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geocaches placed in neighborhood/city parks


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Recently my kids (teenagers) and I went to a park to find a cache. The cache was nowhere near the playground, it was off a hiking trail a good distance from the playground (good!). However as we walked from the parking lot to the trail entrance, a toddler maybe 18 months to 2 years old, came running across the grass, heading for the trail, with no parent anywhere to be seen. The playground (at least a football field away) was crammed with parents, nannies, kids - and I kept one eye on the child (I did NOT approach her - I'm a mom too but any attempt at contact could be trouble - even I'm paranoid about that!)

 

[snip]

 

I'm glad *we* were there and responded appropriately - but parents like that drive me nuts. Then we wonder why we are so paranoid as a society?

 

I can see the discomfort in a lone adult (male or female, but men in particular) skulking innocently around a playground looking for a cache - but I can see the value in it for those cachers with young kids. IMO if the cache owner specifies in the cache page that this is a good one for kiddies but not ideal for a lone adult, that would help folks decide whether it's in their comfort zone to try for it.

 

Jenn

 

As a forty something, bald, slightly overweight male, what should I have done? I often cache alone. Even if I was just standing there watching it could easily have been perceived wrong. My thought, when reading this, was to call 911 and keep the dispatcher on the line until mom noticed and retrieved her kid.

 

I won't go near the playground equipment, period. Place a cache there and it goes right on my ignore list. I have better things to do with my time than explain to the nice officers that I am not a pervert.

 

I understand how you feel and react. I tend to feel the same way myself...but, THAT'S WRONG. I have the right to go in that park, I have the right to cache in an area that is open to anyone and everyone. It is my park, too.

 

Just recently I saw where one newspaper article and one TV show discussed dangers posed to children and it is suprising how, statistically, VERY few dangers actually exist. I'm not advocating that we ignore the danger, I'm just saying that society today is way too paranoid and we suffer for it.

 

I will go into a park and walk where ever I feel like. I will not lurk around the playground with kids around because like you, I'm not stupid; but I will exercise my right to coexist with anyone in a public place. I am not doing anything wrong, and neither are you.

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*Hello, 911 there is this funny looking lady leading a gang of women, giving me the eye. She's giving me the creeps and is hanging out by the kids in a playground. It's just weird. I think she's gonig to try and mug me.*

You forgot the part about her carrying a "suspicious package" (purse?) that is probably a Buh (think "Airplane" - the movie)

:laughing:

 

Hey, for that matter you could call the cops and say you heard there is a suspicious object hidden on the playground and the bomb squad will find the cache FOR you.

 

I'M KIDDING! OK?! :)

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I understand how you feel and react. I tend to feel the same way myself...but, THAT'S WRONG. I have the right to go in that park, I have the right to cache in an area that is open to anyone and everyone. It is my park, too.

 

Just recently I saw where one newspaper article and one TV show discussed dangers posed to children and it is suprising how, statistically, VERY few dangers actually exist. I'm not advocating that we ignore the danger, I'm just saying that society today is way too paranoid and we suffer for it.

 

I will go into a park and walk where ever I feel like. I will not lurk around the playground with kids around because like you, I'm not stupid; but I will exercise my right to coexist with anyone in a public place. I am not doing anything wrong, and neither are you.

 

I agree whole-heartedly with this line of thinking. I think by and large the thought about avoiding these type of caches is being blown a bit out of proportion. I certainly respect that people want to avoid suspicious behavior, but there are a number of ways around this entire issue...many of which have been suggested. Even being extremely cautious I would be willing to be a person could still log the majority of these types of caches.

 

Now, as stated before, I have kids...so I have great cover. But if I didn't...I'd simply go about my business and carry some of the "what is geocaching" or whatever they are titled pamphlets. The majority of supervision being done are by average people like you and I that would be understanding and thankful for a heads up...who knows...might even proselytize some Muggles. :rolleyes:

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As a forty something, bald, slightly overweight male, what should I have done?

 

Yell - really loudly and point at the child (who was at least 20 feet away from you). Yell HELP or something that will attract attention to you, and thus to the kid. If you were a perv looking to snatch a kid, stealth would have been your MO - but if you'd attracted somebody's attention deliberately, you'd automatically disqualify yourself from being a suspect - and if it was the same circumstance that I was in, the child was nowhere near arm's reach to me - I was sure to keep a big distance without letting the child leave my field of vision. It's sad that we've all become so paranoid - I'm female, had my own kids with me - hardly "likely" according to statistics, to have brought harm to this kid, but even I was too afraid to try to take her hand and lead her back to the playground - because there was a lot of distance back to the playground. I even felt weird about speaking to her - I asked, "Where's mommy?" She looked at me and carried on her merry way - in the wrong direction. My first thought was not to get too close, and not to touch her but not to let her "escape" and I wasn't sure just how to do that - but fortunately I wasn't alone so one of us could have followed and the others could have gone for help of some description.

 

In fact, as I was standing there contemplating my next move, I thought about yelling, and just as I was going to, the lackadaisical mother finally moved out of the crowd. As I was contemplating options, one of my kids asked if she should run to the playground and start looking for the mother - I was caught between that option and just yelling when the mother suddenly noticed her child was missing.

 

We were nowhere near the playground equipment - we were a good football field's distance away - the playground was at one end of the park, and the trail opening was at the other - a cacher can go to this one without going anywhere near the playground, don't even have to pass by it or through it - there was parking at both ends. We were just past some tennis courts, but those were not of any concern.

 

This incident was unusual, and *hopefully* not likely to be repeated... but it sure did give me pause for thought as it happened. Fortunately the mother retrieved her child - but I can't help but think what could have happened, if we didn't happen to be there at that time - there was nobody else at that end of the park when this child wandered off - I guess we were in the right place at the right time. If we hadn't spotted her for the mom, that kid could have gone off into the bush.. I don't even want to think about it.

 

Jenn

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I love to visit the parks...I could care less about what others are thinking and I refuse to stay out of those areas just because I may be percieved a threat! Hey...if parents do their jobs right, they have no worries about someone like me as I won't be able to get too close to their kiddies anyway!! Being nervous about how others see me is not on my mind when searching for something...and if the parents are anything like I am, they'll be pretty much at ease watching me and the kids at the same time. I doubt many of us should have concern! Keep in mind that caching requires a bit of stealth. so obviously we won't be going after the cache under the slide until the kids (or parents for that matter) aren't too close to bust us in the act!!

 

ALSO...if we, as cachers, try to avoid areas because we are worried about how others see us, we may as well stay deep in the woods and away from society altogether! I think the best way to introduce someone to caching is by CACHING!!! Showing the world how safe we are to have around IMO, is to CACHE in plain sight (well, without giving away the hiding spot of course)...do people with metal detectors have the same worries??? I agree that parks are SAFER for others when cachers are frequenting the parks...the more people around to police an area, the less likely trouble will come knocking!! Some of you that are sooo paranoid might want to remind yourselves that we ARE allowed in these parks regardless of our age...and we DO have every right to enjoy our sport where and when we can!!! USE COMMON SENSE, but that SHOULD be the norm anyway...RIGHT???

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I think just because you have a right to do something does not mean it is proper etiquette. We have the right to bear arms but I'm sure as heck not gonna do that around families playing on the monkey bars. No, we aren't terrorists or perverts, but parents don't know that, and I don't like to make other people uncomfortable, especially when kids are involved.

 

I am not totally against playground/parking lot/transformer box caches, as stated you can come back later if they are busy. But it is disappointing to drive a few miles through a neighborhood or whatever and come up on a busy park, and have to abort. Plus I don't think those are very creative spots anyway.

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I think just because you have a right to do something does not mean it is proper etiquette. We have the right to bear arms but I'm sure as heck not gonna do that around families playing on the monkey bars. No, we aren't terrorists or perverts, but parents don't know that, and I don't like to make other people uncomfortable, especially when kids are involved.

 

I am not totally against playground/parking lot/transformer box caches, as stated you can come back later if they are busy. But it is disappointing to drive a few miles through a neighborhood or whatever and come up on a busy park, and have to abort. Plus I don't think those are very creative spots anyway.

 

I know you were using "bear arms" just as an example, but there is a big difference here. Guns are meant to damage or kill something—geocachers are not. I would be concerned about someone flashing a gun in a public park, but not someone flashing a GPSr.

 

I do agree that many of these caches may not creative; that should be the reason to avoid them.

 

As I stated in an earlier post, I'm not stupid enough to lurk around playgrounds, however I DO have an absolute right to be there. If that means that I am able to hunt for a cache without being muggled, I will do it.

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I think just because you have a right to do something does not mean it is proper etiquette. We have the right to bear arms but I'm sure as heck not gonna do that around families playing on the monkey bars. No, we aren't terrorists or perverts, but parents don't know that, and I don't like to make other people uncomfortable, especially when kids are involved.

 

I am not totally against playground/parking lot/transformer box caches, as stated you can come back later if they are busy. But it is disappointing to drive a few miles through a neighborhood or whatever and come up on a busy park, and have to abort. Plus I don't think those are very creative spots anyway.

I know you were using "bear arms" just as an example, but there is a big difference here. Guns are meant to damage or kill something—geocachers are not. I would be concerned about someone flashing a gun in a public park, but not someone flashing a GPSr. ...
I'm more concerned with the misuse of 'bear arms'. Many of us have CCPs. Therefore, we may or may not be 'bearing arms' while geocaching. Therefore, we may be carrying our weapon while geocaching in or near a playground. Since the weapon is required to be concealed, no 'families playing on the monkey bars' will be aware of it.
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I think just because you have a right to do something does not mean it is proper etiquette. We have the right to bear arms but I'm sure as heck not gonna do that around families playing on the monkey bars. No, we aren't terrorists or perverts, but parents don't know that, and I don't like to make other people uncomfortable, especially when kids are involved.

 

I am not totally against playground/parking lot/transformer box caches, as stated you can come back later if they are busy. But it is disappointing to drive a few miles through a neighborhood or whatever and come up on a busy park, and have to abort. Plus I don't think those are very creative spots anyway.

 

Interesting. Usually when this topic has come up over the years, the thread is usually much more dominated by the "geocache on playground equipment = really really bad idea" crowd. This thread here seems the exact opposite. :ph34r: Well, as the game becomes more numbers-orientated for more people, I guess that's what'll happen. :blink:

 

I think Redcoyote hit the nail on the head above. Especially the part about these not being very creative caches in the first place. Also, I too am not totally against them; I once had to go back to a very busy playground at 6:00 in the morning to find a leg of a multi. There were only about 150 children on it the first time I was there. :ph34r:

 

Common sense is in order, but as one poster said somewhere in this thread, many geocachers barge in like a bull in a china shop (who think they own the place as well). :ph34r:

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I think just because you have a right to do something does not mean it is proper etiquette. We have the right to bear arms but I'm sure as heck not gonna do that around families playing on the monkey bars. No, we aren't terrorists or perverts, but parents don't know that, and I don't like to make other people uncomfortable, especially when kids are involved.

 

I am not totally against playground/parking lot/transformer box caches, as stated you can come back later if they are busy. But it is disappointing to drive a few miles through a neighborhood or whatever and come up on a busy park, and have to abort. Plus I don't think those are very creative spots anyway.

I know you were using "bear arms" just as an example, but there is a big difference here. Guns are meant to damage or kill something—geocachers are not. I would be concerned about someone flashing a gun in a public park, but not someone flashing a GPSr. ...
I'm more concerned with the misuse of 'bear arms'. Many of us have CCPs. Therefore, we may or may not be 'bearing arms' while geocaching. Therefore, we may be carrying our weapon while geocaching in or near a playground. Since the weapon is required to be concealed, no 'families playing on the monkey bars' will be aware of it.

I agree with you. I know a few cachers that are armed when caching and I don't have a problem with that. I was emphasizing the difference between the example and the reality. There are parks locally where guns are carried - and no permits granted. There are no caches there either.

 

My main concern centers on some of the earlier posts. I felt that some posters were lamenting the fact that they felt uncomfortable in a park where a playground existed. I don't think caches should be placed in the playground area, and I would probably not hunt them unless accompanied by my family or when children were not there. They are also often lame enough to go on my ignore list. I do feel strongly that neither I nor anyone else should feel threatened just for entering a public park where all should have access.

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I recently visited a cache in a park a little ways from home. The cache had a requirement that you find a TB and then get the coords to the cache. The cache was near the play areas but far enough away to not be a problem with little "muggles" being in hordes near GZ. This was a great cache, I had loads of fun finding it...and it was very creatively hidden!!! I've also found a cache hidden in a playground that was inside one of the jungle gym sets (this one was shaped like a fire truck, had real tires)...this one was a good hide, not the best location, but not bad...we just waited for the right moment to retreive it!! Not all playground hides are lame!!

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I like (prefer) park caches, but it is a real good idea to keep them away from playgrounds.

No need for it.

 

Another example of a bad idea that could lead to outright bans on caching in parks.

I don't know why you believe this is true, but that's OK. Clearly, we disagree. I don't believe that geocachers carrying out a legal activity in a place that they have a right to enjoy will result in any damage to the game.
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SNIP..

 

I do not like looking for caches where the cache is right next to a playground and even worse, when it is right next to a bench where most mothers are sitting watching their children (and now me) play.

 

 

Just don't try "peeking" under that bench while Mama is sitting ON that bench!!! Especially if it is a BIG MAMMA!!! :rolleyes:

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SNIP..
I do not like looking for caches where the cache is right next to a playground and even worse, when it is right next to a bench where most mothers are sitting watching their children (and now me) play.
Just don't try "peeking" under that bench while Mama is sitting ON that bench!!! Especially if it is a BIG MAMMA!!! :huh:
:rolleyes::mad::huh:
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SNIP..

 

I do not like looking for caches where the cache is right next to a playground and even worse, when it is right next to a bench where most mothers are sitting watching their children (and now me) play.

 

 

Just don't try "peeking" under that bench while Mama is sitting ON that bench!!! Especially if it is a BIG MAMMA!!! :rolleyes:

Wouldn't that require a danger attribute and an increase in the difficulty rating. :huh:

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I do not like looking for caches where the cache is right next to a playground and even worse, when it is right next to a bench where most mothers are sitting watching their children (and now me) play.

 

Pardon me, sir. I'm playing a scavener hunt game and am looking for a tiny container stuck to your bench with magnets.

 

Oh, here it is!

 

Sorry to bother you! Have a good day!

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