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Tatanka49

Geocaching Summer Camp (BSA)

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I've been approached by my council to run the first ever (and as far as National knows,, any where in the US) week long Geocaching specialty week at our council camp. I have been given Carte Blanche for anything I want to do. so now I am appealing to the GC/BSA community as a whole for ideas. I have run day long GC events, but never one 6 days long.

 

Some of my thoughts include basic technology stuff--perhaps presented by one of the GPSr companies

Lat/Long and UTM by a land surveyor or Coast Guard (as presented at the Jambo)

Building a geocaching trail throughout the property for regular scout use year round.

Letterboxing

Puzzle caches

Basic cache rules, construction, etc

Using the camp bus to visit 'real' caches in the vicinity

Night caching

Something on travel bugs -- maybe on ongoing TB race launched from camp

Unusual cache containers -- like from the companies that supply them

And of course work on the merit badge

Maybe conduct a CITO or Meet and greet at the end of the week

 

I also want to include a goody bag with a custom geocoin and or pathtag, a TB dog tag, the usual sway like shirts, hats, maybe the BSA or Ground speak basic containers, some nanos or match cases, a GPSr (if we can find a donor)

 

Looking for more ideas. I have to put together a final presentaion within the month and more ideas are needed.

 

Thanks--

 

John

aka Tatanka49

Get in the Game Coordinator

Greater NY Councils

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Don't forget an Earthcache. Great educational tool and combines Earth Science. And I like puzzle caches which require math skills or decrypting.

 

The Scout coins are really nice trackables to release and watch.

 

I live in Maine and there are scouting related caches in our state. In fact, there are several at or near Camp Roosevelt and several put out by troops and Scouts across the state.

 

This winter I am going to be helping a Scout Troop on their Geocaching Merit badge and am very excited about the adventure.

 

Making your own creative cache container is fun. Many of those you can find to buy on line could be fashioned at camp. I remember finding one once which was made out of a pill container but was on a long stick and looked like a CatO'Nine Tail. It was stuck in the group in a group of them. Also, fashioning your own creative Travel bug or making some Signature Items to leave in a cache.

 

If you are going to talk about letter boxing you will be talking about "stamps". Find someone to help them design their own unique stamp and carve it out. They can use it for boxing and also geocaching to "stamp up".

 

Hope these ideas are helpful.

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Just had a couple more ideas - make CITO swag (use a film canister and fill it with a plastic grocery store bag). Put stickers on the outside of the canisters with - "CITO BAG ENCLOSED - COMPLIMENTS OF BSA TROOP #xyz". These may be placed in caches for swag.

 

Use the film canisters (or if you can find some bigger containers for free) to make little Mini-First Aid kits for cache swag. The local pharmacy might donate bandaids etc. I carry a film canister with a couple of bandaids and 2 gloves in my cache bag.

 

Have break out groups list what to put in their cache bags. Must have vs. nice to have.

 

Design your own Geocaching shirt for the group. Carve a stamp (or use an inkjet printer with the special paper) to make the shirt. It would be fun to leave a week of camp with your own unique shirt for the group (designed as a group project).

 

Good luck with camp - it sounds like fun. Not a week long but I know Camp Roosevelt had a Geocaching Mod last summer and Greenland Point Conservation Camp did too. If you would like to know the name of the person who did them - contact me through my GC profile.

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You could probably cover the Orienteering Merit Badge during a weeklong camp as well. Not a bad way to start off the introduction to the topic. Don't forget to show how to project a waypoint on a GPS.

Edited by doshman

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Last year our camp taught the MB as a free-time activity. It went over pretty well even though they didnt have the MB book yet. They used some of the 12 caches I had placed at camp for Get In The Game centennial activity, but they couldnt get to most of they because of the distance and available time.

 

This year we are combining geocaching with Mt Biking in a 2 hour per day, 5 day class. They'll be able to cover the whole camp and find all of the caches, and it will give them some different destinations on the bikes.

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You could also get the Leave No Trace Geocaching cards for the boys. This gives them an opportunity to realize that things they are learning work in tandom. :D

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You could probably cover the Orienteering Merit Badge during a weeklong camp as well. Not a bad way to start off the introduction to the topic. Don't forget to show how to project a waypoint on a GPS.

 

To do that properly the camp needs to be mapped to Orienteering standards. There are only about 50 in the US that qualify.

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I'll echo the Merit badge comment. Most boys are goal oriented and having the potential to earn a badge by the Friday of camp week will keep them interested. Do I understand that you have the same boys all day for a week? Usually it is about an hour per day, with maybe two or three different groups each day. If you really have 40+/- hours of instructional time maybe you can find some longish day hikes out of camp to find some GC.Com listed caches after a couple days of in-camp instruction.

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I have permission to start a program in our council, but am reluctant to place caches inside our camp that are registered on geocaching.com due to the restrictions on persons not registered in a scouting activity using the camp (as a part of the youth protection program0. I suppose I can place some caches and just provide their locations to the scouts wirhout registering them. Any Ideas would be helpful

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Day 1-2: Go out and hike the area looking for nice geocache container locations.

 

Day 3-4: Build a unique cache container that fits 1 location they scouted day 1-2.

 

Day 5-6: Hide unique Cach/Make a Geo Trail GPS list.

 

Day 7: Follow the Geo trail finding all the caches. (If parents are pickingt up scouts it could be a family adventure to end the camp)

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I have permission to start a program in our council, but am reluctant to place caches inside our camp that are registered on geocaching.com due to the restrictions on persons not registered in a scouting activity using the camp (as a part of the youth protection program0. I suppose I can place some caches and just provide their locations to the scouts wirhout registering them. Any Ideas would be helpful

 

At our local 2-day CubScout camp we had some "Geocaches" for the boys to find. They were not registered on the website, but were 'official' branded Containers the council had on-hand to keep at camp and use. Essentially "Private Caches", which let the boys find them as a fun activity, using camp-owned GPSrs. Then, they handed out a little info-packet about the "official" Geocaching website and encouraged checking that out for even more fun in the public sphere. That seems like what you were wanting to do, right?

 

As for the BSA 6-day camp, I don't have too many other suggestions, other than repeat the CITO swag idea, which I think I'll steal for our camp area too.

 

You could also possibly have the boys "hide a cache" or two as a team/den/patrol activity. Go through the process of finding a suitable location, discuss the pro/con of that site, and how to Average the coordinates, etc. Then "Submit it" (privately to the camp staff, not online) for the other patrols to Find the next day.

Edited by Maebius

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There's a Scout camp here and Boy Scouts have placed a few caches as part of the Geocaching merit badge. I think it would be fun to have a Scout related travel bug...maybe try to reach as many camps/councils as possible?

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