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Any tips on starting a High School Geocaching Club


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I am an educator and I am thinking about starting a Geocaching Club in my local high school. Have any of you done this if so, what tips could you give? I am all ears, so please share your experiences or any advice that you may have. Many of the kids seem to be very interested, I just figured that someone that has done this before, might be able to point out a few obstacles that I might overlook.

 

thanks,

 

GorillaXpress

 

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Edited by mtn-man
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Well, mtn-man, I have already found over 30+ caches myself, I know that is a small number but hey what do you expect from a newbie, so I guess that I have got a good start on that recommendation.

 

I understand the guidelines fairly well, I have been reading tons of articles and recommendations from other posters regarding Caching. Who knows I might even "study" the forum rules in the days to come. LOL

 

By the way I love the SHAMELESS PLUG of your business that you have included in your "signature." I guess we have a lot more in common than you thought!

 

 

I would suggest you start by going out and finding some caches.

 

Then, make sure as an educator that you show the kids the guidelines so they can learn proper techniques for cache hiding. I would also suggest studying them yourself, as well as the forum guidelines so you post here correctly as well.

Edited by GorillaXpress
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GorillaXpress,

 

I really like the idea of a geocaching club. Several years back I developed a program for Eckerd Youth Alternatives, Inc. at camp E-Sun-Alee in Deer Lodge, TN. The teachable opportunities during geocaching activities are endless. Below is some of what I did.

 

1. Teach a bit about map and compass reading. The Outward Bound has a book which is written for students at the high school level. The Outward Bound Map & Compass Handbook can be purchased from REI for $12.95. I used Microsoft Publisher to create a simple brochure which included a lesson on map and compass reading, and a short quiz to test the student's understanding of the information.

 

2. Cheap GPS units! My company currently uses the Garmin eTrex. This unit is no longer being produced. However, you can purchased refurbished units for less than $70.00 from MegaGPS. You can download a quick reference guide for most Garmin unites online. I had several of these quick reference guides laminated, so the students could take it along during geocaching activities.

 

3. We used geocashing as an opportunity to teach some of the guidelines of the Leave No Trace (LNT) program.

 

4. Several of our facilitators later attended Project Wild courses which greatly expanded our reach and purpose.

 

Feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you want to discuss these ideas in more depth.

 

Good luck!

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I am in the process of starting a geocaching club myself. The first thing I did was to submit a proposal to my principal to get board approval. This will allow me to use school vehicles to transport students after school. Once my approval goes through we'll meet, set up guidelines, & I'm going to allow my students to decide how to run their club. We are already planning some fundraisers so we can go on a caching trip somewhere.

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I started a geocaching club for our homeschool group. We go once a month. Our first hunt with had close to 30 kids hunting. Made it difficult for all of them to have a chance at finding the cache. We must have scared most of them off and now we have a 4-5 families each time. It's more enjoyable for the kids that way. I try to find locations that can accommodate enough of us parking since I never know how many will show up. I also try to find a spot where there are several caches nearby. Each time I try to teach the kids about the area, expand their knowledge of geocaching and give them all a chance to work with the gps'r. It's been a great way to make sure I get out there hunting and not pushing it to the side.

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I would suggest finding a local park affording the following:

 

- Several hikes with trails.

- Several caches to find.

- Several open areas to place caches.

 

This way you could ensure everyone has a nice hike through the woods, is able to find a few different caches, and perhaps you can have a cache hiding contest. Make a few teams and assign areas of the park where they could place a cache. Then the teams could be sent out to find each others caches and provide a rating. Those with the best ratings could be submitted for publishing.

 

Something like the above would be healthy, fun, and challenging. Also, since everyone would be confined to a park it would also be safer than lets say an urban setting.

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Would not suggest that you call it a Geoaching Club. Would suggest that you call it an Outdoors Club.

That way those with more diverse interest would come into the group. My BIL for many years headed his high school Outdoors Club, the biked, they paddled, they visited historic locations, they involved parents, they hiked, they cooked out, they camped, he never really caught the geocache bug from me, but has tolerated those of us who engage on several outings. His became one of the most popular clubs, he brought in athletes off season and they brought others. He really had a thing working that continues to this day.

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I have a Geospatial Science Club which uses GPS and general geocaching joined with map making, to make positive contributions to their community. ESRI Inc. is a software company that develops GIS programs, and they have a Community Atlas Project that you might want to look into. Additionally, they are working with 4-H, and maybe scouts, to provide software at no charge for educational institutions. I don't know if they work with schools or not, but you can check their website. My club did a project last year:

 

http://counties.cce.cornell.edu/ontario/Ge...roject/home.htm

 

We will be taking on a new project this year. Hopefully we will be selecting that project tonight, but we are leaning towards working with a local fire department to map out hydrants and underground water mains. If we take on that project, the maps we create will be printed and included in the Map Books of every fire fighter in the department. How cool would that be?!?

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SimiKids is not an offical school club, but just a dynamic team of highschool kids that i take out evey other friday night. We have had 4 caching outings netting 20 or so finds (unfortunatly their account is not a member - so not all are logged) as well as one FTF. The limititation is the the space in my suburban (7). There are more wanting to go than I can transport, so we never have a problem filling the ride. They use my GPS and take turns between palm (PQs) and GPS. If we search for a cache I havent found yet, I jump out and search too, but offen by the time the vechical is parked, they have already found it.

 

http://www.geocaching.com/profile/?guid=cb...be-4e2ae7277c1b

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I run a middle school geocaching club. I purchased 5 explorist 100 GPS units a couple of years ago for less than $80 a piece. With 5 gps units, I take 10 students at a time and they have to share the device with another student. Our school is right next to a preserve that has 15+ caches within walking distance. We go out every other Tuesday after school for almost 2 hours. I have to keep track of which kids went and which caches they found so that the next time they go we look for different ones.

 

Kids love it!. I find that I often get kids that don't easily fit in with other clubs. They want to get involved in something but don't see themselves as athletes for sports clubs or brainiacs for the academic clubs. This is a great place for those students to feel connected to something at school and to develop confidence.

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