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ADKer

Geocaching Workshop

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Alright, I am on the planning committee for a leadership conference that will be held in March. We were thinking that a geocaching workshop would be a great addition to the conference. The only problem is, we have no clue what we would do in such a workshop. Does anyone have any ideas? The age group for the workshop would be grades 10-12, and the workshop will last 40 minutes (I think its 40 minutes). Anyway, any ideas would be great! Thanks!smile.gif

 

(By the way, Kim, if you're reading this, yes it is Matt)

Edited by ADKer

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What is your goal? To help established cachers? Maybe some lessons on cool camo painting techniques, or how to use HTML on the cache pages.

 

Or is it for people to learn about geocaching? Groundspeak has a geocaching 101 video(or similar name) Bring in different cache containers, logbooks, coins and TB's(Keep your eyes on them if they aren't activated.)

 

Or is it how to make a geocache? How to use the website? How trackables work?

 

You have to identify exactly what you want to do first, then work towards it. Perhaps a general "what is geocaching" is more appropriate, where people can come and look at some caches or trackables. Have the geocaching website/the video I mentioned on a laptop. Let people come and go, and explain the game to those interested...

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What is your goal? To help established cachers? Maybe some lessons on cool camo painting techniques, or how to use HTML on the cache pages.

 

Or is it for people to learn about geocaching? Groundspeak has a geocaching 101 video(or similar name) Bring in different cache containers, logbooks, coins and TB's(Keep your eyes on them if they aren't activated.)

 

Or is it how to make a geocache? How to use the website? How trackables work?

 

You have to identify exactly what you want to do first, then work towards it. Perhaps a general "what is geocaching" is more appropriate, where people can come and look at some caches or trackables. Have the geocaching website/the video I mentioned on a laptop. Let people come and go, and explain the game to those interested...

 

Its technically a leadership workshop, but this is intended just be a fun workshop. I was thinking it could be simply an introduction to the hobby?

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Do you have access to an outdoor area where you can hide a number of sample cache containers?

 

In 40 minutes, I'd give a brief intro to geocaching: how GPS works, geocache sizes (with examples), geocache types (mainly traditional, multi, and mystery/puzzle), difficulty and terrain ratings, trade items (with examples to pass around), trackables (with examples to pass around), and the basic rules. Then I'd take everyone outside and let them try to spot the containers I'd hidden for the workshop.

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The conference is on a college campus, so I could definitely go outside. I was thinking about hiding various types of caches to show them how unique each geocache is (yes, even a LPCrolleyes.gif). Should I try to upload the coordinates of each cache to a bunch of GPSr's for the kids to use? Or should I just let them take turns using mine?blink.gif

 

Basically, we want this to be the highlight of their day, something that they'll go home and tell everyone about!laugh.gif

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In 40 minutes, I wouldn't try to include GPS use in the lesson. I'd just take them to the location where I had hidden the sample containers, and have them take turns pointing out the containers as they spotted them.

 

If you had 2-3 hours, then you could hand them preprogrammed GPS receivers, show them how to select GOTO to find the next location, and actually get them to do some actual geocaching. (This would work better if you had just a few students with each GPS receiver, and an experienced mentor with each small group.) But with only 40 minutes, you won't have time for that.

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Perhaps in that case, I could have my GPS preset with all the "caches" select them myself, and just hand it to one of the students. Each student would get a turn holding the GPS and navigating the group to a different cache?

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When I've had an hour or less to teach intro classes, we really haven't had time to navigate anywhere. I teach the "classroom" part of the class inside, and then lead the kids out to a patio area where I've hidden a bunch of containers, all of them within a few yards of an olive tree. The kids raise their hands when they spot a container, and I call on them. I try to hide more containers than there are kids, and I try to call on the younger kids first. By the time they've spotted all the containers, it's time to head back inside.

 

The groups I've taught have usually been younger than yours (1st-5th grade, 3rd-6th grade, or 5th-8th grade, vs 10th-12th grade). But the same basic time management issue applies. When I've helped with longer classes for groups that included mostly adults and older teens, we've been able to loan preprogrammed GPS receivers and spend a few hours actually hiking from cache to cache. But it still took about an hour before anyone hit the trail. That included an introduction to geocaching; an explanation of the basics, showing everyone example containers, trackables, and trade items; a quick "raise your hand when you spot the cache" for a camouflaged cache located right next to where everyone was standing; dividing into small groups and assigning an experienced geocacher to each group; distributing preprogrammed GPS receivers and (hardcopy) cache description pages; and explaining how to use the GPS receivers to select a cache and navigate to it.

 

But if you think you'll have time to navigate to a few cache locations, then go ahead an try it out. Practice the explanation/intro talk you want to give, and practice setting up the GPS receiver and navigating to the locations you want to use. That will give you a better idea of what you have time for than anything anyone else says here.

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OK, thanks! Yeah, I think if I make a few "hides" just a couple hundred feet from the building door, we could have time to see a few after a quick rundown on the hobby. I know in the past at the conference we've had some feedback that some of the workshops are too much talk and not enough doing. (Such as a self defense course we had where the people only TOLD the students how to defend themselves. Many of them wanted to actually learn and try some maneuvers.) I'll try to get a plan together and see how things will work out. Thanks for all the info!

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I run a geocaching enrichment activity every 2 weeks at my school. I have a group of around 19 students and two adult helpers. My equipment consists of 7 eTrex 10 GPS units and a variety of caches. The actual theory was easy to organise; all our students have iPads and have access to iTunes U where I have placed a home made video on the use of a GPS and how to use it to find "treasure".

 

The main problem I had with my students was one of trust. We have a large campus and I spent a couple of hours on a Saturday (my time!!) placing about 8 clip boxes around the site. So far so good. Setting the waypoints was no problem either and I eagerly awaited the geocaching day. After a short time going back over GPS basics I let the students loose in pairs. The weaker students were accompanied by an adult and I was released to wonder around, keeping an eye on the other groups. After an hour we all went back to the classroom to discuss the "treasure hunt". The main problem had been finding the caches; not because they had been put in difficult places, but because the students (kids will be kids) thought it would be fun if only their group could find the caches. The result was most of the caches were moved from their spot and 1 was lost completely!

 

Back to the drawing board. The next session I decided to do an Earth Cache type activity. The GPS led the students to a landmark or sign that was indeed unmovable. To prove they had found the cache the students had to take a picture of it with their iPads. They could then compare their version with my version back in the classroom. Success!! The activity worked a dream as nobody could interfere with the caches. Most if not all the caches were found. Objectives were met all round.

 

One of the final activities we did was each group hiding their own cache and creating their own waypoints. I think this was an activity too far as only 2 groups succeeded in finding each other's caches. The others had simply created too many waypoints by over pressing the enter button on the eTrex 10.

 

Anyway, the groups have now been changed and most of my old Geocaching group said they didn't want to change their enrichment activity!! They got to understand the workings of a GPS, got a lot of fresh air and exercise and had some fun at the same time. At least 1 student has got his grandparents to do some geocaching with him at the weekend.

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In 40 minutes, I wouldn't try to include GPS use in the lesson. I'd just take them to the location where I had hidden the sample containers, and have them take turns pointing out the containers as they spotted them.

 

If you had 2-3 hours, then you could hand them preprogrammed GPS receivers, show them how to select GOTO to find the next location, and actually get them to do some actual geocaching. (This would work better if you had just a few students with each GPS receiver, and an experienced mentor with each small group.) But with only 40 minutes, you won't have time for that.

 

I know it's past OP's presentation date, but someone might find this discussion useful. After the introductory stuff, I pour out a bag of containers and each student chooses one (different sizes, cammo, etc). Then they go out in groups of 5-10. I teach one student from each group how to mark and average a waypoint on a GPSr. The groups split up into designated areas, and the kid with the GPSr hides his or her container, waypoints the spot, then teaches the next one in the group how to do it, and so on until all containers are hidden. That usually takes 15-20 minutes. Then we gather together and trade GPS units. I teach one in each group how to select the first waypoint, get to the compass screen, and navigate. They teach the next person; repeat until all containers are found. I had 10 kids today, and it took about a half hour. Groups of 20+ take maybe 45 minutes. I think it helps them understand GPSr accuracy from both ends, and it's as fun for them as finding "real" geocaches (which we do afterwards, of course).

 

Oh, and I'd meant to say that this is a good way to do it without a lot of GPS units. I have four.

Edited by ByronForestPreserve

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Well, I suppose I should tell of what I ended up doing!smile.gif

 

I spend the first 10ish minutes displaying a powerpoint on what geocaching is, and how to do it. I answered any initial questions, and then surprised them all by saying "alright, let's go geocaching!"

 

I spent five minutes introducing them to the GPS units that Garmin lent me. (Excellent service, by the way. If you ever need to borrow some GPSr's for an event of something, I highly recommend Garmin.)

 

We went out the building and as a group went to find the "fake" geocaches that I had placed around the building. I had 5 caches total.

-A nano stuck to I crosswalk sign

-A fake rock micro

-A small tupperware hidden under a lamp post skirt

-A regular tupperware hidden in an old tree

-And a 5 gallon bucket hidden in some shrubs

 

I told them that these are basically the most common types of caches (for our area at least), but if they should ever try to hide their own (after about 25 finds) they should try to make it unique. (I included some unique local caches in the powerpoint, such as one inside a cannon, and a leaf blower hanging from a tree, no joke!)

 

After the finds we went back in and with the 5ish minutes remaining, answered any burning questions that they had. I also gave them each a brochure from geocaching.com, with my name and a link to a webpage I set up for them. On the webpage is my contact information, links to the android in iOS apps, and a link to the travel bug I release for the conference.

 

It all ended up working out very well. (Though it was a little cold!) I got great reviews, and it looks like I'm going to be invited back for next year's conference!biggrin.gif

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