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Stuffing a cache with SWAG for new cachekids


TakeAHiker
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We're going to be meeting a longtime friend and her two daughters this weekend to hit a couple of caches in a state park. They tried it once and didn't find anything, so what we'd like to do is find the caches in the morning and stuff them with some geoswag that 11/13 year old girls would find "cool". Then we'll go with them in the afternoon to find the caches and there will be some good swag in there for them to trade with. Is this OK? Hopefully this will leave them with a good impression and they'll want to do more caching.

 

Also, any dollar store suggestions for this age group (aside from silly bands) is appreciated. :)

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That's an awfully nice idea, but I fear that you will be raising their expectations for when they find caches that you haven't visited beforehand and stocked with swag.

 

How will they feel when they find what is seemingly the "normal" cache and see the contents of a dirty golfball, expired coupons, or broken toys?

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It's a tricky one, and whilst I think it is a good idea, it could backfire.

My kids used to love the 'treasure' aspect of caching, but these days they just like the finds (and the odd small prize).

I think starting them off well though will undoubtedly spark their interest, and in time they will learn that it isn't just about prizes..

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That's an awfully nice idea, but I fear that you will be raising their expectations for when they find caches that you haven't visited beforehand and stocked with swag.

 

How will they feel when they find what is seemingly the "normal" cache and see the contents of a dirty golfball, expired coupons, or broken toys?

 

Ha! Dirty golfball that was my sons haul at one last weekend. It was half full of water and unmaintained, so this weekend we replaced the container and included lots of fun stuff that my kids picked out. It looks like the owners don't geocache anylonger and now live 2 states away. I emailed them about adopting 3 that are 15 minutes from me but of course haven't heard anything back. We didn't want kids finding soggy containers of mold and smelly junk.

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what we'd like to do is find the caches in the morning and stuff them with some geoswag that 11/13 year old girls would find "cool". Then we'll go with them in the afternoon to find the caches and there will be some good swag in there for them to trade with

That's a fun idea! But some caches are regularly raided by neighbor kids (hence the trash in the container), so go easy on the amount of nice things you're basically giving away to non-cachers.

 

I also like the idea of finding the container in advance, so you know it's there in good condition, and can check the contents and area. Then you can provide hints and nudges if they have any trouble finding.

 

AND, be sure they arrive with nice stuff in hand, to trade. The Swag part of the game is "trade up or equal", so they can't just take something -- they have to make a "grown-up" decision about the value, and trade fairly (all you need is one item, and can trade over & over til you see something you don't want to part with). AND have one of the empty boxes remain empty -- their mom can ask if they'd place one of their nice things in the box to "pay it forward" for the next cacher, why or why not. It can be a great time of life lessons and bonding. And you thought all you were doing was finding a cache. :P

Edited by kunarion
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I also wanted to add that what we do with our kids is allow them to choose an item from the cache, but if there isn't anything there that interests them, they get to choose something from our 'treasure bag'. That way they don't feel compelled to take something they don't want, and I am not worried when we open an empty container! I also emphasis always putting something back that you would like to find.

 

So maybe take along the extra treasure, and then give the girls the choice when they see what is inside the cache?

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That's an awfully nice idea, but I fear that you will be raising their expectations for when they find caches that you haven't visited beforehand and stocked with swag.

 

How will they feel when they find what is seemingly the "normal" cache and see the contents of a dirty golfball, expired coupons, or broken toys?

 

Perhaps a good solution would be to not put great swag in all the caches but instead just stock one well. That way there will be a "hey wow!" moment for sure that they'll love but the kids won't fall under the assumption that that's typical of geocaching.

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