takes geocachers on a geocache tour through the South Nation watershed in Ontario. At the end of the tour, you’ll have learned something about the natural heritage features in the area, and will have earned a specially designed geocoin.

Waterlillimm says, “With a personality as big as his name, Starkiller_ is a physical and mental challenge to many Geocachers here in Ontario. While holding such high standards, he teaches us how to enjoy our Earth and Sky and all the beauty & fun that it can hold. If he is not attending a Geocaching Event, he is planning one. If he is not searching for a Geocache, he is creating one, if he is not showing us “how to cache” he is caching along side us. To be as considerate and as passionate of Geocaching as Starkiller_ is, we feel that he deserves the honour of being Geocacher of the Month.”

The Seastars at their favorite zone.
The Seastars at their favorite zone.

seastar255

This geocaching team is responsible for 13 successful and well-attended CITO (Cache In, Trash Out) events in the Space Coast of Florida. You might even call some of their events “CITO+” (or über-CITO?), for their outside-the-box initiatives (trail maintenance, invasive species removal, etc.). They’ve even teamed up with local environmental organizations to put geocachers to work where they’re most needed.

Mother Earth isn’t the only thing getting kind attention from seastar255–their local geocaching community has felt their impact as well. Says Team Mollymap, “Seastar255 is the heart and soul of the Space Coast geocachers. This husband and wife team along with their daughter, Young Money Girl (YMG), have hosted 55 events in our community and counting. Not only are they the host and hostess with the most-est they also make awesome field puzzles, mysteries, and nothing beats a YMG hand decorated ammo can. If you need something this team is there for you, they support you but also encourage you to grow and learn new things for yourself. They have been a great mentor to us along with scores of other geoachers from the Space Coast. Cache-on Seastar255 and Young Money Girl!”

Comment below to tell us who you think should be the November Geocacher of the Month. We will be accepting comments through January 25th. 

 

Know an outstanding geocacher who should be recognized? Nominate them for next month’s award!