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Scouting Program And Geocaching


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Cache-O-ree patch for the Gray Owl Spring Camporee.

 

e6f13417-4e96-487f-8372-c6973824e890.jpg

 

I have about 20 to 25 patches left over from the camporee this weekend. B)

 

If you would like a patch please send me an self addressed envelope with $1 per patch to:

 

Harry Downer

3426 High Plateau

Garland, TX 75044

 

I would like to just give them away, but I can't :)

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Some of the volunteers in Cub Scout Packs have recognized the synergy of geocaching and Cub Pack programs. It can help you meet the National Summetime Pack Award/Pins, Outdoor Activity Award, Leave No Trace Award, and a number of cub scout rank specific requirements.

 

I've started a discussion on the topic of "Treasure Hiking" as I've named it at http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=162779

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Cache-O-ree patch for the Gray Owl Spring Camporee.

 

e6f13417-4e96-487f-8372-c6973824e890.jpg

 

I have about 20 to 25 patches left over from the camporee this weekend. :(

 

If you would like a patch please send me an self addressed envelope with $1 per patch to:

 

Harry Downer

3426 High Plateau

Garland, TX 75044

 

I would like to just give them away, but I can't :huh:

 

Do you have any of these left?

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Hi all... new to the forums and geocaching.com but as a Scout Leader in the UK really interested in the Scout part of geoaching.

 

We're introducing our explorers and scouts to it locally with 15 caches within 1.5 miles I'm gonna send them a challenge to find some and give them a group/unit travel bug each to set free.

 

Also I'm taking a unit to the World Jamboree so we are going to take some geocoins along as gifts to give away.

 

I've already visited the Hylands Park cache and we are goingt o place our own there for any scouts and all to find.

 

:(

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Well our crew has been busy lately. Our district just had their spring "Hikoree" the Venturing crew placed several caches along the trail and had a short class about geocaching before the hike. The scouts all loved it. There were 88 scouts in attendance and they all found at least one of the caches.

 

Next month we are hosting an event cache. Go Get Outdoor @ Carl T. Johnson Center . It's will be a geocaching 101 class for anyone to attend. This is a cooperative effort with the Michigan Geocaching Organization and the Michigan DNR.

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The Geocaching to Promote Scouting week long course was held last week and it was a great experience for 25 Scouters from around the country. If you are interested in seeing the slideshow from the course got to

 

http://www.geoscouting.com/introduction.html

 

You can also share your ideas and the discussions of the participants at the forum.

 

http://www.geoscouting.com/resources.html#forum

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Hello everyone, I'd like to be part of this discussion.

First off, I'd like to say that I'm glad that I discovered this topic.

I've been a scouter going on 10 years now. I was a Tiger Cub Coach when my son was in first grade, then became a Den Leader, ACM, CM and now I'm ASM in his troop. He's a Life Scout with 2 more MB's to earn before he performs his Eagle project.

This summer our troop traveled from Southern California to Utah. We incorporated GCing into a few of our hikes. The state of Utah actually sponsors several GC in their state parks.

MOAB009.jpg

 

MOAB008.jpg

Anyway,on the subject of GCing and scouts I want to comment and also make a few suggestions.

GCing and scouting go great together. It offers so much potential as a lot of you folks have already pointed out.

However, I would hesitate to create a MB centered on use of a GPSr. This takes away from the rudiments of outdoorsmanship. Also, and I'm probably setting myself up for some criticism here but reliance on the use of electronics just doesn't seem scout-like. Orienteering is done with compass and map. Remember, we teach our scouts to hike and backpack with their 10 essentials. That includes a map and a compass. The only electronic device in the 10 E's is a flash light.

BSA has a couple of alternatives to recognizing activities. We have snorkeling, kayaking, mile swim and scuba. Those are inherently physical and really differ from using a GPSr and PC or Mac based software program. Am I being old fashioned? Maybe.

My idea of formally incorporating CGing into BSA would be through High Adventure. That way GCing would not be an end or centerpiece activity but rather a middle activity built around an extended outdoor experience. I say make it a H.A.T. Award. Besides, they have the best patches in all of scouting!

 

PS. I wonder if we could talk the owners of GC.com into giving this thread it's own topic? Who would we ask? After all, the kids are the future of GCing.

Edited by TopangaHiker
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I think we should propose a geocaching merit badge... I'd LOVE to get that one on my sash!

 

I did propose such as merit badge. I wrote a sample MB book and guidelines and sent it to National.

 

The feedback that I recieved is that several people have been working on this Merit Badge for a while. National is not moving forward with adding or deleting any Merit Badges this year. This is what they told me.

 

Glad to see the GeoScouting.com website was mentioned here. Great site, you should all be a part of.

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I think we should propose a geocaching merit badge... I'd LOVE to get that one on my sash!

 

I did propose such as merit badge. I wrote a sample MB book and guidelines and sent it to National.

 

The feedback that I recieved is that several people have been working on this Merit Badge for a while. National is not moving forward with adding or deleting any Merit Badges this year. This is what they told me.

 

Glad to see the GeoScouting.com website was mentioned here. Great site, you should all be a part of.

 

You will find that the gears of BSA grind very slowly. The Orienteering Community worked over 10 years to get them to rewrite that book to be closer to what were then the current standards. But don't quit working. It is an activity that will be popular with scout aged kids and eventually they will embrace it. This weekend a couple of us are involved in a district camporee offering both Orienteering and Geocaching. Note they are separate activities and should remain that way.

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I am also a boy scout, and there are many people in my troop that are intresated in geocaching. There probably won't be a merit badge for it, because it requires "specialized" equipment. At least, that is what my scoutmaster told me.

 

What about a nice geocoin / pin that says it's a Geocaching Badge (be careful and don't stomp on any copyrights or trademarks, but you get my drift)?

 

Not as good as a real badge, but still displayable!

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Topic 1 Patches.. Why not use an event patch? They can be worn on the uniform if displayed in the proper location. Design a geocaching patch and hold a camporee that features geocaching.

 

Topic 2 Specialized Equipment.. Scouts use specialized equipment all the time. Canoes, backpacks, skiis, archery equipment, air rifles, etc.. Check any scout camp or troop storage area. The problem is inertia. BSA has a lot of mass moving in one direction. It takes a either a lot of force now or less force over a loooooong time to change that direction. Not saying it's a bad characteristic... without it there could have been a hula hoop MB.. just stating the facts.

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I am also a boy scout, and there are many people in my troop that are intresated in geocaching. There probably won't be a merit badge for it, because it requires "specialized" equipment. At least, that is what my scoutmaster told me.

Many of the merit badges require special equipment to complete so I don't see that as a hinderance. I'm not sure what the process of getting geocaching approved as a merit badge entails, but I think it'd be cool.

This is true. Where would the canoeing merit badge be without a canoe? Or the riflery badge without a rifle?

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I've been asked by our local council to set up geocaches within our scout camp. I don't believe these will be published on GC, but the concepts will be used. Most importantly its a step in the right direction.

 

I agree this is the way to go. I know of one public cache on BSA property but it is difficult to get to it because of access restrictions. Better that it be a private cache for the camp's educational program.

 

For a one day program I have set up a couple caches on the web site, but not released them for approval, printed out the page, then archived the listing. The scouts have an official looking page to use, but it is not a live cache with maintenance or access issues.

Edited by edscott
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I've been asked by our local council to set up geocaches within our scout camp. I don't believe these will be published on GC, but the concepts will be used. Most importantly its a step in the right direction.

 

I agree this is the way to go. I know of one public cache on BSA property but it is difficult to get to it because of access restrictions. Better that it be a private cache for the camp's educational program.

 

For a one day program I have set up a couple caches on the web site, but not released them for approval, printed out the page, then archived the listing. The scouts have an official looking page to use, but it is not a live cache with maintenance or access issues.

 

Cleveland Ohio

 

I am the Chairman so to speak of the Greater Cleveland Council BSA Beaucaching Committee. We maintain four caches at our council camp Beaumont Scout Reservation. These are of course not published on GC.com. We relocate three traditional caches every year and maintain one seven stage multi cache called the swamp romp. The cache information is provided to scouts in a pamlet I made up in a publisher program. We were able to get Magellan to donate 23 GPSr units to the council, they are availble to our scout units in a loan program. There is also a patch and tshirt they can earn by finding the camps caches.

 

We do have a few caches listed on GC.com, a cache called "Latimer" it is located on the very edge of our camp property and is a full sized container. It is a cache and dash, but Scouts who are GC cachers can claim more than one find on Latimer a find for every Beaucache they find. We also have a cache at our downtown GCC HQ called "Character Counts".

 

We have a great program and have introduce the sport to many young scouts.

Edited by Team RAGAR
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The 2008 Scoutmasters Camporee in Broward Country Florida will have a geocaching event. Another cacher/scouter and I are doing this. He'll be setting up several temporary caches in the park where the camporee is being held, and I'll be handling the training sessions for the scouts before they go for the caches. I plan on recruiting some Venturers to assist (with the idea that one goes with the group of scouts to 'help out' as needed).

 

Hopefully this will be a success.

 

I plan to also have brochures on geocaching to have available, as well as a list of the 'real' caches that are in the park we're using.

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We actually have 3 caches published on our 2 camp properties that are open to the general public. I had a lot of trouble with the last one though. I placed a ton of historical info on the cache page about the camp. It happens to be the 6th oldest camp in the country. Both the reviewer and GC claimed I was soliciting.

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I was thinking about placing one near the entrances to our two camps. Camp Perry, in Rio Hondo Texas is the oldest continuously operated Scout camp in Texas. Over 80 years now. And Laguna Station High Adventure Sea Base, on South Padre Island. I thought I would include some information, of historic nature, in both. Not many people think of Scouts surfing :huh:

 

But I guess I'd have the same problem as above.

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I am a scout and new comer to geocahing. Because of the scale of Geocaching in ohio and the untited state I think that it would be cool to have a Geocaching Merit Badge like some other scouts have said but I think that their are some big undreling issues here.

 

1. Geocaching is a game so it would be consederd under the Sports MB

 

2. Althoug most if not all cachers are very Eco-Freindly. The Leave No Trace idea of leave olny foot prints is drectly in contrast with traditonal caches.

 

3. Last, face it the BSA is very old school so the Idea of eletonics of any sourts are right out in most big wigs views.

 

I think that the best thing that could hapen for GeoCaching in the BSA is that the oringtering MB has more GPS related requments.

 

TheRussian163

 

PS-I am a life scout doing my eagle project and is useing my GPS with my project

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Being part of the first Philmont GPS training, I figured it was time to crank up the heat on our council and get some programs going. So after working just over a year, we finally have some real momentum. Here is a list of what is going on in our council:

  • Training Session (Train the Trainer) set for April 19th
  • Geocaching program for the older boys at our largest camp this summer
  • 20 hidden anytime caches for scouts at our largest camp
  • A winter time geocaching festival held each year at a scout camp

We have a few more ideas but this is what we have as far as program roll out. Once we complete our "Train the Trainer" session, we will then have regular classes twice a year for council leaders to attend. It has been a very good year in terms of Scouting and Geocaching.

 

Of course we also have the Midwest Open Geocaching Adventure that we invite all scout leaders and troops, teams and crews to come to. Scouts always get a big discount on the event and there is 1/2 price camping available. Search for MOGA on Geocaching.com for more information.

 

Mike

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I'm fairly new to geocaching as my son and I just learned about it last month at a pack campout when the Boy Scout troop showed us how it's done. Since then, it has provided my son and I hours and hours of quality time hiking and biking without the interuption of video games, computers, phones, just one on one like it should be.

 

I've been in scouts all of my life and remember quite fondly learning and earning the Orienteering MB. A skill I was later asked to teach in the Army. I firmly believe that Orienteering and Geocaching are 2 totally seperate things. First, orienteering is a skill that when learned, should a situation arise, can be life saving. It requires simple tools and no batteries. I have yet to see a GPS unit work in the outdoors without batteries. I strongly feel that old school ways should be at least learned to a practical level, before allowing technology to do all of our problem solving for us. Don't get me wrong, I love my GPS, but I think it is kinda cheating. Second, I agree with a previous post, that a merit badge shouldn't be just about geocaching as that is just one activity of "Electronic Navigation".

 

One last note, I'm also a scout leader and have placed a couple of caches in my area with a scout theme, and when talking with the local council about it, I'm surprised at just how many leaders are unaware of geocaching. I'm looking forward to introducing our locals to the activity and hope to design a course for the scout camp down the street in the near future.

 

Just my 2 cents worth.

Edited by fishnfule
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Being part of the first Philmont GPS training, I figured it was time to crank up the heat on our council and get some programs going. So after working just over a year, we finally have some real momentum. Here is a list of what is going on in our council:

  • Training Session (Train the Trainer) set for April 19th
  • Geocaching program for the older boys at our largest camp this summer
  • 20 hidden anytime caches for scouts at our largest camp
  • A winter time geocaching festival held each year at a scout camp

We have a few more ideas but this is what we have as far as program roll out. Once we complete our "Train the Trainer" session, we will then have regular classes twice a year for council leaders to attend. It has been a very good year in terms of Scouting and Geocaching.

 

Of course we also have the Midwest Open Geocaching Adventure that we invite all scout leaders and troops, teams and crews to come to. Scouts always get a big discount on the event and there is 1/2 price camping available. Search for MOGA on Geocaching.com for more information.

 

Mike

 

There is great momentum with Geocaching within the BSA. Brawny Bear mentioned the Philmont course. All Scouters interested in how to use geocaching to promote scouting should try to attend this course. You can get more info at www.geoscouting.com. Also take a peek at the forum where Scouters share ideas about their geocaching experiences. It has taken a few years but the decision makers at National are beginning to understand how geocaching can be an exciting new program item that enhances recruiting, retention and public relations..

 

I also believe there is going to be a Philmont adult leadership course piloted in September which has a half a day of geocaching built into it. Look at www.philmontleadershipchallenge.org for more info.

 

Happy trails :bad:

Edited by scoutboy
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In my sons troop we did an overnight camping trip with geocaching to go along with orienteering. The troop leader and I had gone to the camping area a few weeks before and set up a geocaching course. The week before the trip I went to their weekly meeting and explained the uses of and how to use a GPSr. Upon reaching the camping area the next we set up camp and explained what we were going to do the next day. There were 6 cache stations, we gave them the co-ordinates to the first one. They had to remember how to program the GPSr from the lesson the week before and put that information into the unit and perform a go-to operation. At each station was a camo'd film canister with co-ordinates to the next cache inside. Each team was given three sealed envelopes for each station with a hint in each one, if a hint is needed, you can open an envelope but it will cost your team a time penalty. The final station gave co-ordinates back to camp. Each group went out with an adult for supervision only. In the end the group with the fastest time, including penalties added, was declared the winner and awards were given. All scouts had a great time and every last one of them learned how to use a GPSr.

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I am also a boy scout, and there are many people in my troop that are intresated in geocaching. There probably won't be a merit badge for it, because it requires "specialized" equipment. At least, that is what my scoutmaster told me.

 

Team Firebird, as a Scouter, I think there maybe a geocaching merit badge, if enough scouts and scouters show interest in it. As with climbing it show you how to climb and then if you want to do it on your own, you have to buy the equipment.

 

Tim

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Where can I get more information about the Gerber geocaching course?

 

There is a post above by icefall5 that reads:

 

GEOCACHING IN GRFC

A new geocache has been placed at Gerber Scout Camp for all members of

the Boy Scouts ofAmerica to find and enjoy. This is a great opportunity to

teach your Scouts a amazing new skill with modern technology while on a

unique trip to Gerber Scout Camp. If have never heard about this and are

asking yourself, “A Geo..what now?”, then read on!! What happens is a

GPSr user hides a “treasure”, publishing the exact coordinates, for others to

find. There are only two rules to this game; If you take an item, leave

something too (but nothing illegal or harmful), and you must write about

your visit in the ‘log book’. For more information on Geocaching checkout

www.geocaching.com. To learn more about caching or to log a find in the

Gerald R Ford Council, e-mailMatt Hogg at mahogg@bsamail.org .

Current Geocache

Patch Trad-o-ree

COORDINATES HAVE BEEN REMOVED.

Placed by: Team Fire Scout (Look us up on Geocaching.com)

This cache has been certified: Mike Sulgrove and Scott Herrick

For those that are avid Geocachers this will not be listed on Geocaching.com

and we ask that it remain that way. Look for more caches to come in the

future.

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GPS is actually a part of a merit badge already (Surveying). No...really. Look it up.

 

Not convinced geocaching would make much of a merit badge on its own. Few sports have their own merit badge -- golf and archery the only ones I can think of. GPS skills should be added to MB's that involve navigation (Aviation, Hiking), at least as an option.

 

Its biggest value is that it gets the kids outside and on the trail. A lot of hikes turn into "burning miles" and having goals along the way keeps morale up.

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GPS is actually a part of a merit badge already (Surveying). No...really. Look it up.

 

Not convinced geocaching would make much of a merit badge on its own. Few sports have their own merit badge -- golf and archery the only ones I can think of. GPS skills should be added to MB's that involve navigation (Aviation, Hiking), at least as an option.

 

Its biggest value is that it gets the kids outside and on the trail. A lot of hikes turn into "burning miles" and having goals along the way keeps morale up.

 

I think that since a GPS is an important tool for many occupations and activities, having a bit covered under one relatively obscure badge like surveying will not present the training to a broad range of scouts. A badge on Electronic Navigation, which could be heavily slanted toward GPS usage, would probably generate more interest.

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The new issue of Scouting magazine, May-June 2008 just arrived by mail today. The cover/featured story is: "GPS, A Trailblazer for Trinkets and Treasure." It is about a troop doing some Geocaching, and covers many aspects, including geoscouting, CITO, Travel Bugs, geocoins, and more. A very thorough and nice article with good photos.

 

Their site as of my post has not been updated with this latest issue, but should soon.

Scouting Magazine

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The new issue of Scouting magazine, May-June 2008 just arrived by mail today. The cover/featured story is: "GPS, A Trailblazer for Trinkets and Treasure." It is about a troop doing some Geocaching, and covers many aspects, including geoscouting, CITO, Travel Bugs, geocoins, and more. A very thorough and nice article with good photos.

 

Their site as of my post has not been updated with this latest issue, but should soon.

Scouting Magazine

 

I have posted this article to our geoscouting.com website. We are pleased with the outcome. It was a blast showing them around some of the Marin County's caches.

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The first time I went geocaching was on a scout campout. The whole troop had a good time. On our wilderness surival campout our scoutmaster had us geocache for our dinner. We had our normal orientiering course with map and compass but at the last point we all had to stop and wait for all the groups. Then we got the troop gpsr with the coordinates to a bag with cans of chili. It was really fun. Now before every campout we always try to find geocaches in the area. I am working on a trail for my eagle project and I plan to place some caches when I am done to get more people out on the trail.

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In my sons troop we did an overnight camping trip with geocaching to go along with orienteering. The troop leader and I had gone to the camping area a few weeks before and set up a geocaching course. The week before the trip I went to their weekly meeting and explained the uses of and how to use a GPSr. Upon reaching the camping area the next we set up camp and explained what we were going to do the next day. There were 6 cache stations, we gave them the co-ordinates to the first one. They had to remember how to program the GPSr from the lesson the week before and put that information into the unit and perform a go-to operation. At each station was a camo'd film canister with co-ordinates to the next cache inside. Each team was given three sealed envelopes for each station with a hint in each one, if a hint is needed, you can open an envelope but it will cost your team a time penalty. The final station gave co-ordinates back to camp. Each group went out with an adult for supervision only. In the end the group with the fastest time, including penalties added, was declared the winner and awards were given. All scouts had a great time and every last one of them learned how to use a GPSr.

 

That sounds like a very cool campout activity. Where were you camped?

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Dan Beard Council (Cincinnati, OH) will be holing its biannual Peterloon event this October. It is a weekend of camping at Lower Camp Craig (Cub World).

 

I would like to get in touch with individuals or groups that would be interested in sponsoring a geocaching activity at Peterloon.

 

I will be attending the Geocache and Scouting conference at PTC in June and hopefully will get lots of good ideas for activities.

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<snip>I will be attending the Geocache and Scouting conference at PTC in June and hopefully will get lots of good ideas for activities.

 

I think you'll enjoy it and bring back a lot of ideas. I was there the last two years and had to pass on attending again this year. Maybe next summer...

 

Enjoy!

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I just came back from a week at Boy Scout camp with my son. Our troop goes for 2 weeks, and with the permission of our council, I hid 5 caches for the Scouts & Leaders of the second week to find - 4 conventional caches, each with a clue to find the fifth. They had a great time with it! The only hitch was the caches had to be picked up as I didn't get permission to make them permanent. I'd like to propose more permanent caches to the council & wonder if anyone has come up with a scheme for logging finds on a website protected with a password, so it's only available to scouts, since this all involves private land? Thanks.

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I just came back from a week at Boy Scout camp with my son. Our troop goes for 2 weeks, and with the permission of our council, I hid 5 caches for the Scouts & Leaders of the second week to find - 4 conventional caches, each with a clue to find the fifth. They had a great time with it! The only hitch was the caches had to be picked up as I didn't get permission to make them permanent. I'd like to propose more permanent caches to the council & wonder if anyone has come up with a scheme for logging finds on a website protected with a password, so it's only available to scouts, since this all involves private land? Thanks.

 

What would be the requirements? Would you need to be able to approve or limit the people that could look for your caches on Scout property? Or would all people approved to look at Scouting caches be able to search your listings? I believe there is a need for an application like this and would like to explore this further.

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I'd like to propose more permanent caches to the council & wonder if anyone has come up with a scheme for logging finds on a website protected with a password, so it's only available to scouts, since this all involves private land? Thanks.

 

What would be the requirements? Would you need to be able to approve or limit the people that could look for your caches on Scout property? Or would all people approved to look at Scouting caches be able to search your listings? I believe there is a need for an application like this and would like to explore this further.

 

Hmm... I don't think I'd need to approve or limit the people logging finds. If the cache contained the password, then only those on the property could access the cache page. Not sure if I would limit the viewing of the cache pages, but maybe that's necessary. Currently our Cub Scout camp has 15 caches listed on a webpage that anyone can view, but there's no logging of finds except in the logbook in the cache. It would be nice to post your story & pictures similar to Groundspeak's model. I'm also thinking about a patch or something to reward those who find them all.

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I think this project would almost have to have it's own site.

 

Scout property is (mostly) private. In my council, and I assume in others, my council leadership screams about the potential liability of having anyone on the property that has not checked in to participate in one of the current activities, and/or is not a member of the program.

 

If there was a ScoutCache site, caches located specifically on Scout property could be listed, membership could be allocated, and passwords ot access could be assigned, but you still have the need to get on the property. Those rules would vary by council and could be a tricky thing to navigate.

 

Lots of benefits for Scouts though - another reason to visit a new location, themed caches that relate to the program, maybe tie it to an award of some type (similar to Earthcache pins), cross-unit challenges, everyone - Tigers to adult - can participate. Could also be tied to advancement, merit badge, and recruitment activities. May work well with the Girl Scout activities, too.

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