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Everything posted by Cache_advance

  1. I recently purchased 15 Etrex Legends, a digital projector and 3 laptops for a school program that I am running with the 4-H Camp I work at. It seems that the biggest challenge we run into is when I hand out the units, and start giving instructions. It is hard to differentiate between the "upper right button" and the "one next to the one in the upper right", or I will talk about "main menu" and they are on Trip computer. Its that sort of thing that makes it diffcult to provide instruction for a large group (up to 45 people in a class). Does anyone know if it is possible to link a GPS (Garmin Etrex Legend with a Serial port data cable) into a digital projector with the s-video, video, computer-in, computer-out, RS232 and audio connections? This would be extremely helpful for the classroom setting! Thanks! CA
  2. Boringly enough, i just refer to mine as the Jeeps... A friend of mine once used that word when we were caching and it's stuck on me.
  3. Just wanted to throw this out there... I did maintenace on one of my caches, and found several non-used (thank God) tampons. EEWWWWW!! I trashed them out... and prayed that nobody would see me with them!
  4. definitely the wgs84 datum. some cachers also use UTM. both can be found on the cache listing page.
  5. gee, I thought the sign was to sit in the mens room stall, feet tapping on the floor, and spread wide. then wiggle your fingers under the stall divider. I have used that one a few times... I can't figure out why I get all these strange looks!!
  6. ummm... I am hoping that this is a case of hunting? My DEC officer told me when I found a deer carcass on my property, that a lot of hunters that are hunting illegally, will gut in the field rather than risk getting caught with a carcass at the deer checkpoint. Im just HOPING that this is the case in your find...
  7. I have an answer for you, but I don't think you're going to like it. I've done it any number of times for work, but the way that I do it involves using ArcGIS 9.2 and the free download from Minnesota Deptarment of Natural Resources, called DNRGarmin. DNR Garmin can be downloaded for free. With that, you can create a text file containing all of the coordinates for each point in the track. Using ArcGIS, you can import the text file, do a bunch of conversions, and finally get it to show on the map. Of course, you would need some other reference data before your tracks could mean anything. In our case, we built a trail map for the summer camp. We got GIS data sets from the county Planning Department. We used the following data sets in our map: property tax boundaries, roadway centerlines, water features, and an aerial photograph. The finished product was exibited in the NY State Fair, and received a commendation from National Geographic. Needless to say, the kids were really excited about the whole project. We have a new 4-H club starting which will be doing a lot of this. If, by some chance, you have access to the ArcGIS program, I can work with you to do it step by step.
  8. I work for 4-H, a divison of the Cooperative Extension System. InNY, we operate under Cornell University. I, specifically, work for the 4-H Camp in Bristol NY. This past spring we held our first annual Cache Bash, a caching event focussed in bringing cachers and non-cachers together to share the sport. WE advertised through Geocaching.com, but we also posted news releases in the media, hung a small handful of posters in grocery stores, and promoted in on our website. ( www.4-HCampBristolHills.org/cachebash07.html ) We ended up with about 30 people, including 6 non-cachers. I was hoping for more, but I have a lot of hope for next years event, because the camp has done a lot of geocaching programs in teh summer camp program, so I now have a mailing list of kids that I know are interested. NExt spring I will do a direct mailing to about 100 kids. If 25 percent of them come and bring 2 parents, you can see that the event will grow exponentially. Add to that, the fact that our county 4-H is adding a GPS and mapping club, I think we'll see a lot more folks at the cache bash this year.
  9. I paid $150 for the Etrex legends that I bought for my educational programming. I considerred the yellow, but I am SOOO glad I paid the extra money for the Legend. Having to teach kids to enter coordinates is hard enough with the click-stick feature, but it would have been nearly impossible to do it with the Yellow. yuck! Don't have any experience with the GPS 60, though I have heard great things about them too.
  10. I am starting a new 4-H Club on GPS and mapping technologies. I expect that the club will start a new account. We will be doing a bit of geocaching to get the kids familiar with the equipment, and having fun before we get into the more in-depth stuff of mapping. The first meeting for this new club will be held this wednesday night, so here's hoping.
  11. probably too late now, but it would be cool to make a map showing caches in your area. Depending on the area, it might be appropriate to show all the caches in the county? within 5 miles of the fairgrounds? within 10 miles? Something along that line. Maybe, to coincide with the map, you could print out the cache pages, and make a notebook that visitors could flip through. Maybe you could make a poster showing pictures of the different types of cache containers (micro, nano, traditional, creative, etc)... give some sort of written description to go along with each picture? How about a poster that gives direction on how to use a GPS? Focus on teh GPS that you use, and show how to mark a waypoint, how to set a GOTO? Show how to navigate through the menus to find waypoints that have already been enterred, etc... Do a poster that shows the different classes of caches. Show traditional, multi-cache, virtual, webcam, event, earthcache, puzzle cache, etc. Probably should include a section on CITO events too. Just a few thoughts that came to mind. Im probably way too late, but maybe for next year.
  12. Yeah, the time corresponds perfectly. It was my morning classes, so I'd say from 10am till about 11:30. I don't think I had it happen much, if at all, in the afternoon. Thats a pretty interesting explanation. Thanks for sharing.
  13. I was teaching a class today with 15 3-month old Etrex Legend units. I had fresh batteries in each one, plus about 30 sets of spares (I like to be prepared). I turned them all on about 10 minutes before students arrived (outdoor class) as I only had 20 minutes with them, and I didn't want to waste 5 waiting for satellites. Anyway, as the class arrives, I start passing out gps's and find that about half of them went blank. They didn't turn off, mind you. They went blank, EXCEPT, for a thin (maybe 1 pixel) black stripe from top to bottom on the screen. When I tried turning them off and back on again, they wouldn't turn off. I had to manually take out the batteries, re-insert them, and then turn them back on. This happened on maybe 6-8 of the 15 units. I taught 8 of these 20 minute sessions back to back today. For some reason, several units would continue to black out like this throughout the morning. I don't know for sure if it was the same units each time, but I don't think so. I would say that for the first 5-6 classes, I had to restart at least 3-4 units before or during each class. It was really frustrating as the class had to wait, over and over again. By the end of the day, it seemed to have worked itself free of this problem. As for the weather concerns? The weather was cool, dry, sunny skies. I'd guess it was about 60 by the start of the first class, about 75 by the time we finished. I can't imaging that 60 degree temps would do this? The batteries were fine, as they were all charged in advance. When I re-inserted them, they would work fine, and show full charge on the battery meters. If it was ONE unit, I would say it was a bad unit, but 7-8 of them? And I've been cachign for a little over a year and I've never had this probelem before. Any ideas? I hope I have given enough information that someone might have an idea? Cache_Advance
  14. I, like Bogleman, decided to try to clear out my county. I think I have about 19 out of 140 or so left. I made a map in ArcMap (GIS) and I am checking them off as I go. Problem is, every time another cache is published within the county, I gotta make a new map!! My goal is to finish the county by years end.
  15. I recently came up with a cache idea that I THOUGHT was incredibly original, and a rather ingenious method. I emailed my reviewer to check that it fit within the guidelines, and ask if he would approve it, before I got started with it. His reply bummed me out. He told me that since there was another cache following the same principle about 30 miles NW of here, he didn't think it would be a problem. Dang!! and I thought I was "pushing the envelope"... still debating over whether I want to do it anymore. Cache_advance
  16. Happenned to me too... except it was my own cache. Went out for a maint run, and found that the cache was gone!
  17. with each cache that I find, I am always bitten... by the caching bug! It's like a SERIOUS addiction!
  18. seems pretty well in agreement that people think it will work. as I said, I had already emailed my reviewer, and s/he echoed your sentiment. Said as long as the final is in an acceptable location, they would publish it. Thanks for your input!
  19. Had an idea, which I have emailed to my reviewer, but I wanted to hear how you all would weigh in on this... I want to hide a cache in town, protected by a padlock. Then, I want to put the KEY for that padlock on a TB. That TB would be chained to a copy of a map of my county, with all of the counties caches marked on it. The goal of the Bug would be to visit each of the caches on the map. As a finder grabs the bug, they can "check" it off on the map, and drop it in another cache. In order to find my newest cache, someone would need to track the bug, find the cache it was dropped in, and grab it. Finally, they could use that key to go find/unlock the cache. I would make dupes of the key, so if/when the bug goes missing, I could simply start another copy of it. What do you think? Would you approve this cache if you were a reviewer?
  20. Have to agree on the 15 mile limit. Would like somewhere around 30 at least. Though admittedly, the old maps would only show 20 caches at a time. I just like looking at a map that shows more area.
  21. I was just thinking about doing one of these here in NY. I see I won't be first, but I still think it's a cool idea. I don't know how many caches are in our respective couties, but we could "race" each other! Of course, the likelihood of ever getting to all the caches without dissappearing must be pretty slim! Cache_Advance
  22. Don't know how to post it in the forums... will email directly. If someone on the other end would like to post, that would be great! Boots... .tread lightly.
  23. I am an educator/cacher in the Finger Lakes region of NYS. I do not, however, work in "classroom". Rather, I work for a 4-H camp, and I am responsible for the educational programming opportunities. I am very interested in developing a program for GPS and GIS mapping that could be a field trip destination for area teachers. I moved here from Ohio a little over 2 years ago. While there, I developed education programs for an education farm. I used the State Education Standards to help develop the curricula so that the teachers would be able to justify the trip. Here in NY, the school board budgets seem even tighter, the pressure to meet standardized testing even greater, and the opportunity to get out of school for a field trip even smaller. Realizing this, I would like to go back to using the Education Standards to guide my program development. I have been reading through the NYS ed website looking for ways that my curriculum can help teachers meet thier needs. I've fallen asleep on the keyboard a number of times now, and I think it is time to phone a friend and ask for some help. Thats where you all come in. The camp has about 122 acres of undeveloped natural land consisting of field, forest, pond, and stream/ravine. It's an ideal setting for geocaching. I plan to use Geocaching as a tool to get the students excited about the topic, then continue on with some more scholastic , but still fin, activities. This is a great chance to teach orienteering (map and compass), and I also have GIS mapping software installed on laptops (with a digital projector). During the past summer, campers have been getting really involved with making trail maps as a practical application for GPS and GIS technologies. I realize that Geocaching may attract PE teachers, but maybe not a lot of others. I think that tying in the Map and Compass, and the community mapping opportunities would make this a much stronger sell. But I still need your help!!! I am interested in working with someone who really understands the NYS education standards, and has a vision for how this kind of a program could support teachers as they prep thier students for standardized tests. If you are a NY teacher, (and I am thinking mostly for 4th grade and up) and have a good solid understanding of the standards, please contact me directly so that we can talk about making a "pitch" that teachers can't pass up. Boots... .tread lightly.
  24. I am a solitary cacher. No kids, generally no other hikinh buddies. I used to carry a backpack full of simple, but really nice trade items. I would hit the $store, and get some cool stuff (first aid kits, carribiners, novelty pens, disposable cameras, screwdrivers, etc), but I have come to realize that the caches I find never have anything to trade. most are micros, so I couldn't even restock the cache if I wanted to. Earlier someone mentioned that the cache that they stocked with more adult type stuff received complaints because it didn't have any kid stuff. That post made me laugh. If I posted a complaint about every cache that contained no adult stuff (im 33, and as I said, I don't have any kids), I would very quickly build a reputation as a crochety old man. So, to wash my hands of all this, I have definintely become a TNLNSL kind of cacher. Every once in a while, I find a really cool trade item, and regret not having something to trade, so I now carry 2-3 nice trade items in my gps kit, and if the mood strikes, I might trade, otherwise I just sign the log, slap a few mosquitos and move along on my way. Boots... .tread lightly.
  25. We have a book trade cache in Fishers NY, called Fishers Library. Boots...
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