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knowschad

Scout Troup Caches

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This, taken from another thread, was the reason I decided to open this thread:

 

**Addendum: This particular cache was left by a cub scout pack.

I personally think the guidelines should be change so that caches can't be place by cub scout packs or similar groups. These caches invariably end up having problems like the OP suggests with this one. At the end of the year, the cub scouts moves on. The leader who thought it would be cool for the scouts to place the cache has no intention of maintaining it. The new leader and the new scouts are probably not even aware that a cache was placed with their name on it. I shudder each time I see a cache like this.

 

I have come to the same conclusion after finding way too many scout troup caches that are badly placed, bad coordinates, poor coordinates, and/or no maintenance. Cool concept, but it just does not seem to work out.

 

I'd love to hear other's experiences, both positive and negative regarding caches placed by Scout Troups (and I think we can safely group school classes in with this). I'd especially love to hear from some scout leaders that have successfully managed to hide and maintain caches.

 

I suspect that I've found considerably less than a dozen Scout group caches, which makes up a drop in the bucket of my total finds, but those that I have found were exclusively very badly executed, apparently abandoned caches.

 

Thoughts?

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As a parent with sons in Scouts, I can say unequivocally, albeit anecdotally, that BSA doesn't really "get" geocaching.

 

According to the BSA:

 

" * GPS units work well, and several retailers offer discounts to Scout groups. There are also several geocaching apps for the iPhone, and some other cell phones work too. You'll also need a map and compass. The technology only takes you so far. When you get closer to a cache site, traditional orienteering skills come into play.

* To build a cache, all you need is a piece of paper to serve as a log book, Scouting goods like patches and photos, and a plastic container. If you're resourceful, it might not cost you anything at all."

 

There seems to be a discounting of the history of geocaching (i.e. the community) and a bit of look-down-the-nosedness regarding the technology involved. That's too bad. I think the two fit very well together. I think there needs to be a lot more dialog between local BSA orgs and local geocaching orgs to get it right.

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Perhaps orienteering merit badge needs to be updated to include proper geocache building. ;)

 

Caches really don't really maintenance if they are built well, hidden good, and include a decent logbook.

 

You know there are still caches out there from 9 years ago that are still going strong without maintenence..

 

My first find is still out there from 01 with my full name in the 300 page logbook. It's a very remote location with hardly any chance of muggles finding it.

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I also have found or know of a few caches around the area that are scout oriented. While it seems like a great idea, you are right, most are in terrible shape. I know of one that the last two logs have said the cache container is no longer there, just the contents, yet nothing has happened since. Besides becoming a pain in the butt by contacting the owner, then the reviewer for my area and complaining, I think I will just replace the cache container if I ever get to it. Get one badge, and forget about it afterwards.

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I did ask in another thread but I will ask here as well (never too much info...well maybe ;) ) My girlfriend is looking to take her guide unit out geocaching. One of the tasks would be for the unit to place a cache. I would oversee the placement and I would be the one responsible for maintenance (but I would have the guides visit the cache in the spring to "check" on it to give them the idea of cache maintenance) basically I am letting them do the initial work but the responsibility is mine. Would that cover any issues that people have come across with scout caches? (providing I maintain my caches B)... oh i will...no worries there :laughing: )

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According to one online Scouting recourse:

 

At the end of this lesson, participants will be able to

 

* Experience the fun of a geohunt themselves.

* Describe geocaching and how it can be used to support the Scouting program.

* Discover new games and learning opportunities for Boy Scouts.

* Understand geocaching rules and etiquette and why they are important.

* Learn how geocaching can enhance advancement opportunities.

* Develop a plan to use geocaching for recruiting.

* Begin thinking about how geocaching can be used in public relations events.

* Gain an understanding of how GPS technology works.

* Practice using a GPS receiver (GPSr).

 

I suspect that the Scouts that go through the Merit Badge process probably understand Geocaching better than most folks.

 

We have a handful of Eagle Scout caches in an area near me that requires Permits for cache placements. The Permits typically run a couple of years, so I would imagine that these caches will be removed after the Permit expires.

 

My thoughts? I don't find caches placed by Troops or individual Scouts to be any less maintained than any other cache in my area.

 

At least it appears that the Scouts that go through the Merit Badge process for Geocaching have to take some sort of test, which has certainly been advocated several times on these Forums ;)

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My first find is still out there from 01 with my full name in the 300 page logbook. It's a very remote location with hardly any chance of muggles finding it.

 

But... most Cub Scout packs aren't going to do "remote locations" and mountain peaks.

 

When the Cubs "graduate" into another age group (and the parents guiding the troop follow), just who is left to maintain the cache? Perhaps the "new" Cubs, though I doubt it -- because nobody leaving told them about their cache!

 

I certainly do not have a problem with scouts learning about geocaching, or "caching" in general, but placement is something that the leaders really need to think about, step up and take some responsibility for.

 

The cache placement that precipitated this thread is nearby to heavily populated areas. I highly doubt that the Pack placing same was disbanded, it merely changed personnel.

 

When a group such as this places a cache, it is an experiment. Nothing more and nothing less. When the "experiment" is over and the scouts move on to something else, it should be archived. Teaching responsibility falls upon the shoulders of the "leaders".

 

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it! ;)

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In our area, I worry a bit about the proliferation of 4H caches. So far all the area one's I have seen are in good shape due to the fact that they started off in good spots and ammo cans. But as kids come and go and the parent structure and leaders come and go - I can't help but wonder if anybody would take care of issues that popped up.

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Knowschad I would like to weigh in if I might! :)

There are three (well, now two) caches in my little subdivision that were placed by Scouts. None of them had any special "attributes" making them memorable. None of them are being maintained.

I am maintaining one which is located VERY near my home, simply because it is the one that allowed me the introduction to Geocaching.

The other current one is recorded as having maintenance done on it by previous finders, at various different times. (Thank you cachers for doing that)

The third one, which is now archived, was missing. It was located on a dead end, unused alleyway,(our trash is collected curbside) which required nearly trespassing to get to. I logged NA after walking over with my wife and thoroughly scouring the area for the cache three different times. I even contacted a local previous finder to verify the location.

All three have "poor" coordinates. The one closest to me, on my Garmin handheld, Nuvi in my truck ,and even my Blackberry, show the coordinates to be the center of my driveway. Which , lol, is how I got introduced to the hobby. Ironic isn't it?? :laughing:

Interestingly enough, I met the former Scoutmaster at a Homeowners Association meeting. He told me who placed them, and said the young man had moved away. He has caches of his own out, and no longer is involved with Scouts.

I have tried in vain to contact the CO to adopt.

I am surprised the Scouts would permit this, much less condone it. When I was in Scouts it was all about becoming a better person, by building skills, character, bettering yourself by helping to better others, helping our planet, ect. We didn't have a GPS Merit Badge. I am not sure the Military had GPS back then. ;)

I don't understand why they don't continue what they started, either with the same group of individuals, or the younger newer introductions to Scouting. Like grade school... the next "class" learns on the caches in place, instead of going out and placing new ones, which eventually suffer the same fate.

It has left me dissappointed in what the Scouts "seem" to have become. Any Scoutmasters who wish to comment are free to do so.

I have a different viewpoint on maintaining caches, as I am sure you have caught on another thread. Again, it goes back to what I was taught when I was young. If you see an opportunity to help someone, and you don't take advantage of it, it goes on your record. lol

I am amazed that some people will spend several hundred dollars for a GPSr, the cost of driving a vehicle to a cache site, the time and energy to find it, but then go berzak over replacing a fifty cent logbook!!! Amazing. B)

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Scout cache, like "school class project" caches, have a poor maintenance record in Texas. Once it's placed and monitored for a while, interest is lost and they've moved on to other things.

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I think the Scouts are "getting" geocaching pretty well. My son and I recently completed a 12 cache course on a local scout reservation and he walked away with his "Cache to Eagle" patch.

 

I walked away with both a special BSA travel bug and BSA geo coin, BOTH with a unique BSA icon (check my profile to see it) Apparently the scouts are really embracing caching. Rumor has it a new GPS/GIS merit badge will be forthcoming too, and from the looks of it Geocaching will be part of that.

 

Here's more info on the Cache to Eagle program and a picture of the patch:

GeoScouting

 

And the merit badge mention:

Merit badge site

 

I think we'll see better maintenance and more caches hidden by scouts in the future.

Edited by DocDiTTo

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I think the Scouts are "getting" geocaching pretty well. My son and I recently completed a 12 cache course on a local scout reservation and he walked away with his "Cache to Eagle" patch.

 

I walked away with both a specia BSAl travel bug and BSA geo coin, BOTH with a unique BSA icon (check my profile to see it) Apparently the scouts are really embracing caching. Rumor has it a new GPS/GIS merit badge will be forthcoming too, and from the looks of it Geocaching will be part of that.

 

Here's more info on the Cache to Eagle program and a picture of the patch:

GeoScouting

 

And the merit badge mention:

Merit badge site

 

I think we'll see better maintenance and more caches hidden by scouts in the future.

And this has what to do with cache maintenance? :laughing:

 

The fact they are "getting" it, yet the getting seems to place a cache as an experiment to show something like -- "If you build it they will come"? So far that seems to be it. Put it and forget it!

Edited by Gitchee-Gummee

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Perhaps orienteering merit badge needs to be updated to include proper geocache building. :laughing:

 

Caches really don't really maintenance if they are built well, hidden good, and include a decent logbook.

 

You know there are still caches out there from 9 years ago that are still going strong without maintenence..

 

My first find is still out there from 01 with my full name in the 300 page logbook. It's a very remote location with hardly any chance of muggles finding it.

 

Actually GPS usage is illegal in Orienteering. They need to be kept separate.

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So what if we go down the road of eliminating certain sub groups of geocachers from placing caches? How about newbies? They sometimes make questionable placements. I've found some really lousy caches from people that have thousands of finds.. perhaps they've lost their edge and need to be put out to pasture. If every poor cache or abandoned cache causes a group of cachers sharing some similar characteristics to lose the right to place caches, eventually there will be no caches to find.

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So what if we go down the road of eliminating certain sub groups of geocachers from placing caches? How about newbies? They sometimes make questionable placements. I've found some really lousy caches from people that have thousands of finds.. perhaps they've lost their edge and need to be put out to pasture. If every poor cache or abandoned cache causes a group of cachers sharing some similar characteristics to lose the right to place caches, eventually there will be no caches to find.

 

the thing is that youth groups and school projects do have a poor rate of maintenance. as many others not, they are often placed, monitored for a while, and forgotten as the group moves on to other things.

 

maintenance or archival of the cache has to become part of the group's culture or that rate will continue to be poor.

 

maybe i didn't read carefully enough, but i don't think i saw anyone proposing that these groups be banned from listing caches, only that these groups do a better job of long-term maintenance.

 

talking about it here is often a very good way to make people aware of issues they may not have considered.

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So what if we go down the road of eliminating certain sub groups of geocachers from placing caches? How about newbies? They sometimes make questionable placements. I've found some really lousy caches from people that have thousands of finds.. perhaps they've lost their edge and need to be put out to pasture. If every poor cache or abandoned cache causes a group of cachers sharing some similar characteristics to lose the right to place caches, eventually there will be no caches to find.

 

Is funny that you brought up subcategories (sub groups, in your words) of cachers. Maybe I missed it, but I don't recall anyone else saying that nor do I believe that is the subject at hand in this discussion.

 

I would certainly agree with you that any group is capable of placing lousy caches. But again, that isn't the topic, either.

 

The problem is placing a cache (group or no), and allowing it to deteriorate to where is truthfully is nothing but trash. This thread came to be as the result of another active thread which does involve a placement by a Cub Scout Troop placing and "forgetting" a cache.

 

This discussion IMO is more about "responsibility" than anything else. Scouts, I do believe (at least we are lead to believe) are presumably taught responsibility. If a "sub group" of 8 - 10 year olds (with direction from adults) create an account to just to place a cache, what happens to the cache in a year or two when they move on? Obviously, not the adults (parents) who move along with them.

Sure, the troop can still maintain the cache, as new scouts are joining continuously -- but quite often they don't. Probably because the "responsible adult(s)" never relayed any of that information to the newcomers.

 

Well the troop still has an account with geocaching.com, and the cache is still there. They have not yet responded to any NM logs. Hopefully, a "responsible" cacher will soon post a NA log! :laughing:

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* Learn how geocaching can enhance advancement opportunities.

* Develop a plan to use geocaching for recruiting.

 

Was I the only person that wondered how this works exactly and what it means?

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* Learn how geocaching can enhance advancement opportunities.

* Develop a plan to use geocaching for recruiting.

 

Was I the only person that wondered how this works exactly and what it means?

If this was from the Boy Scout guidelines -- I would say they have been infiltrated by the Fed Gov't. That infiltrator is now performing the write-ups for Boy Scouts! :laughing::o

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I have a bigger problem with poor cache maintenance than poor cache placement. And I wish poor cache maintenance was limited to any of the various youth groups. Everybody deserves a chance to prove they can be responsible cache owners. We have some local cachers (not youth groups) who have proved to me they are not responsible cache owners. They deserve to have their cache hiding priveledges revoked. But we all know that is never going to happen.

 

Then of course most cachers don't want to stick their neck out and flag those caches for Archival. In the UK they are discussing the merits of a less offensive name for the Needs Archived log. What the heck. If it means more cachers would use it, change the name quick.

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We have a scout troup here (333) that places many caches on there hikes. I have never encountered a maintenance problem with any.

 

Rather than condemn a class of people and assume that they are all alike based on one experience it seems more appropriate to deal with each as an individual.

 

I suppose if he discovered a couple of tall people were not maintaing their caches he want to put in a height limit to exculde them.

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So what if we go down the road of eliminating certain sub groups of geocachers from placing caches? How about newbies? They sometimes make questionable placements. I've found some really lousy caches from people that have thousands of finds.. perhaps they've lost their edge and need to be put out to pasture. If every poor cache or abandoned cache causes a group of cachers sharing some similar characteristics to lose the right to place caches, eventually there will be no caches to find.

 

Is funny that you brought up subcategories (sub groups, in your words) of cachers. Maybe I missed it, but I don't recall anyone else saying that nor do I believe that is the subject at hand in this discussion.

 

I would certainly agree with you that any group is capable of placing lousy caches. But again, that isn't the topic, either.

 

The problem is placing a cache (group or no), and allowing it to deteriorate to where is truthfully is nothing but trash. This thread came to be as the result of another active thread which does involve a placement by a Cub Scout Troop placing and "forgetting" a cache.

 

This discussion IMO is more about "responsibility" than anything else. Scouts, I do believe (at least we are lead to believe) are presumably taught responsibility. If a "sub group" of 8 - 10 year olds (with direction from adults) create an account to just to place a cache, what happens to the cache in a year or two when they move on? Obviously, not the adults (parents) who move along with them.

Sure, the troop can still maintain the cache, as new scouts are joining continuously -- but quite often they don't. Probably because the "responsible adult(s)" never relayed any of that information to the newcomers.

 

Well the troop still has an account with geocaching.com, and the cache is still there. They have not yet responded to any NM logs. Hopefully, a "responsible" cacher will soon post a NA log! :laughing:

 

No the topic is specifically in regard to scouts, but if you can discriminate against one group why not more?

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.....

 

maybe i didn't read carefully enough, but i don't think i saw anyone proposing that these groups be banned from listing caches, only that these groups do a better job of long-term maintenance.

 

talking about it here is often a very good way to make people aware of issues they may not have considered.

 

from the initial post: I personally think the guidelines should be change so that caches can't be place by cub scout packs or similar groups.....

 

The intent seems clear to me.

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.....

 

maybe i didn't read carefully enough, but i don't think i saw anyone proposing that these groups be banned from listing caches, only that these groups do a better job of long-term maintenance.

 

talking about it here is often a very good way to make people aware of issues they may not have considered.

 

from the initial post: I personally think the guidelines should be change so that caches can't be place by cub scout packs or similar groups.....

 

The intent seems clear to me.

In my original post in the other thread, I used a bit of exaggeration as to what I think the guidelines should say. I honestly don't think that TPTB would ban any particular group from placing caches. I thought for sure when I posted it that I'd have a lot of people jumping on me an defending the scouts. Instead I was a little surprised when everyone was agreeing with me that they have seen too many caches placed by cub scouts or church youth groups or fifth grade class projects that get placed and then forgotten by the group that placed them. So I'm not surprised to see people finally coming out and complaining that scouts are being treated unfairly.

 

I have found many scouting themed caches that have been maintained and were fun to find. One I remember was an ammo can hidden in front a a local scouting council office. It was cool to find a regular sized cache in an urban setting. Even though everyone at the council knew the cache was there, it still got muggled and the second time it happened the cache owner decided not to replace it and archived it. Not all scouting themed caches wind up as abandon caches with no one to do maintenance on them. But many do and the posts that others have the same experience confirms this. Groundspeak may not change the guidelines, but they and the scouts themselves may stress the need for a plan for maintaining a cache once the group that placed it has moved on.

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So what if we go down the road of eliminating certain sub groups of geocachers from placing caches? How about newbies? They sometimes make questionable placements. I've found some really lousy caches from people that have thousands of finds.. perhaps they've lost their edge and need to be put out to pasture. If every poor cache or abandoned cache causes a group of cachers sharing some similar characteristics to lose the right to place caches, eventually there will be no caches to find.
I think the problem here is not the type of group, but the fact that it is a group. No one person is ultimately responsible for the cache over the long haul. Young people of the ages that we are talking about change interests almost as frequently as they change their clothes. The adult group leaders, I suspect, are more often just looking for a project that will interest the group, and not serious long-haul cachers themselves. The group moves on, and the group leaders never were that interested in caching itself (I'm sure there are exceptions... those are not what we're talking about).

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I did ask in another thread but I will ask here as well (never too much info...well maybe :laughing: ) My girlfriend is looking to take her guide unit out geocaching. One of the tasks would be for the unit to place a cache. I would oversee the placement and I would be the one responsible for maintenance (but I would have the guides visit the cache in the spring to "check" on it to give them the idea of cache maintenance) basically I am letting them do the initial work but the responsibility is mine. Would that cover any issues that people have come across with scout caches? (providing I maintain my caches :o ... oh i will...no worries there :surprise: )
What *I* would hope is that the stress behind placing the cache is more along the lines of, "We are going to put this out so troops for years to come will be able experience the responsibility of maintaining it", rather than "We're going to put this out so we can experience the fun of seeing people find it"., and that the troop leaders assume the responsibility of making sure that follow-through actually occurs.

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Hey gang, look what landed in my inbox this morning:

 

Eagle Scout trek: Program uses GPS to highlight past projects

 

Here are some highlights (I have no idea if this is another case of "Ace Reporting" that cachers get hit with or if it's a case of "Helping Old Ladies Across Traffic". Draw your own conclusions.)

 

...geo-caching program...
(Hyphens ahoy!)

 

...showcase how Scouts use Global Positioning System receivers and other orienteering techniques.

 

Generally, items in the caches will be trinkets having a $1 or $2 value, information about the value of Scouting and nationally registered travel bugs that can be logged into the “Get in the Game Site” when the cache is found.

 

Cletus J. McConville Jr., council executive, said the project will be a fun activity and an opportunity for non-Scouts interested in geo-caching to learn about Scouting.

 

He said the council is introducing a geo-cache Scouting badge as a way to promote the project.

 

I can't tell if these will only be listed on some BSA site or if "Get in the Game Site" is the same thing as geocaching.com.

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No the topic is specifically in regard to scouts, but if you can discriminate against one group why not more?

 

Now that's an ironic statement.

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No the topic is specifically in regard to scouts, but if you can discriminate against one group why not more?

 

Now that's an ironic statement.

 

Good instincts. :laughing:

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Hey gang, look what landed in my inbox this morning:Eagle Scout trek: Program uses GPS to highlight past projects

Hey, at least he has practical goals:
McKinley has been getting the word out to as many living Eagle Scouts as he can

 

He said the geo-caching project has three main goals – to get people to utilize GPS, to enhance their map skills and get them outdoors.
...to which I would add "and teach them long-term responsibility."

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There's two around here that I know of. One is on a trail that a scout made for an eagle project. When I was there the trail was not being maintained and it was overgrown and the signs rotting. Since then the bridge was wiped out in the flood and I don't think it was replaced. From what I read from others that have since found the cache is not being maintained either, although some cachers have taken care to leave it better than found.

The other is on a busy trail. I found it sitting next to the trail where someone had taken it from its hiding place and set it by the trail where anyone could see it. I put it back. This incident could have happened with any geocache found by muggles. I believe someone is maintaining this cache because notices to replace the full log book were complied with. They may not make regular maintenance trips, but someone appears to be actively watching this cache.

Both are ammo cans which is why they have probably lasted this long.

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.....

 

maybe i didn't read carefully enough, but i don't think i saw anyone proposing that these groups be banned from listing caches, only that these groups do a better job of long-term maintenance.

 

talking about it here is often a very good way to make people aware of issues they may not have considered.

 

from the initial post: I personally think the guidelines should be change so that caches can't be place by cub scout packs or similar groups.....

 

The intent seems clear to me.

 

sorry; missed that.

 

yes, bad idea.

 

on the idea of troop responsibility: where caches are being properly maintained by scout troops or any other group from which the participants (and with them, their adult supervisors) age out, it is clearly a case in which the responsibility of maintaining the cache is not forgotten, but passed down from season to season, which is the proper thing to do.

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It has left me dissappointed in what the Scouts "seem" to have become. Any Scoutmasters who wish to comment are free to do so.

 

I hear ya. There seems to be a change in the overall attitude amongst scouts (and kids in general) since I was young.

 

Last fall, I helped a geocaching friend run a booth for a local camporee. It was a lot of fun, but having been through the ranks myself, I noticed some trends that were a little frustrating to see. Especially considering that when I was a kid, if we had been caught doing that we would have gotten in trouble by our scoutmasters.

 

We set up a series of temporary geocaches around the area. Each cache had a question in side, with each answer leading to a small tag. Answer correctly and go to the right tag. Collect the info from the tags and you would be able to solve a riddle. Everything related to stuff scouts regularly learn. Despite our best efforts at explaining the rules, some of the early groups began reporting missing containers. We would go out, check on them, and find many of them had been moved. And not just a few feet, but some were in clearly different locations. We realized that the scouts were purposely moving the containers so that anyone coming after them would not be able to find them.

 

Then, we also had a table set up with various cache containers, swag, and trackables. And guess what. One of my MOGA geocoins (I have four out of five, with the fifth only given to MOGA staff) was stolen by a scout. I didn't realize it for months until I happened to be going through my coins and found it gone. The last time I had ever opened it was at that event.

 

Now granted, the moving of the containers is kids being kids. But even after we began hitting on this in our instructions, we still caught scouts doing it. Plus the theft is just plain intolerable. Let alone that I came across an all-out fight occurring with adults less than 50 feet away standing around like nothing was going on. I finally walked up to one and told them about it because one of the kids was being punched. It all left a bad taste in my mouth for the current state of scouting. I hold out hope that all of this was an isolated incident.

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The set, of which these scout troops are a subset, is what I call Three Day Wonders. Includes someone who discovers geocaching, hides three caches in three days, and is never heard of again.

Then there is the Science Prodject (sic). Hope she did well with her science prodject. Great spot. Been there almost six years! But, she hasn't signed on since a week after it was hidden.

I've done two (I think) Scout Troop caches. One has been there eight and a half years! Coords are about 75 feet off... The other is maintained by the scout leader. Both are in good condition.

Then we have "Geocache created as part of a GPS class for the 6th grade." Coords about 1.3 miles off. Description changed after objections were made that it was not at the posted coords. But coords were not corrected. That put the start of the description in a camp not open to the public. One cache hidden. None found. Must have been a great GPS class. I was told that I should take a class in how to use a GPS. That the coords had been checke many times and were accurate. Yeah. Right.

I'm not concerned about Scout Troops. I'm concerned about three-day wonders.

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I think the problem here is not the type of group, but the fact that it is a group. No one person is ultimately responsible for the cache over the long haul. Young people of the ages that we are talking about change interests almost as frequently as they change their clothes. The adult group leaders, I suspect, are more often just looking for a project that will interest the group, and not serious long-haul cachers themselves. The group moves on, and the group leaders never were that interested in caching itself (I'm sure there are exceptions... those are not what we're talking about).

 

Well said. There are several boy scout troop caches in LA which have the same issues mentioned in this thread. It's not really anything to do with the BSA per se, just the fact that there is no one person to take ownership.

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The set, of which these scout troops are a subset, is what I call Three Day Wonders. Includes someone who discovers geocaching, hides three caches in three days, and is never heard of again.

Then there is the Science Prodject (sic). Hope she did well with her science prodject. Great spot. Been there almost six years! But, she hasn't signed on since a week after it was hidden.

I've done two (I think) Scout Troop caches. One has been there eight and a half years! Coords are about 75 feet off... The other is maintained by the scout leader. Both are in good condition.

Then we have "Geocache created as part of a GPS class for the 6th grade." Coords about 1.3 miles off. Description changed after objections were made that it was not at the posted coords. But coords were not corrected. That put the start of the description in a camp not open to the public. One cache hidden. None found. Must have been a great GPS class. I was told that I should take a class in how to use a GPS. That the coords had been checke many times and were accurate. Yeah. Right.

I'm not concerned about Scout Troops. I'm concerned about three-day wonders.

 

Thankfully, if I were to place a cache for the purposes of a classroom project in my classroom, it will be maintained. But I do agree that the "Three Day Wonder" (I love the name by the way...I might have to start using it) caches are annoying.

 

I'm currently planning lessons to use the GPSr's I got with a grant in my classroom. We have cache containers that we can randomly place as part of a "review game" before tests, among other planned lessons. If things go well, I might work on developing a presentation to deliver at education conferences about use of GPS technology in classroom settings. One point I had already considered is the same point in this post...the Three Day Wonder cache...and why if you place something, it should be maintained.

 

Funny how someone who placed a single cache and never found any is trying to tell you how to use GPS. I'm assuming even after making that arguement, the coords never changed. Figures.

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Then we have "Geocache created as part of a GPS class for the 6th grade." Coords about 1.3 miles off. Description changed after objections were made that it was not at the posted coords. But coords were not corrected. That put the start of the description in a camp not open to the public. One cache hidden. None found. Must have been a great GPS class. I was told that I should take a class in how to use a GPS. That the coords had been checked many times and were accurate. Yeah. Right.

 

Just curious, in this case had the reviewer been alerted to the coord discrepancy? Sometimes they will make corrections.

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To ban these groups from publishing a cache does NOT seem to be the most sensible idea.

 

Now I do agree that the majority of caches done by scouts groups (and other youth groups) do tend to fall out in generally a short period of time. But we should consider the positive effects these caches have. This is a great way to introduce people to our sport and the skill of using a GPS.

 

Caching is suppose to be FUN and when you start excluding groups you are denying them that right as well as risk bringing negative feelings around this game.

 

The one Troop cache that I did down in Virgina lasted only 11 months but the coordinates were acceptable and it was a neat locality. 32 cachers logged their find online and all had nothing but positive things to say about this cache. Further more 3 different troops found this cache which brings a sense of scout spirit around this game as well.

 

Certainly we would like to see scout caches survive much longer and be readily maintained but in all fairness there are lots of individual cachers out there who have done equally poor maintenance and have placed caches in far more inappropriate localities.

 

We as cachers should look at an alternative way to approach this problem. For instance local caching organizations could have scouts create a few caches but then allow them to be maintained by the caching organization. This way us cachers can have a well thought out maintained cache while bringing a positive outdoor experience to our youth.

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To ban these groups from publishing a cache does NOT seem to be the most sensible idea.

Nobody said anything about a ban... even Toz who implied that in the linked-to thread, has stated that he was hyperbole (see post) .

 

Now I do agree that the majority of caches done by scouts groups (and other youth groups) do tend to fall out in generally a short period of time. But we should consider the positive effects these caches have. This is a great way to introduce people to our sport and the skill of using a GPS.

Of much greater importance is teaching values like long-term responsibility to the environment, as well as to others. This can be taught by having newer troops maintain caches that were put out by those that went before them. Going out to maintain an existing troop cache will also teach them the skill of using a GPS, by the way.

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My apologies then for misunderstanding the banning idea.

 

As for the GPS skill I was correlating to the idea of the entire geocaching process and learning how to mark a waypoint (which would be needed in order to publish a cache).

 

As for the maintenance deal you are right it is annoying but I find it a good thing that troops are at least giving geocaching a try. Let them have their fun and don't get so out of bent when the cache goes missing. Treat it like any other cache in that situation send a Needs Archived note and move on.

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My apologies then for misunderstanding the banning idea.
Besides, even if we were to propose banning a group, I don't seriously entertain the notion that TPTB are setting policies based on the forum chatter.

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I think we should keep in mind what I would call "recognition bias". In other words, Scouts are an identifiable group, at least when they identify a pack as hider. That makes us tend to think about the group we can identify more than about anonymous individuals.

 

Example 1: a cache was hidden by a Cub Scout pack in an NPS area and archived about an hour later. Several months later I found the remains and packed them out -- the container was PVC pipe and a muggle had broken it trying to get it open. The scoutmaster is the contact and thanked me for packing it out, but had not done anything about the illegally placed cache.

 

OTOH, a no-find-one-hide individual placed what he called a multicache in the same area, also archived within a day. He didn't even understand a multicache (apparently thought it was just three caches not otherwise related), all three stages on NPS land, bad coordinates for one of the stages (combined the correct longitude with the latitude of one of the other stages). Never logged in again after placing the last, nor responded to email.

 

Bad Cub Scouts. :ph34r:

 

Example 2: hider placed three caches, two of them away from home, never logged on again nor responded to email. The caches rotted and got archived. He must have been a Cub Scout. :D I'm sure no one here will argue that non-scout caches don't often have maintenance problems.

 

There may be a problem, but anecdotal evidence will NOT establish it. The only way to establish it would be a take a large random sample of GC#s, look at the web pages to determine whether there has been a placement and/or maintenance problem, note whether it was identified as placed by a Scout group, put the numbers on a grid, and do a chi-squared calculation. I would guess that the sample would probably have to be at least 1000 caches -- there will be plenty with and without problems, but only a small number will be scout caches, and too few in any cell destroys possible significance.

 

It's a basic rule of statistics that anecdotal evidence proves nothing -- absolutely nothing. Well, except that people like to talk about anecdotes.

 

Edward

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Paleolith: Thanks for the anecdotes! :ph34r:

 

Of course there are ill-conceived and neglected caches put out by individuals. The examples that you give are probably the reason we see so many threads started here requesting an arbitrary number of finds before placing a cache. But that is a whole 'nuther issue that should be dealt with separately.

 

The problem with scouting groups and classroom projects is inherent in th cyclical nature of the groups and the lack of continuity between cycles. That's why I have been saying that, if a scout group wants to work on Geocaching, then fine... let one year's scouts put out a geocache, and let the following years scouts maintain it. And the scout master (teacher, etc) needs to be the one responsible for ensuring that continuity takes place.

Edited by knowschad

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That may be true but of what I read of the post it seems there is alot of complaining about scout caches due to the lack of responsibility on maintenance.

 

I guess what I was trying to get across is this is a game and should be FUN. In a world approaching 1,000,000 caches we are going to find caches that we dislike or get dissappointed about. Do caches that make you happy and just ignore the others, it really is that simple.

 

There is really no need bash on the scouts for their shorter lived caches, I'm just glad to see youth out there trying new things in the outdoors.

 

You know maybe a few of them "irresponsible scouts" will like the game and look into it further. Responsibility is a learned trait. Learning is a progressive deal that takes time; I'm sure all of us can relate to that.

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Here is my take on it.

 

I am an explorer scout leader in the UK & tonight I will be preparing and laying a cache with my unit.

 

I have already been through what geocaching is, and we are going out in a few weeks. We are using the cache to tell people about us and the swagg will be scouting related items to start with.

 

The cache will be very close to our weekly meet point, and I will be starting a rota to ensure that each time we meet at the HQ, an explorer (with me) takes a look at the cache to ensure it is properly maintained. I also accept that as a geocacher, and the leader, ultimate responsibility will lie with me to keep it maintained.

 

I think it will be a huge shame to not allow Scout sections to lay caches. Especially as in the UK Garmin are currently sponsoring and promoting it within the movement. My unit are really fired up about geocaching. They want to do a lot locally, but also make a few trips out in the area when we are on camps. We will be releasing a travel bug into the world to track too. Its taken off really well with them.

 

Bottom line is, its down to the leader (or teacher in a school group) to accept overall responsibility for the cache, and to ensure that the participants understand the rules, etiquette and best practices.

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I still see nothing here that applies more to scouts than to the geocaching population at large. People come and people go... whether they are part of a group or not. If fact the argument could be made that in groups it will be more likely that at least one member of that group remains active and maintains the cache. This is all BS until some real statistical data can be offered.

Edited by edscott

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Newbie here - I'm not sure I understand the desire for ALL caches to be permanent?

 

Why not allow caches that are only intended to last the school year, clearly labeled as such? Something that would allow the group to set up the cache, monitor it for a time, and then responsibly remove it (ie, make sure TBs are cared for and so forth) before the group disbands and leaders change and all.

 

It would also help the over saturation I see in some parks, where it appears a particular teacher hides another cache in the same general location each year.

 

What am I missing?

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I am a Scoutmaster and it does not surprise me that there are poorly maintained "Scout caches".

 

How many of these Scout caches are owned by Scout units vs caches owned by an individual who somewhat is/was affiliated with Scouts? The attrition rate of 1st year Scouts and leaders is high in part because of the committment required. I've had several parents start projects and then for one reason of another they drop out (along with their son). Guess who picks up the slack and the grief?

 

It is the cache owner's responsibility to maintain caches under their name. If you find a neglected cache, please do more than complain. Contact the owner, get is archived and if needed call the local Boy Scout Council.

 

If you have the time, inclination and skills, consider becoming an adult Scout at the pack, troop, crew, district or council level. We hardly have a surplus of adults!

Edited by WeeWillie

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Then we have "Geocache created as part of a GPS class for the 6th grade." Coords about 1.3 miles off. Description changed after objections were made that it was not at the posted coords. But coords were not corrected. That put the start of the description in a camp not open to the public. One cache hidden. None found. Must have been a great GPS class. I was told that I should take a class in how to use a GPS. That the coords had been checked many times and were accurate. Yeah. Right.

 

Just curious, in this case had the reviewer been alerted to the coord discrepancy? Sometimes they will make corrections.

 

The reviewer was made aware of the problem. The cache was disabled to give the CO the opportunity to either: Correct the coords if the cache was at the description on the cache page, or Replace the cache if it was at the coordinates listed. The cache owner did neither. The cache was archived.

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Newbie here - I'm not sure I understand the desire for ALL caches to be permanent?

 

Why not allow caches that are only intended to last the school year, clearly labeled as such? Something that would allow the group to set up the cache, monitor it for a time, and then responsibly remove it (ie, make sure TBs are cared for and so forth) before the group disbands and leaders change and all.

 

It would also help the over saturation I see in some parks, where it appears a particular teacher hides another cache in the same general location each year.

 

What am I missing?

 

Actually anyone could do just that. Caches do not need to be permanent. The do need a minimal level of permanence. If you try to list a cache that will only be available for a week it is more than likely it will not be published. If you list it with the stated goal that it is in play for only 9 months it very likely would be published.

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Newbie here - I'm not sure I understand the desire for ALL caches to be permanent?

 

Permanent as defined by the Geocaching.com Listing Guidelines = 3 months ;-). And that's a reasonable goal for Scout owned caches. A season, and then they can be pulled and the listing archived. No problem.

 

But many group placed caches are just abandoned, and often immediately after publication. Nobody home. This is true of boy and girl scouts, class projects, 4-H...

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