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Teaching Young Scouts

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Took a bunch of Cub Scouts out about 5 weeks ago.


Used my troop's GPS'rs


Utilized the adult leaders of the den to herd the wild cats.


Had another Geocacher who was peripherally related to the den.


Pre-loaded the co-ords and kept it veeeeeeeeeery short ~ 45 minutes.


If you are familiar with " Sign's Up " you better get familiar. You will be using it. LOL


That age group has a short attention span and some instant gratification ploys are helpful.


There is a reason I don't work with " cubbies " I am wound up waaaaaaay to tight so it was nice to have others to serve as foils.


We did a traditional and two legs of a multi involving a ~one mile hike. That was on the verge of too much.


It was a huge benefit that the unit was from a Coast Guard Facility soooooooo they had some concept of discipline.

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When I've taught that age group, I've given a short "classroom" intro, and then taken them out to a spot where I'd hidden a couple dozen containers.


In the "classroom" intro, I keep it simple. I explain how GPS works by hanging pieces of yarn from the ceiling, near the walls. The length of each piece of yarn is the distance from a "satellite". One satellite defines a circle, and I have a kid hold the end of the yarn and walk the circle. Two satellites define two points where the circles intersect. Three satellites define a point on the surface (but also another point "up there").


Then I show examples of the different size containers, explain "trade up, trade even, or don't trade", explain TBs and GCs, and take them outside to search for containers. The kids have to stay behind the line (inside the circle, whatever) and just look for the containers. When they spot one, they raise their hand and when I call on them they tell me which one they spotted.


Finally, I send them home with brochures that I printed from the PDF available at geocaching.com, in case their parents want to pursue geocaching as a family activity.


If we're going to search for real geocaches, then I take them on a hike somewhere away from their neighborhood. I do not take them to the local suburban caches. Even if I trust all the kids and their families, I don't necessarily trust all the school friends they might tell about the cool "treasure box" hidden in the local park.

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We did this recently and I agree with the comments above especially about the short attention span. To add some excitement, we did a short multi with the final cache having some bags of sweets. As they were working in groups, the FTF had their choice of the goodies and the last group got what was left.


Check out the badges as well - Scouts now have the option of doing the Navigator badge by GPS

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We've been Geocaching for almost 4 months now with our three boys aged 5, 7 & 9. They all love it and look forward to our next outing. Even the youngest one picked up the basics easily. We started with just maps/compass and introduced the GPS when we could afford one (after about 2 months). Agree with the above comments - keep it simple and take them on adventure trails to find the caches. Kids love forests and mountains and won't get bored easily especially if there is treasure to be found.

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I did a geocaching day with our Cub pack back in May. We didn't have any GPSr's to give out, but most families either had one, used a smartphone, or teamed up with another family that was equipped. We did a 20 minute classroom introduction, then went out to the church property to find a few that I had hidden so that everyone could get their feet wet.


Then we divided into family/small group teams and everyone went their separate ways. We're fortunate that our Council office has hidden 10 caches in each district to celebrate the 100th anniversary. So I gave each team a list of the ten caches in our district and sent them out to find them. Anyone who found all 10 got a cool geocaching patch and a Scout-to-Eagle geocoin as a prize.

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