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The need for a Geocaching Council/Sanctioning Body


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any voices and minds are needed to control the destiny of these large entities. Geocaching is not different.

 

There has been too much unrest. The sport is going to self-destruct if things carry on.

 

I, for one, have been uneasy about Jeremy being the sole authority of the sport. I did not like the pinmap situation. I also do not like how Dave Ulmer has been relegated to a footnote in the history of geocaching. I feel there should be more than a one-line credit to him at the bio of the sport. Why is there such an overt attempt to keep him in such a diminutive capacity?

 

Jeremy has backed off a little by rethinking his stance on the geocaching copyright/gag order on the name of "geocaching," but he needs to take it a step further.

 

I propose a council of ten persons who will be the sanctioning body of the sport of geocaching. All ten persons will have an equal vote. Nine of the positions will be elected by the forum and hold an office that is one year in duration. Jeremy, the creator of this site and the man who launched the sport into the public domain, will have a permanent seat. Again, all ten seats will have an equal vote, regardless of Jeremy's permanent seat.

 

This sport has become too large for one man to be directing.

 

I'm sure you are wondering if this is a power move on my part, a Survivoresque attempt to create factions and then grab power. I openly admit I would like to run for a seat on the council if Jeremy were to accept the idea, but it's not about power. It's about the health and longevity of the sport. What's more important is the idea that this sport needs a sanctioning-body council to direct it, no matter who sits on it.

 

I hope Jeremy will be humble enough to accept this proposal in the name of the health of the sport. We will see.

 

Rob

 

[This message has been edited by cache_only (edited 06 June 2001).]

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Guest Artful Dodger

Dude

 

Take a step back and chill out! This is a new sport/hobby that needs to grow and then settle. There are only 790+ people registered so far. It still needs to explore its entire potential before installing any boundaries, sanctioning bodies etc.

 

..whatever the opinions are - this is Jeremy's web site and he can pretty much do whatever he feels like on it - you have the freedom to accept it or reject it by leaving the site.

 

I, for one, want to see where this sport goes and limitations, codes or rules, sanctions etc will impede its growth of imagination.

 

Naturally this is just my 2c worth!

 

Dodger tongue.gif

 

[This message has been edited by Artful Dodger (edited 06 June 2001).]

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Guest cavetoad

First off, Geocaching is not a 'sport' right now. A sport has rules and referees. Baseball is a sport, 3 outs per team, 3 strikes you're out, etc, running(races) is a sport, start at the starting line, finish at the finish line, bowling is a sport, roll ball don't throw it, don't cross line. These are sports, Geocaching is an activity. Seek Cache, Find cache. There are no other 'rules' to it. There's no restrictions that need to be governed by any kind of sanctioning body. What would they say? "all cachers must park at officially designated cache sites in order for their log to qualify" no, sorry. Not going to happen.

What we're really talking about here is some return to normal business here at the forum. Seek caches, find caches, post reports, ask questions. Jeremy's not changing the site. He's not changing the game. Who cares who 'owns' your posting about your cache if you really have a problem with it just remove it.

We all just need to kick back and 'cache. Less worrying about the details and more hunting. I've got 2 fresh ones with no finders yet come and get them!

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Guest Exocet

I pretty much agree with Artful Dodger. I like the fact that there are a total of about three rules plus common sense ones (don't trapse on private land...).

 

All that bein' said, I don't think a "sanctioning body" would help much here. If any ol' yokel could be sanctioned to run a web site, Jeremy would still have the same, exact web site. It would be all about the implementation. Which ain't a bad idea, IMO. But I don't really see the need for that, because *I* am happy with how things are going right now.

 

What cache_only really wants is a sanctioning body for geocaching.com. A bunch of people that get a slice of the pie/site, so they can feel good about everything.

 

To everyone who thinks this way: kids, act NOW!@ For only a massive amount of time and energy you, yes YOU can run a big, bandwidth-expensive web site just like geocaching.com! Sure, you'll need to learn ASP or PHP and how to be an NT or Linux administrator (a good one, not a paper one) and then you'll have to spend a lot of time calming worried geocachers down, but in the end ...it's worth it! Fame (no fortune, sorry) will be yours, all yours! Act now and this web site starter kit will be yours for only $19.95!

 

[pretend this is small, unreadable text] Legal disclaimer: this kit will cause headaches, sleeplessness, annoyed girlfriends, decreased efficiency at work, bloodshot eyes, carpal tunnel syndrome and general irritability towards others.

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Guest cache_ninja

ng every day that do not visit the lists and forums, where i would guess, the more outspoken dissatisfied few tend to like to hear themselves talk, but as such your assertion that "The sport is going to self-destruct if things carry on" appears to be a huge over-reaction and a desperate attempt to persuade people to agree with your agenda.

 

re: Dave Ulmer, i dont understand your problem, or know what you want..apparently

he hid the first cache, came up with the idea, and promptly disappeared until now (his

reappearance has been marked by a great deal of immaturity in my opinion). What

else can be said except one line? What has he done? Your assertion that "there such an overt attempt to keep him in such a diminutive capacity" is an inflammatory statement largely without merit. What capactity do you suggest? He made it known he was no longer interested in geocaching way at the beginning. Anyway, I don't care about Dave Ulmer and would rather let him speak for himself.

 

It really seems like any time a certain group of people on here don't get their ideas _immediately_ adressed or institued by Jeremy, within a day or two, there emerges this huge big deal. I don't understand this sense of entitlement I am seeing...people just keep posting contentious assertions in order to somehow make it seem like there are all these "big problems" that the "majority" of geocachers are concerned with when in reality its _their_ problem that they are concerned with. All of this seems like a very selfish attempt just to keep the dissent alive somehow.

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Guest chipper

My opinions on Councils/ Sanctioning Bodies is the same as those for our government. The less the better! Seems like the more things are regulated the less fun they become. I like to stick with the common sense approach of treating others (including their caches)as you would want to be treated. Old timers remember this as the "Golden Rule". So far, it seems to be working just fine.

.02 cents from a Fundemental Evangelical Right-wing conservative. I think that 'bout covers all the bases.

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Guest JIntorcio

While I think the idea of a ?Geocaching Council? is worthy of discussion (and by discussion I mean more than just a reason to badmouth cache_only), I?m not sure I see the practicality in it?

 

What exactly would such a council do?

 

- Would it regulate what appears here on the Geocaching.com website? Jeremy/Grounded Inc. owns the server and the website. Why would he/they want to let a ?council? tell him/them what he/they can and can?t do with his/their own equipment? While the council could serve as a source of ideas, it seems to me that the forums and email lists already do this and allow a much wider population to participate.

 

- Would it set ?rules? for placing caches? That hardly seems practical in a sport/activity that?s this distributed. How would they be enforced? Would the council track down anyone who placed a cache that violated the rules?

 

- Would it set ?rules? for finding caches? Again, it is not clear to me that such rules could be enforced.

 

- Would it set rules for Geocaching competitions? Here I think a council could have some effect. They could help standardize some rules by which ?sanctioned? competitions would be held. Might be a bit early for this though ? there?s still a lot of discussion on just how such an event should be organized.

 

Any other ideas?

 

 

------------------

>>> John <<<

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Guest leaper64

enough already!

this horse is dead. why does everything that is cool end up getting ruined by a group of people who feel the need to "sanction" it. i think that jeremy is justified in any moves he has made. jeremy has almost single-handedly made geocaching what it is today.....give him the credit he deserves. along with that, give him the authority he needs to keep this ball rolling. as for the "rules" of geocaching: TAKE SOMETHING, LEAVE SOMETHING, SIGN THE LOG. that's all there is to it boys. if you want to do a little more-or-less, feel free to do it. and lastly.....if you don't like it, take your ball and go home. add my .02 to the pot.

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Guest brucebridges

Cache_ninja,

 

To clarify, I have been the person that has suggested an organization for Geocaching. I suggested this long before the recent flareup concerning copyrights and wildly imagined riches but that only confirmed another reason that it would be a good idea to have some more official club created. My reasons have nothing to do with rules of geocaching except perhaps a voluntary code of conduct (no bushwacking in sensitive areas, trash out etc) but were mainly revolving around the ongoing status of geocaching with the NPS.

 

It would be in everybody's best interest to have an organized effort to educate the NPS and others and rethink their current policies.

 

I've seen the NPS referred to as "jackbooted thugs" etc in different forums and frankly don't think that type of inflammatory language does anything to warm the hearts of the people who will ultimately decide if caches can remain on NPS property.

 

BTW, I never considered a council of 10 or anything like that to make decisions. Why not simply have a membership that votes?

 

And based on what I've read from Dave Ullmer, it sounds like he's done everything possible to alienate himself from the players of this game so TS for him as far as I'm concerned.

 

Finally, I believe that Jeremy has been exploring such an organization so perhaps my suggestion isn't so far fetched after all.

 

bb

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Guest bunkerdave

What is the point of voting? Essentially everything that goes on in Geocaching begins, occurs, and ends in the website. Except for the actual activity, of course. (The best part) Ultimately, Jeremy has to make it happen, and unless/until he chooses to enlist assistance, he can/should make the decisions on what goes on the site. Others are free to make their own sites and explore ideas they feel would be beneficial, but for now, Jeremy has the de facto veto power bu virtue of sole control of the site. Not saying this is good or bad, just that it is what it is. I prefer the internal struggles JI might suffer in making those decisions to what might happen in the forums where the "sanctioning body" would hold its meetings. (shiver)

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Guest ClayJar

It strikes me that geocaching already has a council/sanctioning body, and it is us.

 

Geocaching is of the geocachers, by the geocachers, and for the geocachers, so help my dog. There is no reason to form a council to rule by fiat when we already are a de facto council.

 

If there were 10,000 geocachers out there, and we had organized events and such, then it might be a good idea to have a ruling body. With only the small number of geocachers we have now, these forums serve as our virtual committee meetings.

 

For now, geocaching hasn't grown too large for its community-at-large self-controlling government. It might be nice if someday it does (and becomes an Olympic sport), but we don't need to start that mess yet.

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Guest cache_ninja

ok i apologize for merging you two together...my comments are more directed at cache_only...you have been sort of talking about something different, i figured you just adjusted your ideas a bit, but i guess he isnt you...

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Guest rusty

First off in reply to what cavetoad said, Geocaching is a sport in the same vein that backpacking or rock-climbing are sports. You don't need rules and a score to be a sport.

 

I do not think the sport of geocaching needs a governing body... 790 members does not justify that.

 

This website is not the "sport" it is simply the best voice of the sport, Jeremy does an excellent job of presenting a clean easy to use interface for all of us to enjoy. There are alternatives to geocache.com but this is head and shoulders above anything else I've seen.

 

Although I don't see the need for a commitee to govern, I could easily see how people may want to form regional or even a national geocaching "CLUB" but that would be a separate entity from this site. The main focus would be an organized way to socialize with others sharing the same interest and take it a step beyond cyberspace.

 

Rusty...

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Guest cache_only

The consensus is pretty clear: you don't want a council that acts as a governing, sanctioning body. That's fine. I think you will regret this two or three years down the road.

 

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

 

What irritates me is the fact that he did not invent the game. He, like the rest of us, is at base a participant who, by means of this website, has assumed or seized authority over the sport.

 

If he had been the originator of the sport I would be very deferential. But he isn't. He has gone from participant to webmaster to President/Chairman of Grounded, Inc. to God and Guru of the sport of geocaching.

 

Hell, only Evita Peron crafted such a climb to power.

 

Rob

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Guest c.mathis

quote:
Originally posted by cache_only:

What irritates me is the fact that he did not invent the game. He, like the rest of us, is at base a participant who, by means of this website, has assumed or seized authority over the sport.


 

I'm new to geocaching, but I don't think I'd be involved in it if it weren't for Geocaching.Com. Where else would I go to participate? Who else has listed all the caches?

 

quote:

Hell, only Evita Peron crafted such a climb to power.


 

What freedom do you feel you have lost and what "power" does Geocaching.Com have over you?

 

[This message has been edited by c.mathis (edited 06 June 2001).]

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Guest Lazyboy

A sport? I consider this an activity like hiking, canoeing, bird watching. I don't need any more than we have right NOW to enjoy myself at this. It gets me outside and usually to an area that I might never go to otherwise. Let's relax and enjoy!

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Guest logscaler

Seems to me as a ruling body would need to have their own servers to work from. This would entail phone service and phone bills. This would mean getting a room for the equipment, this means rent. This would mean an electric bill. That would mean money. This would then mean "we" would have to shell out some bucks to "join" this site to pay for all the above needs. How much are you willing to spend? If and when it gets so large a group to support this, maybe. Until then, relax, kick back, plot your next cache, and then get off your a$$ and go pick up some trash. My $0.02 worth and only my opinion.

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Guest Moss Trooper

Speaking from the other side of the pond, how would a governing body work! Body's have meetings, and as this is a world wide activity how would a meeting take place? I know the web is good, but aint that good and most folks couldn't afford to shuttle back and forth 3 - 4 times a year. Governing bodies by default cause bureaucracy, which usually ends up hindering.

 

The system as it is works, if it aint broken, don't fix it. Personally I think some folks over react instead of taking a step back and observing the overall picture.

 

Moss

 

[This message has been edited by Moss Trooper (edited 07 June 2001).]

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Guest Eoghan

y apart from any organization. I expect that in the future geocaching will be prohibited or heavily restricted on most public land, particularly if it continues to grow as fadishly as it has recently. Perhaps those few places that do continue to allow it will become meccas for us, somewhat like Dartmoor is for letterboxers. We'll simply have to adapt. The game will go on. And it won't be any less fun for the changes.

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Guest Eoghan

On second thought though, geocaching clubs (however they may be organized) seem like a good idea for all the reasons that any other outdoor club is a good idea - fellowship, common ground rules, etc. (completely apart from any ideas about 'santioning' or who does what with a website). In areas that restrict but don't prohibit caching, clubs could probably get in better with the land managers, especially for organized events. Perhaps a national or international association may be in the wings to link these clubs. We'll see. Discussing how a loose association should work seems like a better outlet for your concern. But as for a "dire" need for centralized control, I still don't think so.

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Guest Robereno

quote:
Originally posted by Eoghan:

I expect that in the future geocaching will be prohibited or heavily restricted on most public land, particularly if it continues to grow as fadishly as it has recently.


 

I tend agree with this outlook. I don?t think the ?authorities? have even begun to start controlling this activity. Having worked in Civil Service for years I?ve been amazed at how the bureaucrats can get a hold of something like this and turn it into a big deal. At this moment someone with the park services human resources department is going over plans to create GS9 positions for their new ?Geocache Monitoring Department?. They?re probably designing uniforms and making decisions on weather their personal will get to wear badges and carry guns.

 

Ok, I feel better after that exaggerated rant however, my cynical personality makes me suspect that these are ?the good old days? of geocaching.

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Guest Snowtrail

I like the fact that I don't have to belong to a "club". That's just another meeting I'd have to attend, dues to pay, etc. Plus, in the Wild Wild West version of this sport, I am able to participate at my level of interest, and if I don't/can't go out caching every weekend, I don't have a guilt complex. A governing committee is a bit much for such a simple, individualistic sport. And this is my .02 cents from a Personal rights - fiscally responsible - environmentalist.

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Guest glcanon

Official means one thing -- everyone pays dues. Arg. If Jeremy wants to sell t-shirts, he certainly deserves something for his hard work. But I'm not paying dues to go hiking. If he needs money to keep the site going, he can sell merchandise and advertising space. Rules won't work. If anything, any kind of official sanctioning would force the NPS and local governments to take action, to create laws specifically outlawing this activity (similar to what is happening to mountain biking in certain areas). The Greenpeacers view hiding caches as destroying the environment, and anti-caching regulations will flourish. Best to leave it unregulated. Take Something. Leave Something. Sign the Log. Simple.

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Guest ClayJar

What would be nice is to have the equivalent of LUGs (Linux Users Groups). My local LUG, BRLUG is nothing more than a group of Linux-using people. We have no dues, and while we have monthly meetings, there is no obligation to come to them (although we usually have about a dozen or two people at any given meeting).

 

The advantages that being a LUG gives us are that as a LUG, we can interact much better with local businesses and government entities, and we have our little meetings to come and actually meet each other and discuss all sorts of stuff. We have a "leader" who hosts the mailing list and website, but anybody that wants to can get on the list and take a meeting (the last three member-provided presentations have been excellent).

 

So, although we have no need of a centralized "Geocaching Governing Group", having the equivalent of LUGs would be great. (Oh, and there are no restrictions on LUGs; anyone, anywhere, can start one.)

 

Now, does anyone want to start a geocaching group? If anyone starts one within 250 miles of Baton Rouge, LA, make sure you use the "South and Southeast" forum to figure out the time and coordinates of the first meeting; I'll be watching.

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Guest Hawk-eye

quote:
Originally posted by glcanon:

Rules won't work. If anything, any kind of official sanctioning would force the NPS and local governments to take action, to create laws specifically outlawing this activity (similar to what is happening to mountain biking in certain areas). The Greenpeacers view hiding caches as destroying the environment, and anti-caching regulations will flourish. Best to leave it unregulated. Take Something. Leave Something. Sign the Log. Simple.


 

...Come on guys ... glcanon said it well. Let's just get on with it ... life is too complicated on too many levels ... I do this to relax ... more folks should try it. If you want to complicate things ... go into politics where your efforts are appreciated.

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ou want to complicate things ... go into politics where your efforts are appreciated.


 

I had a good reply worked up but yours and glcanon sums it up best.

 

Leave the politics and clubbing to the squirrels in Washington DC.

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Guest 300mag

Good comment JSB.Exactly how i feel.Everyone should stop this crying and enjoy the (ACTIVITY) like i and others do.This is a great hobby.Even entire families enjoy it.So get out there and start geocaching not geocrying.

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Guest cache_only

quote:
Originally posted by 300mag:

...everyone should stop this crying...so get out there and start geocaching not geocrying.


 

Ouch! That hurt, 300Mag. I have a sweet Remington bolt rifle chambered in 300 mag. From one gun guy to another, you hurt me to the bone, dog. icon_frown.gif

 

I'd love to talk handguns with you, but since you live in Canada I guess that would be a one-sided conversation. icon_biggrin.gif

 

All in good fun.

 

Take care,

Rob

 

 

[This message has been edited by cache_only (edited 08 June 2001).]

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Guest cache_only

quote:
Originally posted by 300mag:

...everyone should stop this crying...so get out there and start geocaching not geocrying.


 

Ouch! That hurt, 300Mag. I have a sweet Remington bolt rifle chambered in 300 mag. From one gun guy to another, you hurt me to the bone, dog. icon_frown.gif

 

I'd love to talk handguns with you, but since you live in Canada I guess that would be a one-sided conversation. icon_biggrin.gif

 

All in good fun.

 

Take care,

Rob

 

 

[This message has been edited by cache_only (edited 08 June 2001).]

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Guest Dan Bollinger

Maybe I'm out of touch, perhaps it's because I'm new to this, but the only discension I've heard in GeoCaching is this thread!

 

Websites come and go. Remember when Bianca.com was the only open internet forum? Anyone with the persistence to keep one up deserves a lot of credit. (and just so you know, I'm the webmaster for 5 sites and my html skills pale in comparison with Jeremy's brilliantly conceived organization)

 

I don't see GeoCaching.com being anything but supportive. Here's what I think is going on, I could be wrong about this. We have a common practice in the USA of attacking the leader. If things are going badly, or if we just want to feel powerful, we attack the leader, chop him or her off at the knees. Maybe its a remnant of the 60's when anything over 30 and smelling like the 'establishment' was fair game and to hell with the consequences. I suppose it was bound to happen, as GeoCaching.com became the leader someone was bound to become the assassin. Maybe I'm wrong, perhaps there is an Machiavelian amongst us, the question is who?

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Guest bearboy

Jeremy,

I dont know you personally but I think you are doing a great job in promoting Geocaching and the way this site is ran.dont change a thing.

Chipper,

I pretty much agree with you on this one.Look at our Government.

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Guest Peanuthead

A. Jeremy is doing a fine job. He has more on the line than most people would ever risk.

 

B. If you can do it better, you are free to do so. For a comparison use the ebay analogy. Amazon, pawnbroker.com, and everyone else is getting their tail kicked. All are free to compete, good luck in the attempt.

 

- Peanuthead

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Guest lhbadman

Whine. Snivel. Sniff... Please- REGULATE ME!! I find myself sneaking off from work to stash and find caches. I can only make love to my wife if she's dressed like an ammo can. Stop the insanity!! We need governance and big brother!!

 

Why do some people need every last thing governed and regulated? Geocaching is a bit like having a new frontier to explore- it almost seems too good to be true sometimes. Let it be... people can function without being mandated and directed for things they enjoy...

 

[This message has been edited by lhbadman (edited 25 June 2001).]

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