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Cleveland State Offers Geocaching Course


DARKSIDEDAN
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I found this old article from 2012 on the Chattanoogan.com News Website. Thought it was a great idea to run Geocaching courses at TAFE. I wish they did this in Australia. I would 100% sign up to do the course.

 

Note: All credit to Chattanoogan.com for the story and photos

Chattanoogan.com - Chattanooga's source for breaking local news

Cleveland State Offers Geocaching Course

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Shown, from left to right, are students in Mr. Cameron’s fall 2011 Geocaching course, Christina Gatlin, Natalie McConnell, Phillip Howell, Lyndsey Tinsley, Lauren Davis, and Robert Sandlin during a nighttime cache to “The Dark Place” in Reliance.
Shown, from left to right, are students in Mr. Cameron’s fall 2011 Geocaching course, Christina Gatlin, Natalie McConnell, Phillip Howell, Lyndsey Tinsley, Lauren Davis, and Robert Sandlin during a nighttime cache to “The Dark Place” in Reliance.

When Chad Cameron’s dad first showed him a GPS unit a few years ago, he had no idea that five or six years later, he’d be putting it to good use teaching a Geocaching course for Cleveland State Community College. Geocaching is a high tech scavenger hunt that requires a handheld GPS unit to find objects hidden in an outdoor environment.

For the traditional geocache, a person will place a waterproof container containing a log book (with pen or pencil) and trade items then record the caches’s coordinates. Typical cache “treasures” are not high in monetary value but may hold personal value to the finder. Common cache contents are unusual coins, small toys, buttons, CDs, or books.

 

Mr. Cameron said, “It is kind of funny. I always ask the students on the first day of class their knowledge of geocaching. Most of the time, there are several who have no idea what geocaching is really about. They just read the description and think it sounds like fun, and sign up. Many of those end up really liking it and will continue doing it even after the class is over.”

 

Before he taught the geocaching course, Mr. Cameron taught a camping course at CSCC. “I took my camping class to Cloudland Canyon in Trenton, Ga., and there are some caches hidden there. I got my GPS out and started finding them. I noticed that some of the students were interested in it, so I researched on the Internet to see if any other colleges in the area were offering geocaching classes. There weren’t any in the area, so I approached Nancy LaBine (Dean of Health, Wellness, and Nursing) about the idea and she liked the idea, and now, this will be my 7th semester teaching the class.”

 

Mr. Cameron said he considers this class a P.E. class because it is a lot like a hiking class in that it is very active, and a lot of them are on hiking trails. “You walk by geocaches every day, and you don’t even know it.”

Mr. Cameron said the class usually spends the first five or six weeks in the classroom learning the “in’s and out’s” of geocaching—basically how to log caches and how to use a GPS. The rest of their time is spent off campus. They meet at Fletcher Park, Tinsley Park, and around Halloween, they went to a place simply known as “The Dark Place,” their only nighttime cache.

 

“Very few caches have a good story behind them,” said Mr. Cameron. “You definitely get a good story with this one; it is a puzzle cash and you have to find it at night.” According to www.geocaching.com, the story of The Dark Place dates back to 1898 when seven-year-old Mary Toutson was playing near a river bank in the Reliance area when her brother Joshua heard his sister scream. He saw what he described as a large man with long stringy hair dressed in torn clothing grab his sister and run off into the woods. A massive man hunt followed, but Mary was never found. To this day, it remains a mystery, as does the location of The Dark Place.

 

 

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