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School ground cache


aschmeer
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My daughter goes to a agricultural type high school and as such, each year she has to have certain amount of points each year to be able to go onto the next year. These points are earned for volunteer work, etc. She is behind this year and mentioned to her wildlife teacher that we geocache... and found that the teacher has done it in the past.

 

I then get an email from the teacher stating that my daughter can earn points for geocaching! Great news! She then suggested that we could put a cache on school grounds. I was hesitant at this... for obvious reasons. But then thought that this is a high school and they have seasonal sports, such as track, cross country track, etc... with many, constant visitors. I know they wooded areas, away from building and classrooms.

 

Rules state:

Geocaches are not placed on school property or military bases. Many primary, middle and secondary schools, as well as most military bases do not allow geocaching within their borders. Further, it is inadvisable to place geocaches near schools or military bases as the borders shown on a map may be inaccurate. Geocachers who are actively searching for a cache are likely to arouse suspicion in such environments, and we want to avoid this situation.

 

There is of course, the main rule of getting owners permission...

 

Would it be ok if I got explicit permission from the principle?

Or would this get rejected regardless?

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If it is a school-approved project, in a location approved by the school (not just the one teacher), where is would be accessible year-round without causing issues with the school, then there should not be any problem over the guideline.

 

But it would be advisable to put information about it being a school approved project in the description -- both to reassure the reviewer and future searchers.

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IMHO... It doesn't make any difference who gives the permission, a cache on school grounds are a bad idea. All it takes is for the permission giver, in your case the principal, to be transferred and a new one come in and all permissions are null and void. NOW... this is not to say that you can't put one across the street from the school.

 

We have several around here that have been placed within a hundred yards of military installations. They are on public land thus are "legal".

 

Use common sense and do what you think will last for a while.

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There is two sides to this issue. BOTH are correct.

 

I would suggest if the teacher wants a cache on school grounds, that the teacher does it. As long as she earns points for a placement (period), your daughter could place one or more elsewhere. There can be problems with caches on school grounds (permission or no), and a teenager should not be subjected to that. The teacher should bore the brunt of the problems, maybe the teacher can be taught something!

 

EDIT: context

Edited by Gitchee-Gummee
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There have been at least 6 caches published on school property within the last year. The first is by a dedicated cacher who is in the 4th grade. His mom also caches. And it has full permission from the Principal. It states that you should only hunt after 4, on weekends, or over the summer. All the ladies at the front office know about it and I hear they get a kick out of watching.

 

All the others have been placed by the school Geocaching club, some with the help of a local experienced cacher. All of them state that you should only hunt after school, on weekends, or over the summer.

 

So it can be done.

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IMHO... It doesn't make any difference who gives the permission, a cache on school grounds are a bad idea. All it takes is for the permission giver, in your case the principal, to be transferred and a new one come in and all permissions are null and void.

 

Even if the permission giver is still there, and fully supports the idea of geocaching, all of the teacher and other employees at the school may be unaware that the geocache exists. Even if every employee at the school knows about the geocache, the parents of the students aren't going to know about it. Although it's less likely that a parent of a student is going to be at a high school that at an elementary school there is still a good possibility that a parent or substitute teacher might see a geocacher near the school and consider it suspicious enough to call the police. Granted, suspicious behavior can occur anywhere but when children (even teenagers) are involved some people tend to get a lot more concerned. In general, placing a cache on or close to school grounds is a bad idea.

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One of my favorite caches was located on a middle school campus, and featured murals painted by the students. The listing made it clear that the school welcomes visitors only outside school hours, and the cache was placed with full approval and endorsement from the faculty.

 

Still, the cache itself was eventually moved off campus after being repeatedly muggled by kids.

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All of them state that you should only hunt after school, on weekends, or over the summer.

 

So it can be done.

And how much does this mean to the Geocachers cache hunters that have to find them all and are not going to be in the area during the appointed times to cache?

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Okay, I can understand everyone's concern here, but isn't placing a cache on school grounds sort of like placing one in a park? I mean there are going to be lots of kids at the park just like the school. The cache page should explicitly state when caching is allowed and when it is not. I received permission to place two caches on our local college campus where I graduated from back in 1999. A few of the staff knows they're there and I have printed off some of the logs to give to them to allow them to see what people are saying about the campus. They love it. Also, there are several posts in the log book in the cache from students who are not Geocachers, but they have seen people find it and they wanted to sign the log book too. Who knows, maybe they'll get an account and start caching too.

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I always read the cache description and I have a paperless unit (78S) so I can review the listing in the field. Even if the cache says there is explicit permission to place it on school grounds I probably wouldn't look for it. I don't need to be messing around on school grounds in the current "that guy MUST be a pervert - he's on the school grounds!" type of society we live in. It's just not worth it to me for the potential problems.

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Okay, I can understand everyone's concern here, but isn't placing a cache on school grounds sort of like placing one in a park? I mean there are going to be lots of kids at the park just like the school.

The difference is the school grounds are not as public property as the park is.

 

The cache page should explicitly state when caching is allowed and when it is not.

Like people pay attention to things like this. We have a cache on our church property and have asked people not to hunt for it on Sunday mornings, and still people come find it then.

 

I received permission to place two caches on our local college campus where I graduated from back in 1999. A few of the staff knows they're there and I have printed off some of the logs to give to them to allow them to see what people are saying about the campus. They love it. Also, there are several posts in the log book in the cache from students who are not Geocachers, but they have seen people find it and they wanted to sign the log book too. Who knows, maybe they'll get an account and start caching too.
College age people are usually older than k-12 kids, so there is a big difference in comparing the two.
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Caches around here, on or even near school grounds are rejected by the reviewers.

 

I think it's good they get rejected.

 

Take a look around on the forums and you get an idea of how many middle aged men are out caching by themselves.

It really doesn't look good for these men to be loitering around schools.

 

And people don't read the cache pages before they get there so putting a time limit on it would not likely work. Some people come from great distances to cache an area and are not going to be able to conform to your time limits. Only the locals really choose when to get the cache. Those coming from out of the area will get it when they hit that cache. Cachers with high numbers regularly run through an area and grab all the caches. They're not going to skip one or come back later just to get one.

 

School caches are not a good idea. I'm surprised your school administrator wouldn't figure that out for herself.

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One other problem with school caches is that even if all the faculty knows about it, what about the house across the street, the person out for a walk, the officer out on patrol? Any one of those people could cause a pretty big problem all over a geocache. That results in bad publicity for the game. I am a 41 year old man "kinda scary looking lol" and anyone in their right mind would probably call the law if they saw me poking around a school during school hours, after, or at night. I have learned there are far more suitable locations to place "and seek" a cache. Even in this situation, there really is no "need" to place it on school property. Also, schools are not regulated by the faculty or even the principal. It goes much higher. I honestly doubt any principal could give permission for an outside activity to take place on school property without permission from a much higher authority. Liability and insurance could be a big issue.

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Throw me into the crowd that says school caches are a bad idea. Intentions may be the best, as seems the case here, but there are way too many potential problems for this to be a good idea. Just ask the teacher if placement outside school grounds could count for credit, maybe with a presentation and a field trip to boot! Ya, that's the ticket....

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