Geocaching and scouting – a perfect match

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it (or maybe I did but didn’t really talk about it much) but Cyndi is a Girl Scout troop leader…and a damn good one at that.  Actually she’s the leader of 2 troops, one for each daughter.  And like a good troop leader, Cyndi is always looking for fun and exciting activities for the girls to try.  And we’re not just talking arts and crafts.  She tries to engage their individual interests and plan activities that aren’t just your typical “go here, look at this, and get a patch” affair.  And one such activity she has planned for them is an introduction to Geocaching.

Cyndi’s Junior troop (Pinto’s troop) was actually a guinea pig for this last summer.  Every summer Cyndi plans a backyard camping trip with this troop.  They do a lot of activities and then on the following morning they go swimming before going home.  But Cyndi had a little time to kill this time.  See, the pool opens at 10am, but they were leaving at 9.  What to do!!!  Well, why not have them try their hands at geocaching?  That would kill some time and teach them a little about the sport.  So the day before, Mouse and I went out and scouted several caches on a route to the swimming pool and made sure that the caches were there and able to be found.  I reported back my findings (after logging my finds of course :P) and the next morning I accompanied the troop as they sought out the caches.  Naturally I was there to point them in the right direction if they strayed away.  It’s hard keeping 9 girls in one area, especially when they’re all trying to find a secret “treasure” and their only map is a 3.5″ iPhone screen that they can look at but not touch.

At the end of the trip, they had found all of them, only needing my help once.  The girls seemed to enjoy themselves and it proved to be quite an eye-opener for one of the parents that accompanied us and they have since started Geocaching too.  But there was much room for improvement.  Pre-finding caches for the sake of making sure DNFs weren’t possible is not what the game is about.  So, we’re rectifying that.  This weekend is the annual Fishers Service Unit Spring Camporee.  It’s being held at McCormick’s Creek State Park once again this year and I have it on good authority that there are a few good caches to find.  Mouse’s troop is Cyndi’s only troop attending this year and we’ll have 9 girls and 4 adults, of which only 3 have actually Geocached before.  So we’re going into this the same as before, the only difference this time is that while some fellow Geocachers have confirmed that they exist, we have no clue where they are save for the coordinates on our app.  So this will be a PROPER outing, with one exciting addition….a patch!

Cyndi and I found a patch for the girls of both troops (they will get their proper outing at a different time) to earn for learning about Geocaching and actually doing.  I have been working on the “curriculum” for the instructional portion of our outing and have mapped out the caches we should be able to do (there has been a massive amount of flooding in recent weeks so several of the caches requiring us to go into McCormick’s Creek might not be able to be done as the water can become very treacherous for a little creek (I have pictures from last year to prove it).  So after we go through a brief introduction to geocaching and explain the fundamentals of the game and how to play, we’re going to hike it to the various GZs and hopefully net a few smileys in the process.  The reward for this outing (aside from hopefully wanting to play the game with their families) will be this:

Girl Scout Geocaching Adventures Fun Patch

How awesome is that?  When I was a Cub Scout, the coolest patch we got was the Haunted House patch from the Indianapolis Children’s Museum.  This couldn’t be any better unless it was a computer repair patch or Introduction to Visual Basic merit badge…but I digress.

Since I have the WordPress app on my phone, I am going to try to post our outing results that evening after everyone has retired to their cabin (don’t get me started).  Of course, that’s all depending on the phone reception.  I don’t think they have 3G in the wilderness.

Categories: Random talking | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Geocaching and scouting – a perfect match

  1. I’m in the process of developing a lesson plan and curriculum for Boy Scouts to use for a geocaching event geared toward filling the requirements for the new Geocaching Merit badge. I’d be interested to hear what you came up with for your curriculum. We’ve created a “Geocaching Event-in-a-box” specifically targeted towards organizations like boy scouts/girl scouts, outdoor clubs, etc that want to host their own geocaching event ( Maybe you could give us some suggestions on how we could make that service even more suitable for the girl scouts?

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