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WE4NCS

Inconsistent geocache approval

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I saw this new event geocache on the geocaching.com web site

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?wp=gcg8rh

 

I created a similar event geocache but was denied. The same event, same

dates and almost the same wording. The location is different.

 

Mine is http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.asp?ID=75660

 

I need to understand the difference and what I need to do fit the mold and standard that was used to approve the cache.

 

I feel that the approval of the PSE QSL event geocache and the disapproval of my W4RMT event geocache is inconsistent. Either both should be approved of both be archived.

 

Can anyone please give me guidance or input here.

 

Bert

WE4NCS

we4ncs@mindspring.com

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The only real difference I see is that the other mentions a physical cache container.

 

Seems that if one is denied, the other should be also, or both approved.

 

The admin who reviewed this cache says in their log:

quote:
The thinking is that outside events scheduled for a specific purpose should not be posted as event caches, even if geocachers are invited. Unless a geocacher is hosting an event specifically for geocachers it cannot be listed on the site.
My solution would be to put on a true geocaching event in conjunction with the ham event. Hide some caches, have some formal demonstrations of incorporating GPS and ham radio, have some GPS games, etc. I did this with a combo orienteering/geocaching event, and it was very successful. Use it not only to introduce goecachers to ham, but to introduce ham operators to geocaching.

 

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Well, if honeychile's explanation is correct, someone should not have approved W7WT's FD cache. I think they should all (FD Event caches) be approved but I'm biased. icon_wink.gif

 

Friends don't let friends attempt to persuade them to be biased toward any particular type of cache.

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I think they should both be archived. It is not an event cache since Geocachers are not gathering to discuss Geocaching. Your cache just basically has a logbook on a table I guess, and also a cacher must find you, which is not a valid cache ("If you are not a ham, then identify yourself as a geocacher, sign the event/geocache logbook and say 'We are looking for Bert WE4NCS, that infamous geocacher'. Everyone will know me and where I am at."). For this to be valid, theoretically, you would have to be at the location constantly for 48 hours or you are not a cache. No bathroom breaks! The other one has cachers going to a container that is located on private property but is open for two days. That is a temporary cache and is also not allowed.

quote:
Event Cache

There have been many cases where geocachers want to meet up at a location to share experiences and make new friends. Event geocaches are locations to meet, and after the meeting these caches are archived.


quote:
Cache Permanence

 

As the Frequently Asked Questions indicate, geocaches can be hidden in a location for a finite period of time, depending on the environment and the decision of the cache owner.

 

However, when you report a cache on the web site, geocachers should (and will) expect the cache to be there for a realistic and extended period of time. Therefore, caches that have the goal to move, or temporary caches (ex: Caches hidden for events) will not be approved. If you wish to hide caches for an event, bring printouts to the event and hand them out there.


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So are you saying if I can't have mine then theirs should be archived too? That is really silly.

 

As adults we can see that there are situations that come up that may change the outlook of a decision....like in this case.

 

A Ham event was submitted, there was a geocache for cachers to find at the event. The admin approved it.

 

Many more similar events were submitted that were ham events. Although I do see a connection between the two groups, it comes down to they are not events for geocachers.

 

At that point we said if it is a geocaching event for geocachers then approve if not then archive.

 

Then back to the first event, it had already been approved. We decided to leave it approved.

 

frog.gif hydee frog.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by hydee:

...A Ham event was submitted, there was a geocache for cachers to find at the event. The admin approved it.

 

Many more similar events were submitted that were ham events. Although I do see a connection between the two groups, it comes down to they are not events for geocachers.

 

At that point we said if it is a geocaching event for geocachers then approve if not then archive.

 

Then back to the first event, it had already been approved. We decided to leave it approved.

 

frog.gif hydee frog.gif


If the first event was grandfathered in BEFORE the decision was made to no longer approve these types of events, then I think the decisions were correct. Keep the first cache, archive the second.

 

However, I think a section needs to be added to the Cache Listing Requirements/Guidelines page clarifying the guidelines for event caches. Many of us actually re-read this page every time we submit a cache, and keeping the guidelines up-do-date will keep some non-qualifying caches from ever being submitted.

 

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There is no need for a change to the guidelines. The issue here is geocaching event vs. non-geocaching event.

 

Example....Geocachers may go to the local city council meeting, but the city council shouldn't be posting their meetings on our site.

 

frog.gif hydee frog.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by hydee:

There is no need for a change to the guidelines. The issue here is geocaching event vs. non-geocaching event.


I respectfully disagree. There are no published guidelines for event caches. The Cache Listing Requirements/Guidelines page currently makes no mention whatsoever of guidelines for events. The event cache in question was modeled after another existing, recently approved event. With no guidelines listed, how would anyone who doesn't monitor these forums regularly know these types of events are no longer being approved?

 

I'm NOT asking for a bunch of new rules/guidelines, only that those that do exist be published where everyone can find them.

 

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quote:
I'm NOT asking for a bunch of new rules/guidelines, only that those that do exist be published where everyone can find them.


 

I agree with you in principle, but would like to think that some rules are so basic that they shouldn't have to be spelled out.

 

We don't have a rule that says that when you find a cache you shouldn't take the whole box with you. It's kinda obvious. I guess I feel the same way about geocaching event caches - they should obviously be events for geocachers.

 

But in defense of spelling out the rules or guidelines even for things some consider obvious: until people started hiding sneakers and golf balls as "caches" we didn't think it necessary to require that physical caches have a log book. Maybe people submitting non-geocaching events will eventually result in spelling out what most consider obvious. icon_frown.gif

 

~erik~

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quote:
Originally posted by kd4adc:

Well, if honeychile's explanation is correct, someone should _not_ have approved W7WT's FD cache. I think they should all (FD Event caches) be approved but I'm biased. icon_wink.gif

 

Friends don't let friends attempt to persuade them to be biased toward any particular type of cache.


Funny, I've been a ham (N2GZG) for quite a few years longer then I've been a geocacher, and I STILL don't see what field day has to do with geocaching?

Every geocaching event I've been to, the agenda was geocaching. We talked geocaching. We found geocaches. We explained geocaching to non-cachers who wandered by.

Every FD I've attended over the last 20yrs the agenda has been ham radio. We talked about our QSO's and our rigs. We worked other FD events around the world. We explained ham radio to non-hams who wandered by.

Sounds to me like a FD geoevent is meant to promote ham radio to geocachers. If that's the case, where do you draw the line, and why? Should my local rescue squad's membership drive be an event? How about my church's carnival?

Maybe the "how to make 1 million dollars in real estate with no money down" seminar at the hotel down the road? If I see an event posted here, and I attend, I expect it to be about geocaching. Not ham radio, not joining a church, not a get rich quick scheme

 

Tae-Kwon-Leap is not a path to a door, but a road leading forever towards the horizon.

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I think we're missing an opportunity to promote Geocaching by this policy. A Field Day Event Geocache (or many other types of non-Geocaching events with an associated Geocache) could be used to promote Geocaching to Hams (or others). Amateur Radio licensees are particulaly likely to get interested in a hobby like Geocaching (y'know, with all the gobs and gobs of spare time we have icon_wink.gif). Many Hams already have small GPS receivers that they've built into radios, which continually beacon their position, report the local weather, etc. I'd hate to see the Geocaching community (and our "leadership," if that's the appropriate word) cut of our nose to spite our face.

 

Regarding the "obviousness" of not needing to articulate that Event caches must be Geocaching events and no other types, it's far from apparent to me that it's obvious. Similar to my statement above, it strikes me as an opportunity to proselytize and expand our community of Geocachers. Personally, I think it's silly and a bit arrogant to have such a policy, but if you do, it should be clearly stated.

 

Which brings me to my final point: there's at the very least an appearance of inconsistency with this policy, which makes the decisions seem capricious at best, and showing favoritism at worst. Inconsistency will kill you every time in positions of authority. Either have the policy or don't, but it's foolish to selectively enforce it. It would be reasonable to have canceled an Event cache planned for the end of June, and already approved, some time in April, or even May, well after this policy decision was made, but also well before the cache was apparently hidden. I can't begin to figure out how things have gotten to there current state; there certainly appears to have been a breakdown somewhere along the line, and I don't really think it's fixable at this point.

 

I still believe this new Event policy is short-sighted and ill-advised, but if it's going to stick, then it should be publicly stated somewhere and consistently enforced in the future so this mess doesn't happen again.

 

73, and happy 'caching,

 

-----

~ Boyd

N5CTI

 

"Never ask a man where he's from. If he's from Texas, he'll tell ya soon enough. If he ain't, don't embarrass him."

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quote:
I agree with you in principle, but would like to think that some rules are so basic that they shouldn't have to be spelled out.

 

We don't have a rule that says that when you find a cache you shouldn't take the whole box with you. It's kinda obvious.~erik~


Well I agree with you in principle that basic rules don't have to be spelled out, but I think you picked a bad example. The FAQ says

quote:
Can I move a cache once I find it?

 

Unless there's a note in the cache containing instructions on moving it to a new location, don't move the cache!


To me that includes "don't take the cache". As best I can remember, this has been here since I found geocaching.com back in Sep 2000.

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quote:
Originally posted by WE4NCS:

I need to understand the difference and what I need to do fit the mold and standard that was used to approve the cache.

 

...

 

Can anyone please give me guidance or input here.


 

I see your point. I would suggest you add a physical cache with a logbook that will be at your site for the FD duration. Then cachers can sign in. Hams can welcome them and give them a quick tour of your FD operation. But they don't have to go on a wild goose chase to find you if they don't want to.

 

If you make that change then I say yours is the same as the first and either both are approved or both are denied.

 

There does need to be a standard applied here. If they are substantially the same then they should be approved or disapproved.

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The difference is that your cache is not in the state of Washington, where the rules are slightly different than the rules for the rest of us. Like this cache for example. Unless, of course, it was grandfathered.

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quote:
Originally posted by cachew nut:

The difference is that your cache is not in the state of Washington, where the rules are slightly different than the rules for the rest of us. Like http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=46ec5b32-08d1-4cf6-9cd6-b06014f8b0e3 for example. Unless, of course, it was grandfathered.


Hidden: 7/27/2001, I would suspect it's grandfathered.

Also, I strongly suspect that a 2/2 cache that hasn't been logged in almost 2yrs was probably pulled or plundered and never archived

 

Tae-Kwon-Leap is not a path to a door, but a road leading forever towards the horizon.

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quote:
The difference is that your cache is not in the state of Washington, where the rules are slightly different than the rules for the rest of us.

 

How so?

 

"Au pays des aveugles, les borgnes sont rois"

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quote:
Originally posted by ~erik~:

Maybe people submitting non-geocaching events will eventually result in spelling out what most consider obvious. icon_frown.gif


I don't think it is obvious. Not counting the forums, which we all know most cachers do not use, the only sources of information on what constitutes an event cache are (a) precedent and (:D the following text from the Cache Types page:

 

quote:
Event Cache

There have been many cases where geocachers want to meet up at a location to share experiences and make new friends. Event geocaches are locations to meet, and after the meeting these caches are archived.


 

What part of that description tells me that an event cache must be strictly an event for geocachers?

 

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Well the mountain was so beautiful that this guy built a mall and a pizza shack

Yeah he built an ugly city because he wanted the mountain to love him back -- Dar Williams

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quote:
What part of that description tells me that an event cache must be strictly an event for geocachers?


 

What tells you that a swimming event might get you wet or that a literary event might be only for people who can read? icon_wink.gif

 

What Jeremy wants to prevent is the site being used to advertise events that have nothing to do with geocaching. You should see some of the stuff that's submitted - rock concerts, garage sales, flea markets, etc., etc....

 

erik - geocaching.com admin

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These are Ham events.

 

Geocaching is not the main topic or reason for the meeting. I'm with Mtn-man on this one. They would need a lot more work to be a real event cache.

 

=====================

Wherever you go there you are.

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quote:
Originally posted by ~erik~:

What tells you that a swimming event might get you wet or that a literary event might be only for people who can read? icon_wink.gif


Yes, but consider: one of the key points of geocaching is to show people interesting places, teach them some local history, etc. In many cases, there is in fact no geocache, ie virtuals, so no, someone doesn't necessarily expect a geocache when they go geocaching. To me, it's very easy to see how a new player or one unfamiliar with the guidelines would make the leap from these concepts to wanting to bring people to a non-commercial conference or hobbyist meeting or Halloween light display.

 

Don't get me wrong, I understand perfectly why these events aren't approved. I just disagree that the reason should be perfectly obvious to everyone, or that it's as basic as "Don't take the container".

 

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Well the mountain was so beautiful that this guy built a mall and a pizza shack

Yeah he built an ugly city because he wanted the mountain to love him back -- Dar Williams

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If you look at the cache that was approved, it was "hidden" or posted on 6/10/2003.

 

If you look at the archived/not approved cache that is in the first post of this message, Honeychile's message says (emphasis mine):

quote:
Bert, I am really sorry but I cannot approve the ham radio field day(s) as a geocaching event. This has already been discussed by the admins and a decision made that it is not a 'caching event back in March. It has been denied by every other ham afficionado who proposed it (you're not the only one -- folks in several other states have all been denied event caches for field day). The thinking is that outside events scheduled for a specific purpose should not be posted as event caches, even if geocachers are invited. Unless a geocacher is hosting an event specifically for geocachers it cannot be listed on the site.

As highlighted in bold, the decision was made in March, but the cache was not posted until June. This was a result of a discussion amongst the admins. Problem is, none of these admins bothered to post an announcement concerning this decision, even though they were aware of an interest on the part of hams in doing so.

 

So, someone started a thread in the GPS and Ham Radio forum, and another ham posted his info on his Field Day cache. I assume the boards are moderated, but none of the moderators posted anything about the March decision or anything about how the Field Day caches were not allowed.

 

So, hams that were planning for Field Day planned some event caches and probably wondered if it was okay to post such an event cache, as I did. They saw the Field Day thread and the listing of the approved cache, checked out the particulars of the cache, and figured, as I did, that it was okay, then posted their own. Which were then archived as not being geocaching events.

 

Let me reiterate. Nowhere, either in the discussion boards or on the website, was it announced that Field Day caches weren't allowed.

 

When this policy, or lack thereof, is questioned by a ham that tried to place a similar event cache, and who's suggestion that the idea that archiving the approved cache was dismissed by "Hydee" as being "silly". She further states that the approved cache will not be archived because it was approved before the decision was made.

 

Maybe I just buy defective calendars, or something, but the last time I checked, June (when the approved cache was posted) typically occurs after March (when the admins made the decision not to approve such caches).

 

What I don't like is that a cache-type that "Hydee" says is against the rules is approved and the other similar cache-types are archived. This is grossly unfair. If this were just about the rules, all caches of that type would be archived.

 

As I see it, Jeremy and his crew saw some upcoming issues, if they had the meeting about it and made a decision. They made no effort to address this issue with the actual users of this site. I don't see why hams who wish to place an event cache have to be penalized by the admin's failure to communicate and by the stubbornness displayed by not archiving a cache that violate the rules that "Hydee" keeps throwing in our faces.

 

Regarding the general idea that event caches shouldn't be placed by predominantly non-geocaching-centric events, I agree.

 

However, judging from the presence of the "GPS and Ham Radio" area of the discussion boards, hams are interested in geocaching, geocachers are showing interest in ham radio, and the admins are well aware of this. I don't see that posting a Field Day cache is that farfetched an idea. In light of this, I suggest that the Field Day special event caches all be approved (it's all of what, 24 hours?), and let the entire geocaching community, rather than just a small subset of geocachers in Washington, make the choice whether to visit these caches and learn about ham radio. A few hams took the time to plan these event-caches, so it wouldn't be fair if one ham got to place his while the other hams were turned down.

 

I might add that these hams have family and friends that they often bring to Field Day. I'd hate to think that somebody's stubbornness might keep geocaching from experiencing more growth, or geocachers from discovering ham radio, if that's what they wish to do.

 

I would also like Jeremy to chime in on this. This whole thing has generated a lot of ill-will, and Hydee is not helping the situation with her dismissive, defensive and insulting attitude

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I stand by my previous statement.

By the way, I attended this field day cache last year, and I'm glad it was a cache. I would never have gone otherwise, I got to find a cache, bounce my voice across the country and see my position thanks to APRS: Automatic Position Reporting System. So in my opinion, it has more to do with location than you think.

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quote:
Originally posted by JustBeingJolly:

I don't see that posting a Field Day cache is that farfetched an idea. In light of this, I suggest that the Field Day special event caches all be approved (it's all of what, 24 hours?), and let the entire geocaching community, rather than just a small subset of geocachers in Washington, make the choice whether to visit these caches and learn about ham radio.


As an admin, I will take a stab at this topic again. Your statement above is a good reason why these will not be approved.

 

Event caches are not about learning about anything other than Geocaching. At our GGA events we talk about what to carry in your pack in summer or winter. We talk about first aid if you are hurt. We talk about compass and map applications such as route choosing, bearings and triangulation of a cache location. We talk about how to set waypoints for caches. We talk about types of caches and what works and what doesn't work. I can go on.

 

I don't see how a ham radio will help me find 99.9 percent of caches out there. I think it is neat that ham operators are into geocaching. The attempt to work ham operations into geocaching with the "fox-hunt" concept is interesting. I poked around on some amateur radio web sites, including the http://www.arrl.org site, and never saw a link to or about geocaching. Finally I did a google search and found this article on the arrl.org site. It even says, "While geocaching is not directly ham radio-related, some hams have combined the two hobbies." I can appreciate the fact that you are trying to combine these two hobbies. The innovation is to be complimented.

 

But...

 

The gatherings that you are promoting are organized ham radio events. They are not organized geocaching events. I think you are looking at this backwards. Rather than invite geocachers to a yearly planned ham radio organized gathering why don't you hold a separate gathering and see if you can get ham operators out to meet geocachers and strictly discuss geocaching. Then you would have a Geocaching Event Cache. Events listed on the GC.com web site are not listed as tag along deals for existing events. They are planned specifically by geocachers to be specifically about geocaching. Now it does take more time and effort to do that rather than just saying "I'm going to be at this event anyway and if you can show up you will get to log a smiley and learn about ham radios too." You have to plan an agenda and topics and do the promotion work yourself. That is what a geocaching event cache on this web site is for. You should be trying to get ham operators to come out to your geocaching event to discuss geocaching.

 

Regarding inconsistent geocache approval and the admins -- as it has been said numerous times we are all volunteers. We try to keep on the same page regarding guidelines and requirements. We are human, though, and yes we do make mistakes. If a cache was approved accidentally that should not have been approved we don't fire the admin (though we could cut their pay I guess). The approved cache was approved by mistake. It slipped through. It happens. We do learn from our mistakes, but we also learn and apply these experiences to further approval work.

quote:
Originally posted by JustBeingJolly:

Maybe I just buy defective calendars, or something, but the last time I checked, June (when the approved cache was posted) typically occurs after March (when the admins made the decision not to approve such caches).

 

What I don't like is that a cache-type that "Hydee" says is against the rules is approved and the other similar cache-types are archived. This is grossly unfair. If this were just about the rules, all caches of that type would be archived.


I think Hydee was just trying to be nice to the cacher that has the cache approved. I think that is absolutely fair. If a restaurant forgets and mistakenly does not charge you for an entree on your credit card and realizes it at the end of the night, would you mind if they just charged you for the rest of it? The restaurant made a mistake, and they have to deal with the mistake and live with it. This cache was approved by mistake and the cache should stand as is. This cacher sort of got a "free meal" on the house.

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mtn-man, I still disagree with you, though I thank you for taking the time to provide a more detailed explanation for the reasoning behind this decision, and you were kinder about it, which I appreciate.

 

These were event caches that were related to a subject area on GC.com's forums, and there was a similar cache approved with no official announcement anywhere saying that type of cache was prohibited. So, while I acknowledge that people do make mistakes, I do not think I have things backward.

 

Let me restate this in "restaurantese" for ya. It would be like if the menu says groups of 10 or more are subject to a 15% gratuity, but when the bill comes, the gratuity is actually charged at a rate of 25%. When the waitron is asked about this, he says, "Yeah we made the decision back in March, but we forgot to correct the menus before they went to the printer. How silly of you to expect us to stand by what the menu said." So you have several groups of people who are upset because they didn't get the information they needed before investing their time in eating the meal at a restaurant, and then were faced with an indifferent waitron when they tried to address the situation.

 

Hydee may not have wanted to disappoint the approved-cacher, but I think she probably disappointed a lot of other people in the process

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Actually, JustBeingJolly, I think you have your restaurantese backwards.

 

The menu says groups of 10 or more are subject to a 25% gratuity, but one of the waiters made a mistake and charged a group 15%. Now your bill comes, showing a gratuity of 25%. You're now complaining to the manager because you think you should only be charged 15% because that other group was only charged that.

 

I agree with the other admins. This is not a geocaching event and thus should not be posted here. What if it was a car show at the local college? Just putting a logbook in a coffee can on a table does not make it a geocache event.

 

I also don't think we should go back and try to un-do any mistakes that have been made. If we did, there are hundreds if not thousands of caches that would have to be archived. This is why we "grandfather" these caches and let them die a natural death. This mistakenly approved event will pass this weekend and then the problem will be solved.

 

Hemlock - Volunteer Admin

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I have agreed with you JustBeingJolly.

 

Your "restaurantese" analogy is correct (well, sort of as Hemlock points out) and I pretty much said that that there were mistakes. We are human and mistakes will happen. In the future, agreeing with your analogous hypothetical, changes should be put on the site when discussed. I think we understand that. My "restaurantese" analogy was regarding archiving the cache after it was approved.

 

You are missing the point I am making.

The point you are missing is this...

 

These events that are being posted as a geocaching event cache are gatherings of ham operators who are meeting to discuss ham radios. Geocaching is not the focus of the meeting. It is in fact a side-show that only one attendee at each gathering is promoting. You are trying to get cachers interested in ham radios. Your thinking is backwards because a Geocaching Event Cache is about Geocaching. These field day events are social events for ham radio discussions.

 

Maybe you should look at some of the hundreds of geocaching events that have been posted. I think it would help you to understand what a Geocaching Event Cache is. If you want to do a geocaching event cache then pick a date, organize a meeting place, post a cache page and then invite cachers to come and discuss geocaching. Create some local test caches for cachers to find. If you want to show local cachers how ham radios can be used in geocaching then that could be one topic at the event. The focus should be geocaching and letting cachers socialize about geocaching.

 

Hydee is a great person and does a lot for the site. I just don't think you can always please everyone. I would think I would disappoint you more by my first post on this topic. I think both of the caches above needed to be archived. I think if the approved cache would have been archived she would have disappointed a heck of a lot more people than if she did not archive it, don't you think? icon_rolleyes.gif

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By the way, if the ham radio people are interested in Geocaching they will come to your Geocaching Event Cache.

 

If you want to talk to your ham radio event attendees about geocaching at the Field Day then you can do that too.

 

If geocachers are interested in ham radio then you can post a message in the forums and they will come to the Field Day and will not be worried about the smiley.

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I appreciate that you wanted both archived.

That decision would have sat well with me. I wouldn't have been happy about it, but it would have felt fair. See El Oso's post above.

 

You might want to know that had I never gotten into ham radio, I might also never have gotten into geocaching. It was another ham who told me about it, and got me interested in it. She's gotten many other people interested in it as well and not just hams. You might also want to know that hams talk on the radio a lot. Lots of people with scanners listen to hams talking on the radio. We don't talk about all ham radio, all the time, either. Field Day could have been a very good growth point for geocaching. That is the ultimate goal, isn't it?

 

Perhaps you might privately ask the owner of the approved FD cache and see what he thinks and what suggestions he might have to offer. He probably didn't plan to be the only FD cacher out there. He may have wanted to compare notes with other FD cachers after the event, but now he won't be able to do that.

 

Thank you for promising to be better about these things in the future. Nobody likes to plan a doomed cache. It takes time away from finding them

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quote:
Originally posted by Hemlock:

 

I agree with the other admins. This is not a geocaching event and thus should not be posted here. What if it was a car show at the local college? Just putting a logbook in a coffee can on a table does not make it a geocache event.


That is a GREAT idea! My car club has a cruise every week during the summer. We usually have between 50-150 cars show up, depending on the weather. We already have a sign-in/info table set up next to the DJ, I could just put an ammo box with the GC logo on the table too. Since it's located on the lawn of a nite club, I'm sure I could get them to add a few "buy one drink, get one free" tickets, or maybe 1/2 off the cover charge to get into the club.

I mean, if your gonna approve a ham radio event, why not? Many of the custom cars these days have built in GPS navigation systems, and most geocachers also own cars, so it sounds like a no brainer it should be approved. I just submitted it here, I'm sure it will be approved, I mean that one HAM thing got approved, and thats only once a year. This one you'll be able to log a smiley EVERY WEEK! WHOOP!

 

Tae-Kwon-Leap is not a path to a door, but a road leading forever towards the horizon.

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quote:
I just submitted it here, I'm sure it will be approved,

 

You are a cruel man, Mopar. I tried to get to it to approve it but only got the "hide/seek a cache" page. I assumed it was because of recent problems of the site unlogging people. So I logged out and in again. Still can't get to the cache page. You're not pulling my leg are you? icon_wink.gif

 

I was looking forward to participating in my Hertz rental car with its "Ever Lost" navigation system. icon_wink.gif

 

erik - geocaching.com admin

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quote:
Originally posted by ~erik~:

 

What tells you that a swimming event might get you wet or that a literary event might be only for people who can read? icon_wink.gif


 

And why should anyone have to tell you that the coffee you just purchased in that styrofoam cup is hot? icon_wink.gif(psst ... the "literary event" analogy doesn't work. In this "post-literate age," think "books on tape.")

 

[This message was edited by BassoonPilot on June 26, 2003 at 05:15 AM.]

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Another thought came flitting through my head, so I'd better grab it while I can. icon_smile.gif

 

If someone prepares an Event Cache for a non-Geocaching-specific event, and they clearly describe the purpose of the event, cachers are free to determine for themselves whether or not they participate. If they don't want to have anything to do with Ham Radio (or Volkswagens, or Day Trilling Night Warblers, or whatever), then they won't bother with that cache, will they? OTOH, if the subject of the event is something that interests them, they can go out geocaching and combine it with another area of interest.

 

The best part is, by combining two different types of activities, there's the possibility (maybe even the likelihood) that we'll get some "cross-pollination." The Geocachers go into it with their eyes wide open, with the recognition that they might get "infected" with the other activity. But let's not lose sight of the other side: some of these "other" folks will get the chance to talk with Geocachers, whose enthusiasm for Geocaching may also "infect" these poor, unsuspecting folks. I don't know, it just seems like a no-lose situation for Geocachers.

 

And on a related note, if you want to post an Event Cache so you can pitch a time-share, Amway, Zoroastrianism or whatever, and it's clearly stated in the posting, who cares? If you don't want to hear that time-share pitch, you won't go. And on, and on. As long as the posting is clear and honest about the event, I don't see any harm with it.

 

If you maintain this policy of exclusivity, I suspect you're going to run into problems where people "tweak" their postings (also known as "lying") in order to get it through the approval process.

 

Not to be contentious or insulting, but this whole Event Cache policy seems to be completely backwards to me. We should be leaping at the opportunity to infect...er...share our hobby with the world. icon_smile.gif

 

-----

~ Boyd

N5CTI

 

"Never ask a man where he's from. If he's from Texas, he'll tell ya soon enough. If he ain't, don't embarrass him."

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Am I *REALLY* the only ham here that understands this? I always thought hams were generally smarter then the avg Joe. Must be that dadgum no-code ticket diluting the gene pool. icon_biggrin.gif You guys are really starting to make me feel ashamed to admit here that I am a ham.

This is a website about geocaching. TPTB have pretty much ALWAYS tried to stick to that topic. Us hams are not being singled out here. I remember plenty of other non-geocaching related events that have been declined and argued in the forums. I remember one was a guy's garage sale. Another was a seminar. To the people hosting these other events, they are no different then our field day events. They are also no different to TPTB. Sure, I would LOVE to get every local cacher to carry a 2m HT instead of an FRS, but that still doesn't make FD a geocaching event, any more then my local repeater club's monthly meeting is a geocache event.

Suggestion to all the other hams. Start submitting all the local geocaching picnics to QST and other ham-related magazines and websites. Tell them the event has mothing to do with ham radio, and 99% of the people there have no interest in ham radio. No demos. No flea market. Probably not even any mention of ham radio at all. Ask them to publish the geocaching picnic because YOU are a ham, and YOU are going to be there. Make sure to tell them to add something to the listing that attending hams need to ask around for you, because most other poeple there won't even know what the word geocaching means.

See what they say

 

Tae-Kwon-Leap is not a path to a door, but a road leading forever towards the horizon.

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quote:
Originally posted by El Oso - N5CTI:

And on a related note, if you want to post an Event Cache so you can pitch a time-share, Amway, Zoroastrianism or whatever, and it's clearly stated in the posting, who cares? If you don't want to hear that time-share pitch, you won't go. And on, and on. As long as the posting is clear and honest about the event, I don't see _any_ harm with it.

 

If you maintain this policy of exclusivity, I suspect you're going to run into problems where people "tweak" their postings (also known as "lying") in order to get it through the approval process.

 

Not to be contentious or insulting, but this whole Event Cache policy seems to be completely backwards to me. We should be leaping at the opportunity to infect...er...share our hobby with the world. icon_smile.gif

 

-----

~ Boyd

N5CTI

 

"Never ask a man where he's from. If he's from Texas, he'll tell ya soon enough. If he ain't, don't embarrass him."


 

Not to be contentious or insulting, but I've noticed that the COMBINED total geocaching efforts of the hams still pushing this issue doesn't total the number of GEOCACHES I found during the last GEOCACHING EVENT.

 

I now see WHY they don't care if they need to wade thru 5000 SPAM CACHES for amway seminars, get rich quick schemes, time shares, religious cults and garage sales. I now see WHY they don't give a rat's @ss if the website can't afford to add features geocachers want, because they are too busy paying to host thousands of free @#$%% avertising event cache pages with the money GEOCACHERS contribute to the site.

I now see WHY....

they don't really CARE about geocaching at all...

all they care about is using this website for free avertising.

I'm gonna go puke now.

 

Tae-Kwon-Leap is not a path to a door, but a road leading forever towards the horizon.

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quote:
Originally posted by Mopar:

I remember plenty of other non-geocaching related events that have been declined and argued in the forums. I remember one was a guy's garage sale. Another was a seminar. To the people hosting these other events, they are no different then our field day events. They are also no different to TPTB.


And that's why the guidelines should be posted. If there are many of these instances, then clearly it's not obvious what an event cache is. Which, without public guidelines, I think is understandable. Heck, the admins were apparently discussing it themselves as recently as March. If they're not clear, how can everyone else be?

 

Maybe it's just semantics. Note that the site calls them "event caches", not "geocaching events". The difference is subtle but very significant. A "geocaching event" is clearly for and about geocaching. To the uninitiated, an "event cache" could be a the waypoint for some event, any event. There's really no reason for someone to think otherwise.

 

I'm really not trying to be a pest here. I just think the admins could avoid having to explain this so often if they'd take Web-ling's suggestion to heart. Or change all references to "event caches" to "geocaching events".

 

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Well the mountain was so beautiful that this guy built a mall and a pizza shack

Yeah he built an ugly city because he wanted the mountain to love him back -- Dar Williams

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quote:
Originally posted by Dinoprophet:

 

And that's why the guidelines should be posted. If there are _many_ of these instances, then clearly it's not obvious what an event cache is. Which, without public guidelines, I think is understandable. Heck, the admins were apparently discussing it themselves as recently as March. If they're not clear, how can everyone else be?

 

Maybe it's just semantics. Note that the site calls them "event caches", not "geocaching events". The difference is subtle but very significant. A "geocaching event" is clearly for and about geocaching. To the uninitiated, an "event cache" could be a the waypoint for some event, any event. There's really no reason for someone to think otherwise.

 

I'm really not trying to be a pest here. I just think the admins could avoid having to explain this so often if they'd take Web-ling's suggestion to heart. Or change all references to "event caches" to "geocaching events".


I know it's just semantics but if you tried to hard define every little thing into a set rule, you would have even more people complaining.

I agree with what some others said, it SHOULD be obvious that this is a website about geocaching. They list geocaches, and geocache related events.

Some things SHOULD be so obvious that there is no need for a rule.

It's obvious to me my church only lists church-related activities in the weekly bulletin.

 

It's obvious to me that the KKK isn't going to promote a NAACP fund-raiser.

 

It's obvious to me that the ARRL isn't going to list my next local geocaching picnic on it's website.

 

It's just as obvious to me that I shouldn't submit my custom car show or a FD event as an geocaching event.

 

If you want to split hairs and argue semantics, then no matter HOW many rules you make, someone will find a crack to wedge into and argue. Before you know it, you will need a lawyer to review the legal agreement to hide a cache. Please let's not head there

 

Tae-Kwon-Leap is not a path to a door, but a road leading forever towards the horizon.

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cross-posting from the same topic in the ham forums:

 

quote:
Originally posted by El Oso - N5CTI:

Maybe the persistance is due to disagreement with the new Event Cache policy, combined with the lack of publication of the policy. I agree that resubmitting a denied cache without changes seems a bit pointless, but everyone has their own approach to try and state their disagreement with the policy.

 

I would hope that all the various feedback might encourage the policymakers to reconsider their 3-month-old decision.


While the admin's disscusion on Field Day caches might be 3 months old, this is NOT something new or unpublished. A quick, 10 second search of the forums turned up this post back in 2001 by the man who makes the rules around here:

 

quote:
Event Caches:

 

1. Cannot be some kind of fund raiser or existing event where you want geocachers to attend, regardless of whether it is free or not.

 

2. It has to be exclusive to geocachers. The intent of Event caches were to allow times and places to meet and chat about geocaching (and place faces to names).

 

I want to keep this game open, but I also don't want to have total anarchy.


 

I think that 2yr old post (along with the other 5 pages of topics I turned up) pretty much rules out a field day event, a garage sale, or an amway seminar

 

Tae-Kwon-Leap is not a path to a door, but a road leading forever towards the horizon.

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quote:
Originally posted by Mopar:

It's just as obvious to me that I shouldn't submit my custom car show or a FD event as an geocaching event.


There it is again: geocaching event. Yes, that is completely obvious. Unfortuantely, that's not what they're called.

 

Let me put it this way: I'm a newbie. I know a great hidden waterfall in a National Park. It'd be a great spot for a geocache, but I can't put one there. Should I post it anyway? Well, no, what a ridiculous concept! You obviously need a cache to post it on the geocaching website. This isn't Waterfalls.com. What could be more obvious? Oh, wait, "Virtual Caches", what's that? Oh, this is exactly what I want!

 

Now I'm the same newbie. There's a custom car show I enjoy every year. But to post it on a site for geocaches? How insane is that? Oh, wait, what's an "Event cache"? This is an event, and it looks like you can make a geocache out of an event, just like I can make a geocache out of a waterfall! Why, this is perfect!

 

quote:
Some things SHOULD be so obvious that there is no need for a rule.

No one's asking for a rule. Just five minutes of an admins time (far more than that has been spent posting to this thread) to add a few lines of text to the existing page of guidelines.

 

Or, continue to have to answer these posts every few months, either way is fine with me. I follow the forums closely enough and have been playing long enough to know what the rules and guidelines are. I'm just looking out for the newcomer who doesn't. It's easy to lose sight of what is and isn't obvious when you're very familiar with something.

 

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Well the mountain was so beautiful that this guy built a mall and a pizza shack

Yeah he built an ugly city because he wanted the mountain to love him back -- Dar Williams

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quote:
No one's asking for a rule. Just five minutes of an admins time (far more than that has been spent posting to this thread) to add a few lines of text to the existing page of guidelines

 

If it were that simple I'd have done it. But then again I, or another admin, might take it upon ourselves in an evil moment to change the rules of the game in a negative way. We have 30+ cache approvers who interpret the guidelines in approving caches, but none of us have the ability to modify them.

 

Only Jeremy can do that, and Hydee has him locked in the basement making more important improvements to the site then clarifying something that to most is fairly clear already.

 

Jeremy has empowered Hydee to respond on his behalf to questions of this sort - which she has already done in this thread. (Pretty near the top of the thread too, I might add.)

 

erik - geocaching.com admin

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I posted this before in this topic, and I will post it again...

 

quote:
Geocaching - Cache Types

Event Cache

There have been many cases where geocachers want to meet up at a location to share experiences and make new friends. Event geocaches are locations to meet, and after the meeting these caches are archived.


Is that all that complicated? icon_rolleyes.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by ~erik~:

But then again I, or another admin, might take it upon ourselves in an evil moment to change the rules of the game in a negative way.


For the record, I never said such a thing. Much respect to the admins, really.

 

quote:

Jeremy has empowered Hydee to respond on his behalf to questions of this sort - which she has already done in this thread.


And will have to do so when it comes up again, and again, and again. That is my point.

quote:
Originally posted by mtn-man:

I posted this before in this topic, and I will post it again...

Is that all that complicated? icon_rolleyes.gif


I posted it as well. No it's not complicated; it IS open to misinterpretation, as illustrated in my previous post. If you think that scenario is outlandish, then never mind.

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Yeah he built an ugly city because he wanted the mountain to love him back -- Dar Williams

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I think the event cache description makes it pretty obvious. I also think aside from a few hams who do not appear to be all that interested in geocaching itself still pushing for this ham radio event to be listed on geocaching.com, there have been VERY few problems with people NOT understanding the obvious. If this was something that the admins had to deal with on a regular basis, I'm sure there WOULD be some more exact clarification. Case in point, I think it should be obvious to a normal person not to hide a geocache on railroad tracks. Apparently this is not so obvious to enough people that TPTB felt the need to add that line to the guidelines. Judging by the posts in the forums dating back to the beginning of this website, there have only been a handful of people over the last few years who didn't understand the concept of a geocaching website only listing geocaching events. I still find it hard to beleive that some of the hams in this thread, who are smart enough to pass the Extra Class written test, really don't understand this simple concept themselves. If they truly believe that ALL events in the world of ANY type belong listed on EVERY website on the internet, I suggest they start submitting true geocache events here on the ARRL website, as well as geocaching.com. Notice there is nothing on that submission form stating that submissions may only be ham related events, so I'm sure you will have no trouble getting it posted on the ARRL website.

 

Tae-Kwon-Leap is not a path to a door, but a road leading forever towards the horizon.

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Maybe it's obvious to you, Mopar, and others, because you're not bothering to think outside your current perspective. But I won't sink to insulting you, as you have me and our fellow hams.

 

This has been a reasonable discussion, for the most part. I don't see why you have to take it down that road. Where you think we're idiots, we (and "we" includes more than just Hams, I believe) are just trying to provide feedback and input to help improve geocaching. We're trying to help folks break out of the "groupthink" that seems to have taken hold on this subject. While the various statements scattered around the site regarding Event Caches may seem obvious to you, the benefit of opening Event Caches beyond their current narrow definition seems obvious to me. And yet, I'm not going to accuse you of being something you're not in the hopes of insulting you.

 

Rise above the fray, pardner.

 

Oh, and for the record, I hold a General license, not the "no-code" ticket you and so many other Hams love to disparage.

 

Out.

 

-----

~ Boyd

N5CTI

 

"Never ask a man where he's from. If he's from Texas, he'll tell ya soon enough. If he ain't, don't embarrass him."

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The event in question has nothing to do with geocaching, and should not be approved.

 

The other event in question has nothing to do with geocaching, and shouldn't have been approved either.

 

I see no problem with joint events for geocachers and other activities being listed on Geocaching.com as long as the geocaching portion has enough content to stand on its own as an event independently of the other activities.

 

Both of the events in question should be made approvable by adding significant geocaching activities, such as placing some caches to hunt (not just a logbook on a table), GPS-games, an "Intro to Geocaching" class, and so forth. There should be enough geocaching content that if a geocacher shows up and never even looks at a radio, there would be enough geocaching to keep them busy and make the event worthwhile. The geocaching portion should be able to stand on its own, without the ham event. It should be a legitimate geocaching event that just happens to be at the same time and place as a ham event.

 

I'd like to think that my geocaching/orienteering event last March is a good example of what I mean.

 

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This is rediculous. It's an event. There will be cachers there. There is a log book. Cachers will attend based on the information on an event cache page. The cachers there will talk about geocaching.

 

Conclusion...

It's a geocaching event!!!

 

When in doubt, approve. Otherwise people will never make mistakes to learn from.

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This is from the justification for archiving a Field Day event:

quote:
The thinking is that outside events scheduled for a specific purpose should not be posted as event caches, even if geocachers are invited. Unless a geocacher is hosting an event specifically for geocachers it cannot be listed on the site.

 

Take a closer look at the two controversial events, and try not to make assumptions about them.

 

Volkswagen: Is Volkswagen a geocacher? I was always under the impression that they were an automobile manufacturer. Is the event corporate-sponsored, or locally sponsored by a VW club? The title of the event says "VW Club", yet the text says that "Volkswagen is seeking a select few...," which implies corporate. The VW club might hand out membership applications and information while corporate might hand out sales brochures and model information. This makes a difference as to whether it is only about geocaching, or if it's a pre-sales event dressed up as a cache event. There is a banquet and awards ceremony, which gives the appearance of corporate rather than club money being spent. I'd find it hard to believe at such a gathering that the subject matter wouldn't stray from only geocaching to Volkswagen-related talk. Is the event for any geocachers, or only those who are just owners of Volkswagens? Do participants feel comfortable, or do they dread a possible sales pitch?

 

Ham radio. Are the hams geocachers? Are they asking for just Field Day events, which only happen once per year, or meetings and hamfests which happen several times per year? Don't just assume that they want to leave a logbook in a can on a table, and point you to it. Read the description closely for the intent. Are they giving a detailed account of their entire setup, or are they giving a brief synopsis of what a seeker can expect to see when he visits? Can a seeker find the cache, take an item, sign the logbook, and leave without having to interact with the amateurs, or must he ask the amateur(s) for insruction upon arriving at the event? Does he feel obligated to stick around and watch radio for a while, or is he satisfied with a cursory look for a couple of minutes? Maybe he simply wants to meet the geocacher-ham who placed the cache. Does the cache have amateur-related material, or standard cache stuff, or some combination of both? Does the seeker feel comfortable or uncomfortable with any aspect of this?

 

Can you make some published guidelines for various members of the geocaching.com volunteers to guide them with what they have been tasked to do. Perhaps some boilerplate text is needed to address unacceptable attributes of to-be-archived items.

Taking this text from the official rules would make members feel like the rules are applied fairly and evenly. Break the rules down into an outline would make this much easier, with details numbered out from there. That will help everyone locate the aspects of the regulations that apply to a cache thay are trying to place. Put effective dates on each of the items, so everything is clear.

 

I would also suggest, that if you get paid event listings, if that's in fact what the Volkswagen event is, that they be labeled as such. Newspapers do this with advertisements that even remotely resemble the editorial content.

 

Have the rules in one place, even if it creates a very long page. That way, the user can use his browser to search for keywords and save some time.

 

Whatever you do, don't ask him to do research through old discussion threads to interpret and determine if a cache is suitable, unless maybe you want a new area of the legal profession known as a cache law where you retain an attorney to do the research and interpret all the different rules, precedents and rulings.

 

quote:
However, we honor the posting of older caches that came in before the rule was issued.

 

We'd love to post everything, but we're trying to keep the noise to content ratio low. We're working on new ways to open up the site for all sorts of waypoints, so who knows what the future may hold?


 

How about changing "before the rule was issued." to "before the new rule was posted." At least there would be some concrete date to refer to, instead of ambiguous time frames. That would go perfectly with your outlined rules with dates.

 

When you have a group of people who rely on you for some type of information and, especially, if you benefit financially from this, it is well worth your time and investment to keep an ear on the feedback and look for the messages that are being sent. Complaints and anger among the members is a symptom of something that needs to be addressed, and failure to do so, can jeopardize your investment

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One other thing...

 

Per the Frequently Asked Questions, here's how radio helps geocaching:

quote:
Do you have an FRS/PMR channel to find out if other Geocachers are in the area?

 

Yes. The community has decided on channel 2 as the primary for both FRS and PMR, and 12 as the alternate FRS (Family Radio Service) channel and 8 for the alternate PMR (Europe). FRS and PMR radios are longer distance walkie talkies, like the Motorola Talkabout.


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quote:
Originally posted by JustBeingJolly:

Can you make some published guidelines for various members of the geocaching.com volunteers to guide them with what they have been tasked to do. Perhaps some boilerplate text is needed to address unacceptable attributes of to-be-archived items.

Taking this text from the official rules would make members feel like the rules are applied fairly and evenly. Break the rules down into an outline would make this much easier, with details numbered out from there. That will help everyone locate the aspects of the regulations that apply to a cache thay are trying to place. Put effective dates on each of the items, so everything is clear.


 

I will not respond to the balance of your post, as those points have already been addressed, but I would like to say that what I've quoted above is a good, constructive suggestion.

 

First of all, we DO have "boilerplate text" that is available for copying into archive notes when a cache is denied. Some of us use that text and others prefer shorter notes written in their own personal style. Interestingly, we sometimes are criticized for using this "boilerplate"... people don't like to get a cold, impersonal archive note. When possible, we try to customize the archive note to fit the situation. There is just no pleasing everyone... whether boilerplate or customized message, NOBODY likes reading an archive note. We don't like having to write them, either.

 

The approvers follow the guidelines published on the site, and are generally very familiar with what's discussed in the forums. There is an awful lot of interpretation needed beyond what is published in the guidelines. In one sense, this is a good thing. Geocaching is a fun outdoor sport, it is evolving, and I would hate to see it be like golf where there is a rule governing just about everything. But the approvers agree that it would help everyone, both the approvers and the community, to clarify the requirements for getting a cache approved. We are just starting a project to re-write the guidelines from the approvers' perspective. Not sure where it's going, or what TPTB will think of it, but we will do our best to come up with a useful document.

 

JustBeingJolly, thanks for this constructive observation.

 

--------------------

Saving the day and approving all the caches... before bedtime!

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After apparently pushing the issue by sending the email directly to me, I have decided to archive this Ham Radio cache. It shouldn't have been approved in the first place, but in this rare occasion the approvers decided it was ok to list on the site. Unfortunately it created justification for other event caches that shouldn't be listed on the site.

 

I'm attaching my response to the owner of the above Ham Radio cache without copying his email since I consider it rude to repost someone's email without permission. However it should be self-evident of my response to this issue.

 

================

 

Since your event had been approved and it shouldn't have, the admins (apparently in error) decided in this rare case to let that one slip. In retrospect we should have just archived the listing so no one would claim a precedent. Of course in the Guidelines there is no such thing as precedent, as items are grandfathered. But so it goes, now you use a listing that (now) obviously shouldn't be listed to justify another cache that definitely shouldn't be listed.

 

As you already indicated below, your event and your friend's event were both non-geocaching events. The event was hosted, sponsored, and run to discuss Ham Radio. Geocaching was not the theme of this event, therefore it wouldn't (and shouldn't) be listed as an Event Cache.

 

The event hosted in Seattle is, in fact, a Geocaching event. Geocaching will occur and geocaching will be discussed. GPS units will even be given out to folks who do not have their own. Caches will be found at the event.

 

I don't feel that "50 plus Amateur Radio Operators, their families," ad nauseum are worthy of an Event Cache listing on Geocaching.com, but it's certainly an event that can be listed on a Ham Radio web site. I'm planning to go to a cookout in Index, Washington this weekend but I wouldn't expect it to be listed on geocaching.com either.

 

frog.gif Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location

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I'd like to preface this question with the fact that I know nothing about ham radio and am not a member of any such ham group; although I do eat ham on occasion...

 

If a group such as one of these ham operator's groups were to include geocaching in their meeting agenda, perhaps even having a temporary cache for members to go after, would it be acceptable to submit it as an event?

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