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Cemetery Caches


Airmapper
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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.

Major.Jack,

 

Just to let you know, I have no problem with what you do with your life, I merely wanted to point out there are two sides to every coin, and used your occupation as an example. Just as you find offence to caches in cemeteries, someone, somewhere, may find offence in what you do. (And yes, the humor of your occupation did escape me.)

 

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

 

I will give an example:

I had a non-caching friend with me on a cemetery cache. We walked through the cemetery, looking at gravestones, and noting the years (Some of which were very old) and I remember my friend commenting on a well done engraving on a person named Sullivan's headstone. In an indirect way, I remembered the Sullivan's for the mural of a farm, and wondered if it was their farm. We weren't "playing a game" we were in a way respecting the families who had their relative buried there. Would I ever go to a cemetery without a reason, not really. But in the more light manner of geocaching I have visited more forgotten places than I ever would normally.

 

I only came off as harsh to attempt to make my point stick out. Apparently it was too harsh as the issue got clouded by other topics. I really mean you no disrespect. However, do not speak of my recreational activity in a negative manner without fully experiencing it.

 

P.S.

"do your homework."

 

I see that of the seven geocaches you have created three are in cemetaries.

 

I have 8 caches placed, and 4 of them are in cemeteries.

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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.

 

You call it "playing games". Others here call it discovery and learning about their history. Geocaching brings us to many places that we never would have discovered but for this sport. Some of them happen to be cemeteries. Thanks to geocaching I had this experience and I'm darn glad for geocaching, otherwise it never would have happened.

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

 

If it weren't for geocaching, I couldn't visit- because I wouldn't even know most of them even existed, and certainly not where they could be located! I don't know about other regions, but we have some very beautiful cemetaries that each have their own "personality". Many are WELL off the beaten path and take you to just absolutely beautiful areas. I tend to believe the first people buried in a cemetary had to have scoped it out and said," Now that's a cool hunk of land. You can put me right there." You'd be missing out big time if you skipped our cemetary caches.

 

Second point I want to make is this: When you go to buy a headstone, you don't look up "tombstone" in the yellow pages. You'd look for "monument." Most of us common folk won't ever have a statue erected for us in the town square. This, along with our kids and our acts (if you're thinking philosophically) will be a lasting symbol, of well, you! It leaves a reminder to the world of HEY! I was here!

 

When I walk through a cemetary, I don't look at it morbidly, like I'm walking through a bunch of graves. I'm looking at the memorials of these people. Take a better look around and you'll see the intrinsic value of seeing these places. We spend about 5 minutes finding the cache and 45 minutes reading headstones every time we find a new one.

 

Don't you think these people would want others to see their monuments?

Edited by Googling Hrpty Hrrs
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I found "The Last Post" cache on 26th Dec 05. This is at the American Cemetery at madingley, just outside Cambridge, England, UK. It's a military cemetery, on land donated by the University of Cambridge, to commemorate the American servicemen & women who died in World War II. The cache involves finding data from a gravestone (by the way, to someone used to Commonwealth War Graves all over the world, where individual gravestones are identical, it seems unusual to concentrate on the religion of the person, indicated by stars and crosses) and then finding the cache itself on a border fence. Also, signs at the entrance forbid several activities - from memory, jogging, picnicing, dog walking etc.

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One cemetery cache that was mentioned earlier in this thread was Indiana Spirit Quest #400: Fallen Hero by SixDogTeam, the founder of the ISQ series. I've taken on the task of creating bookmark lists of the over 400 caches of the series. Most of the time, it's been just a matter of seeing the listing show up and adding the bookmark. However, this particular cache drove home the point of the ISQ series. Indeed, so moved was I by this particular cache that I made it my 500th find. Feel free to read my rather longish log entry for my visit.

 

I suppose that ultimately there are three kinds of cemetery caches. First, there are those that are disrespectful. However, I have confidence in our community to weed those out. I for one would comment on a cache of this category, but I've never had the opportunity.

 

Second, there are those that take the extra effort to honour the departed in some way, either in the cache or cache listing. I doubt that only people who find any activity in a cemetery would object to these listings. However, the general issue will be brought up with my next point.

 

Finally, there are those caches that are neutral to the grounds; just a decent place to put a cache. I suppose that here is where the debate lies. I would guess that the nature of such caches are in the eye of the cacher. Some will take the time and effort on themselves to pay tribute in some way to the denizens of the cemetery. Others will think nothing of the grounds and simply be there to find yet another cache, which I think is the crux of this thread. Do we feel that they should have the priviledge of cache hunting there? I suppose that would be the same question posed to others who use the grounds for other purposes.

 

Until I married about two years ago, I lived in an apartment complex across the road from a well-maintained modern cemetery. There are a lot of paved tracks in that place, and I would use them to ride my bicycle to and from work. (The main road was lacking in shoulder space, so this was the safer option.) Should I be criticised for that? Frankly, people are entitled to their opinion, just as I am entitled to mine.

 

Ultimately, it boils down to whether or not we want to legislate a particular opinion. The default position is that geocaching in cemeteries is fine and legal with all else being equal. If you disagree, then you can either work for legislation to the opposite (as they are doing in South Carolina) or do nothing except hold onto some offence. When one looks at it, eventually everyone will be offended by something. How far we wish to deal with this will be determined by how far we choose to impose this on others.

 

Just my 47 cents. :o

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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.

Hi, MajorJack,

 

A lot of opinions have been expressed, here, but I wanted to touch on the quoted portion above. I've visited a few cemetery caches, and own one. The answer on visiting and showing respect without "playing games" is that, quite simply, I never would have gone to those cemeteries at all without the cache being there. It's my favorite aspect of caching: I get to go places I normally wouldn't visit or even know about.

In cemetery caches, as well as many others, I've had a chance to learn more about the history of an area, or a particular family, or (in the case of mine) of a particular local cacher. Whenever I visit a graveyard cache, I take some time to look around at the sites and see what I can learn.

It's not just about "playing a game", it's about getting to see something new and learn from it. The best part is, there's so many different ways you can "play your game" that you can choose to visit or not visit anything. If you don't want to go to a graveyard cache, don't! Nobody will be offended if you stay away from them, just please don't be offended if I choose to visit them and learn from them.

 

Hope this helps, and welcome to geocaching!

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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.

I think that is probably all that needs to be said.

 

The original question asked what geocachers thought about cemetary caches.

 

I did not think it was an open invitation to have other posters attack me, but then that is another thread (something about newbies on the forum). Glad I am in good company there.

 

It was my daughter also that was looking for geocaches near her grandmother's house (Maryville, TN) when she came across one that was in a cemetary and asked me about it.

 

Of course I thought it was a joke.

 

This past year I, along with my family, went to more than one funeral for a fellow soldier from Iraq.

 

It is a moving moment.

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The man who taught me how to fly died a few years ago. Every time I see an ag plane or biplane, I think of him. It is a good thing. I am glad his memory lives on in me. And, hope it never leaves me.

 

I have been to one graveyard cache, which was a virtual cache of a rather unique gravestone. It brought me to a place I would not have experienced, and in some way extends a memory...for someone.

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Wow, I leave the forums for a week, and there's all manner of good conjecture that starts up!

 

My personal opinion of graveyard caching is that I'm perfectly comfortable doing it and will prob. place one eventually.

 

I think that cemeteries are places of history, and by experiencing them and using them (for respectful REASONS, rather than parties or thrill-seeking excursions at night), we are not only meeting a part of history but giving the families of the deceased their money's worth in the obscene amount they paid just to bury a dead relative!

 

My views of cremation vs. full burial aside, the full-time residents of a cemetery likely won't care much if there's a cache there or not. As for families of the deceased, they likely won't know what you are doing here, so they prob. won't care much either!

 

Happy Cachin'!

Lori V.

TeamVilla5

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I have done several cemetery caches and own one of the Indiana Spirit Quest caches.

 

I helped one of our local approvers put together some guidelines for acceptable gc.com cemetery caches.

 

The most significant point in placing caches in cemeteries is to NEVER place your cache in a structure, monument, "memory bench," managed flower bed, memorial, statue or walkway. There are more people in the world who would find any disturbance or mis-use of such structures, decorations and furnishings to be disrespectful than there will ever be geocachers.

 

I was very perturbed to once find a cache placed by a prominent cacher in a step leading to a very elaborate gravesite. While it was a pleasure to visit the monument I felt it embarassing to the game and to my fellow cachers to see people crawling around looking for a Mini M&M's container under the concrete steps. That placement should never have been made, in my opinion.

 

We may feel that we somehow have a "right" to place a cache in any public location. There are a whole lot of folks who would disagree. Cemeteries are intended to be a place of respect for the dead and comfort to the living. While a cemetery may tolerate and even encourage joggers and dogwalkers, that does not mean they want someone placing a film can next to Uncle Ned.

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Just wanted to post my thoughts on cemetery hides. I like them a lot. When I first started caching, I would pass on them as I thought they weren't a good idea. The last year or so, my opinion has changed. The one thing I have always felt though is that a cemetery is not a place for an ammo can. I have always felt like a cemetery is a place for a log only style cache. The reason I feel this way is because I don't think a cemetery is a place to trade trinkets, and also because if a mourner comes, it is easy to pocket a log only cache and let them be to their business. Just my thoughts. Anyone else want to post theirs?

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Almost every cemetery cache I have done (including 3 in the last week) the ammo can was placed along the perimeter of the the grounds. As people used to picnic among many other activities I can't really call trading trinkets disrespectful. The greater tragedy would be if the places were never visited and forgotten about.

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Well now, let's see if I have it right. Nobody visits grandma in the nursing home the last years of her life, but now dozens visit her grave every year and that's disrespectful. She would be shoving sandwiches and coffee at you, and talking your arm off if she could. Mine anyway, love ya granny!

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I would like to add my opinion to the cemetery caches. We have recently started a cemetery cache series, all containers are small and placed around the perimeter of the cemeteries and we have placed several at cemeteries that most people haven’t even heard about. We have done this with the deepest respect for those who are buried or have loved ones buried there. We don’t want these places to be forgotten, they are full of history and if it takes a game to bring remembrance of those who have made the long journey before us, is it really so bad? May all their spirits rest in peace knowing that they are not forgotten and that we want to remember them and their sacrifices to humanity, however small.

 

We know that some people have a problem with cemetery caches and that’s ok, we are not trying to change anyone else’s opinion on cemetery caching. This is only our opinion and we express it with all due respect to those around us and who post in the forums.

 

Happy caching, y’all!

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in my area we have a lot of cemetary caches, I've never seen anything wrong with them, in one cemetary near here there are 4 caches, none were placed near graves, but in deep ravines in between the hilly plots. I found 3 of the 4 and they became my favorite caches I've done so far, there was so much history and a great view. I live only about 10 miles from the cemetary but had never been in it, I might never have visited it if not for geocaching.

 

I lost my brother in November and have been considering placing a cache near his grave actually. I don't think it's disrespectful at all as long as it's not on the actual monument.

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81 of my 85 caches are located in cemeteries (all part of the ISQ). So far they have been a blast to hide and maintain. Yes the majority are micros, but as with anything else in this world it is important to use the right tool for the right job. Where it is appropriate and feasible, I am upgrading those containers to regular sized caches and have received positive feedback on them.

 

As for night caching we do not allow it and will delete find logs indicating such. I have absolutely no problem with night caching or being in a cemetery at night. The reason I do not allow it is because standing in the middle of a cemetery at midnight is not the best way to introduce local law enforcement to the wonderful world of geocaching. At least where I live, if police see anyone in a cemetery at night, they will stop and question them.

 

I too am working with the SAR. I am collecting photos of the Revolutionary War graves for inclusion in their state-wide database.

 

I own caches that are very close to graves of my relatives (they would have appreciated the sport too). There are others involved in the ISQ that have placed caches close to my relative’s graves. As a matter of fact I was able to find information of my great-great-great grandfather thanks to an ISQ page placed by *The Shadow*. From a genealogy standpoint this person had been a “dead end” in the family history for years. The ISQ page gave some history referring to his brother from which we were able to locate the rest of his family.

 

Public perception is everything. Has the concept of Geocachers working on a cemetery restoration project ever been brought up? I am thinking something along the lines of a CITO type event cache, but in this case we would be fixing up a cemetery. At least in Indiana it would require the event leader to attend a weekend session put on by the Pioneer Cemetery Restoration Project. That is not a big deal in my book (and might even be willing to do it). A little bit of good PR can go a long way…

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Before I began geocaching, I worked with some of the locals group involved in the Pioneer Cemetery Restoration Project to help restore a few of the area cemeteries. The group has helped Boy Scouts who choose to improve conditions in a cemetery for their Eagle projects (and Girl Scouts working toward their SIlver or Gold awards). They would be delighted to have the help of geocachers as well.

 

While some tasks, such as locating covered tombstones or restoring broken stones, require some experience or special expertise, there are many other tasks that almost anyone could do--such as mowing grass, weeding, clearing away debris, photographing stones, recording the data on stones, repairing fences, and cutting up those so-called cedar trees that are ubiquitous to overgrown cemeteries in the east and midwest (and seem fond of falling on top of headstones and breaking them). Others might help by making or repairing signs for the cemetery, replacing gates, helping to carry supplies to the area, etc. There is even a need for volunteers to serve drinks and snacks to people working --which can be done by people who aren't as agile as others, but is a needed service during the clean-up event.

 

I am surprised that the ISQ group hasn't already planned some joint ventures with the cemetery restoration groups and historic societies in Indiana. I would be interested in something like that in my area. I absoulutely adore cemeteries--that comes from my love of doing the family genealogy, and the way my grandmother rasied her family (to visit the family resting places often).

 

I know that we have heard many negative comments about cemeteries here in the forums, but many others feel differently, and like to wander in cemeteries and soak in the rich history of the areas. That's one reason I don't suggest night visits to cemeteries, even in places where it is acceptable--you miss so much. If you visit in the dark, it seems like a mere task. The stones and benches and paths and plants etc were meant to be looked at and appreciated. Ever notice that newer cemeteries spend a lot of time and effort and money making them attractive and inviting places? You are supposed to want to linger to pay your respects, and not to rush away.

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I think that some of those old cemeteries are all but forgotten. By having people respectfully visit them maybe they will hang around a bit longer before being grown over and lost. I think hard before placing a cache in a cemetery. Usually it is an old one that is long forgotten. Or in one instance an area of the cemetery far from graves. Usually along the edge in the woods. I always put on my cache page to be respectful of the area. I do not recommend it at night. If there is a funeral going cachers know enough to come back later. But a lot of these cemeteries do not even have any recent graves.

In a way I think it keeps us in touch with the past. Not in an obsessed, morbid way, but in a way that acknowledges and remembers how the area developed and who was here before us. I have placed a cache in a cemetery where relatives are buried. So far I have had no complaints from any families of the buried. If I did they would be removed, simple as that. If anyone caused damage looking for a cache I would also remove them.Most people use respect when visiting a cemetery. It is with that idea in mind that one may assume the caches will be a bit safer too. One of my caches involved visiting a grave to get numbers off of the headstone for a waypoint. So the cemetery was not disturbed. The grave was of the first woman in Canada to have a memorial erected in her honor. Another cache had you visit a grave of a local strongman. If anything I think it helps us remember. How is that disrespectful?

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My biggest problem with cemetery caches is parking. 50% of them have no parking for my truck. ( I hunt caches on my way home from work. I work construction so I am always on a different route going home.) When I get close to the cache there is no place, or to small of a space to park. If there was a way to leave them out of pocket queries I would.

 

TB

Edited by TapsPipe
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