Sunday July 22nd 2012, from 10am until 4pm. Please arrive a little early to sign in and please ensure you say how many people who cache under your caching account name are expected to come along when you log a Will Attend - thank you!
Oxford Town Hall, St Aldate's, Oxford. United Kingdom. OX1 1BX. A convenient, central location close to train and bus/coach stations and a beautiful venue. Google Maps link.
Oxford is world famous for its ancient universities, as the location of the first Four Minute Mile, the vast Blackwell's Bookshop and for J. R. R. Tolkien, author of the Lord of the Rings. It's also been home to C. S. Lewis (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe), Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland) and crime-writer P.D. James, who still has a home in Oxford. The city is also well known as a film and TV location, from Morse and Lewis to Harry Potter, X-Men First Class and Midsomer Murders. Oxford's also home to the UK's oldest public museum, great shopping, amazing hidden corners and kid-friendly wonders - something for every cacher and non-cacher alike.
Our stunning central Oxford venue: Oxford Town Hall & its Grand Hall.
Planned as a Geocaching Mega Event (or better! See below), with unique Geocaching challenges, vendors, seminars and competitions, along with a full set of themed satellite events... It's hoped this event will become the first of a new type of cache meet, which moves from country to country, held once per year, as described in this letter to Groundspeak and CEO Jeremy Irish. It was given to him at a meet in Oxford back in September 2010. Groundspeak want to see what a 'Geolympix' looks like before making a decision on the proposal, so this is being organised as a Mega event, but has aspirations to be even more than that; as a flagship of international as well as national caching.
For a full list of event features, please visit Geolympix.com, the official Geolympix event website. You can also follow the Geolympix on Twitter: @Geolympix or join the Facebook Group.
Geocachers from far and wide! The event is being promoted internationally as one with a unique British flavour suitable for overseas visitors. Previous UK Megas have attracted a diverse range of attendees and we hope to beat the spread of countries visitors have come from. New to geocaching or cache events? While this is an extra big one, you can be sure of an extra warm welcome.
Originally proposed in August 2009 as a London Mega to compliment the Olympics - which the UK is hosting in summer 2012 - the idea of the Geolympix rapidly developed into a Mega (or better! See above) cache event ahead of the Olympics, in a place convenient (but not too close) for visitors in Britain to see the games to attend. Oxford is an ideal location, offering great countryside, easy access to travel, ample accommodation, a rich history - including sporting, literary and other cultural and media ties - and wonderful architecture.
Getting involved - as a volunteer, Geolympix Champion or visitor - couldn't be easier. Oxford is easily reached by coach (Oxford Tube) or train from London, or by road from across the UK and via ferry and the tunnel, Europe. It's close to the M40 motorway, linking it to the south-east of England and the midlands, including their airports; Birmingham International, Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted and Manchester. For visitors coming by car, it's suggested you use the out-of-town Park & Ride services. There is some free parking on Sundays within the city centre though. A very nice, step-free 1.6miles/2.6Km 25min stroll along the well surfaced riverside path (ideal for bikes or wheelchairs) can be taken from the free car park beside The Riverside Centre - OX4 4AZ - at N51° 44.200 W001° 14.444. Exit the car park, turn right and right again to cross the river on the bridge, take the ramp down to the path, follow the river upstream (keeping it on your right!) until you reach another big bridge and take the ramp up to turn right towards town. Pass some traffic lights and the Town Hall Geolympix venue is at the top of the small hill, on your right, just before the big crossroads in the middle of town where Carfax Tower is.
Things to do at the Geolympix
Win The Cache of Dreams, get a vital icon for the 11 Icons in 11 Hours challenge, win a Garmin GPS and/or a Chirp or two. Buy caching clothes and equipment, meet the GAGB committee, collect a set of Geolympix Puzzle Tokens or pick up some new Geocoins. Bring your favourite Cunning or Cool Cache for our CCC Competition. Learn more about 'caching during a Geolympix seminar, talk to others about all aspects of caching, meet the UK's (often Europe's) leading cacher by numbers found drsolly and the UK's longest serving cacher too - Alan g. Dan & Pid, Tim & June and other Guests of Honour are also planned, along with many other competitions, prizes and caching-goodness to make this the best Geocaching event you've ever been to - Don't miss it!
THE GEOLYMPIX EVENT TIMETABLE:
9am: The Oxford Town Hall venue opens for exhibitors & team
10am The Geolympix Mega Event Opens to the caching public! Stewards, Guests of Honour & Volunteers have a Fast Track registration desk
10.30 Welcome speech by the Geolympix Team, inc. PreReg & Will Attend log prize draw/announcement.
10.45 Geolympix Talks begin with metal bijou’s ‘Wherigo Utterings’ in the Court Room (out of the main hall, turn left, to the end, on your left)
12noon FTF Caches info released; Good luck in the FTFrenzy!
12.00 Geolympix Talk: DrSolly’s Guide to Caching Tech - followed by Q&A
12.45 Ask the Reviwers—Q&A session hosted by Graculus.
1.30 Talk: Guide to Paperless Caching by Chris of The Blorenges—Q&A
2.15 Talk: Simple HTML for cache pages, logs & forums with Simply Paul
2.45 Talk: Accessible Caching with Dorsetgal - followed by Q&A
3.30 The Cache of Dreams, Raffle & other Prize Draws/Giving
4pm The Geolympix Event closes. Please help us tidy up!
5pm The Oxford Town Hall must be cleared as this is when we leave!
Geolympix Shop stand
Mega 2013 - Gaydon
HH&CC proposed Mega
UK Cache Mag
GAGB: Geocaching Association of Great Britain (with Cuckoo Cache; rare moving Puzzle for 11-in-11ers?)
Goldpot’s Cache and Dash Game
Nordic Geolf; Horned headgear etc!
Guess the Weight of the Cache
Guess the Weight of the Cacher
Marbles vs. Micros Tabletop Game
The Non-Buried Treasure Map Game
Things to do around the Geolympix
Find England's oldest cache (20miles/33Km to the east), complete your D/T Grid around the event, walk the 26.2 mile/42.2Km (approx) Geolympix Marathon cache series or find any cache from any month since January 2001! (With the exception of March 2001, unless you're happy to travel to The Netherlands...) Plus there's the Geolympix Cyclerama and Geolympix Solar System series close by too. There will be 'FTF Caches' in the area going live at noon on July 22nd, so something for those who love the chase of a First To Find.
GEOLYMPIX EVENTS PROGRAMME:
Fri 20th 7pm SP’s Geolympix Pub Quiz on Friday GC3PKE4
Sat 21st 2pm Dorsetgal & Geodog’s Mega Mutt event GC3E0GT
Sat 21st 6pm Carry On Optional Camping event GC3BCN6
Sun 22nd 8-8.15am Webcam Flash Flash Mob event GC32000
Sun 22nd 10-4 Geolympix Mega : Oxford 2012 GC22T2T - HERE!
Sun 22nd 6.45 Geolympix CITO—Giving Something Back GC3P05Y
Mon 23rd 6pm The Geolympix Post-Marathon Meet GC3PMN5
Tue 24th 12-3 Geolympix Cyclerama Keep Calm & Cycle On GC3PV1E
Tue 24th 7pm Not so BAD Geolympix event GC3MKQ0
Tue 24th Midnight Geolympix Torch Night Caching Event GC3PKGN
Wed 25th 11am Geolympix Wednesday Wander GC3E0H7
Wed 25th 7-9.08pm Geolympix Closing Ceremony GC3N810
Thu 26th 5-10pm Geolympix Handover Event, London GC3P2KY
For non-cachers, there's the 'Anti Geolympix' meet on Sunday: "Geo-Widows/Widowers can meet for a cream tea in the Vaults (under St Mary's church by the Radcliffe Camera. It's covered in scaffolding but the cafe is still open and serving!) Fresh scones come out around 3pm. All geocaching widow(er)s to wear a flower in their lapel to signify that they are all there for the same reason - they have lost a loved one to tupperware and satellites! A merry, tongue-firmly-in-cheek suggestion!" from Craig and his geo-widow, Fran.
Q. If it's a Mega event, why is it listed as a traditional/standard event?
A. As a 'first time Mega' event, Groundspeak will only allow it Mega Status once an attendance of over 500 people has been confirmed. This should happen on the day, with Groundspeak 'upgrading' the event and its icon while it's still running, to ensure the 11 icons in 11 hours challenge works fine! May 12th update: From Sandy at Groundspeak, " If your event reaches 500 will attend logs, we will make the event a Mega in advance." - So get those Will Attend logs in! June 12th update: It's happened. The event has GONE MEGA! Now to live up to the new status! Huge thanks to Sandy for pressing the button, organising team member metal bijou for 'doing the paperwork' and everyone who get involved, showed their interest and their faith and posted a Will Attend log. Make sure you come, or you'll be missing out on England's biggest Mega since 2009 and perhaps the UK's best ever? You have to be ambitious... :)
Q. How much does it cost to attend the Geolympix?
A. It's a free event, open to all Geocachers and those curious about this 'high-tech treasure-hunt game' who'd like to know more. If you'd like to help support the event (all profits to charity) then there are a number of ways to do that, both in terms of your time and effort, and financially.
Q. I've already pre-registered. Do I need to leave a Will Attend log too?
A. Yes please! Pre-registration helped us to estimate the level of interest in the event, and go ahead with it, confident that the venue we selected was appropriate, to give vendors an idea of visitor numbers expected and convince Groundspeak it was likely to become a Mega. At this point, we'll/they'll be looking at Will Attend logs to stay on top of expected numbers and to plan accordingly. So, please state how many people are in your caching account name group on your Will Attend log. Thanks!
Q. If I buy a raffle ticket or a Geolympix Lanyard for example, where does that money go?
A. The Geolympix is a not-for-profit event, but a venue big enough to take the number of visitors expected wasn't available for free. However, costs have been kept to a minimum and once they've been covered, all excess funds will go to charity. You can be sure your raffle ticket won't only get you the chance of winning a great prize, and your £1 lanyard will be more than a good investment in not walking off without your GPS. The event's accounts are also online.
Q. Can I bring my children/non-caching partner/dog/wheelchair?
A. Yes, yes, yes and yes again! The Geolympix is being designed to be child-friendly with things for them to do and if your family doesn't share your passion for caching, Oxford's a great place NOT to cache as well as a wonderful one to cache! / GeoDogs are very welcome. While only Assistance Dogs are allowed in the Great Hall itself, there is a courtyard within the building which we're taking over as the GeoDog Hotel. It's sheltered from sun, wind and rain and doggy drinking water will be provided. Access to the GeoDog Hotel is via the door with no steps, closer to The Edinburgh Woollen Mill shop / The Geolympix venue (apart from the upper viewing gallery) is fully wheelchair accessible and a member of the Geolympix Team is an expert in the challenges faced by both wheelchair users and handicachers. There are disabled toilets on site. Step-free access to the venue via the door near to The Edinburgh Woollen Mill shop.
Q. Why does the Geolympix clash with Piratemania?
A. In some ways it doesn't - Piratemania V's main day is Saturday (July 21st) and ours is Sunday (July 22nd). A small compromise, but the best we were able to come up with in discussion with Pup, Piratemania's organiser, as we couldn't move our date and he was unwilling to abandon Piratemania's traditional weekend. When the Geolympix was originally announced (August 2009) we had to select a weekend which would be during both England/Wales and Scotland's school summer holidays and avoid clashing with Oxford University graduations and the Olympics and Paralympics themselves; we were tied into one weekend. There's a very busy summer calendar these days so we were bound to clash with something. It's a shame it's Piratemania - especially as it's now gone Mega itself - but it was (semi) unavoidable and they are very different events which will no-doubt appeal to different cachers. The good news is people wishing to do both can, with a bit of planning.
Q. Who or what is a Geolympix Champion?
A. You are, we hope. In past years, most UK Mega events have funded themselves by having 'supporters' who've bought a 'supporters pack' containing geocoins and other goodies. We're doing something similar but making it a bit wider; you can be a Geolympix Champion by simply promoting the event, or buying a t-shirt or other Geolympix item to help pay for what's planned to be a memorable series of events and caches, as well as the big day itself. But yes, there are also Gold, Silver and Bronze Geolympix Champion packs too!
Learn more about the Geolympix
To help promote the Geolympix, a series of roadshow cache events - starting with The Geolympix Launch Party in Swansea last July and followed by a roving 'Countdown to the Geolympix' events: August '11 #11-Oxford, Sept '11 #10-Berlin, Oct '11 #9-London, Nov '11 #8-New York, Dec '11 #7-Poole, Jan '12 #6-Oxford-2, Feb '12 #5-Bristol, March '12 #4-Edinburgh, April '12 #3-Lewknor, May '12 #2-Banbury and June '12 #1-Exeter have been used to spread the word about the Summer Festival of Caching we have planned. As well as information about the Geolypmix, freebies and Geolympix products have been available at all these meets too.
When posting a WILL ATTEND log, PLEASE include the NUMBER OF PEOPLE who will be attending under the same CACHING ACCOUNT. Thank you! As an extra Thank You, the 1st, 10th, 100th and 1000th Will Attend logger who actually attends the Geolympix will win a prize at the event. This is in addition to the 1st, 10th (via email) and 100th (to be picked at random from the paper pre-reg forms as there's no way to be sure who was the 100th) cachers who pre-registered for the Geolympix.