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Thoughts on playgrounds?


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I recently placed my first cache. It's a Puzzle Cache which requires finders to visit three different playground areas in the immediant area and count various items (how many slides here, how many benches there, etc). The actual cache is located in a park (not a playground) a short distance away.

 

The second person who logged on my cache put a DNF on it, and said that they don't do caches that involve playgrounds, citing that geocachers shouldn't be invading "safe areas" for children, like playgrounds.

 

What's the general feeling about this? Should playgrounds be off limits for anything involving Geocaching? I've personally enjoyed some of the geocaches that have been near park areas as it's fun for my kids to play a little bit after a find. The reviewer allowed the cache, obviously, so I doubt that there is necessarily a ban on anything playground related. But if the general concensious is that playgrounds are bad, then I can re-arrange the cache...

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I recently placed my first cache. It's a Puzzle Cache which requires finders to visit three different playground areas in the immediant area and count various items (how many slides here, how many benches there, etc). The actual cache is located in a park (not a playground) a short distance away.

 

The second person who logged on my cache put a DNF on it, and said that they don't do caches that involve playgrounds, citing that geocachers shouldn't be invading "safe areas" for children, like playgrounds.

 

What's the general feeling about this? Should playgrounds be off limits for anything involving Geocaching? I've personally enjoyed some of the geocaches that have been near park areas as it's fun for my kids to play a little bit after a find. The reviewer allowed the cache, obviously, so I doubt that there is necessarily a ban on anything playground related. But if the general concensious is that playgrounds are bad, then I can re-arrange the cache...

Placing caches too near playgrounds is generally considered a bad idea. It not only makes the cache hunter looks like a "person of interest" (as the police would say), it also greatly increased the likelihood of the cache being muggled. Kids go wherever they feel like, and don't need a rational reason to do so. The "adult" idea that your cache is safe because no one would ever look there goes right out the window when you add a child to the equation.

Edited by Prime Suspect
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Placing caches too near playgrounds is generally considered a bad idea. It not only makes the cache hunter looks like a "person of interest" (as the police would say), it also greatly increased the likelihood of the cache being muggled. Kids go wherever they feel like, and don't need a rational reason to do so. The "adult" idea that your cache is safe because no one would ever look there goes right out the window when you add a child to the equation.

Well, the cache is NOT in a playground area at all. The only thing that is located in the park is playground equipment that needs to be counted, so the muggle issue is a non-factor.

 

As for the "person of interest", I'm not sure that applies too much in my area either. First, I indicated that the cachers be on playground areas and to NOT be there during school hours. Additionally, during non-school hours there are quite oftem adults at all three locations.

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It's sad to say but alot of people wont do "playground" caches. With all the "freak"s in the world it has come to that. I don't mind doing park caches but not so sure if I would do a "playground" area unless it was empty. It's just up the person I guess. Some people wont do cemetary caches because they think it's disrespectful.

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Your cache is not IN the playground but the clues to finding your cache are. If a cacher has a personal issue about stopping by a playground to count slides then that is their issue and I don't think you should sweat it.

 

I will agree with that cacher that I do not like searching for caches IN or immediately adjacent to a playground. But as a way to gather clues ... I see no problem with it.

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The second person who logged on my cache put a DNF on it, and said that they don't do caches that involve playgrounds, citing that geocachers shouldn't be invading "safe areas" for children, like playgrounds.

 

If they don't DO caches that involve playgrounds, they WHY put a DNF on your logs? That is crap! If they didn't look for it, they don't need to be using a DNF to make a statement on YOUR cache. If it was approved and falls into the guidelines, then he has no place logging this stuff on your cache.

 

The OP is certainly entitiled not to look for your cache, or entitled to look for it, as they see fit. You are entitled to hide your cache or involve counting swings, or whatever you want, so long as it falls within guidelines and gets approved. Delete his log, and CACHE ON!

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I don't plan on deleting the log... as I mentioned, I did put in the description that the counting will happen in playgrounds, but it doesn't hurt to have more listing of it to be sure that everyone sees it. I don't want someone wasting time if they really don't want to do caches related to playgrounds.

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Your cache is not IN the playground but the clues to finding your cache are. If a cacher has a personal issue about stopping by a playground to count slides then that is their issue and I don't think you should sweat it.

 

I will agree with that cacher that I do not like searching for caches IN or immediately adjacent to a playground. But as a way to gather clues ... I see no problem with it.

 

I would never place or hunt a cache on playground equipment, even with my kids with me. However, since you only require cachers to count equipment, rather than searching every nook and cranny of the equipment, I would look for your cache.

 

If cachers brought a notepad, and counted the pieces equipment, parents might keep an eye on you, but won't automatically consider you a weird pervert.

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I don't see any real valid reason to restrict caches in playground areas but I really do not like searching for caches in such. I find it's really too difficult to search a playground area without looking like some sort of stalker. Get really nervous in these hunts and usually bag the objective much earlier than I would like due to pressure from parents of nearby kids.

 

Think anything near playgrounds increase the difficulty by an order of maginitude due to the kid issue.

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caches near playgrounds are great for cachers with kids (duh).

 

Anyone can look like they are interested in maintenance or something of that nature and blend in easily... the "clipboard" ruse as many have noted.

 

So, if someone is concerned about their appearance the solution is sipmle, either take a kid with you, look official, or put it on your ignore list.

 

The person who DNF'd prolly has an agenda regarding this thing. But then, if he tried and DNF then the log is legitimate regardless. Funny though to log a DNF on a type of cache you just don't do.

 

I think I may have DNF logged a few that way myself, but only if I went to the site and then discovered it was a type I don't like or I was uncomfortable with some aspect and such facts were not stated in the cache page.

 

In any case a DNF is appropriate for any legitimate attempt and no smiley, no matter what the reason for the failure be it exhaustive searching or mission abort for whatever reason. The log is the cachers personal history.

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As you are caching, you will see that there are all different types of people that cache and all diferent types of caches.

 

Personally - I would go to find a cache like this. I have 3 kids, and a niece that would be busy playing on this playground while I count stuff. I like looking for caches while they are playing and I can keep them in eyesight. In fact, I would have my kids helping me count.

 

But that is me.........

 

With the age of my kids, the harder hikes are ones we have to skip for right now. I go places I can go with a stroller or front carrier(but not too long - he is getting heavy)But that doesn't mean I don't think they should be there.

 

I wouldn't worry about it. As you start to hide caches, you will get people that like them, and people that don't. Don't let it get to you.

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I have done caches on playground, but typically avoid them (curse my insistence on getting everything within 10 miles of my house though).

 

I have been questioned by either the local security patrol of police on a couple of occassions, and I can do without the dirty looks from concerned parents.

 

Still more fun than a wal-mart parking lot though. :laughing:

Edited by ThePropers
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As for the "person of interest", I'm not sure that applies too much in my area either. First, I indicated that the cachers be on playground areas and to NOT be there during school hours. Additionally, during non-school hours there are quite oftem adults at all three locations.

 

These are school playgrounds? For some reason, that bothers me a little more than if they were playgrounds in public parks.

 

I see the first person to log your cache mentioned a no tresspassing sign, can the counting be done from outside the posted area?

 

If this cache were nearby, I'd definately go and check it out (non-school hours), but depending on exactly how the area is setup and how busy the playground was, I might or might not actually attempt to complete it. I think the DNF log is a fair warning to others that circumstances may be a bit uncomfortable for some and discretion is advisable.

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LOL, this subject always reminds me of a picture that was sent to me about 2 years ago. We have a local hider who is known for his devious micro hides ON and near statues.

 

Dang! I wish I could find that picture!

 

Picture this.... A life size bronze statue of a little girl in a billowing knee length skirt just beginning to bend over to pick up a bronze ball on the ground. There's a cacher bent over double with his head craned around to look UP the skirt for the micro, which was actually in a bush about 5 feet away. An EMPTY kiddie par is in the background just a few yards away.

 

Talk about your person of interest geocaching story.... I crack up every time I think of it.

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As for the "person of interest", I'm not sure that applies too much in my area either. First, I indicated that the cachers be on playground areas and to NOT be there during school hours. Additionally, during non-school hours there are quite oftem adults at all three locations.

 

These are school playgrounds? For some reason, that bothers me a little more than if they were playgrounds in public parks.

 

I see the first person to log your cache mentioned a no tresspassing sign, can the counting be done from outside the posted area?

 

If this cache were nearby, I'd definately go and check it out (non-school hours), but depending on exactly how the area is setup and how busy the playground was, I might or might not actually attempt to complete it. I think the DNF log is a fair warning to others that circumstances may be a bit uncomfortable for some and discretion is advisable.

 

School property? I'll pass on the cache even if it's just counting equipment.

 

Any other public playground, sure why not? I can decide for myself when the 'time is right' to do an inventory.

Edited by BlueDeuce
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Groundspeak has good and logical Guidelines for caches near schools and I suspect adherence to them is high on any Reviewer's priority list.

 

Beyond that, if it meets the criteria for listing, go enjoy it!

 

If you are self-concious and uncomfortable about being where children play, worry about being questioned by parents or cops, don't go.

 

I have done a number of them, and been busted at some.

 

The most memorable cache where I was busted was in fact not on school grounds, but in the woods behind it. Access to the cache was an overgrown dirt road off of a street a block behind the school, so until you walk in to the cache area and see it you don't know that there's a school there.

 

So we walk in, myself and a surgeon friend. Like me he's confidant and self-possessed, so we don't worry about much. Like many of our friends we learned early that if we look and act as if we're in charge, no matter where we are, we'll rarely be questiond.

 

We see the school playground maybe 60 yards further down the trail from the cache area, no worries, it's four-thirty, school's long over, we start looking for the cache.

 

Four kids on the playground see us wandering about and, being kids, leave the playground, come up the trail and ask what we're up to.

 

OK, caching behind a school with my buddy is one thing; two men in the woods talking with children behind a school is a whole 'nother thing. Alarm bells ring in my head, albeit mildly.

 

So instead of explaining the game, as I would in almost any other situation, I tell them we're hunting a big snake that's been reported in the area. Some dogs are missing and we really want to kill this big snake before it hurts somebody; it's not safe for you to be back here, please return to the schoolground.

 

Total misfire. Now the kids are excited and want to help find the blasted snake. Hunting a big snake? We're their new best friends.

 

About this time I look up and there are two women, silent, obviously Mom's, judging by the fire in their eyes, arms folded, standing in the trail giving me the evil eye! Ut Oh. Stories heard long ago about how excited women can perform super-human feats of strength to protect and save their kids flash through my mind.

 

So I explain the game, tell them what we're looking for, keep looking while I am talking because I REALLY want to find this ammo box and show it to them. Every second that passes makes me want to show them the cache more, as it's obvious they ain't buying my story.

 

Now the kids are searching for the cache.

 

DNF. This is a 1/1 ammo box along a trail in suburban woods. How can we DNF it?

 

This is NOT the time to DNF this cache. If I can show these women the cache I might get out of this alive.

 

DNF, and time to go. Now.

 

So we wish the women a good day and skedadle back to the truck. Whew. That coulda been ugly!

 

There's another cache a mile away, and we go for it.

 

I'm driving down another over-grown road when I hear an unwelcome hiss of air from the front right tire.

 

It's only at this moment, prompted by that unmistakeable hiss, when I remember that ever since I bought this Jeep, all year now, I have been meaning to get a jack. That hiss brings clarity... "Uh, Fred, I don't have a jack". Fred is not amused.

 

So we turn around and head for civilization, no choice but drive on the flat.

 

We're limping along on the side of the main road, 5 mph, tire going flop-flop-flop.

 

Guess what the main road takes us past. Yup. The School.

 

And, the parking lot is flat full of cops. Lots of cops. Local cops. County cops. Even a State cop.

 

I smile at them as I flop slowly past, and see one of the women pointing at us. Ut Oh.

 

I didn't count them, my mind was on other things, but I think there were six police cars and maybe 47 cops surrounding my car is mere seconds.

 

Weapons were in hands.

 

Tense moments ensue while the police run our car and personal ID. Now, I like police as a rule, certainly all of them I know, and they like me, I think. These cops did not like me at that moment. Having heard Mom's story these cops wanted me to move suddenly, or at all. They appeared to want that very much. Stand very still, smile, and wait for a clean bill of health from the radio.

 

We come up clean, which eases the cops minds not one iota. Fred's laughing quietly to himself, probably envisioning his medical license dissappearing under charges of pedophilia or something, so it's up to me to explain our actions.

 

"Mind if we look in your vehicle?" It's really not a question. Paraphrased it means 'we can look here, or tow the Jeep and look at the station'. A search of the Jeep ensues. Fortunately I have all kinds of geocache listing printouts, GeocachingU flyers, GPS and lots of equipment related to finding geocaches. No rope for securing hands, no tape for young mouths.

 

So, we're clean, no wants, no warrants, and present ourselves without the twitch cops are used to seeing in bad guys, and the situation lightens up.

 

"This cache-thing has to be removed immediately". "Uh. Sorry, Officers, we couldn't find it!" This does not help our case. The pendulem swings back, erasing any lightening of their mood.

 

Finally we're released, no offer to help with the tire situation. We're told where a tire shop is, use the flashers and don't block the road, and the swarm of police returns to the school.

 

Whoo boy. That was interesting! Fred's back to good humor, we laugh as we drive to the tire shop... the nervous adrenalin-fired black humor of folks who've been close to the abyss.

 

I happened to be a Volunteer Reviewer at the time. It took thirty minutes to drive home and within thirty-two minutes that sucker was archived.

 

It didn't, however, stop me from caching playgrounds - a month later I am with four caching friends who are looking for one in a playground at a school at ten o'clock at night (quite coincidentally it's owned by DrFred!).

 

Since I have found it I stay in the car, and one of Vestavia's finest rolls up, lowers his, window, looks me over with a flashlight, and asks "Y'all looking for the geocache?" "We are, Sir" "Carry on, have fun." and leaves.

 

So, if you have the personality and temperament to gently and logically explain yourself, if your police record, car and drivers license can withstand scrutiny, you can cache just about anywhere.

 

Ed

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Nice story.

I can't help wonder

A) What was going through those moms minds.

and

:laughing: Why you didn't show them all that caching info you had with you.

Sounds like you could have avoided alot of trouble by being honest up front.

 

As for playgrounds, they go right on my ignor list. Scared moms(and dads) will not do the image of Geocaching any good.

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Nice story.

I can't help wonder

A) What was going through those moms minds.

and

:laughing: Why you didn't show them all that caching info you had with you.

Sounds like you could have avoided alot of trouble by being honest up front.

 

As for playgrounds, they go right on my ignor list. Scared moms(and dads) will not do the image of Geocaching any good.

 

A - Nothing going on in their minds was beneficial to me, I assure you.

 

B - All that stuff, except our GPS, was back at the truck. Inviting these Mom's to "Come on, follow us through these woods, we'll go to my truck and I can explain everything!" wasn't gonna accomplish anything positive! :lol:

 

Per your next comment - um, no. That was not the time nor place to explain geocaching to those kids, prudence called for us to walk away, the next best thing was to send the kids away.

 

[flame-suit]Honesty, though an excellent personal attribute, is not always the best policy![/flame-suit]

 

As far as letting that tale and a few posts scare you away from caching playgrounds, that's a bit extreme, as it ignores the thousands of positive experiences geocachers have with them in favor of a few negative encounters. Apply that logic to your life and you will be scared to leave the house!

 

Ed

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Should playgrounds be off limits for anything involving Geocaching?

 

Yes.

 

 

I have to agree. We do them, because we try to keep a 10-mile radius clear, but we make sure to do them very early on a Sunday morning. Sure, I'd LIKE to be able to place them on my ignore list, but I'd still know they were there . . . taunting me.

 

 

It's really fun, and easy for the hider to bring his kid along and slap a magnetic key holder onto the bottom of some playground equipment. It only takes a few seconds. It's a completely different matter when I have to go look for it. I will probably NOT find it in 5 seconds and do not appreciate looking like some pedophile while looking for your cache.

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Well, after a lot of thought about this, I decided to change my cache. While I still feel that my cache would've been okay (remember, you would only be counting items, not looking in bushes, or under play structures, etc -- and the final cache was NOT in a playground area), it seems that a large number of people avoid caches that involved playground.

 

I've left the final cache in the original location, but I changed the counting spots. You still go to spots in the same general area, but now the finder does NOT go onto school grounds at all.

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but now the finder does NOT go onto school grounds at all.

 

Which is good, because caches on school grounds ARE against the guidelines.

Caches may be quickly archived if we see the following (which is not inclusive):

 

Caches near or under public structures deemed potential or possible targets for terrorist attacks. These include but are not limited to highway bridges, dams, government buildings, elementary and secondary schools, and airports.

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but now the finder does NOT go onto school grounds at all.

 

Which is good, because caches on school grounds ARE against the guidelines.

Caches may be quickly archived if we see the following (which is not inclusive):

 

Caches near or under public structures deemed potential or possible targets for terrorist attacks. These include but are not limited to highway bridges, dams, government buildings, elementary and secondary schools, and airports.

 

Shouldn't you add 'except where placed with permission'? It is my understanding that adequate permission sometimes trumps guidelines... am I wrong?

 

Are there caches in fact placed on playgrounds and other school grounds that are acceptable and listed because the owner got permission from the principal?

 

Ed

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Which is good, because caches on school grounds ARE against the guidelines.

The cache itself was NEVER on school grounds. Not to beat a dead horse, but the clue location were on school grounds. You needed to stand there and count items, never look for anything hidden. Now, I understand the rules here, and the rule, along with why I thought it was okay was listed in my note to the reviewer. Obviously the reviewer agreed with me that it was okay, or it never would have been published, no?

 

Caches may be quickly archived if we see the following (which is not inclusive):

 

Caches near or under public structures deemed potential or possible targets for terrorist attacks. These include but are not limited to highway bridges, dams, government buildings, elementary and secondary schools, and airports.

I always thought this was a bit of a weird guideline... I mean isn't part of the effectiveness of terrorist attacks that they aren't typically things thought of to be military targets? Couldn't malls or shopping centers be legit targets? Couldn't sight-seeing spots be targets? Couldn't just about anything?

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I'm glad you changed your cache. I don't like doing playground caches and would have a VERY difficult time going to a SCHOOL playground even if it were just to count things. I don't know that it was wrong, as much as it was just disliked by many people. Glad you thought it through and changed it. By the way, I do go after playground caches, I just don't like them. I've never done any sort of cache on school grounds even just counting things.

 

I know that the cops where I live patrol the school grounds and despite being able to "talk my way out of it", it would be much simpler to avoid the situation.

Edited by Team Smokey
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Which is good, because caches on school grounds ARE against the guidelines.

The cache itself was NEVER on school grounds. Not to beat a dead horse, but the clue location were on school grounds. You needed to stand there and count items, never look for anything hidden. Now, I understand the rules here, and the rule, along with why I thought it was okay was listed in my note to the reviewer. Obviously the reviewer agreed with me that it was okay, or it never would have been published, no?

 

Maybe, maybe not. Look at how much conversation it took before we finally found out the first stage was on school property. Did you explicitly inform the reviewer that the 1st stage was on school property?

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One cache near us was hidden in a park which is immediately beside a school. The schools playground and the park kind of blend together, there's no boundary line, and the cache was within 100 yards of the school. 2 cachers from Ohio were here looking for the cache, and the school was at recess, so there were kids and teachers out. The cachers eventually left and when they got home, there was a message on their answering machine from our local police, who wanted a call to explain why they were hanging out at a school with a camera. Obviously they had a GPSr and not a camera, but the teachers who reported them couldn't tell the difference. They didn't get in trouble, but they did post an SBA on the cache, and it was archived.

 

Playgrounds and caches aren't a great idea. I only ever hunt them if there are no kids anywhere around, or if I take my own kids. As long as you're obviously a parent and not a perceived "pervert" you can hang out on playgrounds with kids.

 

As far as just having to count playground equipment items, you could do that walking by, I don't think that's such a big deal... IF the playground is in a public park. I don't think caches (or cachers) have any business being on school property near playgrounds. That's a police incident waiting to happen.

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Maybe, maybe not. Look at how much conversation it took before we finally found out the first stage was on school property. Did you explicitly inform the reviewer that the 1st stage was on school property?

Absolutely. I imformed him explicitly that all three of the 'counting' stages were on school grounds. (Just so you don't think that I'm some sort of sicko, they are all within a block and a half of each other... I wasn't out specifically searching for school playgrounds!)

 

Anyway, I did explicitly inform the reviewer, and why I didn't think it would be an issue. I also explicity informed seekers in the description of the cache that they were going on school grounds, and that they should NOT do the cache during school hours. So even if the reviewer missed in in the reviewer note, it was there in the cache.

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One cache near us was hidden in a park which is immediately beside a school. The schools playground and the park kind of blend together, there's no boundary line, and the cache was within 100 yards of the school. 2 cachers from Ohio were here looking for the cache, and the school was at recess, so there were kids and teachers out. The cachers eventually left and when they got home, there was a message on their answering machine from our local police, who wanted a call to explain why they were hanging out at a school with a camera. Obviously they had a GPSr and not a camera, but the teachers who reported them couldn't tell the difference. They didn't get in trouble, but they did post an SBA on the cache, and it was archived.

 

Playgrounds and caches aren't a great idea. I only ever hunt them if there are no kids anywhere around, or if I take my own kids. As long as you're obviously a parent and not a perceived "pervert" you can hang out on playgrounds with kids.

 

As far as just having to count playground equipment items, you could do that walking by, I don't think that's such a big deal... IF the playground is in a public park. I don't think caches (or cachers) have any business being on school property near playgrounds. That's a police incident waiting to happen.

There is a cache in my area simular to that. There are a lot of public parks right next to school here and some schools even share the playground with the park. However there hasn't been any issues with the cache in my area. The placement is such that there is no way that you can be observed while hunting the cache.

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I can think of a few caches that I've done where the first stage was on school property. Fortunately, school was out.

Plygrounds, on the other hand, I avoid completely, except when they're on my Ten-Mile List. Sunday morning, about 8, is probably the best time (if any time could be said to be good). I will probably be putting any new ones on my ignore list. Middle aged men counting playground equipment is not a wise idea. Bring a kid with me? You got one to loan out? Dumbest idea I've heard yet! Then we have our local bright bulb: "Count the number of tiers on the ladder." Huh? There are five tiers on the ladder. Oh? You meant tires? Duh! 'Black rolers'? Huh? I counted one 'tier', or is that 'tire'? Three months later, it comes out that he meant black round treads. They don't 'role'. Duh. And there were six bridges, not five. He didn't circle around the playground to see the other one.

Local bright bulb aside (and, would you belive that he archived his one and only (IMHO) good cache, because it 'wasn't popular'), many playground deny entrance to anyone not accompanied by a child. Our favorite (waste elimination) stop on the upper east side of New York was the Richard Seabury playground at 96th and Lex. The playground was recently rebuilt, and now denies entrance to anyone not accompanied by a child. The constitutional issues on this have not yet been addressed.

Nope. I think that caches in playgrounds, or that have waypoints in playgrounds, are trouble just waiting to happen. Please find a better place for your cache!

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Add me to the roster of cachers who do NOT like to seek caches in playgrounds. This includes intermediate stages of caches that would require me to count objects. That said, I do have to seek and find all caches, hidden within 10 miles of home. That's just how I play. :laughing:

 

I finally crossed a playground hide off my unfound list yesterday; I cannot count the number of times I have pulled into the parking lot, seen the activity that is more appropriate for these locations, and driven away without even putting the car into Park. :lol:

 

There are many places in the whole world where caches can be hidden, and objects can be counted. Why would you even consider a playground or school zone if you have ths slightest hesitation that it is wrong?

You have steadfastly insisted that the cache is was not in a playground, but if an intermediate stage of your cache is in a playground, then your cache is in a playground. Stop playing around with the semantics, and thank you for listening to what most posters in this thread are saying.

 

BTW-I'm not against high exposure urban hides and even own a few. I just do not like playgrounds. TAR's tale of woe upthread is a perfect example of why. There is no animal more dangerous than a protective mother. :D

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Nice story.

I can't help wonder

A) What was going through those moms minds.

and

:unsure: Why you didn't show them all that caching info you had with you.

Sounds like you could have avoided alot of trouble by being honest up front.

 

As for playgrounds, they go right on my ignor list. Scared moms(and dads) will not do the image of Geocaching any good.

 

A - Nothing going on in their minds was beneficial to me, I assure you.

 

B - All that stuff, except our GPS, was back at the truck. Inviting these Mom's to "Come on, follow us through these woods, we'll go to my truck and I can explain everything!" wasn't gonna accomplish anything positive! :blink:

 

Per your next comment - um, no. That was not the time nor place to explain geocaching to those kids, prudence called for us to walk away, the next best thing was to send the kids away.

 

[flame-suit]Honesty, though an excellent personal attribute, is not always the best policy![/flame-suit]

 

As far as letting that tale and a few posts scare you away from caching playgrounds, that's a bit extreme, as it ignores the thousands of positive experiences geocachers have with them in favor of a few negative encounters. Apply that logic to your life and you will be scared to leave the house!

 

Ed

 

I do not fear playgrounds, I do not want to cause fear in parents and their children at play grounds.

And I stand corrected, you should have walked away.

To us it is a game or sport or whatever you wish to call it, to those mothers it was the safety of their children.

But that isn't important as long as we get our smillies. :shocked:

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Should playgrounds be off limits for anything involving Geocaching?

 

Absolutely not.

The less credence given to hyper-vigilant mothers and their irrational fears, the better.

 

I would have no problem hunting your cache in broad daylight with the playground teeming with kids and mothers.

(Though it's a bit late now, as you've changed the cache)

 

-ajb

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I happened to be a Volunteer Reviewer at the time. It took thirty minutes to drive home and within thirty-two minutes that sucker was archived.
The most memorable cache where I was busted was in fact not on school grounds, but in the woods behind it.

Ed, I ask this as an honest inquiry, not as my typical "snarky" self. If the cache was not on school property, why did you feel a need to archive it? Was it in violation of some particular guideline, or was it cuz it was so obviously a bad place to hide an ammo can?

 

Back on topic:

I won't hunt for a cache on an occupied playground. I've got better things to do with my spare time than explaining to my fellow officers why I'm looking suspicious around a bunch of curtain climbers. If a playground cache is hidden by someone I know who strives for interesting hides, I'll bide my time and nab it when no one is there. Otherwise it goes on my "Ignore" list.

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There are many places in the whole world where caches can be hidden, and objects can be counted. Why would you even consider a playground or school zone if you have ths slightest hesitation that it is wrong?

I didn't have the slightest hesitation that it was wrong. Based on the locations of these playgrounds, the traffic that is typically there, and what the finders needed to do, I didn't think there would be any issues what so ever. I still think the issues would've been very miniscule, at worst. But I am willing to admit that there is the possibility of trouble, and because of that people would avoid my cache. And because of that, I moved it -- or rather I moved the counting locations.

You have steadfastly insisted that the cache is was not in a playground, but if an intermediate stage of your cache is in a playground, then your cache is in a playground. Stop playing around with the semantics, and thank you for listening to what most posters in this thread are saying.

Perhaps I wasn't clear in what I was saying. What I've insisted was that the final cache... the only thing that you need to "search around for" wasn't in a playground...

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Perhaps I wasn't clear in what I was saying. What I've insisted was that the final cache... the only thing that you need to "search around for" wasn't in a playground...

And I have a feeling the same "unclearness" was in the info you gave the reviewer, and that's why it was approved. Care to post your reviewer notes?

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Wow. I'm surprised (well, really... maybe I'm not) that there's so much controversy over this issue... and deeply saddened that it has come to this. Moms calling the police because their kids were talking to some men in the park? Wow. I'm not near old enough to remember the "good ol' days", but I imagine back in the 60's, 70's, 80's even, this was absolutely normal.

 

I can't say I'd really ever thought about this before. In the story recounted above, if it had been me, and the mom was giving me the Eye, I would probably have immediately pointed to the mom and told the kids, "You need to go back to your mom now, okay?" And probably keep on searching the grounds. Make it obvious that's what I'm doing (check GPS often). Make it CLEAR that I'm not at all interested in the little kids at the park. I'd probably explain to everyone up front what I was doing, not that it would necessarily help, but better to be open about things...

 

But like the others have said already, I probably wouldn't want to spend too long on (or too close to) school property, and I would only search the park if it was pretty empty. Or if I had a kid with me.

 

I work with teenagers, actually, at a summer camp, and I have taken some of them with me on cache hunts. These guys are 14-16 years old, and I have discovered that they give you instant free reign to go anywhere (not that they'd be inhibited in the first place!) Especially if you take more than one! They'll go in anywhere, they'll climb anything, they'll create distractions (my guys vaulted over fences for a few minutes once while I searched for a nearby micro), they'll create a suitable guise for you to be doing same ("C'mon guys, don't make me go in there after you... argh!")... and, yes, they are, in some cases, your admission ticket into a playground area.

 

There's one cache in the area where the final waypoint tag is posted UNDER the wooden stairs up to a slide in a play structure in a local park. It's across the street from a high school, but it's a very quiet park. The cache itself was located less than 100m away from that. I had no issues searching in and around this particular park.

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There are many places in the whole world where caches can be hidden, and objects can be counted. Why would you even consider a playground or school zone if you have ths slightest hesitation that it is wrong?

I didn't have the slightest hesitation that it was wrong. Based on the locations of these playgrounds, the traffic that is typically there, and what the finders needed to do, I didn't think there would be any issues what so ever. I still think the issues would've been very miniscule, at worst. But I am willing to admit that there is the possibility of trouble, and because of that people would avoid my cache. And because of that, I moved it -- or rather I moved the counting locations.

You have steadfastly insisted that the cache is was not in a playground, but if an intermediate stage of your cache is in a playground, then your cache is in a playground. Stop playing around with the semantics, and thank you for listening to what most posters in this thread are saying.

Perhaps I wasn't clear in what I was saying. What I've insisted was that the final cache... the only thing that you need to "search around for" wasn't in a playground...

If I saw myself standing at the edge of a playground full of children intensely looking at something or someone on the playground I too would call the police to have myself checked out. Some people just arn't comfortable with being checked out. If so they should simply avoid the situation.

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If I saw myself standing at the edge of a playground full of children intensely looking at something or someone on the playground I too would call the police to have myself checked out. Some people just arn't comfortable with being checked out. If so they should simply avoid the situation.

 

If I saw myself standing at the edge of a playground full of children, I'd say "dadgum, that guy is one good looking fellow" and then I'd call the police.

 

Maybe that comes from being a parent of a 5 year old, where in the back of your head you are always checking other people out in situations like that. Not sure, but yeah, playgrounds make me uncomfortable. I usually take along the aforementioned 5 year old for cover if I do hunt one in a playground.

 

haha...ok I didn't realize the forum software changed my original barely-a-swear-word to "dagdum" but that's good stuff! Hmmm....I wonder what it changes other curse words to.

Edited by ThePropers
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I recently placed my first cache. It's a Puzzle Cache which requires finders to visit three different playground areas in the immediant area and count various items (how many slides here, how many benches there, etc). The actual cache is located in a park (not a playground) a short distance away.

 

The second person who logged on my cache put a DNF on it, and said that they don't do caches that involve playgrounds, citing that geocachers shouldn't be invading "safe areas" for children, like playgrounds.

 

What's the general feeling about this? Should playgrounds be off limits for anything involving Geocaching? I've personally enjoyed some of the geocaches that have been near park areas as it's fun for my kids to play a little bit after a find. The reviewer allowed the cache, obviously, so I doubt that there is necessarily a ban on anything playground related. But if the general concensious is that playgrounds are bad, then I can re-arrange the cache...

 

A few thoughts.

A cache in a play ground area is a bad idea. Not because of the playground and the kids so much as Kids will find the cache and it will turn up missing. It's an area of high muggle activity.

 

As far as the park that playgrounds are normally in, those are fair game and a good use of our park lands.

 

When it comes to safe areas for children people seem to be developing the ideas that the presences of adults without kids is a bad thing. It's not. Geocachers help keep the park 'safe' by doing a legitimate activity and the more legitimate things going on the less likely the "other" uses of the park that parents would worry about won't take place. Again the high "muggle" factor plays a part.

 

Like you have discovered, looking for a cache in the park lets the kids run and play in the playground while you try and find the cache. They have fun, you have fun, the park is safer it's win win all the way around.

 

Lastly, your lack of a container solves the muggle problem posed by the playground. Yes an adult counting equipment may look odd, but since geocaching is a perfectly fine activity, there is no harm in that. Hell if we reach the day that looking odd is the crime then we have major sociatal problems to solve that have nothing to do with caching.

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Perhaps I wasn't clear in what I was saying. What I've insisted was that the final cache... the only thing that you need to "search around for" wasn't in a playground...

And I have a feeling the same "unclearness" was in the info you gave the reviewer, and that's why it was approved. Care to post your reviewer notes?

I'm not sure I have them any more... I'll have to look and see. These aren't save in the cache anywhere, are they?

 

From memory, my original cache description said something to the effect of:

 

These playgrounds are located on school grounds so do NOT do this cache when schools are in session.

 

My note to the reveiwer said (again, from memory):

 

I know that the guidelines say to stay away from schools, however I don't think this will be a problem in my area because 1. These areas are all frequented by adults during none school hours, 2. There is nothing hidden in these locations... the finder just needs to count plainly visable playground items. 3. The final cache is located a 1/4 mile from an schools.

 

I'm not 100% sure that I'm remember everything right. I do know that 100% sure I said in the original cache not to do this when schools where in session, and that the finder needed to go to school playgrounds. I'm also 100% sure in the reviewers note that I mentioned that I didn't think the school ban guideline would be an issue and then gave my reasons.

 

I was never unclear about the fact that clue locations were in school playgrounds. I've readily admited and restated that fact. The only time I brought up that the cache (meaning the final location, where the actual physical cache is) is not on school grounds is when people state that they wouldn't do a cache where they needed to go poking around for a box on school grounds. My cache never asked people to do this.

 

Of course, to a large extent we're beating a dead horse. I've already changed my cache and I won't be doing any other caches in or around playgrounds and/or school grounds. It's obvious that my feelings on the "okay-ness" of playground related caches is far different from the majority of geocachers. As I said before, I placed the cache because I want people to visit it. So even if my cache was approved, it would've failed it's intended purpose for a large segement of the geocacher community.

 

For what it's worth, I imagine the reason my opinion is different from the majority of the community is because A. My wife is a school teacher and I'm often on school grounds... it doesn't seem unusual to me. B. I have two young kids, so I'm often at playgrounds... again, it doesn't seem unusual to me to be there. That said, I clearly see the validity of people wanting to avoid those areas, and therefore, I changed by cache.

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Many schools allow their playgrounds and athletic fields to be used by the public during off hours. For this reason, I have no problem with caches hidden in these areas. Certainly, I have no problem with caches hidden in and around non-school playgrounds and athletic fields.

 

However, if there are kids at play, I pass these caches up and come back at another time. A cold or rainy Sunday morning is perfect for this type of cache.

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Many schools allow their playgrounds and athletic fields to be used by the public during off hours. For this reason, I have no problem with caches hidden in these areas. Certainly, I have no problem with caches hidden in and around non-school playgrounds and athletic fields.

 

However, if there are kids at play, I pass these caches up and come back at another time. A cold or rainy Sunday morning is perfect for this type of cache.

 

To hide a cache, you have to have permission from the land manager. Thus, to hide a cache on school grounds, you have to have permission from the school. Therefore, any cache on school grounds should not be a problem.

 

That is, unless everybody's been placing caches without permission....

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To hide a cache, you have to have permission from the land manager. Thus, to hide a cache on school grounds, you have to have permission from the school. Therefore, any cache on school grounds should not be a problem.

 

That is, unless everybody's been placing caches without permission....

Let's not turn this thread into a permission discussion. There are plenty of those.

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...My note to the reveiwer said (again, from memory):

 

I know that the guidelines say to stay away from schools, however I don't think this will be a problem in my area because 1. These areas are all frequented by adults during none school hours, 2. There is nothing hidden in these locations... the finder just needs to count plainly visable playground items. 3. The final cache is located a 1/4 mile from an schools....

 

School grounds are very bad for caches. Schools overreact for everything. The kids will find the cache. The cache will get called in as a bomb, the bomb squad will show up, the sheriff will rant and rave, the press will hound caching, parents will be afraid and so on.

 

Even with permission a cache on school grounds is bad all around. It's probably worse than placing one on the steps of the courhouse. At least that people understand. Put the kids in the picture and well, rationality goes out the window.

 

Having said that, there are school grounds where caches can be placed. Those are exeptions that can be figured out if you know exactly how schools react to odd packages found by kids.

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I understand what you are saying, but do you realize that

 

 

I can't say I'd really ever thought about this before. In the story recounted above, if it had been me, and the mom was giving me the Eye, I would probably have immediately pointed to the mom and told the kids, "You need to go back to your mom now, okay?" And probably keep on searching the grounds. Make it obvious that's what I'm doing (check GPS often). Make it CLEAR that I'm not at all interested in the little kids at the park. I'd probably explain to everyone up front what I was doing, not that it would necessarily help, but better to be open about things...

 

 

is exactly what a pedophile would say too? (I assume) :huh:

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To hide a cache, you have to have permission from the land manager. Thus, to hide a cache on school grounds, you have to have permission from the school. Therefore, any cache on school grounds should not be a problem.

 

That is, unless everybody's been placing caches without permission....

 

Start another thread, janx, or find an old topic that discusses this and bump it if you'd like to discuss permission issues.

 

:huh:

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