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Fun Things To Do At A Meeting


TheCruisers!
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I am hosting the next Geomeeting for our group in Augusta, and I need a game to be able to play with my group. What I would like to do is hide several unpublished caches around our city and have a game for the cords. I don't want to give them out and have everyone just up and leave for the FTF. I'd be sitting there in the meeting with just myself and my wife and no one else around. So, I was wondering in your years of attending meetings, has anyone come up with a fun game to play for unpublished caches.

 

Thank you for your time.

 

Chipper

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What makes you think your wife would hang around?

 

Seriously, though, I think that giving the coords during the meeting will be a disaster. If everyone gets them at the same time, they will all run off to be FTF and even the slower ones will not have much of a hunt as they will see everyone else grabbing the caches.

 

I like the idea of the playing cards. To keep it "fair," however, you should release the coords on one cache per day every day for a week or so before the meeting. That way, people can actually compete for FTF if they feel so inclined, you won't have people stumbling over each other, and you won't have people running out of the meeting. You will need some way to ensure that when a cacher takes a card from a cache, he or she will have no way of knowing what cards are available from subsequent caches. You might consider having multiple copies of say 5 cards in the first cache, multiple copies of 5 other cards in the second cache, etc. That way, no one can expect to get an ace from each cache, even if that person is FTF on every one. The cards should be marked so that only "official" cards are in play and no one uses more than one card from any one cache.

 

Just a thought.

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Back when I ran a big (50-90 person) event I typically released the coord en-masse at the end of the evening. End was defined as between 8:30 and 9pm. (The event started at 6, put people usually showed up 5ish for dinner before the event so they could spend the event time chatting!)

 

Yeah, a lot of people ran off. And a lot didn't. It was not a disaster, quite the opposite.

 

This may have been both because of the time they were released as well as the size of the event.

 

But in any case, the release of the coords can serve as the end of the event anyhow.

 

Work with your reviewer, mine (gpsfun) was great about it.

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I've had a game in mind, developing it for an event I plan to host sometime. It's basically a 'Points Race' that tests various caching skills, with elements of 'luck' tossed in which won't overly affect the outcome, and strategic decisions; that surely will.

 

It'll help to have an idea of how many participants you can expect. A couple of options & variants: make it for individuals, or depending on the # of players & prizes you can award, teams of 2 or 3. Play by either normal partnering, or possibly, can't be teamed with "who you came with". (Latter helpful when you have caching newbys playing.)

 

All caches will be the same type container - in my case I'm using cashew nut cans. In each will be 2 ping-pong balls, or cards, etc., one ball numbered 5 & the other 3. (To keep 'em from taking more'n one ball from a container, the containers are #'d also, & the container number marked on each ball inside; eg #14-5) First person or team to find a container takes the '5' from it; next team the '3'; last team brings the container in, & gets 1 point for it. (Self-policing of the 'playground' - plus saves containers for another time)

 

Coordinates:

Coords are printed on handout sheets. Important point is that no two sheets are in same sequence. (I put one-per-line in Excel, print a sheet & just re-sort 'em randomly before printing next sheet.) Players are told they have free choice where to start on the list, & can go in any order they choose.

 

Coord sheets are sealed in envelopes. Set a 'secret' starting time, coordinate with envelope handout so just after handing out last one, you can give Start signal. Just before you start handing out coord envelopes, announce to all players the finishing time they have to be back to HQ - with ?10? point penalty for every minute they're late. Make SURE they all understand the finishing time so there's no excuses -- and announce the 'official' time from a GPSr for synchronization.

 

Make the entire time span (Start-to-Finish) adequate for the occasion....2 or 3 or more hours, or whatever you want.

 

One envelope given to each team, just before the Start & they cannot open before starting signal. (As you hand out envelopes, make 'em hold it overhead until you give Start signal).

 

Variant: Each sheet contains (?3? or ?5?) fewer coordinates than there are containers, e.g. if 20 containers, sheet only has 17 (or ?15?) sets of coordinates. Be sure the 'de-selections' are random. This will keep any one team from getting "all the aces".

 

Play:

When you give Start signal, they tear open the envelope & manually enter coords into GPSrs - leaving to hunt whenever they feel they're ready. (Test of skill in GPSr usage.....& strategical decisions - enter one & immediately go for it, or several....etc etc.) This process eliminates 'early sneakers', & should help spread out the 'exodus avalance' somewhat.

 

Have enough containers out that will make playing time a decision to be made while playing. Teams shouldn't be expected to get to every cache....and when to quit (got enough points?) & head for the finish line becomes a strategic decision.

 

The randomness of action & last-finders bringing in the containers means some will arrive at a coordinate, & of course, not find anything. They'll have to deduce what's happened quickly & go for another, OR decide they need to re-check their GPSr entry, OR just keep looking thinking it's still there & they just haven't found it yet.

 

As each team returns to the finish line, count the points they accumulated - a posterboard type scoreboard should add interest.

Be sure to check container #s on the balls as they're counted to ensure they didn't take more than one ball/container from one location. Tie-breaker(s): earliest time crossing finish line.

 

Variants:

• Toss a couple of 'Joker' balls/cards into 2 or more of the caches. Joker wins bearer a 'nice' prize -- show special prizes before starting -- BUT, players must decide whether to take the Joker, or a regular scoring ball - can't take both. (Strategy - points might affect outcome....but special prize might be worth the risk.)

• Make one, 2 or 3 of the containers a puzzle. You find only a (simple) puzzle that must be solved, to get coords to the actual container holding scoring balls. (Put the 'scoring' container reasonably nearby. Or not! Make it a gamble - go for it, or skip?)

• Make at least one container a multi. Inside, PRINT the coords to a 2nd container....and in that one, a 3rd (at most). Also becomes a gamble for the 'racers'.....whether to pursue or skip, in interest of time. Perhaps make the scoring balls here a few points higher - but don't tell them that beforehand. If unclaimed, reveal it afterwards, to see if the difference might've altered the finishing positions.

 

Feels like I'm forgetting some small something, but that's basically it. It'll take a little preliminary organizing to develop, but I think it'd make for a fun event. Most of the expense would be in whatever prizes you could award. But I could also see it as a club fund-raiser type of event, where teams paid an entry fee to compete.

 

If you try it - I'd be interested in how it goes, so please let me know. (YOU be the guinea pig! *LOL*)

 

Good luck!

~*

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