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Posts posted by WindChill

  1. Last year our camp taught the MB as a free-time activity. It went over pretty well even though they didnt have the MB book yet. They used some of the 12 caches I had placed at camp for Get In The Game centennial activity, but they couldnt get to most of they because of the distance and available time.


    This year we are combining geocaching with Mt Biking in a 2 hour per day, 5 day class. They'll be able to cover the whole camp and find all of the caches, and it will give them some different destinations on the bikes.

  2. Our Scout shop has the pamphlet & badges in. Theodore Roosevelt Council - Long Island, NY.

    Two of the employees there are geocachers, so they ordered it as soon as it was available.

    I picked up 2 copies - one for me & one for my troop. Well done.


    Finally picked mine up today. Overall I think it is very well done. Only two things come to mind that I think could be improved: There is only passing mentions of what is/is not appropriate to leave in a cache, a bit more information would help reduce the food, grass/sticks/rocks that new Scouts seem to want to leave. The geocachers creed URL is listed in the resources section but I would have liked to see the creed itself included in the book.

  3. Just saw another update to the "final" requirements:



    Requirement 7 now includes finding one of the caches you printed off.


    And requirement 8c now says :

    Set up and hide a public geocache, following the guidelines in the Geocaching merit badge pamphlet. Before doing so, share with your counselor a six-month maintenance plan for the geocache where you are personally responsible for the first three months. After setting up the geocache, with your parent’s permission, follow the logs online for 30 days and share them with your counselor.


    I like the new wording on the guidelines "in the Geocaching merit bade pamphlet" instead of the geocaching.com guidelines. I also like the maintenance plan and the "personally responsible" part. Hopefully the MB pamphlet will provide the information, and the councilors will provide the proper guidance, to help ensure the caches are not just abandoned after the three months.

  4. Woo Hoo! My DE just forwarded me an email that says


    Subject: BSA Action Required: Geocaching Merit Badge Final Requirements


    This is an official BSA communication.


    We are pleased to release the attached, final requirements for the Geocaching Merit Badge. This merit badge is a natural extension of the navigational components of Boy Scout rank advancements and offers the opportunity for Scouts to learn the latest in digital tools to extend that knowledge in a fun, active outdoor experience.


    The merit badge emblem and pamphlet are still under development. We will update you when those items are finalized and we have a handle on when they are anticipated to be in local council service centers. Once we can see that timing more clearly, we will establish the earn date so advancement can be entered.


    I dont think that it is my place to make the requirements public (at least not yet), so hopefully Scouting.org or USSSP will post them soon. I will say that has a nice range of things that includes:

    • discussion of hiding and seeking etiquette,
    • using EDGE to teach GPSr use,
    • comparison of GPS vs map/compass,
    • discussion and demonstration of UTM,
    • a bit of geocaching.com use,
    • finding some caches,
    • releasing a TB,
    • hiding a cache
    • some CITO stuff
    • hold a small geocaching activity for a youth group


    That is the temporary URL while the website changes hosts. Much better to post the real URL: www.IowaGeocachers.org

    For a while yet, it will tell you to visit the temporary site. But when someone with the same question finds this thread in a year that temporary URL will be long gone and the searcher will be left with no help.

  6. A few of ways...

    * you can have multiple bookmark lists so you can organize what you are watching.

    * you can turn email updates on or off independently for each list.

    * you can share bookmark lists so everyone else can see them.

    * you can create a pocket query of the caches in a bookmark list.


    Each cache page has a section that shows a list (with links) of the bookmark lists that include the cache where as it only shows the number of people watching a cache with no way to see who is watching.


    As I mentioned, I dont use them much so I may have missed some.

  7. The casual cacher probably doesnt need a premium membership. The big thing that it gets you is "pocket queries". A PQ is a "saved search" that you can schedule to automatically run on certain days and have the results emailed to you.


    The results are in a standardized (XML) format that contains most all of the information from the cache page, including: coordinates, description, hints and the most recent 5 logs.


    The PQ results can be used by a variety of software programs to do things like plot the locations on a map, help plan a geocaching trip or "go paperless". Do some searching to see what programs are available and what they can do for you. The most well-known is Geocaching Swiss Army Knife, or GSAK. Best $20 dollars I have spent on geocaching.

  8. Thanks pyromomma, I missed the webinar.


    I cant imagine why a council would want/need a premium membership. In our case, the "council" is not really involved in the geocaching activities. I approached the Scout Exec with the program info and a general plan for what I wanted to do. He gave the okay and told me who could provide support such as printing the "more info" cards. My point is that nobody in the office is a geocacher so a membership does them no good. All of the caches are listed from my, or my #2, account.


    My understanding was that the trial memberships was for any Scout/Scouter that wanted one. Not sure how we'll go about giving them out. Maybe "coupons" in the anniversary caches.

  9. Do the caches placed have to be permanent or can they be temps?


    Good placement and maintenance are part of the game so they should be part of what you teach the girls. This doesnt mean they need to be the ones to maintain the caches forever, but they should understand that maintenance is part of it. Plus, it gives you a chance to take them out again in a few months. Hunt a couple of new caches and check on their hides.

  10. Sounds like a nice series from the logs.


    I would suggest that you have a reviewer change them from "traditional" to "mystery". There are people who will hunt traditional caches without ever reading the description. It would only take one of these people wandering around camp to ruin the whole thing.



    "Im going to work my ticket if I can"

    (C-10-09 Mighty, Mighty Buffalo)

  11. We chose not to hide any public (gc.com listed) caches on camp property for a whole variety of safety/security/liability reasons. We did talk to our Scout Exec and Camp Director about putting on right at the front entrance to camp. They didnt like that for the same reasons.


    Scout Exec did give permission, in fact was very excited, to have one under the bushes at the Service Center.


    We will have a dozen or so caches on camp property for summer camp participants to find. They will be publicized in the summer camp leaders guide. Coordinates and puzzle info will be available from the QM or Trading Post when you get to camp.

  12. Sounds like things are coming together for you Tatonka (Im a Mighty Mighty Buffalo from C-10-09).


    I had more response from geocachers who are/were Scouts than finding Scouters who geocache.


    I had a bunch of time over the holidays and was able to get caught up on some things. I created a flyer for our RoundTable but wanted to offer more info than was reasonable for a flyer. I threw together some pages to provide more info: www.vintonbbs.com/GetInTheGame I forgot about the special CITO so will have to get that added.


    We have a kick-off event next weekend and the caches are starting to come online.

  13. I hope so....Our summer camp director says he really needs the info in Dec/Jan so he knows if he'll be able to offer it so he can put it in the leaders planning guide that comes out in Feb/Mar.


    Hopefully I can convince him to list it, at least list it as tentative, to get people thinking about it until the requirements are available.

  14. I got our kit yesterday...It contains:


    * 25 Cache to Eagle patches (pic) - to be given to those who complete the Cache to Eagle series

    * 30 unactivated geocoins (pic) - everyone who returns a reply card from the Treasures of Scouting caches goes into a drawing for a coin. New drawing each month

    * 5 activated Pillars of Scouting TB tags (pic)

    * 1 unactivated Pinewood derby TB tag (no pic, just a regular TB tag)

    * 1 printed page of instructions

    * 1 GeoScouting tri-fold brochure

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