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Cemetery Caches


Airmapper
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Respectfulness is determined by the owners who have family members buried there not by interlopers hiding containers on private property and giving permission to others that it's OK to go treasure hunting for it. That's like me coming up with some wacky theory that my cache was placed on your property with complete respect for the location etc etc while you say "Get off my property!" Where did anyone learn that violating private property and justifying it is acceptable? That kind of thinking created the problem in SC.

Edited by Alan2
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Respectfulness is determined by the owners who have family members buried there not by interlopers hiding containers on private property and giving permission to others that it's OK to go treasure hunting for it.  That's like me coming up with some wacky theory that my cache was placed on your property with complete respect for the location etc etc while you say "Get off my property!"  Where did anyone learn that violating private property and justifying it is acceptable?  That kind of thinking created the problem in SC.

So if I'm visitng a cemetery to do some geneology research or some tombstone rubbings, or perhaps just to look at old headstones I have to call the descendents of every person buried there and ask permission?

Edited by briansnat
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Respectfulness is determined by the owners who have family members buried there not by interlopers hiding containers on private property and giving permission to others that it's OK to go treasure hunting for it.  That's like me coming up with some wacky theory that my cache was placed on your property with complete respect for the location etc etc while you say "Get off my property!"  Where did anyone learn that violating private property and justifying it is acceptable?  That kind of thinking created the problem in SC.

So if I'm visitng a cemetery to do some geneology research or some tombstone rubbings, or perhaps just to look at old headstones I have to call the descendents of every person buried there and ask permission?

Only if you intend to hide a cache at the same time.

Edited by Alan2
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Respectfulness is determined by the owners who have family members buried there not by interlopers hiding containers on private property and giving permission to others that it's OK to go treasure hunting for it.  That's like me coming up with some wacky theory that my cache was placed on your property with complete respect for the location etc etc while you say "Get off my property!"  Where did anyone learn that violating private property and justifying it is acceptable?  That kind of thinking created the problem in SC.

So if I'm visitng a cemetery to do some geneology research or some tombstone rubbings, or perhaps just to look at old headstones I have to call the descendents of every person buried there and ask permission?

No, not every descendent, but it would make sense to ask the custodian of the cemetery whether they will allow you access (or want you making rubbings), especially if it's a private cemetery. And if your goal is to do geneological research, the custodian could probably help you quite a bit with church records and the like.

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Respectfulness is determined by the owners who have family members buried there not by interlopers hiding containers on private property and giving permission to others that it's OK to go treasure hunting for it.  That's like me coming up with some wacky theory that my cache was placed on your property with complete respect for the location etc etc while you say "Get off my property!"  Where did anyone learn that violating private property and justifying it is acceptable?  That kind of thinking created the problem in SC.

So if I'm visitng a cemetery to do some geneology research or some tombstone rubbings, or perhaps just to look at old headstones I have to call the descendents of every person buried there and ask permission?

No, not every descendent, but it would make sense to ask the custodian of the cemetery whether they will allow you access (or want you making rubbings), especially if it's a private cemetery. And if your goal is to do geneological research, the custodian could probably help you quite a bit with church records and the like.

So for all uses we need to ask the caretaker, or just some? How about if I'm jogging? Taking an evening walk? Collecting butterflies?

 

If everyone who uses a cemetery stops to ask the caretaker for permission, he ain't gonna have time to do much caretakin'

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Why, thank you!  How kind of you to make that suggestion!  I've always considered cemeteries to be a waste of open space anyway.  Where shall we bury the 265 million Americans now alive?  How long before the entire country is one large cemetery?

An interesting thought. But here's another one for ya. When dead and buried, we'll each take up about a 6'x3' space in a cemetery. Alive we're all taking up WAY more space than that (consider a family of 4 in an average sized 1200 square foot house, that's 300 square feet per person). So I guess if we're hogging up 300 square feet of space while we're alive, asking for 18 square feet afterward isn't such a big deal. Granted, that's still far more than the 1 square foot of space an urn full of ashes requires. I guess if I'm dead I won't care too much either way. :(

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So if I'm visitng a cemetery to do some geneology research or some tombstone rubbings, or perhaps just to look at old headstones I have to call the descendents of every person buried there and ask permission?

No, not every descendent, but it would make sense to ask the custodian of the cemetery whether they will allow you access (or want you making rubbings), especially if it's a private cemetery. And if your goal is to do geneological research, the custodian could probably help you quite a bit with church records and the like.

Hey, if my ancestors are buried there, I have a *right* to be there. And as far as I'm concerned I have a right to do rubbings, or whatever I please as long as it does no damage. My family paid for a plot and a headstone, and the reason for that was so future generations could learn something about the person buried there. If we weren't meant to enter cemeteries looking for such information, we'd all be buried in one mass unmarked grave. And if you think I'll ask permission to visit a place where one of my family members are buried, think again.

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Cemetaries are about the sensitivities of the living, not the comfort of the departed. My grandmother doesn't give two woots about who visits the cemetary and whether they eat a pastrami on rye while doing so.

 

That said, private property is subject to the rules of the owner. If I paid money to have a loved one buried there, that entitles ME to some consideration for entering the property, but doesn't give me the right to authorize others to do so.

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As a relatively new Cacher I am a 5 year manager of a cemetery in northern California. I believe that as long as the cache is in a respectful area of the cemetery there is and should be no problem with this activity. There is a cache in my cemetery placed by a local resident. He did a great job in placing it in a non confrontational position. I have contacted him on possibly modifying this and making it larger.

 

I feel that this is an oportunity to bring people to our small town and experience the wonderfull "Vacasion" oportunities our community can provide and to see some of its history.

 

PS

Bring your fly pole. :rolleyes:

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I have gotten several cemetary caches - the smilie was not even in my thoughts.

 

I have not been to one in an active cemetary - I doubt I would do one like that.

 

I don't know how I feel about night caching in a cemetary - I have a feeling it would appeal more to me if I were a teenager.

 

We have a group in the area that finds old cemetaries and restores them. But there are many and they just don't have enough people to keep up with it all.

 

I do think you can geo cache a cemetary and still have respect. I don't know if hiding one on a headstone or directly on the grave is such a great idea.

 

Some of the caches I have visited were in very old cemetaries and i had to find a particular headstone. I end up reading a lot of them before I find the right one. I write down the information I need then I continue to read a lot more before I go.

 

I have nothing but respect for the families that are there. With grass 3' high, I am sure those burried are happy anyone acknowleges their time on earth.

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While driving between my town and another an hour's drive away where I was teaching geocaching as a class, I found at least five so-called "Pioneer cemeteries." As stated in this legislation, a "Pioneer Cemetery" means a cemetery where there have been six or fewer burials in the 50 preceding years.

 

I hope to direct geocachers to some of those cemeteries without actually hiding a cache in any of them. Does anybody know if other states use the term Pioneer Cemetery? I am pleased that there is legislation to preserve them. I always get a bit of a rush when I see the now familiar Pioneer Cemetery sign along the road. I would like to keep a log of all the ones that are known to exist then check them off as I visit them.

 

-it

 

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With everything going on about cemetery caches, is there or will there be an amended section to the gc. guidelines just for this type of hide?

This has come up in our reviewer forum and since cemeteries are viewed differently in other parts of the world, it is not likely to happen. Doesn't mean it won't, just that it's not likely. The guidelines cover this topic indirectly, however:

 

In addition, there may be local regulations already in place for certain types of parks in your region (state parks, county preserves, etc.). There are many local caching organizations that would be able to help you out with those regulations. If your area does not have a local caching organization please contact your local reviewer for information on regulations.

 

Hope that helps.

 

:rolleyes:

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I have placed and found many cemetery caches, all of which have been in good taste and not disrespectful to the departed. Cemetery caches provide a chance to appreciate our past and this should not be denied. Some cemeteries in our area have large signs saying "No trespassing except for cemetery purposes," and I will not place caches there. Most cemeteries, though, have no such signs and it is left to the cache owner's discretion about cache placement. For my cemetery caches, I always place the cache well away from the grave markers as I think that this is more respectful. I cannot see forbidding the placement of caches in cemeteries, but there should be respect for such considerations as nearness to the gravestones and the keeping of proper caching hours. If the sign says "dawn to dusk," respect that.

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I cannot see forbidding the placement of caches in cemeteries, but there should be respect for such considerations as nearness to the gravestones and the keeping of proper caching hours. If the sign says "dawn to dusk," respect that.

 

I think you are on to the right ideas shorbird, respect fo the place. That goes for all places we hide and find caches (forests, municpal parks, urban, anywhere). We should be senstive to the environment we are in.

 

Keeping caches away from gravestones is the right thing. Some families visit the graves of their relatives frequently and would be upset to show up at the cemetary and see someone rooting around the stone. Respect of the living relatives is even more important than respect for the deceased.

 

That said, we have done a few cemetary caches. Those that take you to pioneer cemetaries are an amazing opportunity to get a sense of the history and people who lived in the area more than a hundred years ago. Gives you a good sense of perspective on life.

 

The important thing is for both the hider and the hunter to show proper respect and not trample around as if they are in the bush somewhere.

 

JDandDD

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My most recent find was at a cemetery. I didn't think the hide was done in a desrespectful manner nor was my search for it. Actually I looked at some of the surrounding markers to see if there was someone there I may have known. Based upon the size of a given cemetery, I do think the number of caches should be limited. I also think that abandoned and overgrown cemeteries needs at least one cache. That way there might be some cachers who would adopt them and clean them up. This is, after all, an environmentally friendly sport, isn't it? CITO? :o

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I have done a few caches that have involved a cemetery in one way or another. One was a vertual in which you had to get the name of the only Northern soldier buried in an all Confederate cemetery. The other three were in a park on the other side of the cemetery. the cemetery actually had a road going through it to get to the park. Both cemeteries were very well kept. I believe that the one with the Northern soldier actually showed that even in a time of war that each side could have and show respect for the other sides dead. When my kids and I found it I told them that just because some might be from a differant area or have different ideas, no one is better or worse that the person standing next to them.

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I've actually placed a cemetery cache. It's been a very educational experience, and has evolved into what I think is a nice experience for those who come find it.

 

I first placed it as a micro multi, taking the folks to the oldest headstone there, belong to a Nebraska pioneer family, then to a tree in the middle of the cemetery. After a while, I added a leg, converted it to a regular cache and moved the cache location to the outside edge of the cemetery.

 

The two grave sites I take cachers to are significant. Like I said above, the first site is of one of the earliest families to settle the Omaha area. The second is of personal significance to one of the local cachers, who actually found this grave while searching for the cache. His story was so awesome, I decided to incorporate it into the cache!

 

One other thing that happened. Early on, there were a lot of complaints about how much the cemetery had fallen into disrepair. Many headstones were knocked over, and one particulary nice marble monument had been smashed. Recently, when I went there for a maintenance visit, I noticed that a lot of the headstones had been repaired, and the whole cemetery looked a lot nicer. Was this because of my cache? I don't know, but I'm glad people are getting to enjoy some local history and caching history!

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I hid a cache in a cemetary, if you want to call it that.  It is a micro hidden in a tree in between the cemetary road and the main road.  I see no harm done.  The nearest tombstone is about 15-20 feet away.

Geocaching rules require permission if it's private property. The other problem with yours and other caches is that you know where the container is hidden but the people looking do not. So their meanderings have them walking all over the the place as they seek a micro. 15-20 feet is within the error of a GPS. Families who have their relatives buried there may not appreciate people walking all over their relative's graves or exploring the evergreen bushes and other plantings around the grave.

Edited by Alan2
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I hid a cache in a cemetary, if you want to call it that.  It is a micro hidden in a tree in between the cemetary road and the main road.  I see no harm done.  The nearest tombstone is about 15-20 feet away.

Geocaching rules require permission if it's private property. The other problem with yours and other caches is that you know where the container is hidden but the people looking do not. So their meanderings have them walking all over the the place as they seek a micro. 15-20 feet is within the error of a GPS. Families who have their relatives buried there may not appreciate people walking all over their relative's graves or exploring the evergreen bushes and other plantings around the grave.

Given that description the cache sounds fine. Much like the cache approver, unless you have actually been to the site, you can't judge whether or not it is appropriate, and must take the placers word for it.

 

Walking over graves is an inevitable part of visiting a graveyard. One of my caches is not near the headstones, but you have to walk through the cemetery to get to it. If people have no problems with a groundskeeper mowing over the graves, people walking over should not bother them.

 

When hunting the cache in a graveyard, I think it is best to avoid it if there are many people around, and to stay away completely if there is a funeral being held.

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I also think that abandoned and overgrown cemeteries needs at least one cache. That way there might be some cachers who would adopt them and clean them up. This is, after all, an environmentally friendly sport, isn't it? CITO? B)

I agree with this idea almost 100%

 

I also am an avid genealogist, and have searched for many small, out of the way, abandoned cemeteries where my family members are supposed to be buried.

Genealogists often volunteer to go out to cemeteries near them to record the names and dates on any tombstones that are still legible. The lists get filed in libraries, genealogical society records, and online genalogy sites. Many genealogy sites beg folks who find "forgotten" cemeteries to post coordinates or directions to the cemeteries.

 

The only caution that I would have is that if the cemetery is one of those small family plots that are in the middle of someone else's land the owner's permission would have to be obtained to even enter the cemetery. I don't know what the law says in most states about these, but in Indiana, the owners only HAVE to allow relatives of the people buried there once-a-year access. Many are more generous, if approached nicely and if they experience no problems--It depends as much on how intrusive the access is as anything else--If the cemetery is off on an out-of-the way corner of the property, most land owners don't seem to care who visits--if you have to park in their driveway to visit, they naturally like to limit visitors!

 

PS In Indiana, cemeteries aren't supposed to be neglected--the township trustee is supposed to mantain them, if no one else does. The trustee doesn't always know where all of the old cemeteries are, so many are "lost" over time. Something many folks don't don't is that while burials in Indiana can't be dug up to construct new buildings and parking lots, but they can be paved over...(you do have get court permission to move the cemetery to a new location).

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You conveniently ignored the permission issue and poking around the plantings issue.  Do those matter?

Since you mentioned it, where did fishingdude mention a lack of permission? Was permission needed at this site? Unless you have info on this cache not mentioned here, you, nor I can determine if it is an appropriate cache. Therefore, I don't see why you should say

The other problem with yours and other caches

 

As for permission in general, most cemeteries are public areas, contacting an owner (if there is one) would be appropriate, but in many cases, there are no real "owners" of the graveyard. In general (at least in my area) cemeteries are public access, and not owned by any individual. I see no need for explicit permission, unless the cache may interfere with the normal uses of the cemetery. This of course depends on the situation, and if needed, permission should be obtained.

 

As for placement, I say 20 foot as adequate, although it is within the normal EPE. A good hiding spot, like a tree, bush, or rock, is the first place a normal cacher would look. Like anything, it depends on the situation. The layout of a cemetery may allow a cache near headstones, without needing the cacher to walk near them.

 

It all boils down to the amount of respect a cacher has when placing the cache. Which is the subject of this thread.

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Ok I'll bite - will you? Let's say it is private property. Should permission be asked?

 

I think most of the differences come about private vs old, basically unused cemerters. The latter may be more acceptable for caching but I don't believe the former is at all without permission. Something also required by this web page.

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Let's say it is private property. Should permission be asked?

Yes, I think it should.

 

I think most of the differences come about private vs old, basically unused cemetery. The latter may be more acceptable for caching but I don't believe the former is at all without permission. Something also required by this web page.

 

That is a good point, if it's private, there are the factors of whether or not the family will think it's appropriate, and if you don't ask first, they are definitely not going to approve after finding out someone hid something in their personal area without asking.

 

Most old, unused (and unowned) cemeteries are pretty much fair game, various family's buried there, very few visitors, and you can hunt without being seen.

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I have looked for one cache in a cemetery. In our city, the largest cemeteries are owned by the city, and as such have paved roadways (for the most part) and bicycle/jogging paths running through them. I was quite thankful for this cache, as it took me back to the cemetery where my mother, father, and grandparents are buried. I hadn't been to my father's gravesite since he was buried. The cache was placed near a lovely, hedge surrounded centopath in the Field of Honour. It was lovely to sit on the bench and contemplate the sacrifices of the people buried there. I went in search of the cache a week after Rememberance Day. A local school that focuses on Canada's military heritage had been there placing flags on all of the graves in the section. I think this cache was placed with much thought and respect, and I was quite grateful that it took me back there. And I guess that's the point I'm trying to make.

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I have found many cemetary hides.....I didn't have a problem w/ it, and trust me, the residents didn't mind either!

My first find was a cemetary.....respectfully done....and w/out any cemetary interference at all.

I have a TB Resort hide that is AT a cemetary. When submitted, our reviewer had a few questions ( this was after SC happenings). Becuase of SC, I placed the cache on the same property, but outside of the confines of the cemetary boundaries. After a pointed this out to the reviewer....I was good to go.

Several things going on at once here.

-in our area, cemetaries tend to have a driveway around the outside.

-Many are community parks, even if on private property.

-Many are vet memorials

-many are VERY old

 

I don't see a reason not to visit.

 

History is history....above and below ground.

 

Our next hide/first LBH will be similar. At a cemetary...across the driveway.

 

Matt

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I think there's actually a positive aspect to cemetary caching... when would most of us necessarily visit there otherwise? I think cemetaries remind us of our history are there to remember those who came before us, even if you didn't know them. I always try to take a few minutes to look through the tombstones in the area.

All the cemetary caches I've found have been what I consider respectful. Which is, to me, placed in trees, bushes, or other fixtures that are part of, or surrounding, the cemetary, but not part of a particular grave. I wouldn't personally like a cache that is attached to, hanging on, or alongside a grave marker, or in any decorations that are obviously placed as part of a person's memorial. At least not if the Cacher that placed it doesn't know the deceased. I just think of the family and how they would feel about us rooting around by their loved one's grave.

Granted, some of us would be *all* too happy to have a ammo box for a head stone. And if that's how you'd like to be remembered, go for it. ;)

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:antenna:

Kind of new to this whole geocaching.com website and forums. Have been geocaching (well the military version called finding the enemy) for quite some time). I cannot think of any reason why you would want to do this in a cemetary. I know it is not the values I want to teach my children. Please tell me that this is some sort of a joke - adults wanting to play games in cemetaries. I think down in the woods and on bike trails are great places. I can even see a geocache in an urban park, but not in a cemetary. I may be new here, but I have been on this earth for good number of years.

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:antenna:

Kind of new to this whole geocaching.com website and forums. Have been geocaching (well the military version called finding the enemy) for quite some time).  I cannot think of any reason why you would want to do this in a cemetary.  I know it is not the values I want to teach my children.  Please tell me that this is some sort of a joke - adults wanting to play games in cemetaries.  I think down in the woods and on bike trails are great places.  I can even see a geocache in an urban park, but not in a cemetary.  I may be new here, but I have been on this earth for good number of years.

Considering your Occupation:

Killing People (The Enemy) and Breaking Things
you might want to reconsider
the values I want to teach my children.

 

Geocaching has nothing in common with military attacks. Instead of trying to put people in graves, we try to bring respect to forgotten places.

 

Kind of new to this whole geocaching.com website and forums.

 

I see you have only logged one cache, you might want to get a better feel for our game before making judgements.

 

Normally I welcome newcomers to our area, and even though I don't agree with your statements, I still invite you into our game, and hope with a better understanding of it, you will find a more peaceful way to relax.

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Hi major.jack and welcome to geocaching. Before you generalize and trivialize caches hidden in cemeteries, you might want to do a little recon first. :antenna:

 

Most if not all of the caches I have found in cemeteries wer placed with respect in regard to the actual burial sites. Many were multis that required you to visit several of the stones, and gather info from them, and maybe learn something about the families that settled a particular area, or recognize exactly who has been buried there. Some bring you to old overgrown basically abandonded sites, so to active historical sites. There are valuable history lessons for adults and children alike at both. Visit Boston someday, with your children. You will see people lined up to visit the sites of our Revolutionary heros, and even take rubbings off of the stones. There's more to this than you are seeing.

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Cemeteries are the most marvelous places to visit! Some of my fondest memories from childhood are of accompanying my mother and my aunt to the various cemeteries where our relatives are buried to tidy up the graves, and replace faded arrangements with glorious new ones or holiday themed ones. We would spend the day. Many of the cemeteries had pavillions or benches where people met to share lunches, talk, and gossip. If not, they spread out blankets near the graves and ate there. Children ran off extra energy in the open fields nearby, or were pressed into service running the removed arrangements to the trash pile and the lawn waste to the compost heap.

 

When I was in college, I did an independent study of how cemeteries affect the natural flora in an area, and I learned some interesting things. In early Indiana history, most cemeteries were located on hilly places, often under nut-bearing trees. In many areas, the outer edge of the cemetery appears to have been deliberately planted with berry bushes. Old rose cultivars, creeping vines, and small spring flowers also mark some of the burial sites themselves. All of these point to our Indiana ancestors being practical, resourceful people, who honored their departed loved ones. The practical part is that the land would have been difficult to plow for farming, while the hilly exposure would make a great place to grow early crop berries and late crop nuts. I like to imagine the women of the family going to visit their ancestors and gathering fruit or nuts, in season, to supplement the family food stores--all the while enjoying the feel of the breeze on their cheeks, and the warm sunshine on their shoulders while taking in the view of the family farm.

 

Later in history, when public cemeteries in towns began take up more and more of the land acreage, the trend of decorative park-like settings became more common. Winding walkways were made and rare and beautiful plants and trees were added. Headstones became more elaborate, and professional stonemasons were employed to create exotic decorations on vaults, ornate benches, massive urns and fountains, and walls around family plots. The landscape and the decorations were meant to be seen and enjoyed.

 

Some of the headstones I have seen recount the entire life history of a person, or a family. There is one from my own family that tells where the man was born, the names of his parents, when he moved to Kentucky, when he moved to Indiana, the names of his three wives, that he served in the Revolution, that his parents were killed in a massacre, and the year of his death. Yes, all of that on one tombstone!

 

There have been entire studies done of the meaning of the symbols found on old stones. Lambs and cherubs for small children, and stumps for people who died young for example--or the one that I like best...the tree cut off short, but with one branch struggling out to show that although the young man's life ended early, he did leave behind a son to carry on the family name.

 

Cemeteries are very much for the living...and for the living to relish in remembrance of the departed. I taught that to my children early on, and they understood the lesson well. How sad to think that anyone who want a cemetery to be a closed, cold, somber place, suitable only for mourning one's loss.

Cemeteries are wonderful places to visit, to walk, to laugh, hold hands, tell secrets, and enjoy the view--and yes, to place a geocache that will bring others to take in that splendor as well. I have yet to see a geocache in a cemetery that compromises the integrity of any burials. They have all been placed respectful distances from any grave, most in shrubbery or trees, and many along outer fencelines.

 

And if you really want to make a difference, while you are in some out of the way obscure and nearly forgotten cemetery, take a few minutes to write down the names and information on the headstones, along with directions and coords to the cemetery, and drop it off at the nearest library or post it online on the local geneaolgy website. Some of the dearly departed are in danger of becoming forgotten for all time because of acid rain eating away the carving on the native stone in older cemeteries.

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Considering your Occupation:
Killing People (The Enemy) and Breaking Things
you might want to reconsider
the values I want to teach my children.

 

Geocaching has nothing in common with military attacks. Instead of trying to put people in graves, we try to bring respect to forgotten places.

 

 

Obviously the humor of my occupation escapes you. Or maybe you would prefer that the U.S. just wave a white flag and surrender to our enemies. I digress, much like you do in your reply.

 

Tell me what part of playing in a cemetary is good.

 

"Bringing respect?"

 

If you want to pay respect, go pay your respects. I did not know that required you to also geocache at the same time.

 

I appreciate the history lesson on cemetaries, but still do not see the need to play a game where people are buried.

 

If you wold like to answer that, fine. Leave my occupation (defending your freedom to spew nonsense) out of the discussion and I will leave your comments aside.

 

ROCK FORCE.

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Major.Jack, I have the utmost respect for what you have chosen to do with your life, and I think airmapper does too. In a few weeks we will be holding a geo-event to send off one of my closest geopals who will be spending the next 12-18 months in Iraq. Lots of geocachers in NC are in the armed forces.

 

The question is, what part of geocaching in cemeteries have you seen to be disrespectful in your limited experience?

Perhaps as I suggested you should do a little more recon on the topic, find a few of the caches that are placed with respect and then return to the conversation?

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Airmapper.

As the Old Man would say (that's the CO/Commanding Officer), "do your homework."

 

I see that of the seven geocaches you have created three are in cemetaries. So obviously you have a problem with people that disagree with you. Isn't that what makes America great, that you have that right.

 

So what kind of values does that teach? Geocaching in a cemetary?

 

Please enlighten me on that.

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This topic will remain a respectful discussion of cemetery caches, with no further mention of military service issues, and no personal attacks. Debate opinions, not the people who hold them.

 

Your friendly neighborhood forum moderator now returns you to the previously scheduled forum thread, already in progress. :laughing:

Edited by Keystone
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Also, please consider this. (Not that I'm accusing anyone of anything.) We've already had someone who is a supporter of the South Carolina bill, in fact an insider, sign up as a geocacher and has attempted to stir up trouble.

 

Just watch out. There might be more trolls who have a more sinister agenda than just getting a few folks riled up.

 

If there is someone who thinks they are not comfortable with "playing games" in cemeteries (sound familiar?) then that is their right. Don't rise to what you might perceive as bait. Just let it go.

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Recently we attended a cemetery walk at one of our local Catholic Cemeteries. They had put together a weekend program to introduce folks to the historical personages found in our cemeteries. Included in this walk was one particular grave that the caretaker took special pains to reveal to us. He told us about this man, who had been an horse breaker with the Rough Riders, had lived a very full life and died at the age of 107. And that noone had visited this man's gravestone in 15 years. Noone knew we had this awesome person in our cemetery and the caretaker wanted SOMEONE to know of this awesome person.

My husband turns to me and says- I'll bet he will give permission. We ended up talking to the caretaker, going to dinner with him and several members of the board, and getting a very decent plan for a multi-step cache in this cemetery. All they asked is that we bring the cache plan to them for approval before submitting, and that we do it with respect. In addition, they have a bit of land currently put aside and unused that we may be able to place a final container on within the cemetery boundaries.

All we have to do is get the time to create it and meet them. It is all about respect and understanding that they want to be included instead of stepping on their toes. The caretaker actually recommended several other graves we might want to point out, including some nuns, one of which turned out to be related to me.

-J

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Welcome to caching, Major Jack. Half the fun in caching is finding and hiding. The other half is arguing with fellow cachers. Sometimes I think we enjoy the latter more often. If you check my posts you'll see I feel it's disrespectful as well, and kinda tacky too. And I've been finding and hiding caching for 4 years. The argument that a person cannot have a belief system about respect in cemeteries until they've cached awhile is silly. We all bring our moral, ethical, family and community standards with us.

 

The official policy is that caches cannot be placed on private property without permission. So whether a person feeld it's "respectful" or not, they should request permission to place a cache in a private cemetary, or any other privvate property for that matter. I don't believe that is happening - I've yet to hear approvers disapprove any cemetery caches.

 

Beyond that, community standard appaerently differ from one part of the country to another. I believe this is so because cemeteries are different.

 

In NYC where I live and I assume other congested urban areas, cemeteries tend to have strong religious affiliations. Catholic, Jewish, Methodist, Eastern Orthodox, etc. and often run by churches or in the case of Catholic by the diocese. Even in old cemeteries, these are very active with daily burials. There are substantial administrative and caretaking personnel working full-time, gates close at night, and most people would have more invested in the cemeteries because their families are buried there and they may be someday too. Concerns about games being played there would seem to be more upsetting to most.

 

Than there are more rural cemeteris that may be run by the county. Public in nature, burial may occur infrequently. There may be no full time staff. Maybe gates stay open at night. Communities could be using these for more general purposes which then gives a less strong sense of protective feeling. (I'm guessing to a certain extent since I'm not personally familiar with their operation. Maybe others can help flesh this out).

 

Then there are historical cemeteries. Many have really no burials, are public. Others may be very public with firm restrictions against caching especially if these are administered by the federal government.

 

I still believe that if our community continues to hide caches though without permission, similar restrictive laws will be passes as happened in SC will occur in the other 49 states.

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The official policy is that caches cannot be placed on private property without permission. So whether a person feeld it's "respectful" or not, they should request permission to place a cache in a private cemetary, or any other privvate property for that matter. I don't believe that is happening - I've yet to hear approvers disapprove any cemetery caches.

Alan2, while you correctly state the applicable guideline, I believe you're mischaracterizing how the review process for cemetery caches actually works. Since very early this year -- even before the South Carolina legislation -- I have started questioning cemetery cache owners very carefully before publishing their submissions. Not a week goes by when I don't use my standard form letter asking about how the cache is placed in relation to any nearby graves, noting that woods at the edge of the cemetery are preferable, and asking for any information the owner has in regard to permission. (I am picturing the heads of dozens of readers in Ohio and Pennsylvania nodding up and down in agreement - they have seen that note, and now they're trained to anticipate my questions.) Many caches never see the light of day because of this quiz, or they are relocated, or permission is obtained.

 

From what I've seen of your volunteer's work in New York, it is even more difficult to get a cemetery cache listed there than it is in my territory. I recall one particularly distasteful example that blew up here in the forums. I wish the search feature was working! The hider had placed a cache that featured the grave of a famous jazz musician. New York Admin questioned whether permission was obtained, did not obtain a satisfactory answer, and denied the cache. The owner accused the reviewer in the forums of doing so because the jazz musician was black. :laughing:

 

Like New York Admin, I take a lot of flak when I question cemetery cache hides. The last negative episode for me was right around Thanksgiving time. I am happy to do it because it is the right thing to do. That does not justify the accusations tossed back at us for trying to do our jobs.

 

May I also say that I respect your personal opinion on avoiding cemetery caches. My own daughter does not like to search for them, even if they are "tastefully" placed. Many other people do, however.

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Keystone: I was wrong. I apologize for mischaracterizing yours and other approvers' work in this area.

 

Alan

Thank you for your most gracious reply. I took issue with just that one sentence in your post, and I will be the first to admit that the system is not perfect. But we are trying. It is the owner's job in the first instance to obtain permission, and if I insisted on strict proof in each and every case, publication delays would triple.

 

I agree with everything else you wrote, and in particular that permission is especially important for cemeteries located on private property. Your classification of urban, rural and historic cemeteries is also a useful taxonomy.

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I'm new to geocaching, and this is such an interesting thread, I just had to add my input. My mother died 5 years ago, and to this day I still miss her and talking to her every day. :laughing: This is an activity she would have loved (she was the ultimate puzzle solver). She was also viewed by most of our family as the one to go to for advice, an ear to bend, a good laugh, whatever. Her door was ALWAYS open, and her point of view was frequently quirky enough to make you laugh.

 

Because I've become so taken in by caching (in the short two weeks I've been at it!), and I want to somehow include her in this with me, I was seriously considering placing a cache on her gravesite. It's just the sort of thing she would have loved! Having people STILL come visit her even after her death. I can just see her smile and hear her laugh! Knowing her, I believe she would not only giggle at it, she would also be honored that people took the time to come visit her ;) I'm glad to find that there are people who see these caches as interesting and worthwhile.

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