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What To Do At An Event?


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At an event I hosted, there was a 5-part multi with prizes - but they were expected to do it before the event (or they could pick up some laminated printouts and do it and come back).

 

I laid out mind-teaser puzzle games on tables which were also a hit.

 

Other than that, we kept it real informal, so people could mix and drink and eat.

 

I find that something too structured will put people off, especially if they are just popping in for a limited time. If you over-think it or try to put in too many games, you'll run out of time to fit in every activity.

 

YMMV

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we used to have games and stuff at our events and folks seemed to like them. over the last year or so we've gotten away from that and people seem to really like that better. i'm sure some would like the games, but don't feel the need to fill the time. FWIW, we had a few games that were popular:

  • Ground Zero
  • Lakemaster's Micro Challenge

Ground Zero you give everyone the same coordinates and a flag (metal rod with plastic pink or orange flag portion, like you see on the side of the road sometimes marking a pipe, etc. Person closest wins, and you'd be surprised at the wide variety of places folks think ground zero is. Here's a pic (from summer '03, that's me on the far right going up into the hill... a newbie with 3 finds, what did I know??)

aag.jpg

You see the guy with the white shirt and light blue hat, holding a bag? He was one of the closest. There were 4 trees that were chosen and a line pulled to criss-cross in the middle, that was ground zero.

 

Lakemaster's Micro Challenge: 5 teams of 4 compete to find 5 micros (hidden by the micro master Lakemaster). Each team has a leader/chaperone that doesn't participate but has a FRS radio. Each team has 3 minutes to find the micro and when the team finds it, the leader says "Team 2 got it!" or whatever. The time is recorded and the teams move on to the next one, rotating so each team has to find all 5 (they don't find each one at the same time). The team with the lowest time overall wins.

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I have had a blast setting up games for events, and by all reports the cachers loved them too!

 

Depending on the number of players; Say, you have 50 participants.

Create 10 teams of 5.

Place 5 stocked geocaches in an open field or parking lot - on or under bushes, in open holes, sitting out in plain sight, etc).

Have four people stand shoulder-to-shoulder, each couple back-to back, forming a square.

Tie or duct-tape each cacher's left arm at the biceps or elbow to the right arm of their neighbor.

Have the fifth member holding the only GPS with the coords to one of the caches loaded (5 caches, 10 teams, so 2 teams will go after each cache) climb into the hole in the center.

Variation: Put blindfolds on everybody but the center person.

Turn 'em loose and let the center person lead them to the cache!

Tied together and facing different directions two or three will be walking backwards, to reach something on the ground they can't bend over - everyone has to kneel in unison - funniest thing you've ever seen, especially if the event is at a restaraunt and you're doing this in the parking lot!

The first team to find each cache keeps something out of it.

 

Hide some caches in a fairly-easy-to-find manner.

Divide your group into even teams.

Blindfold one team member.

Turn 'em loose and let the teams guide their blindfolded member to the cache strictly by voice command - they cannot touch the blindfolded person nor the cache.

Once the blindfolded member has the cache they must guide him or her back to the starting point, again, without touching.

 

Hide one or more caches in the visible area.

Form teams.

Give each team member an FRS radio.

Have one team member hold the only GPS (with coords to the cache)

Turn the teams loose and the member with the GPS must stay at the starting point and guide his team-mates to the cache by FRS radio voice commands!

 

Not a game but an activity - have a table set up with camo tape, film cans, large medicine bottles, ammo cans, paint, dried leaves and branches, glue and so forth and have a cache-making good time!

 

We've had a blast with these, hope they help!

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One activity I enjoyed was when the event organizers placed a bunch of tags (that looked like fake leaves) on bushes in the park where the event was held. There were at least a couple dozen of them. At the start of the event, everyone formed teams, and each team was given a sheet with coordinates to all the tags. You had half an hour (or whatever) to find as many as possible -- there was a code word on each to verify your find. Each tag also had a 'first finder' sticker on it. At the end, your team got a point for each find, and an extra point for each FTF. The top three teams won prizes for all their members (geocaching lanyards, mugs, etc).

 

There was also an activity using compasses and bearings (travel x feet at y bearing, etc) and then taking coords where you end up at the end of a long string of such directions. Closest to the 'right' coords wins. Sure, there's GPSr error to consider, but it's all in fun. At the event I attended, directions were given in 'paces' rather than feet but I thought that was rather unfair, since I was significantly shorter than the person who paced out the 'reference' course. We ended up winning a bunch of lanyards in the various contests, though. And I walked into a tree, blindly following a compass bearing. A memorable event indeed.

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Many of the events I have been to featured a Poker Run, where playing cards were placed in sealed envelopes and inserted into seven local caches. Players were given the coords to the caches, and at each cache took one envelope. Back at the meeting place everyone opened their envelopes, made the best poker hand out of five of the seven cards, and discarded two - prizes were awarded on best poker hands.

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play rot-13 reading:

 

put a lot of common rot-13 geocache words on cards and give points for the fastest correct translation. most of us know "haqre" when we see it. give prizes for the most points.

 

simon-sez:

 

have 'm all stand facing north. assume a nice "near-north" that squares with the landscape for reference.

 

say

 

simon sez face south

simon sez turn 90 degrees right

simon sez face 320 degrees

face east

 

...ahh, simon didn't say!

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There's always geo-bingo. People enjoy it, you can have prizes at the end and it forces people to mingle and talk to each other. Geo-bingo, for anyone who's never done it, isn't like normal bingo. You have a game (bingo) sheet with various geocaching related accomplishments on it and have to get people to sign their names under one of the items they qualify for. Each person can only sign their name once on your sheet (that rule can be changed, depending on how many people are attending). Whoever fills their sheet up first wins!

 

I have a good Excel template for the game sheet if anyone wants it. Just email me.

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Forming teams always makes me nervous. There is always the odd person and it is usually ME! From elementary school "Ok class! Pair up with each other so we can do such-and-such project." shudder I was such a lonely kid. :laughing:

 

I like the idea of the Ground Zero game.

That's funny, cause when I went to our last caching event folks everywhere were talking about that really wierd cacher and how there is always one strange cacher at every meet - and then I could overhear them talking about how that particular wierd cacher was THERE at the meet. However, everyone I met was nice and pleasnat to talk to and a lot of fun. I never could figure out who the "wierd" cacher they were refering to was. :laughing:

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horse shoes, checkers, volleyball, sack races, cheap beer, hot dogs, tater chips, cheap beer, watermelon, bingo, tater salad, pork n beans, celery, bowling, wet tee shirts, cheap beer, hamburgers, chili w/beans, cole slaw, marshmallows, cheap beer, 75 used golfballs, 16 AA batteries and a bunch more really neat stuff like that there. :laughing:

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Here is a new idea I have used before in a group teambuilding called toxic waste

THe object is for a group to work together to move an object from one place to another

 

Materials

1. get a good long bungie cord tie it well (double fisherman's knot works well) in a circle to where the diameter is about 8-10 inches.

2. Decide on an object that you want the group to move anything kinda large such as a five gallon bucket or an ammo can, whatever you have handy.

3. Make sure that the bungie will fit over the object easily with the bungie slightly stretched

4. cut a small rope (clothesline works well) in about 5 20 foot length peices

5. Tie the ropes to the bungie cord with 2 lines comming off the end about the same length (a cow hitch works well)http://www.realknots.com/knots/hitches.htm#cow

6. If there is going to be a sandbox near the event site you can use it if not get a long rope for a 20 foot diameter area place your bucket in the center of the area

7. have another bucket or a stump about 20 or more yards away

 

At the event have everyone hold onto the end of the rope that is the only place they can hold

 

The object is for them to move the object from the middle of the area to the stump using only the bungie/rope apparatus

 

You can make it more difficult by just giving them the aparatus an telling them that they have to move the bucket to the stump but anything that touches the ground in the sandbox/ rope area dies, they have to figure out how to use the bungie/rope to move it. THey can earn ropes back that touch the ground by giving up something else (ability to talk, gestures, money, whatever you want)

 

You can also include more people by blindfolding the person who is holding the rope

 

I don't know how clear I have made this but it really is a good activity and a lot of fun.

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Many of the events I have been to featured a Poker Run, where playing cards were placed in sealed envelopes and inserted into seven local caches. Players were given the coords to the caches, and at each cache took one envelope. Back at the meeting place everyone opened their envelopes, made the best poker hand out of five of the seven cards, and discarded two - prizes were awarded on best poker hands.

I forgot to list that one, I knew there was one more! Definitely fun! :laughing:

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I'm going to be in the minority here and say have plenty of good food, maybe some beer and limit the distractions. The events that I've been to that had a lot of geocaching related activities, or worse, were in a cache rich location, people were gone much of the day and you never got to see half the attendees.

 

I can't count how many events I went to where I went to log and noticed the names of other attendees that I never saw there. "Wow, xxxxxxx was there and I never knew it. I always wanted to meet him/her".

 

The most successful events that I've been to limited the distractions, or had a single focus, so everyone pretty much stayed together. One in particular that stands out was a "murder mystery" where we were assigned identities, given a short bio, some money (well play money) and we had to mingle with the others, asking questions to determine the identity of the killer. It was great fun because it encouraged socializing.

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I'll echo what Brian said and say that's one of the reasons we don't really get into the games much. We get lots of positive feedback from folks when we "only" have 4 caches--most people tend to stay at the pavilion and talk.

 

One suggestion I do have, is have everyone introduce themselves. At large events like ours, not everyone is going to get to everyone else, and like Brian suggested, you see the logs and realize someone was there you'd like to meet. After a suggestion from a member at a recent 100+ person event, we've been doing this each time with great success. We start at one point in the pavilion and go around, "Hi, my name is robert, my geocaching name is robert, and I'm from Baltimore." Just go around until everyone is accounted for. Sometimes you hear "Boo!!" for a particularly devious hider, or applause for someone who may have hid a really great cache. The other common thing to hear is "OHHHH, so that's CCCooperAgency!"

 

:D

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Forming teams always makes me nervous.  There is always the odd person and it is usually ME!  From elementary school "Ok class!  Pair up with each other so we can do such-and-such project." shudder  I was such a lonely kid. :D

 

I like the idea of the Ground Zero game.

That's funny, cause when I went to our last caching event folks everywhere were talking about that really wierd cacher and how there is always one strange cacher at every meet - and then I could overhear them talking about how that particular wierd cacher was THERE at the meet. However, everyone I met was nice and pleasnat to talk to and a lot of fun. I never could figure out who the "wierd" cacher they were refering to was. :D

:D OMG! Now I have to worry about them talking about me??!! :D

 

Actually, I still get the butterflies in the stomach when meeting new people. I can't help it. Though, a good ice breaker can get rid of that quick for people like me.

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