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CacheDrone

Testing in Ontario: Organized Group Hunts

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But sure, if there's a Mega occurring or an event with more than 200 attendees, why not send out a notification to CO's within 5-10 km of the event, as a courtesy. It's just a few processor cycles on the mail server after all.

 

They do that on the weekly newsletter from Groundspeak

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But sure, if there's a Mega occurring or an event with more than 200 attendees, why not send out a notification to CO's within 5-10 km of the event, as a courtesy. It's just a few processor cycles on the mail server after all.

 

They do that on the weekly newsletter from Groundspeak

 

Not everyone is subscribed to the weekly newsletter, or monitors event caches.

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But sure, if there's a Mega occurring or an event with more than 200 attendees, why not send out a notification to CO's within 5-10 km of the event, as a courtesy. It's just a few processor cycles on the mail server after all.

 

They do that on the weekly newsletter from Groundspeak

 

Not everyone is subscribed to the weekly newsletter, or monitors event caches.

 

Not everyone reads emails every day. The resources are there people can't expect special treatment.

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Event spill over sure, but there's a difference between cachers who MIGHT visit a cache, and cachers who WILL visit a cache.

What I'm saying is landowner approval for the WILL visit crowd, after all - that's a deliberate thing whereas we cannot control the actions of people who may decide to cache near an event.

But sure, if there's a Mega occurring or an event with more than 200 attendees, why not send out a notification to CO's within 5-10 km of the event, as a courtesy. It's just a few processor cycles on the mail server after all.

 

If a cache is close enough to the event yet not part of the event, I am pretty sure it will get hit just as hard as the caches that are part of the event.

 

The other thing is an event cache is posted at a location. An OGH is constantly moving. It's not at the posted location, it leaves. Yes some of them stay in the area but who is to say it has to. The 24 Hour Marathon you hosted years ago started in Newmarket, ended in Toronto. How would the person with a cache at the end know you were coming, unless they happen to log in and see the bookmark list on their cache. Now take a CO with 500 caches ... should they be checking their cache listings every day to see if an OGH is targeting it? That would mean logging into the site and pulling up their listings, one at a time.

 

Nothing wrong with a notification that it's coming. At least then the CO has a chance to see if 200 people would be an issue.

The statement earlier about the OGH's signing in with a single name - nothing says they will all do that. You can have a cache go from log empty to log full in one trip. Particularly for a micro. CO's should know that's coming.

 

 

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But sure, if there's a Mega occurring or an event with more than 200 attendees, why not send out a notification to CO's within 5-10 km of the event, as a courtesy. It's just a few processor cycles on the mail server after all.

 

They do that on the weekly newsletter from Groundspeak

 

Not everyone is subscribed to the weekly newsletter, or monitors event caches.

 

Not everyone reads emails every day. The resources are there people can't expect special treatment.

 

You are expected to read your Groundspeak emails to get notifications like Needs Maintenance logs. I'm not proposing something "special" I'm proposing a notification that your cache is about to get hammered, the log sheet filled up and a paved geotrail is about to be installed at your cache that the landowner barely approved with geotrail concerns.

 

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But sure, if there's a Mega occurring or an event with more than 200 attendees, why not send out a notification to CO's within 5-10 km of the event, as a courtesy. It's just a few processor cycles on the mail server after all.

 

They do that on the weekly newsletter from Groundspeak

 

Not everyone is subscribed to the weekly newsletter, or monitors event caches.

 

Not everyone reads emails every day. The resources are there people can't expect special treatment.

 

You are expected to read your Groundspeak emails to get notifications like Needs Maintenance logs. I'm not proposing something "special" I'm proposing a notification that your cache is about to get hammered, the log sheet filled up and a paved geotrail is about to be installed at your cache that the landowner barely approved with geotrail concerns.

 

All the more reason to sign up to the newsletter. Avoids a whole bunch of extra work. I know the events happening within 100 miles as a result.

 

Remember not everyone is into your type of caches. Some only want to hit up numbers and move along. Have you noticed an overwhelming trend that shows people that want to do those caches are eager to do them in huge groups. I have always seen it happen in small reasonable groups. Like October 2010 when a small group did the Hilton loop. That was a tough run and it had a few faithful attendees. Hardly an all out geotrail assault.

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But sure, if there's a Mega occurring or an event with more than 200 attendees, why not send out a notification to CO's within 5-10 km of the event, as a courtesy. It's just a few processor cycles on the mail server after all.

 

They do that on the weekly newsletter from Groundspeak

 

Not everyone is subscribed to the weekly newsletter, or monitors event caches.

 

Not everyone reads emails every day. The resources are there people can't expect special treatment.

 

You are expected to read your Groundspeak emails to get notifications like Needs Maintenance logs. I'm not proposing something "special" I'm proposing a notification that your cache is about to get hammered, the log sheet filled up and a paved geotrail is about to be installed at your cache that the landowner barely approved with geotrail concerns.

 

All the more reason to sign up to the newsletter. Avoids a whole bunch of extra work. I know the events happening within 100 miles as a result.

 

Remember not everyone is into your type of caches. Some only want to hit up numbers and move along. Have you noticed an overwhelming trend that shows people that want to do those caches are eager to do them in huge groups. I have always seen it happen in small reasonable groups. Like October 2010 when a small group did the Hilton loop. That was a tough run and it had a few faithful attendees. Hardly an all out geotrail assault.

 

I've said my piece and the conversation seems to be stuck now on "as a CO, it's your responsibility to be aware of events that would target it". I disagree, but I am also acutely aware that I am no longer a typical cacher. I don't do numbers runs, and I don't like power trails. I am attending an OGH this week to see what it's like. The average attendance for the OGH's I am aware of over the last few years is 50-60 people. That's enough to cause me concern. When people learn of recurring events, they grow. If it's 10% a month for a monthly recurring OGH then it doesn't take long to reach 100+ people.

 

I will repeat what I said earlier, I am not anti-OGH. It's an interesting dynamic and certainly people are asking for it.

 

But when I put on my CO hat, I want to know if 200 people are bearing down on my cache(s). I don't see why it's a problem to send out a notification that an OGH is planning to visit your cache, without forcing me to sign up for Groundspeak's weekly advertisement newsletter.

 

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Nothing wrong with a notification that it's coming. At least then the CO has a chance to see if 200 people would be an issue.

The statement earlier about the OGH's signing in with a single name - nothing says they will all do that. You can have a cache go from log empty to log full in one trip. Particularly for a micro. CO's should know that's coming.

 

Again, the same problem with existing events. I don't see any difference.

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I've said my piece and the conversation seems to be stuck now on "as a CO, it's your responsibility to be aware of events that would target it". I disagree, but I am also acutely aware that I am no longer a typical cacher. I don't do numbers runs, and I don't like power trails. I am attending an OGH this week to see what it's like. The average attendance for the OGH's I am aware of over the last few years is 50-60 people. That's enough to cause me concern. When people learn of recurring events, they grow. If it's 10% a month for a monthly recurring OGH then it doesn't take long to reach 100+ people.

 

I will repeat what I said earlier, I am not anti-OGH. It's an interesting dynamic and certainly people are asking for it.

 

But when I put on my CO hat, I want to know if 200 people are bearing down on my cache(s). I don't see why it's a problem to send out a notification that an OGH is planning to visit your cache, without forcing me to sign up for Groundspeak's weekly advertisement newsletter.

 

Interesting. Do you have stats to backup your numbers? I have been attending group hunts for the past few years and I would put the average at about 30. If you want to know that 200 are bearing down on your cache, then I would hope you reciprocate and extend the courtesy to all the cache owners that own caches near and event you plan on hosting just to make sure there is no problem with spill over from your event.

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Wow, so much being said tonight...where to begin. I think some of the scenarios and suggestions being brought up here this evening are unrealistic and very unlikely, especially since none of them can be backed up.

... a group of 50 tromping down the Bruce Trail occurs OFTEN ...

Are you talking about cachers or hikers? I don't know of any OGH that has had 50 cachers go searching for caches along the Bruce Trail together. I don't think it has ever happened. As you know I have held 13 BT Hike events so far and you took part in each. The only one that had over 50 attendees was part 1 of the Niagara Section back on April 10, 2009 where there were 65 people who attended. Since you were there, was there any harmful impact at all to the trail or the surrounding area?

Downside is that moving it to GC.com means thousands more people see it and my nightmare scenario of 1200 people visiting my cache one morning leaving me with the groundskeeper's repair bill is more likely.

This is totally unrealistic. NOT going to happen! There's always rare or unexpected situations, but this is not one of them. You won't even get 200 people and 100 will be very rare (but it will happen). 50 is a stretch too. The 2 test events I hosted had 34 and 37 people attend respectively. I do a lot of group caching and organize dozens of these. The largest turnout was 60 people during a GHMGC event in January 2010 in Oakville, and I attribute the high turnout to the location and nice weather we had that day in January and then 50 cachers during another GHMGC event in April 2010 in Ancaster. Usually we have in the 20s or 30s range for attendance and I see a similar thing with the 9 test events taking place during the test period. It makes zero sense to have hundreds of people find\visit a cache at once. Once you get any significant numbers show up, people will stick together for the beginning and then after a few caches, it is clear that people split up into smaller groups. Some people may have done a cache already and skip ahead, some people may stop for lunch, some people may only want to come out for a few and then go home.

Well for one thing, taking the OGH off Facebook and listing it on GC.com removes the ability for one to selectively block people they don't like from seeing the group (not a specific reference here, just saying on Facebook one could do that). An OGH would have to be open to ALL geocachers.

Last weekend I organized the Challenge Caching 7 OGH through a group I created 3 days before the event on Facebook. I invited 25 people to the group who I thought would be interested in taking part in the adventurous day and 11 people showed up. Not bad for last minute organization. In this situation and many similar ones because of the required 2 week lead time and because the type of event, it doesn't make sense to list it on geocaching.com.

I do remember an Organized Cache Hunt that was accused of wrecking a cemetery north of the city a few years back. Wrongfully accused according to the organizer and I believe him though. I am not going to name names here to keep the discussion on track

First, I find this VERY insulting and I don't get insulted easily. Why even bring this up if there is zero truth in it and that you even say that you know its false. I can give you more information and names. This was the 1st ever 24 hr geocaching marathon back on August 28, 2004. It was the following 8 of us that were there at the cache GCH46W, Keith Watson, Jiminie Crickets, res2100, Chris-Mouse, Northern Eagle, dr.clean, Dex4, and Fizbot. This was the 43rd and last cache of the 24 hrs at 8am in the morning. It was an old somewhat neglected cemetery. Based on who was saying what back then 7 years ago, it's pretty obvious who started it and who was spreading these rumours. It's nothing more than a bunch of people being jealous of our epic...wait that's lame...monumental accomplishment that no one had been able to do or think of doing before we accomplished it. If you have any doubts, I am sure you can easily ask Chris-Mouse who took part in the 24 hrs and who yu can with just about every Friday night. I am sure how he will tell you how we were in the cemetery with chainsaws and shovels tearing up everything in site and even knocking down some headstones...NOT.

For example BFL is such an event and since we host late in the season the land manager is less concerned with damage ( things are already shutting down for hibernation at that point )

Have you gone back to Chris-mouse's or Cache At Night's BFL caches after this year's event to see what happened? Those 2 caches had the most activity during BFL night.

What about event spill over? Bring 500 cachers together for an event and you will most likely have spill over from the event onto local caches. Should any event with more than x amount of people require local cache owners to be notified so that they can get additional permission to account for the extra visitors or should event organizers be required to get additional permission from land owners for caches located near a large event? Again, I see currently accepted large events causing more damage than group hunts. I have yet to see an group hunt with 200 to 500 people.

99%+ caches are placed without permission. If someone gets bent out of shape for having people visit their cache, then maybe they need to rethink their participation in the hobby. I can name several situation where considerable damage has been done to a cache area. Something to consider, having 50 people who are part of a OGH visit a cache together will do a lot less damage than having 50 individuals/in small groups visit that same cache. Anyone that has been on an OGH will know first hand that you'll have a handful of people search for the cache, while others stand around socializing or someone will have it in hand already before the entire group makes it to ground zero.

The average attendance for the OGH's I am aware of over the last few years is 50-60 people.

Really? I have named 2 above and those are the only 2 that I know of over the past 2+ years (actually since I started caching) that have reached 50+ in attendance and I consider myself to organize, take part in, invited to many and read way too many logs. I think you are way off on this average. I would say a more realistic average is 10-20 people and 20 is high. I don't think your weekly bfl gets more than 10 people showing up rarely. Most OGH are currently done through email and Facebook and sometimes in the local forums and usually among friends/regular caching partners. I was going to say that having 30 people show up to an GHMGC event that I organize on Facebook is high. Actually I just calculated and the average is about 31 people that take part in the GHMGC group caching, ranging from 13 to 60. I'ld be very interested to know what other OGH have had 50+ people. I'll just ask for 2 additional examples.

 

Interesting. Do you have stats to backup your numbers? I have been attending group hunts for the past few years and I would put the average at about 30.

I think 30 is way too high too. There are a lot of small/private groups that go on OGH too.

 

...this is way too long, but I felt there was too much of a big deal being made where it wasn't necessary.

Edited by res2100

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Yup silly me. I will shut up now. No point mentioning concerns as that which blocks the numbers cacher shall not be heard.

 

If I have any concerns in the future I will simply archive the caches and get out of the way.

 

Thanks for listening. You can do as you please

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I rather like the idea of OGH as events. I've never quite understood why these weren't permitted to exist before since many of them seemed to exist previously, though without the OGH moniker or reference to the notion that folks were gonna get together to target caches.

 

This game is about caching, and whether in large numbers or small, this augmentation to the social aspect of the game seems to me as though it would have far more benefits than detractions. I appreciate that we must speculate somewhat since this "out-of-the-closet" event style is in its infancy, but some of the hypotheticals brought up here border on the absurd. Like many other facets of the game, there will be some things that the masses will enjoy and others that they avoid. I have absolutely no problem if someone chooses to avoid this style of event (should they live on for others to enjoy beyond this test period) as though it were seen as the "lamp-post" of event caches, though as a caveat, I suppose I am largely a "numbers" type cacher and see nothing wrong with enjoying the game in that fashion.

 

As I mentioned before, one thing I'd really like to see as a condition of this type of event listing is a list of target caches of some sort within the listing, whether by bookmark list, descriptive text or perhaps a screen capture of a map of the area in question. Something that gives the potential attendee an idea of what they're getting into prior to sign up so that they may be properly prepared.

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I have to say I feel sorry for anyone that would rule out caches based on their type or layout. I find power trails a great way to hang out with others. I hear the ET highway and Route 66 power trails near Vegas are pretty amazing, but if power trails and micro caches are not your thing I guess anyone against those kind of hide would not do them out of principal.

 

As for the average group caching group size, I know the BFL group goes out almost every night with a much smaller group so factoring that in would deffiniately reduce the average number of cachers on group hunts.

 

I would suggest that anyone who has not participated in the more public groups hunts should give it a try and see what it is like. A first hand experience may shed some light on how they operate in stead of only speculating.

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I have to say I feel sorry for anyone that would rule out caches based on their type or layout. I find power trails a great way to hang out with others. I hear the ET highway and Route 66 power trails near Vegas are pretty amazing, but if power trails and micro caches are not your thing I guess anyone against those kind of hide would not do them out of principal.

 

Different topic.

 

As for the average group caching group size, I know the BFL group goes out almost every night with a much smaller group so factoring that in would deffiniately reduce the average number of cachers on group hunts.

 

Last time I checked the Friday night outings of the BFL was a private group of friends, not a posted event - here, or on Facebook or anywhere else. Using your definition for average group size I will suggest the average group size is somewhere around 1.2, given that most geocachers around the world go out solo or as a couple.

 

I would suggest that anyone who has not participated in the more public groups hunts should give it a try and see what it is like. A first hand experience may shed some light on how they operate in stead of only speculating.

 

Planning to, though I have been out on some of the larger group hunts in the past.

 

People keep getting it in their head I want OGHs blocked. I never said that, what I asked for repeatedly here was the ability to have controls or conveniences.

 

As for res2100's rant up there I never named any names. Both you and res2100 assumed I am referring to you, and outed yourselves, and your situation. Way to go. There's a Carly Simon song for people who think like that.

This is my last post in this thread, and possibly in the Groundspeak forums ever. I am fed up with the notion that someone with an idea needs to be stomped into the ground. Last night I contemplated a geocide over this thread which tells me that I'm concentrating on the wrong parts of the site, namely these forums and arguments like this. Geocide is cancelled, I came up with another method to bring geocoding joy my way. To hell with discussions like this one.

 

Buh-bye.

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As for res2100's rant up there I never named any names. Both you and res2100 assumed I am referring to you, and outed yourselves, and your situation. Way to go. There's a Carly Simon song for people who think like that.

This is my last post in this thread, and possibly in the Groundspeak forums ever. I am fed up with the notion that someone with an idea needs to be stomped into the ground. Last night I contemplated a geocide over this thread which tells me that I'm concentrating on the wrong parts of the site, namely these forums and arguments like this. Geocide is cancelled, I came up with another method to bring geocoding joy my way. To hell with discussions like this one.

 

Buh-bye.

 

I am not sure I "outed" myself. I was filling in the blacks in case others wanted to know what you were referencing and tying into one of the issues group hunts can face. I am sorry you took it personally as that is not what the forums is about. You are free to put forward any idea or suggestion you want as long as you accept that others may not agree with you. Apparently you choose not to accept that and have taken it as a personal attack of some kind from I can tell from your latest post. I am sorry you chose to take this as some sort of personal thing.

 

Back to the topic at hand.

 

Hopefully the lackeys are taking note of of some of the suggestion and realistic concerns that may arise from officially sanctioned group hunts. The fact is that groups hunts go on all the time with out being listed on geocaching.com. I think the next question is what would the be the result of them being listed on the site going forward. So far they seem to be accepted well. Maybe the next step could be another trial in another area and see how they are accepted there. It is possible a few more trials could expose problems that were not experienced here in Ontario.

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As for the average group caching group size, I know the BFL group goes out almost every night with a much smaller group so factoring that in would deffiniately reduce the average number of cachers on group hunts.

 

Last time I checked the Friday night outings of the BFL was a private group of friends, not a posted event - here, or on Facebook or anywhere else. Using your definition for average group size I will suggest the average group size is somewhere around 1.2, given that most geocachers around the world go out solo or as a couple.

Isn't the weekly Friday night bfl an organized group hunt that is done through email and sometimes you invite people that are not part of the private group? An OGH does not have to be public, and I don't think there are that many that are truely public except for the 9 that have been posted as gc events during this 2 month test period. When I plan the CC, FC or other OGH, they are done in private, although anyone is welcome to join. Even my monthly GHMGC outings could be considered semi private in that if you are not a member of the GHMGC group on Facebook (you are a member but I am surprised you have never come out, as you probably would really enjoy many of them), you probably won't know about it unless you hear about it from someone else, although the group does have almost 300 members. By listing the Nov and Dec GHMGC events on GC.com it allowed cachers to find out about it and come out and have a great time. Read the logs to see the fun that was had by all, especially the December outing. During the Dec listed GHMGC we had a group of 5 young adults come out. Their enthusiasm that they showed was quite impressive and something I have not seen in awhile. I think we were all impressed, amazed and entertained which just added to the whole experience.

 

People keep getting it in their head I want OGHs blocked. I never said that, what I asked for repeatedly here was the ability to have controls or conveniences.

No, you never said that and I don't think anyone said or got the impression that you did. You said a lot of far fetched things like what if 1200 people come out to a group hunt. The largest event in Ontario has only had just over 500 people. Events barely top 100 people so what makes you think an OGH would get 1200? If an OGH got up to 1200 will attends, then you really need to address that and as an Event Host you are probably doing something wrong, but again, it ain't going to happen. Also that the average OGH was 50-60 people...all I asked for was 2 additional examples since I couldn't think of any and I am involved in a lot of OGH. I am curious since you made the statement, and I couldn't think of any and I truly want to know (You can email me privately if you want). I find a lot of people "say" things, and it would be nice if they could back it up to give the concerns more weight.

 

As for res2100's rant up there I never named any names. Both you and res2100 assumed I am referring to you, and outed yourselves, and your situation. Way to go.

Mine wasn't a rant nor do I think anyone else has gone on in a rant within this thread. It was me replying to comments made by yourself and Keith in respect to things that the 2 of you said last night. This is a forum for discussion on the topic of OGH and I was addressing (and disagreeing with) some of the things that were said. Scenarios and claims were said and I asked for examples, which however seem to be brushed off by saying you are not taking part anymore. I am actually surprised how civil this thread has been compared to others in the gc forums.

As for outing ourselves? Really, what is there to hide? We took part in a 24 hr caching marathon in 2004 and had a great time and accomplished something we were very proud of being able to do. Afterwards people tried to knock us down and it just showed how jealous some people could be. You took part in the 24 hr marathon the following year, didn't you think it was quite the accomplishment (epic?) and wouldn't you hate it if someone tried to knock your accomplishment?

 

This is my last post in this thread, and possibly in the Groundspeak forums ever. I am fed up with the notion that someone with an idea needs to be stomped into the ground. Last night I contemplated a geocide over this thread which tells me that I'm concentrating on the wrong parts of the site, namely these forums and arguments like this. Geocide is cancelled, I came up with another method to bring geocoding joy my way. To hell with discussions like this one.

 

Buh-bye.

I know you way too well and I don't see you ever committing geocide, you enjoy the game way too much. You have every right to post your thoughts and that is what you did, but I don't see why you would go to the extreme of saying you were considering geocide. You have been involved in many heated debates, a lot more heated than in this thread, which I didn't see as heated at all. This thread/topic really has been very civil. In this case here, everyone else just didn't agree with the items you brought up and said so. I personally thought that much of it was far fetched and not accurate so I replied, since I would consider myself very knowledgable when it comes to OGH and geocaching. Some free advice, if you believe strongly in some of the things that you said, back them up with examples as it will go a long way in supporting what is said. I would rather be out caching too than reading/posting in the forums (you've probably noticed I don't say much in the forums unless it is something that may effect me or that interests me), but since I do a lot of, and regular, OGH, this topic is of interest to me so I am taking part and sharing my thoughts and helping to contribute to the test phase.

 

The way I see it...

If Groundspeak allows OGH to be listed as events, I'll probably list the GHMGC outings here as OGH events so that more people can come out and enjoy them who normally may not have found out about these events otherwise. I'll even probably post a couple of other OGH too depending on the situation and what I am organizing.

If Groundspeak decides that OGH will not be permitted to be listed here, then I will continue to organize them through Facebook groups as I have been doing for the past 2+ years or through email.

Either way people will continue to enjoy getting out and taking part in a variety of OGH and they will have fun.

 

Also, there might come a time, and it has happened, that an OGH didn't work out as I had expected when I organized it and if that is the case, no big deal, I will learn from it and make adjustments accordingly next time I do it again.

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Read the logs to see the fun that was had by all, especially the December outing. During the Dec listed GHMGC we had a group of 5 young adults come out. Their enthusiasm that they showed was quite impressive and something I have not seen in awhile. I think we were all impressed, amazed and entertained which just added to the whole experience.

 

That was so entertaining. I am not sure what I enjoyed more, finding caches, or watching them. It reminded me so much of the amazement I had when I first started. I would say listing the event on geocaching.com hit the mark for this event by allowing us to cache with them.

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After hosting 2 Organized Group Hunts that were listed on gc.com, I definitely see the benefit of allowing them to be listed as events. Whether or not they are listed as their own event type with their own icon is up to Groundspeak to decide, although I don't really see a benefit for them to have their own icon (ie pub events don't have their own icon, picnics don't have their own icons) except to maybe have them stand out from other event types, but just like any event listed on gc.com, people can just open up and read the listing to see if it is something for them.

 

For the last 2 plus years I have been doing monthly organized group hunts using Facebook, which works great, but of course only Facebook users, and only those that join the group are able to find out about these group cache outings, so that leaves out thousands of people that wouldn't know about it, but yet perhaps would take part if they knew it existed. Listing these types of events on gc.com would open it up for all geocachers to take part as was especially the case in the 2 that I listed these past 2 month during the trial period. I think that Fababoo's log on my December OGH event says it the best especially the 2nd paragraph. Also if you read anyone else's log on any of the OGH events that have taken part in these events during the test period, you will see that everyone has enjoyed these events. I have not seen one negative comment in a log or in this thread as to why OGH shouldn't be allowed to be listed on gc.com.

 

Just like existing events ranging from pub gatherings to picnics to citos and event other activities like curling, there is a lot of variety and from the OGH test events posted during this 2 month test period, there is no and should not be a defined rule on how a OGH should be run. It could be a group of caches where people spend the day hiking too, it could involve driving from cache to cache, or perhaps a combination. It could also involve just finding 1 cache or a small group of caches, or could be a full long day of caching. It is nice that there can be so many variations of OGH. Something also to consider comparing OGH to other types of events. OGH I think fits more the spirit of caching than other events since during OGH people are doing what they enjoy and what the whole purpose of this activity is and that is finding geocaches, whereas in a pub, a gps really isn't needed, no caches are found at pub, they're pretty commercial as the pub stands to take in thousands of $$, people just sit around and talk (nothing in the event guidelines that says an event needs to be social, although 99.9% are).

 

I think that it is clear people want OGH and OGH would be successful and welcomed as the test events have shown. Either way, I will continue to do group caching events for people to enjoy. If Groundspeak allows these new types, then I will list them here where I see fit, otherwise I will continue to organize through Facebook and through email.

 

Whatever transpires with this, I would like to thank Groundspeak for choosing Ontario for the test period.

 

Fababoo's log perfectly summarizes my thoughts on why OGHs should be formalized and allowed (and why they should still respect the min notice period). Awesome! Thanks for sharing that.

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Well, I'm back for a quick post. It was suggested I should attend an OGH, so I did.

 

I attended what must be the largest Organized Group Hunt in Ontario's history last night, with 53 people in attendance (unless you count BFL Boot Camp and Spring Fling as Organized Group Hunts). I had a great time and the woodlot survived our visit.

 

Here's the group photo with 48 of the attendees:

 

winter-solstice-group.jpg

 

Edit to add link to event.

Edited by northernpenguin

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We hosted an OGH event last night so I thought I'd contribute some feedback for the record as part of the evaluation process.

 

1/ We had a good turn out of just over 50 people. I became quite concerned about the size of our group once the event was listed on gc.com. I've been to a number of large events and several OGH events and in all cases I got concerned for the surroundings. Perhaps I'm just a worry wart. Our event was no different. We chose an area that had good trails with caches close to the trail in order to minimize bush whacking. (My wrong turn not withstanding) I don't think we had to do any bush whacking last night. The ground was very wet and in some areas the trail was quite wet/muddy. If these trails were slightly better the impact would have been much lower. In the end I think we respected the environment pretty well. I attribute that to our location choice. The area we chose could support a group of our size. Area selection is crucial. We did 5+1 caches in about three hours. I think most people left satisfied, I hope they did.

 

2/ The purpose of our event was to do some night caching. We split our larger group into two smaller groups so that more people would get a chance to experience the night caches. This seemed to work fairly well. I do think our groups were maybe 30% too large in order to get the full effect of the night caches. I'd suggest that the more complex a cache is the smaller the group should be.

 

3/ We posted announcements to attendees letting them know the etiquette we'd be following. Just because it is a group doesn't mean that cacher's don't want a chance to find the cache. We tried to give everyone that wanted to a chance to find the cache. This worked fairly well within the group that I was with. Well enough that I didn't hear any grumbling about not getting a chance to find the cache. You can see a group of cachers searching together

. Not everyone caches the same way, to each their own. Establishing your group style in advance could reduce frustration later.

 

4/ There were a number of cachers in attendance that had never done a night cache. According to their logs this was a great learning experience for them. To me paying it forward is an important aspect of group event, OGH or otherwise. It's a time for more experienced cachers to share their experiences with new cachers and hopefully help them enjoy the game more fully. In that we were on the trails the new cachers had a chance to see new things and ask questions. You can do some of that at a social event but I find it much more effective when you can share the experience in person.

 

5/ Trailhead parking considerations. One of the reasons we picked the location we did was because of the available parking. There was ample parking. Unlike a pub event where there is typically ample parking and/or public transit hiking events take place away from the city. Figuring out what to do with all the geomobiles is something any host will want to think about.

 

6/ We had the CO's with us to 5 of the caches we visited. That was a pleasant surprise. It also means the COs were aware of the event and were prepared for the group. One of the cache COs did maintenance earlier in the week in anticipation of the group visiting. We got lucky in that the COs all knew about the event in advance. We also signed under a group name as a way of further reducing the impact on the cache owner. We lucked out but in retrospect we should have sent an email to the COs letting them know we were targeting their cache. (sorry about filling up your inbox with the online logs ... well only kind of sorry ;-)

 

Overall I'd say we were very lucky. We've been to a number of OGH events in the past and learned from those. We took that learning and tried to apply it to our event. We would not have had our event had we not had we not built up our confidence by leveraging the good work of other OGH organizers. We were additionally fortunate to have a good mix of new and experienced cachers. That meant we had ample stories to tell on the trail and could pass along some wisdom to the new cachers.

 

The above information is provided as my experience and recommendations on OGH events. Take from it what you will.

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Yesterday we had an Organized Group Hunt to go after one, and only one, geocache called "Mining Some Cold Hard Cache Too". I picked this one for several reasons. Last year I ended the year with a high terrain cache in the company of Rookie Boy and this year I wanted to do the same. With the option to have an OGH for this cache, I felt much safer attempting it. That point was told to me by several of the participants, that they were glad to be able to join a group to go for this one because they knew there would be people there to help. To me, that is an important part of this OGH discussion. There is a good chance that the introduction of a group will help people be able to attempt something they might not have tried before. I know for myself that I'm more interested in attempting something challenging if others are with me and having to email selected friends and wrangle schedules, or worse yet leave someone out by accident, can be a pain. With an OGH that is all wiped away. Just like a fish fry at the local Legion or an annual Fall fair, advance advertizing helps to get the message out. Events are about being social, and to me there is nothing more social than a share experience like caching with good people.

 

B) BQ

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Just wanted to lend a last few words from the perspective of someone who attended and also hosted an OGH-style event.

 

Judging by the logs that have come in thusfar for my recent event, I'd say that the day was enjoyable and the event was a success. Given the exceptionally challenging terrain (mud, creek crossings, steep terrain) people are still logging positive reviews about their time on the trails.

 

One "attended" stands out above the others for me:

 

On my 38th day of being an official geocacher I gave my best rookie try on the muddy slopes of the Elgin Trail. A challenging day for me.

I missed the cache with my name as I was on higher ground. Please, someone take a picture of it for me just so I have one. Thank you Norshley for hiding that special cache for me. Thanks to Dr. House for the group event. And thanks to Mark for changing my flat tire, suggesting the higher ground and having his vehicle on Lyle Rd. It seems I needed the rescuing today. Thanks to those who gave me a hand up, or waited at the top of the hill to see if I was ok - friends!

Happy New Year to you all!!!

 

The caches we were doing were in terrain above this new cacher's capability, and she had to leave the trail with one of our group to guide her back to safety. It turns out that this cacher really needed the help since they had no topo maps on their GPS, and would likely have been lost otherwise. Further, as I understand it, this player had a some medical ailments working against her, and by the time that group reached the road, she was in so much pain, she wept. And yet, after all that, she still had positive things to say.

 

I suppose one could say that the person ought to have known better than to think that this was going to be a cakewalk given all the information on the cache pages or the event page, but at just over a month into the game, I'd prefer to think that she learned more about herself and the game as a direct result of one event than the vast majority of other events where cachers meet at pubs and wax cacheosophical.

 

To me, people learn more about the game out in the field than they ever will having chicken wings and beer, and the reason that they do learn more is because they are actually doing it themselves with veteran guidance. I can't imagine driving without lessons with my folks in the passenger seat, or training wheels on my bike, so having common interest people in one setting - newbies and veterans - actually enjoying this game out in the wild seems like the best reason to have this variant of event exist.

 

Are there issues that affect this style of event? Sure. Every cache, in my opinion, has the potential to be detrimental to the surrounding environment and neighbouring community. I suppose some folks could view the thought of having a large number of cachers at one cache at one time as more impactful than just one or two coming by every other day, but I also think that the potential for less impact to the area occurs as a result of cachers learning better searching habits or seeing more styles of hides to aid them at other caches elsewhere.

 

As I've mentioned before in this thread, I just don't see any reason why these cannot be held and stated as such in the listing text. Should this style of event continue to be excluded, as before, this type of event will be held again and veiled under the premise of "Flash Mob" or "Group Hike" instead, and while I'm certain that for many the silly picture or lenghty hike is the actual goal, many will also attend to grab the nearby caches also. As they should, in my opinion, since this game is actually about caching.

 

A couple things I'd like to see (some I've mentioned previously):

 

1. Some sort of list explaining what cache(s) the group is looking to target. Given the above example of a relative newbie with perhaps no access to bookmarks, it might be best to have that info in the listing text as opposed to anywhere else. In that way, absolutely everyone is able to see what they're getting into in advance.

 

2. I'm not 100% sure it's necessary in Ontario, but perhaps some sort of saturation guideline would be beneficial. Perhaps, something to the effect of no 2 OGH should be within 50km of each other or held by the same individual in the same area within the same or consecutive days. These would be guidelines, and based on the perceived benefit of the game, would be handled by the VRs as they saw necessary.

 

3. I'm not seeing the need for another icon, but I have no qualms about it either. My opinion is that an attribute or some sort of requirement for the title (adding "OGH" in a similar fashion to the guideline of having the word "Challenge" in newly published Challenge Caches, perhaps?) would be sufficient.

 

4. Perhaps one region's opinions are not going to be sufficient. Having discussions with other cachers, it stands to reason that having this test run in Canada during November and December limits our ability to demonstrate style and creativity of an OGH. Maybe try us again in the summer or look to have a sunny state hold another test run for comparison's sake. I would ask that this idea is neither passed nor shelved without some other input to make the final decision.

 

5. Some folks have floated the idea of limiting the number of people able to attend any one OGH. From where I sit, I can't imagine any scenario where the CO of an event held in an area where the public is reasonably expected to located can say "Well, the first 50 people are OK to come, but once that number is reached, you can't cache with us". It just sounds unenforceable and slightly absurd to me.

 

Thanks for letting us be the guinea pigs for you hamsters. :)

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The details aren't important to me but I like the idea of being able to post Organized Group Hunts. If you aren't on Facebook and a member of certain groups (e.g. GHMGC) then you can have trouble finding out about group hunt events. It has always seemed a bit strange to me that that a group outing to go geocaching together is not an allowable event but a group pub night to go drinking together is.

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Well said sir.

 

DD

 

The details aren't important to me but I like the idea of being able to post Organized Group Hunts. If you aren't on Facebook and a member of certain groups (e.g. GHMGC) then you can have trouble finding out about group hunt events. It has always seemed a bit strange to me that that a group outing to go geocaching together is not an allowable event but a group pub night to go drinking together is.

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I think organized group hunt events is better than driving people to other websites to find out about them. Why make people go to other sites when they can one stop shop where they get there caches from.

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I second that!!!

 

I have always foud it strange that in Geocaching event we can advertise doing many activities... hunting, fishing, taking coffee, talking, hicking, even havin many other unrelated activities...

but no GEOCACHING!!

 

I have been refused event just because i Hinted the fact that after or during the event there are cache nearby we could do togetter....

 

I we had to publish event and keeping the fact that we would do GEOCACHING in a geocaching event a secret ;) ;) ;)

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Hi Groundspeak,

 

I'm wondering if some sort of update regarding this test run can be provided? There seemed to be some good momentum toward this project seeing the light of day for the masses, but that seems to have waned.

 

If it's coming, when should we expect it? If it's not, why not?

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This could really be usefull here in quebec, that would provide a way to advertise a organisez search without having to have the email off all users and could be usefull to have a gathering to help us Geocache togeter and meet new geocachers. Without the Big limitations of event cache... this couls be advertisez as soon as 24-48 hours... juste a Ppoint and a time and some explanation no fuss no big deal...

 

Currently having a group means that you already know all member to have som personal infos like email facebook or forums access...

 

We wish we cna have it official Soon in Quebec and all around soon!!!!!

 

Please.

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This could really be usefull here in quebec, that would provide a way to advertise a organisez search without having to have the email off all users and could be usefull to have a gathering to help us Geocache togeter and meet new geocachers. Without the Big limitations of event cache... this couls be advertisez as soon as 24-48 hours... juste a Ppoint and a time and some explanation no fuss no big deal...

In the Ontario test, all the other event guidelines remained unchanged, including the 14-day advanced notice requirement. I imagine that requirement would still be in place if organized group hunts were allowed worldwide.

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No problem with the guidelines as much as we can advertise that we will do geocaching in a Geocaching event no problem with that ;) ;) laughing.gif

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While down in Nevada and Arizona recently I organized four events. Three meet and greats and one a 1,000 foot hike up Cathedral Rock starting at 7,600 feet and ending at 8,600 feet. It was nice meeting local, out of state, and cachers from around the world all with one thing in common. We all like to find caches. It was fun combining finding caches while getting together as we during the test in Ontario.

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Having not heard anything back regarding this test run, I've submitted an email to Groundspeak in hopes of obtaining an update on this. We'll see what happens.

 

:)

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Having not heard anything back regarding this test run, I've submitted an email to Groundspeak in hopes of obtaining an update on this. We'll see what happens.

 

:)

 

If I had info to pass along, I would have.

 

:cool: CD

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Having not heard anything back regarding this test run, I've submitted an email to Groundspeak in hopes of obtaining an update on this. We'll see what happens.

 

:)

 

If I had info to pass along, I would have.

 

:cool: CD

 

Absolutely understood, and precisely the reason I requested an update from Groundspeak, and Sandy in particular given her participation on this thread. I can appreciate that certain business decisions would not trickle down to various levels of membership, but nobody knows for sure unless someone starts to ask questions.

 

Please understand that I speak for myself when I say that I certainly don't expect any answers at all, but I would certainly appreciate hearing the rationale, one way or the other, from TPTB regarding this trial.

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Hello everyone.

 

This project has been put on the back-burner for the time being. That said, there are active discussions about implementation here at Groundspeak. I will certainly update this thread when we know more, and/or if a roll-out date is decided. Thank you for your continued support of this cache type, which I will be passing on to the appropriate lackeys.

 

Cheers!

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Hello everyone.

 

This project has been put on the back-burner for the time being. That said, there are active discussions about implementation here at Groundspeak. I will certainly update this thread when we know more, and/or if a roll-out date is decided. Thank you for your continued support of this cache type, which I will be passing on to the appropriate lackeys.

 

Cheers!

 

Thanks for the update :)

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Hello everyone.

 

This project has been put on the back-burner for the time being. That said, there are active discussions about implementation here at Groundspeak.

 

LOL. "Active discussions" with zero outcome since almost a year, while all that needs to be done is changing a few words in the guidelines.

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Hello everyone.

 

This project has been put on the back-burner for the time being. That said, there are active discussions about implementation here at Groundspeak.

 

LOL. "Active discussions" with zero outcome since almost a year, while all that needs to be done is changing a few words in the guidelines.

 

There are many layers to this onion.

 

In general the process of reviewing Event Caches differed greatly from all other cache types. To most , it would seem that an Event Cache is just a simple gathering of people for an activity. That is actually just a tip of a much larger iceberg. Many other factors are considered, most of which don't apply to the main bulk of the Listing Requirements and Guidelines.

 

In short, Event Caches are to gather at a fixed point and be social with each other. All the rest is just window dressing. It's best to think of Event Caches as "The temporary Virtual Cache to say hello to the host."

 

:cool: CD

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Hello everyone.

 

This project has been put on the back-burner for the time being. That said, there are active discussions about implementation here at Groundspeak.

 

LOL. "Active discussions" with zero outcome since almost a year, while all that needs to be done is changing a few words in the guidelines.

 

I remember this thread, but I didn't realize it was started way back in 2011!! Does the fact that Sandy no longer works at Groundspeak have any impact on this? It may or may not, just asking.

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Does the fact that Sandy no longer works at Groundspeak have any impact on this? It may or may not, just asking.

 

My gut tells me that any time you remove the main Lackey point of contact from a testing project where a fairly decent change of philosophy (not to mention hefty amounts of site coding and whatnot) is involved, an impact should be expected.

 

I'd sincerely like to have this idea see the light of day, but 1.5 years have passed without much of a peep other than "We'll let you know when/if we know", so I'm not optimistic. I'm reasonable enough, though, to realize that the money/labour that would be required to bring this to the masses, which I honestly believe is larger than people would expect, is perhaps better spent towards something infrastructure related to benefit a broader base of users.

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