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New-Cacher Education Cache


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Help!

 

Here in the fora, we frequently comment on the state of the ‘new cacher experience’; about how many newbies don’t understand or even care about the basic guidelines of play and end up degrading the game.

 

We like to attribute this to the quick, unverified aspect of how you can grab the phone app and be on the trail in seconds as opposed to how in the past there was a little more investment involved, or the way that the app’s workflow sometimes enforces bad behavior, or that “kids today have no respect” (which has been true of every generation, yours and mine included) or a host of other factors.

 

Whatever the root causes of people ‘dissing the game’, we’ve all agreed that one problem has always been a lack of real incentive on the part of new players to KNOW what they don’t know.

 

What’s to be done? Not much. Millions of cachers, many new, genie’s out of the bottle, in some ways working against the messages coming from the app. Sorry, GS; I love your product, but respectfully, I think it has issues!

 

I’m a child of the 60s & 70s: “Think Globally, Act Locally”.  I want to publish a Mystery Cache where you need to know something about the Guidelines to find the final.

 

So, I’m looking for some advice. Who better to ask than you guys, with whom I waste many a lunch hour, nit-picking? Collectively, I respect our opinions. If you think this is a good idea, please poke through the Guidelines, whether it’s online or in your experience and send me suggestions about what to include. Examples could be something as simple as “How far apart must geocaches be placed?” or “What’s a ‘Throwdown’?”

 

I already have a list of items, but I’m looking for more.

  • It needs to be fact based, and un-arguable!
  • The fact needs to be quantifiable; we DO have to end up with a set of coordinates.  But, if you have an idea and can’t figure out how it could turn into a number, tell me anyway!
    • For example, it can be multiple-choice, with each option being assigned a number.
    • For example, it can be ‘referenceable’, meaning, “What section number of the Guidelines discusses ‘Cache Adoption’” or something like that.

 

Don’t want to give any more examples because I don’t want to limit your suggestive thoughts. (Boy, did THAT come out wrong!)

 

This may not change anybody’s behavior, but my intent is ‘exposure’. Show them that there ARE guidelines, where they can be found and that there is a system to this game. The more they poke through the contents of the Help Center, the better for us all.

 

No more than ten or fifteen items, I think, to NOT make people dismiss it. If I get a bunch more, maybe I’ll turn it into a series!

 

ONE-and-DONERS and thoughtless people won’t even look at anything that appears to require extra effort, so I’m targeting cachers who might be open to the possibility of becoming better players. Can’t solve everything.

 

Maybe I’ll incorporate a Field Puzzle to illustrate something they’ve discovered in the Guidelines. Go crazy with it! My idea isn’t so fully formed yet, so I’m looking for suggestions to fulfill the goal of improving caching in New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley, just a little.

 

Please feel free to send me your thoughts outside of this forum thread, if you like.

 

...Bill

  • Funny 2
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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Bear and Ragged said:

As a Mystery cache, those most likely to go and find it, are those with some experience, and not new cachers having just found out about 'caching'...

 

<...>

 

Yes, that's true. How to attract them? I was thinking of calling it SOMETHING LIKE "New Geocachers: What Do You Know?".

Edited by TeamRabbitRun
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JIC you're serious...   :)     We thought about having a series of mystery caches based on Geocaching 101.

It was right after that horrible "Intro" app, with newbs taking our ammo cans, and placing them in other locations - with no added info.   :huh:

 - Fortunately, most were recovered by other, experienced cachers, finding them placed in the open, alongside trails to others.

 

But mystery caches are considered "advanced", and can't be found by new, basic members...

They can only find traditionals and events, up to a D/T of 2

  • Upvote 1
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Just now, cerberus1 said:

<...>

 

But mystery caches are considered "advanced", and can't be found by new, basic members...

They can only find traditionals and events, up to a D/T of 2

 

Also true. I do what I can. As I said, can't target everyone. The truly newbies can only be affected by Groundspeak in their initial exposure to the game and the way the app TELLS THEM to play.

 

But, there are plenty of new, inexperienced (or simply uneducated) people playing as Premium who don't follow the guidelines, either. 

  • Surprised 1
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3 minutes ago, TeamRabbitRun said:

But, there are plenty of new, inexperienced (or simply uneducated) people playing as Premium who don't follow the guidelines, either. 

 

True.  Just last Summer we noticed a long-time player was still trading trackables for swag.    :laughing:

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If you plan on a mystery anyway, a simple multiple guess to at least get a notice might be something like :

Can I move a cache once I find it ?

1 - Yes, but only if the area is more secure.       W41 10.000 N 75 43.837 

2 - No,  please do not move a cache from its original location.   W41 09.967  N 43.784

 

The coordinates mean nada, JIC someone was curious.    :)

 

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

If you plan on a mystery anyway, a simple multiple guess to at least get a notice might be something like :

Can I move a cache once I find it ?

1 - Yes, but only if the area is more secure.       W41 10.000 N 75 43.837 

2 - No,  please do not move a cache from its original location.   W41 09.967  N 43.784

 

The coordinates mean nada, JIC someone was curious.    :)

 

 

Exactly the type of feedback I was looking for. Maybe one question or item or factoid for each digit? Keep it coming!

I'm gonna back out for a while now so as to not stifle or 'direct' the discussion. If you want me to pipe up, say so.

Thanks.

 

Edited by TeamRabbitRun
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I like your idea but as other posters have mentioned, newbies don't do puzzles. Heck lots of experienced players don't do puzzles either. My awesome puzzle cache is one of my loneliest hides. Combined with a short hike, it will never acquire a geo-trail.

 

But newbies do like easy series along an easy trail or an accessible country road. How about an educational series, with each cache a short lesson in geocaching rules and etiquette? Simple finds, perhaps each an example of some kind of hide or container. (This is a bison tube. This is what makes a good waterproof container, etc...)

 

Anyway, there's lots of new players around here and I think its a good idea. They especially love to post pics of their adorable kids finding the cache, including pics of the container and the location. How do you delete a log like that?

 

 

foundit-spider.jpg

Edited by G0ldNugget
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21 hours ago, TeamRabbitRun said:

I’m a child of the 60s & 70s: “Think Globally, Act Locally”.  I want to publish a Mystery Cache where you need to know something about the Guidelines to find the final.

In general, I like the idea of doing something to inform new geocachers about how the game should be played. And I've seen good ways to introduce new geocachers to the activity. I'm just struggling to figure out how to do it as a mystery/puzzle cache. I'm concerned that by the time new geocachers encounter your cache, they will have either figured it out already, or become entrenched in doing things in a less productive way.

 

A series of caches might work, if you can figure out how to communicate a short message with each cache in the series. That would mean that the message would need to be somewhere other than in the cache descriptions, because the people you're trying to reach are likely not reading the cache descriptions. If a park or other land manager were interested in teaching people how to geocache, then perhaps each location could have a sign that explained some aspect of geocaching (in addition to whatever the actual hide might be, of course).

 

But if a park or other land manager were that interested in promoting geocaching, then perhaps a better approach might be to host an intro geocaching class every month or two, with a brief intro at the trailhead, and then the new geocachers splitting into smaller groups (each with an experienced geocacher as guide), and heading out to find a number of nearby geocaches. I've seen this approach work well.

 

I've also thought that a quiz for (potential) cache owners would be useful. Before a geocacher could list a cache, he or she would need to pass the quiz. As you described, the quiz questions would need to be about unarguable facts, not opinions. And while it wouldn't need to generate coordinates, it would need to be scored automatically by the online system that administers it. And since the point of the quiz is education, I think it would be fine to let geocachers retake it until they get a score of 90% or even 100%. And once you've passed, you wouldn't be nagged about it again.

 

But that's for geocache ownership information. The kind of information that new geocache seekers need to be aware of is different.

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