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Waiting period until newbies could place 1st cache


TrailGators
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What would you all think if Groundspeak required a 3-6 month waiting period from the date of sign-up until a newbie cacher could place his/her 1st cache?

 

Pros:

1) It would reduce embarrassing incidents like bomb/terror threats. IMHO, the people that are causing these incidents are "typically" inexperienced cachers. As the game grows there is a much larger (and more difficult to manage) population of newbies placing caches. So if Groundspeak stopped inexperienced cachers from placing caches until they gained experience and a clear understanding of the guidelines; it would help this issue.

2) It would increase cache quality. Cachers could gain experience and see a lot of different types of caches before designing and placing their first cache.

3) It would result in less abandoned caches. If a new cacher hides a cache in his 1st week and then loses interest the cache is abandoned. A waiting period would show some commitment that people are going to stick around and maintain their caches.

4) The reviewers would have less cache issues caused by inexperience.

5) ??

 

Cons:

1) New cachers would have to wait 3-6 months.

2) ??

 

 

Edit: Clarified point #1.

Edited by TrailGators
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No.

 

If you let them see too many lame cache hides - it will just fuel thier enthusiasum to copy them.

 

Most new cachers actually place more interesting hides because they tend to think them out a bit more. My experience anyway.

 

I just don't see how this would add much to Geocaching. I think many newbies would end up dropping out during that time period because they are not allowed to place anything.

 

I placed 5 caches in my first 6 months and 4 of them are still active with no problems after 5 years. The 5th one was muggled after 2 year's and was replaced with a new hide about 200 feet away.

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What would you all think if Groundspeak required a 3-6 month waiting period from the date of sign-up until a newbie cacher could place his/her 1st cache?

No. I don't think I've ever seen a suggestion that I've been so adamantly against. Seriously.

 

Pros:

1) It would reduce embarrassing public incidents. IMHO, the people that are causing these incidents are "typically" inexperienced cachers (which makes total sense). As the game grows there is a much larger (and more difficult to manage) population of newbies placing caches. So if Groundspeak stopped inexperienced cachers from placing caches until they gained experience and a clear understanding of the guidelines; it would help this issue.

What "embarrassing public incidents" are you talking about? Bomb scares? Getting caught by muggles? Not finding the caches? I just don't know what your referring to.

 

Pros:

2) It would increase cache quality. Cachers could gain experience and see a lot of different types of caches before designing and placing their first cache.

Nope. I've seen people that have found THOUSANDS of caches, and placed HUNDRED put caches in low quality locations and (IMO) poor designs. Experience does not equate to quality placements, especially if your experience centers around poor quality placements.

 

Pros:

3) It would result in less abandoned caches. If a new cacher hides a cache in his 1st week and then loses interest the cache is abandoned. A waiting period would show some commitment that people are going to stick around and maintain their caches.

This is the only "Pro" I kind of agree on. What you're talking about are "Seagull Cachers." I once described them this way:

Seagull Cacher

Taken from seagull manager. Defined as a cacher who comes on the scene, makes a lot of noise, poops everywhere, and then leaves.

 

Practical Application: These are cachers who appear on Geocaching.com shortly after Christmas or with the publishing of a local newspaper article. They buy the GPS, find 4 or 5 caches, place 1 or 2, grab 1 or 2 Travel Bugs, and then never log in to the system again. They also usually set up a dummy e-mail account for Geocaching e-mail, and never check the account again once they get bored.

I came up with that definition over 3 years ago. It happens, but not enough to really warrant a new rule.

 

Pros:

4) The reviewers would have less cache issues caused by inexperience.

I'm sure reviewers do see problems caused by inexperience, but just a "waiting period" does not mean that they'll have experience. A "waiting period with education" might be better, or a "waiting period with finding 50 or so caches" might come closer still. But it in no way is an indication of an improvement in quality OR a reduction in cache issues.

 

Cons:1) New cachers would have to wait 3-6 months.

That's actually much more problematic in my view than ANYTHING that would be gained by your "pros". This game has survived because of its simplicity and ease. The rules are pretty stifling as it is, and you suggest adding a rule that will not necessarily guarantee the desired results.

 

If caches of newbies bother you so much, put them on your ignore list, but don't make them feel unwelcome.

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I would be in favor of some addtional questions for first time placers to answer to ensure they have read and understnad the guidelines but should not restrict them from placing anything.

I've always thought that besides the checkbox at the bottom of the submission form stating that you've read the guidelines, the first time a new cacher submits a cache, instead of the Submit button, there's a link to open the guidelines page. When you return to your cache submission page, the Submit button would then be active.

 

GC.com will remember that you've read them, so subsequent cache submissions will look like they do now.

 

If the guidelines are updated, the "I've read the guidelines" flag would be cleared for everyone until they read the new version on their next cache submission.

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I have seen the exteme on both ends from newbie cachers. TotallyLame to Really well done. so while part of me likes the idea of a waiting period, after a recent one that was very impressive I'd have to say no. Although the good one has been outnumbered by lame hides considerably. The recent batch of really lame hides are not from newbies, so it wouldn't have helped anyway.

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What would you all think if Groundspeak required a 3-6 month waiting period from the date of sign-up until a newbie cacher could place his/her 1st cache?

 

Pros:

1) It would reduce embarrassing public incidents. IMHO, the people that are causing these incidents are "typically" inexperienced cachers (which makes total sense). As the game grows there is a much larger (and more difficult to manage) population of newbies placing caches. So if Groundspeak stopped inexperienced cachers from placing caches until they gained experience and a clear understanding of the guidelines; it would help this issue.

If a person doesn't read the guidelines before placing their first cache after geocaching one week, why do you think they would read the guidelines after 3-6 months? Are they going to figure out the guidelines by observing the caches that are already placed? Maybe they'll see whats been placed and copy a bad cache or maybe they'll have a creative idea and place a cache that doesn't meet the guidelines anyhow. Or they'll place a bunch of caches after one week because they didn't read the guidlines and get them turned down because they are still on probation so we'll have a lot more geo-litter.

2) It would increase cache quality. Cachers could gain experience and see a lot of different types of caches before designing and placing their first cache.

Or they may see lots of examples of lame urban hides (placed with permission of course) and decide to place another one just like those. Every time a probation period is suggested, someone brings up the example of someone who had a original idea and placed their cache with only a few finds. Let's discourage originality.

3) It would result in less abandoned caches. If a new cacher hides a cache in his 1st week and then loses interest the cache is abandoned. A waiting period would show some commitment that people are going to stick around and maintain their caches.

Perhaps. Certainly many people decide they don't really like geocaching sometime in the first three to six months, so this idea may prevent these people from placing caches. But I see a lot of abandoned caches where someone stopped geocaching or moved away after being in the game far longer. So this might improve this problem but it won't eliminate it.

4) The reviewers would have less cache issues caused by inexperience.

Again this assumes you would somehow absorb the guideline through experience. See my response to 1)

5) ??

It might result in fewer caches. Especially from those newbies who seem to think that the game is dependant on them placing a cache for every one they find.
Cons:

1) New cachers would have to wait 3-6 months.

And you might lose a great cache hider who didn't want to wait that long.

2) ??

It might result in fewer caches. Especially from those in areas where the game is not well established and new hides by new cachers are critical to building interest.

 

Cache placers understanding the guidelines and the rationale behind the guidelines is what is critical in ensuring that caches don't wind up causing terror alerts or embarassing the geocaching community by making it look like the purpose of hiding a cache is to cause a terror alert. septic_tank had a suggestion once that instead of just checking a box that you read and understood the guidlines you should take a test. While an online test could be easily defeated it would serve the purpose of getting more people to read the guidelines or at least be aware of the correct answers for the questions on the test.

Edited by tozainamboku
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I've seen people that have found THOUSANDS of caches, and placed HUNDREDS put caches in low quality locations and (IMO) poor designs. Experience does not equate to quality placements, especially if your experience centers around poor quality placements.

 

Exactly. I was going to write this almost verbatim.

 

I also palced my first cache within two weeks of becoming a member.

 

When I see new cachers start hiding in my area and I see potential issues with them I email them offline with my concerns welcoming them into the community and explaining my concerns. It's almost always taken in a positive note when approached like this.

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What "embarrassing public incidents" are you talking about? Bomb scares? Getting caught by muggles? Not finding the caches? I just don't know what your referring to.
Sorry, I wasn't clear on that. I was referring to caches that cause bomb scares and evacuations. We seem to have many threads discussing these incidents these days.
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I've seen people that have found THOUSANDS of caches, and placed HUNDREDS put caches in low quality locations and (IMO) poor designs. Experience does not equate to quality placements, especially if your experience centers around poor quality placements.

 

Exactly. I was going to write this almost verbatim.

 

I also palced my first cache within two weeks of becoming a member.

 

When I see new cachers start hiding in my area and I see potential issues with them I email them offline with my concerns welcoming them into the community and explaining my concerns. It's almost always taken in a positive note when approached like this.

I do think that my caches have improved because of learning from others creative hides, but a lot of you seem to think that your first ideas were just as good. Whatever...So let's forget the effect on quality. My main concern was stopping caches that causing terror alerts. Newbies do seem to be typically involved with a high percentage of these. I also think that the guidelines are not crystal clear after you read them once or twice.

 

The other thing I was going to say was making people wait for 3 months in not a big deal. I would have done it without question if that was the policy when I joined.

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While I agree with most of the comments about a why a "waiting period" would not work, and while I also think that the bomb scare issue is more a political problem than anything else, I would offer the following;

 

I think a number of finds before allowing a hide would not hurt. Something like 25. There would still be issues and it would not eliminate hides some consider lame, however it would allow the cacher to see the flavor of their area as well as get a feeling for what others think is "lame". With that they can then decide to hide what it is they will. Web sites sometime use similar metrics before allowing additional privilages.

 

I have seen all too often a cacher jumped on because of a poor placement simply to hear something like "Sorry, still new to this. Wasn't aware this was an issue." One in my area recently just decided to stop all together because they found 1 then hid 8 two of which did not follow guidelines, which even after finding x number, they might not read anyway.

 

Let's face it, to the newbie it sounds simple: Get a container, hide it where it can not be seen, write down the coords from your GPS, pick a cute name, post it on GC.COM. Until you have at least had the opportunity to find a wet log, scratch your head trying to find a well hid micro, seen a log too small for more than a dozen finds you may not realize these are problems. As they post their logs, they will hopefully see the comments about getting hassled by muggles or police, the SBA for a cache near a bridge or train tracks, etc.

 

You will always have someone who fakes hides in order to get the number up there, but those are the ones that will cause problems no matter what the rules are anyway and will be in the very small minority.

 

Having said all this, hopefully they won't come to the forums too soon. They'll never hide anything after that. :blink:

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Most new cachers actually place more interesting hides because they tend to think them out a bit more. My experience anyway.

 

Our experience has been the opposite of this. The newbie caches we've found have been poorly hidden, wet or damaged, or already muggled and missing. One person who comes to mind became a member in September 2006, hid a cache and was basically never heard from again. The cache had several DNFs and then it was disabled. Just a waste of eveyone's time.

 

While I agree with most of the comments about a why a "waiting period" would not work, and while I also think that the bomb scare issue is more a political problem than anything else, I would offer the following;

 

I think a number of finds before allowing a hide would not hurt. Something like 25. There would still be issues and it would not eliminate hides some consider lame, however it would allow the cacher to see the flavor of their area as well as get a feeling for what others think is "lame". With that they can then decide to hide what it is they will. Web sites sometime use similar metrics before allowing additional privilages.

 

 

I agree that a number of finds might be a better way to regulate than a 3 or 6 month waiting period. For one thing people join on a whim and then go 3-4 months without actually doing anything. Then they could hide even if they never found a single cache. If there was a minimum number of finds, it would give the new cacher SOME experience, whether they achieved their 25 finds in 3 months or 3 weeks.

 

When hubby and I started caching in May of 2006, we decided on our own that we would find at least two dozen caches before attempting a hide. In the end we were up around 50 finds when we finally hid one. Each find brought new ideas and gave us a better idea of what worked and what didn't work. When we finally tried a hide it was very well thought out and we took many of our past experiences into consideration. I can't help but wonder why anyone would want to hide before getting some finding experience. Seems like you're putting the cart before the horse, but that's just my 2 cents.

 

:blink:

Edited by swaninwa
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I think its a good idea - but maybe not a time period. Rather maybe 10 finds before you are allowed your first hide. eBay don't let you sell until you've got a few purchases under your belt - and I think it could work on geocaching.com. In the United Kingdom discussion forum, there is a thread about a cacher who had found one cache but laid 19 or something. There are big complaints about this cacher in question as it sounds he/she/it has done some great hides but not legitimately. Even going as far as boring holes into telephone poles. Whilst unlikely to cause the pole to fall down or whatever, it is damaging someone's property.

 

By making a cacher finding a few and making realise "Oh I enjoyed this cache more than X cache because..." hopefully they will lay some decent caches.

 

I have to say I also agree with other comments that seem to be a lot of lame ones appearing - I think the lame, boring, uninteresting caches are better suited to the numbers people.

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I would be in favor of some addtional questions for first time placers to answer to ensure they have read and understnad the guidelines but should not restrict them from placing anything.

 

Best idea I have seen yet.

Quoting StarBrand because his was the first in this thread to put forth the quiz idea.

It may not be a bad idea to do something like this for ALL placements. Two or three random questions on the guidelines every time you place a cache. Help us all keep up to date.

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I would be in favor of some addtional questions for first time placers to answer to ensure they have read and understnad the guidelines but should not restrict them from placing anything.
I'm just curious why there is such a strong aversion to restricting new cachers from placing caches for a couple of months until they learn the game better? I honestly never expected such a strong reaction. The "idea" seems fairly benine to me.

 

By the way, I do like the idea of additional questions and maybe even include some real-life scenarios...

Edited by TrailGators
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I think its a good idea - but maybe not a time period. Rather maybe 10 finds before you are allowed your first hide...

 

I agree with scottpa100. I know that, personally, I would not have a problem with having to find a certain amount of caches before I could place one. This would also give newbie cachers, myself included, ideas for cash placement and what to put in them.

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My area has had trouble recently...we all heard about the "bomb" scares in Boston recently.....

 

Now a local "newbie" cacher might be brough up on charges because he attached an altoids tin to an electrical panel behind shaws up in NH last week.

 

The sport is interesting...people jump in without reading the rules about placing hides. I have gone on several number runs the past 2 months and have found over 150 micros hidden on "private property" and alot hidden on the electrical boxes of stores...even in public parks.

 

I REALLY REALLY think that Groundspeak should periodically send out emails to ALL cachers reminding them that these hides are not allowed. Not everyone reads the rules they are very long...but an email from Groundspeak...Most will read that.

 

I don't want this game to be banned in areas because of a bad hide by a "newbie". I dont want any trouble coming to anyone participating in this wonderful addictive sport.

 

 

So...don't scold me...it's just a suggestion lol

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Some have pointed out the shortcomings of time and/or count minimums.

All very good points.

I think the quiz idea would be more effective at making sure that geocachers wishing to place a hide are aware of, and understand the guidelines.

It wouldn't be a bad idea if we all had to answer a few questions on the subject.

Now, I think I'll go take a fresh look at them myself.

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I think a number of finds before allowing a hide would not hurt. Something like 25. There would still be issues and it would not eliminate hides some consider lame, however it would allow the cacher to see the flavor of their area as well as get a feeling for what others think is "lame". With that they can then decide to hide what it is they will.

 

This appears to be the most reasonable approach to me.

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When I started geocaching in Feb 2004 there were four (yes, FOUR) caches within a 200km round trip of where I lived.

While I had “found” 25 caches by the time I placed my first, this included 10 locationless caches.

While I agree it’s a good thing this cache type was discontinued, one thing often overlooked is that they were a useful learning tool for someone in my situation.

I suppose Waymarking could help in the same way but this option is less obvious to newbies.

 

There are still plenty of towns in Australia where a newbie geocacher would still be in a similar situation (few caches to find in easy reach).

Any fixed rule would discriminate against them.

“One size fits all” will never apply.

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That's actually much more problematic in my view than ANYTHING that would be gained by your "pros". This game has survived because of its simplicity and ease. The rules are pretty stifling as it is, and you suggest adding a rule that will not necessarily guarantee the desired results.

 

If caches of newbies bother you so much, put them on your ignore list, but don't make them feel unwelcome.

I'm surprised you think the rules are stifling. I think the rules are extremely flexible. Unfortunately, many people don't clearly understand the rules and they screw up. The newer the cacher the more likely it is that they do not not fully understand the guidelines. I'm sure that 99% of the newbies mean well but they need some education to avoid placing a cache that causes a panic in the age of terrorism.

 

By the way, newbies don't bother me one bit. I have befriended many and I am always more than willing to help any of them. Anyhow, If I was a newbie and I joined GC.com, I would in no way be offended by having to wait a few measily months to place my first cache. In fact, I think some newbies actually feel pressure to place caches. There should be no pressure because it is something that you should learn how to do before you do it. There are a variety of caches out there that he/she should experience before he/she imitates the first cache that he/she finds. The bottomline is that there is no rush to place caches and maybe spending soe time learning instead of hiding would help avoid some of these run-ins with the law that I keep reading about....

 

Finally, it doesn't have to be this idea, but I think something should be done to nip this issue in the bud.

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I think a number of finds before allowing a hide would not hurt. Something like 25. There would still be issues and it would not eliminate hides some consider lame, however it would allow the cacher to see the flavor of their area as well as get a feeling for what others think is "lame". With that they can then decide to hide what it is they will.

 

This appears to be the most reasonable approach to me.

 

And what happens when the first 25 they find are fake electric boxes so they decide to do something similar?

It just doesn;t work. Feedback is the only way to help the issue.

 

And in my experince, people's first caches are simple placements. They more they get into it, the more creative and sneaky they want to be and the start hiding fake this-and-thats that cause trouble.

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Feedback is the only way to help the issue.
Care to elaborate?

Just when does that newbie cross over that threshhold of being an experienced cacher #s FTF ?? i am reall interested because i probabally fall into this but i`am trying to break out of itYour comments please

It's different for everyone. You look like you are well on your way with 161 finds. :huh: What do you think? Have you learned what kinds of caches are more fun for you to find?
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Feedback is the only way to help the issue.
Care to elaborate?

 

Sure. Feedback from finders on the cache page or in private to the hider will do more good than a waiting period. Posting things like "found it but it's a spot that should be reconsidered" or something similar will provide feedback to the hider.

 

A waiting period does no good IMO since WHAT they are exposed to is more important than HOW long they are exposed to something.

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Feedback is the only way to help the issue.
Care to elaborate?

Just when does that newbie cross over that threshhold of being an experienced cacher #s FTF ?? i am reall interested because i probabally fall into this but i`am trying to break out of itYour comments please

It's different for everyone. You look like you are well on your way with 161 finds. :huh: What do you think? Have you learned what kinds of caches are more fun for you to find?

 

I guess that is real true about every cacher being different. There are days that i just want to go out and search the quick finds. Then others where i really enjoy a tough hike to see a great view and pick up only a couple caches along the way. I have just started to spread my wings a bit and seek the puzzle caches along with the traditional ones. I guess is the cacher will move along when he or she is ready to. I expect to be treated like the new guy. I hear that the the measure to make is 200 caches is this true ?? Sorry to be getting off track, I decided to place my first cache only when i knew exactly what i expected to do. And yes i have seen some that fall into the irresponsible catagory.

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... eBay don't let you sell until you've got a few purchases under your belt - and I think it could work on geocaching.com. ...
I realize that this is not on-topic to this thread, but as of a year or so ago, that is not true. My wife created an account for her dad, listed an item for sale, and sold it.
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I'm just curious why there is such a strong aversion to restricting new cachers from placing caches for a couple of months until they learn the game better? I honestly never expected such a strong reaction. The "idea" seems fairly benine to me.
You placed your first one after being a member for nine days. Was that cache horrible? If not, why should we have kept you from hiding it just because you were new?

 

What about the person who creates an account but lets it sit unused for several months before he/she gets into the game?

 

This just seems like a solution in search of a problem.

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I once favored a minimum find count before allowing a cacher to place anything. While I am not opposed to such a rule now, I realise that it won't stop cachers from placing bad caches. I waited until my 100th find to place my first cache and hid two a few days later. I archived one because I thought it was a sort-of lame micro, and the other is a small cache about to celebrate its second birthday. Even after 14 months of caching and over 330 finds I still managed to place a cache that didn't work out and I archived it after only a handful of finds. In my case, it wasn't until I had cached for two years and found 650 caches that I started placing decent ones. This is why I have changed my tune somewhat regarding minimum finds and caching experience. I have realised that find count and time spent caching doesn't necessarily guarantee a good cache placement. However, it does help to have at least some experience.

 

How about this for an idea: For a cacher's first hide, they must have a more experienced cacher sign off on it. This could be difficult to implement and I'm sure someone would try to find a way around it. Then there's the issue of figuring out who is experienced and would be a good person to have signing off on a cache. Once the more experienced cacher gives a thumbs up, the listing would still go to a reviewer for a final approval. This idea would sort of be like Adopt-a-Newbie and would allow some knowledge to be passed along about cache hiding.

 

I know some won't like this idea and will find faults, but I thought it would be better to throw out a flawed idea than nothing at all.

Edited by geognerd
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I know some won't like this idea and will find faults

 

Like me.........

 

When I started, there were 5 caches within 100 miles and exactly 1 cache within 60 miles. It might have taken me a couple of years to get any of the experinece mentioned above and a very long time for me to find an experienced cacher to look at my finds. No thanks.

 

BTW - we already have experienced cachers look at new hides - they are called volunteer reviewers.

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I know some won't like this idea and will find faults

 

Like me.........

 

When I started, there were 5 caches within 100 miles and exactly 1 cache within 60 miles. It might have taken me a couple of years to get any of the experinece mentioned above and a very long time for me to find an experienced cacher to look at my finds. No thanks.

 

BTW - we already have experienced cachers look at new hides - they are called volunteer reviewers.

OK, so it may not be such a good idea. The response is what I expected. There is at least one merit to my idea though - the on-site visit of the cache. It beats solely using aerial photography and maps any day, which I suspect is a major part of the review process.

 

To the more conservative leave-things-as-they-are folks, you have a point. There are some new cachers out there who take it upon themselves to have someone else check out their first few hides. I have been and am happy to help out in this way. The couple of new hiders I've met have been eager for input about their caches.

 

Instead of forcing an examination of a first hide, it should be stressed that it is a good idea to meet with or talk with another cacher about your first hide. And I will go on the record as liking The Cheeseheads' idea of bringing up the guidelines the first few times you place a cache.

 

Edited to fix typo.

Edited by geognerd
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I'm reminded that, at it's core, geocaching is not necessarily a social activity. A person learns about the game. He pulls up the website and says, 'Wow. There's a cache right down the street.' He finds the cache and is amazed that some stranger put it out for others to find. He wants to return the favor, so he hides a cache.

 

You will note that there is no direct person-person interaction required and some people like that just fine. Why force them to beg people to allow them to hide a cache?

 

We have enough people who think they are the local geogods. Let's not further empower them.

Edited by sbell111
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I'm just curious why there is such a strong aversion to restricting new cachers from placing caches for a couple of months until they learn the game better? I honestly never expected such a strong reaction. The "idea" seems fairly benine to me.
You placed your first one after being a member for nine days. Was that cache horrible? If not, why should we have kept you from hiding it just because you were new?

 

What about the person who creates an account but lets it sit unused for several months before he/she gets into the game?

 

This just seems like a solution in search of a problem.

Most people would not need to wait because they are very diligent and take care to follow the guidelines. I consider myself to be one of those people. However, there are some that do need to wait and learn. So if I was a newbie and I had to wait to be fair to the people that "need" to wait, I wouldn't have a problem with it, if it helped the cause. Perhaps this is not the best solution, but we do have a problem.
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Most people would not need to wait because they are very diligent and take care to follow the guidelines. I consider myself to be one of those people. However, there are some that do need to wait and learn. So if I was a newbie and I had to wait to be fair to the people that "need" to wait, I wouldn't have a problem with it, if it helped the cause. Perhaps this is not the best solution, but we do have a problem.

Well, there may be a problem with caches being mis-perceived as bombs but I'm not sure that the bookmark list from the link makes the case for it being a problem of newbies. When I went through about 40 of those from the list, only 2 were by newbies less than three months. I think that list says more about people being unfamiliar with our activity than its does newbies.

 

As a former newbie, I did wait some time before I put out a cache. I wanted to get an idea of what made for good one's in my area and what weren't so good. I think its useful to encourage waiting but am not sure that turning it into a rule is all that useful.

 

JD

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but we do have a problem.

There are 71 caches on that list. That is fewer than .02% of the active caches. Granted there may be other caches that have been blown up by bomb squads. Several on the list weren't even bomb scares, some were caches that were removed without calling the bomb squad after being found in an inappropriate location. At least one was the police suspecting the cache was someone's drug stash. While many of the caches on the list didn't follow the geocaching guidelines, there are some that were placed well within guidelines. Guidelines have been changed because of some of these incidents, and the reviewers are aware of them - especially the incidents that occur in their review area. The reviewers will often require additional information before approving caches in areas where caches have caused problems in the past. In dealing with authorities in the wake of these incidents it is important to stress that geocaching has guidelines meant to reduce the chance that geocaches will be mistaken for something else. The review process can never be perfect, so we do have a way to report problems after the cache has been listed. First, you can email the cache owner if you see a problem with the cache. If the owner is a newbie who is unaware of the guidelines or the possibility that a muggle may construe the cache to be something dangerous, they are often happy to make adjustments. If there is a situation that requires more immediate action or if the owner refuses to fix a problem, there is the 'Needs Archiving' log. This will send a message to the reviewer who can take appropriate action. It has been suggeste that 'Needs Archiving' should be renamed 'Needs Reviewer Attention' so that people would be more willing to use it. In short, we already have a system to take care of "the problem". There is some agreement that much of "the problem" is due to cachers who don't follow the existing guidelines. Many of us doubt that a waiting period would cause anyone who currently doesn't look at the guidelines to look at the guidelines. It could have the opposite effect of having more people trying to deduce the guidelines based on caches they found. All they need is to find one cache that slipped through review to decide that it must be OK to hide a metal pipe next to an elementary school. Instead of waiting periods we should be discussing ways to make geocachers more aware of the guidelines.

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but we do have a problem.

There are 71 caches on that list. That is fewer than .02% of the active caches. Granted there may be other caches that have been blown up by bomb squads.

That bookmark has a disclaimer. Please read it. Also percentages don't matter when the severity of the problem is extremely high. I hope it doesn't happen but if there's one single Boston incident all over the National news because of a poorly placed geocache, then at least I can say that I tried to bring up some concerns/ideas here. It seems like most people downplay the issue and defend these poor placements.

 

Instead of waiting periods we should be discussing ways to make geocachers more aware of the guidelines.
I agree. Start a thread to discuss this. The problem I see with the guidelines is that there are people on these threads that cite exceptions almost every guideline. I think they assume that everyone will clearly understand and apply them the same way. But they don't! It confuses some people. For example, you are not supposed to place a cache under a bridge. However, if the bridge in not a major bridge than it's some argue that it's OK. So now we need to figure out where the line really is. Should we measure the traffic flow of the bridge? The same thing happens with caches placed at schools. You are not supposed to place caches at schools. However, people do this. As a parent why would I want strange adults wandering around my kids' school? I could numerous examples of how guidelines are stretched to the point that they could be confusing to some. Also some people perceive the risks differently. So if some interpret the guidelines incorrectly.....guess what happens? My opinion is that it's better to be safe than sorry. Why push it with any questionable cache placement?
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