In the Fall of 2013, 13 members of OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) got together to learn Geocaching 101-Alaska Style. This is their story:
OLLI is a program of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, offering a rich array of learning opportunities for adults who are 50 or older.
Taught by 4 members of “Those Who Cache In The Banks” Tony Roof (firemanak), Danelle Roof (AkDragonflyD) and Hal & Carol Meyer (liquidearth), the program was held for 2 hours a day, once a week, for 5 weeks. Using skill sets and 8 GPSr’s provided by GeocacheAlaska, Inc.!, students got a solid understanding of what Geocaching is then proceeded to have a blast practicing their newly found skills. Two days were spent inside using the Geocaching.com website to show videos and cover how to research and download caches, then log them in. The weather gods cooperated and gave us the other 3 spectacular days to be outside finding those caches in perfect fall colors.
Each OLLI1Geocacher established their own identity by creating handles that reflected who they are or their past history traveling the world. Once they had their handles they began to log the several caches we found during class. We could hardly restrain these folks from taking off “into the woods” to find pre-assigned caches. One student was so excited he started hiding caches before the class was even over (Wow!).
At graduation the students were awarded a Diploma, a Travel Bug, a Bison Tube, a Path Tag and a “Fairbanks Fiesta” of good food and good times! Each member of the class and the instructors signed the inside of the geocache. It will be placed on the "Old" University Park school grounds and is dedicated to the students of OLLI's first ever geocaching course.
As instructors we loved the fact this sector of the population got so excited about having an activity that was really fun, helped their fitness, got them outdoors, challenged their minds and yet allowed them to participate at their own level. Everyone said this was something they were definitely going to try and use in the future to share with friends and family.
How great can it be when you get a bunch of people together and begin to see the sparkle in their eyes and the smiles on their faces as they spend time together outside enjoying each others company! - All because of Geocaching! Thanks folks, you are the best!