Jump to content

Geocaching On School Property


Followers 2

Recommended Posts

With all the articles in the newspapers and on television, what do you think of hiding or hunting geocaches on city, county and state school properties?

 

My personal opinion is that it's not a good idea! Anyone who is on school grounds should only be there is they are a student, a parent of a student, a teacher or administrator, a maintanence person or other authorized person for that school or it's district.

 

If you're not one of those mentioned above, you could be reported as a suspicious person and then have an encounter with the local authorities. I don't think that my explanation that "I'm just geocaching" would carry much importance, especially if I were doing this while kids were in school or, worse yet, playing out on the grounds around you.

Link to comment

I am in agreement with you. There should be NO hiding caches on public grounds and especially school grounds with out permission from the appropriate authorities.

 

But then the same rule applies to private property.

 

You know the correct answer here, so why do you bring it up?

Link to comment

The permission issue is easy. Get it before placing a cache if you can.

 

The image issue is a little more complex. As a cacher, I avoid playground and school caches for the most part as I don't want to have cops called on me for being a stranger lurking in a playground. Probably a good rule of thumb when placing a cache as well. Don't want the cops called on your fellow cachers? Then don't place the cache where some neighbor will be stimulated to call 911 when they see them.

Link to comment

I have gone to my daughters school and taught them about geocaching and her 6th grade class is considering putting a cache on the school property for cachers to find. If we do it, of course, the page will say that the cace was placed by a class and that should alleviate peoples fears.

Link to comment
My personal opinion is that it's not a good idea! Anyone who is on school grounds should only be there is they are a student, a parent of a student, a teacher or administrator, a maintanence person or other authorized person for that school or it's district.

1) Last I checked, I was a taxpayer and these are taxpayer funded locations. When the heck did I lose the right to see how my money was being spent?

2) Everywhere I've lived, the best sledding hills have been on school grounds. Everyone goes sledding there on the weekends. Why should geocaching be any different?

 

If you're not one of those mentioned above, you could be reported as a suspicious person and then have an encounter with the local authorities. I don't think that my explanation that "I'm just geocaching" would carry much importance, especially if I were doing this while kids were in school or, worse yet, playing out on the grounds around you.

1) Caching on the grounds while school is in session is just tactless. I wouldn't do it. I'd wait till school is out for the day or for the summer, or on the weekend. I do try to be discrete about this. Why you would cache while school children are playing all around you is beyond me, especially if you want the cache to still be there in a week or two.

2) The local authorities are welcome to discuss my hobbies with me and in a court of law if necessary. This still is (last I checked anyway) the land of the free and the home of the brave, not the land of the enslaved and the home of the cowards. I have a right leave my TV, go for a walk, visit playgrounds (especially with my child), take photographs, insure that the condition of the local schools meet my approval, etc. etc.

3) If there is a cache on school propery, I am under the belief that it was placed with permission of the people responsible for the property. Out here it seems like many of them are actually placed by the students working with the teachers and administration. It seems completely pointless for the school to place a cache that you're telling me I shouldn't visit.

Edited by bons
Link to comment
You know the correct answer here, so why do you bring it up?

I bring up the issue of caches, or parts thereof, having been installed by a local geocacher on school and commercial properties.

 

The 1st step is not on school grounds, but the 2nd through 4th steps are on school properties and the final 2 steps are on unimproved commercial property.

 

To the best of my knowledge, he does not have permission from the elementary and jr. high schools involved nor does he have permission from the commercial property owner.

 

EDITED: After seeing some reviews!

 

As a taxpayer, you always have the right to go on public property.

Very few people get permission to put a cache on commercial grounds.

However, common sence dictates that you should: Engage Brain Before Caching!

Explaining you activities to the authorities after-the-fact is one thing, but thinking first is usually your best preventative medicine.

There are a lot of paranoids out there, and I don't want to be the object of one.

 

BTW, the cache was approved by GC.COM, so they apparently have no issues with it

Edited by Fledermaus
Link to comment

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?wp=GCHPBT

To All who may be concerned with the location of the waypoints of this cache. I personally went out with the hider on Sat Mar. 6, 2004 and walked the route that the this cache hunt takes you on. As a reviewer for geocaching.com I did not see any thing that would preclude listing this cache on GC.com. The owner of the cache was conscientious enough to check the property records prior to placing this cache, and observed the normal pedestrian traffic in the area.

If any one has issues with this particular cache please feel free to contact me through the email link on my profile page.

 

TMS-Admin

Team Misguided

Sounds like gc.com has taken the time to meet with the cacher in question, talk with them, and walk with them.

 

Have you?

Edited by bons
Link to comment

There is a fine line between property owned by school districts and school grounds/yards. Sometimes the undeveloped properties are adjacent to schools, sometimes they are blocks or even miles away.

 

The threat of being confronted by local law enforcement agencies is present with every cache hunt that we attempt. Face it, how we conduct ourselves while searching for a cache, ultimately determines if we look suspicious enough for somebody to call the police.

Edited by Team Misguided
Link to comment

It can be very hard to get the ok from a state, or even private university. I know of a few at Penn State campus but i doubt any of them got it either. With the high number of older "nontraditional" students today I think you could pull off a cache on school property even during school houds. this depends on where it is, and what kind of school. I would love to place a cache on campus and I'm not going to even try and get it approved.

Link to comment

Once again, I think Criminal's frisbee rule is the best answer.

 

Should I ask permission to play frisbee in this spot? If yes, then I'd ask permission to hide a cache there. If no, then permission has implicitly been granted.

 

For seeking the cache, the same rule applies. If I wouldn't be comfortable playing frisbee there due to the presence of schoolchildren, I should probably wait until school's closed.

Link to comment

I am a relative newbie cacher, and I'm contemplating the placement of my first cache. Coincidentally, I am the Security and Safety Manager for a set of 3 private religious schools (K-graduate) that sit on a suburban campus.

 

It pleases me to see that the caching community is conscientious enough to even have this discussion; the previous points are well-made and valid.

 

I can only speak from my perspective, but the points below might serve to help cachers in general:

 

My schools are all on private property, so permission would be required for any cache placement. We sometimes find that visitors struggle with the concept of a school on private property, so we have to gently explain.

 

In my opinion, even though public schools are taxpayer funded, those who are in charge of those facilities might look askance at activities that *might* be considered contrary to the mission at hand, which is education. Granted, caching can be educational, but we need to let the teachers determine the curriculum.

 

Some portions of my campus are more "open to the public" than others, because they feature some unique cultural attractions and pleasant areas for walking. We allow visitors in these areas, but under certain restrictions. Caches are more likely to be acceptable in these areas, but even so, muggles are very likely to view caching activity from a distance as suspicious.

 

If caches are allowed on our campus, after dark hunting (even scouting by vehicle) would probably be specifically forbidden; I guess this is obvious. We might only allow virtuals; we have a few spots that might be suitable for that.

 

All schools in this country are struggling with a variety of security issues, and it is very difficult to balance "armed fortress" with "open to all". In other words, most schools end up somewhere in the middle, depending on their neighborhood and a host of other factors.

 

Keep in mind that an encounter with school security or the police while caching is not necessarily a bad thing. They are doing their job to keep the kids safe, and you might be able to convince them that you are not a threat and help them understand caching. Don't try to keep anything a secret, and if they tell you to leave and take your cache with you, please comply in your friendliest manner.

 

(getting down off soapbox)

Link to comment

Why not place the cache on the outskirts of the school?

That way cachers can get to it without actually having to walk around on campus. I dont think a cache on a college or university campus would be bad though. I wouldnt have any problem hunting a cache there.

Link to comment

I have 2 caches hidden on my schools property. It's a University of California, which is pretty much open to the public. I think on city colleges and universities, there would be no problem, as they never have a problem with the public hanging out there as much as they want.

 

Little kid schools are a different story though.

Link to comment

There is a cacher here who has a cache or two on school grounds and he is a teacher if not an administrator. I've yet to do those caches because they are a bit away from me but I figure if anyone was going to place a cache on school grounds then this person is qualified. He's even gotten the students into caching with those caches.

 

I understand your concern about looking suspicious, there are plenty of caches I've done where I felt like I was doing something wrong because they were in a public place but I guess thats the breaks. There are plenty of schools that have a lot of property and I don't think it would be hard to place a cache on school grounds but off in the woods/park portion of the school with having to worry about looking suspicious.

Link to comment

I don't think you'd have much of a problem placing on the campus of a public university. Please remember that some schools do have places where very sensitive research and work are conducted. I worked at a university that had Dept of Energy, NASA, Dept of AG and other work going on, and in some of those buildings, you couldn't just walk into a lab or even parts of some buildings.

 

I would not place a cache on the grounds of a elementary or high school without permission. Like Bons said, it tactless to cache there during school, at least to some cachers.

 

Before this thread degrades into the "I'm a taxpayer and can do this and that" rant, think about this- your tax dollars do not allow you to walk onto Air Force One, into Cheyenne Mountain, or onto most military bases. Go to your local police station and tell the desk sargent you're going to take a police cruiser out to see how your tax dollars are being spent- you'll get taken for a ride okay! <_<

Link to comment

Actually, you can walk onto most military bases if you have any reasonable reason for being there. Locally, some adult education classes are taught on a military base. In short, the person arranging the activity has gotten permission for those people attending the activity to be there.

 

Since caches are assumed to be placed with permission and since if you have any question you can contact the cache owner directly I have no worry about caching where there is a cache. If there was a cache on the local military base I may e-mail the hider to ask what to tell the guards and when it was huntable but that would be that.

 

And if I want to see the local police station or jail, that's cool too. I don't have the right to TAKE the police cruiser, since it obviously doesn't belong to me, but I have no problem with going there and arranging for some time to have any reasonable questions answered.

 

I'm sorry, but it's not the job of the cachers to second guess the hiders on this forum. They can contact the hiders directly, the land manager directly, or raise their concerns to the local admins of the listing service. However I would hope they would talk to the hider FIRST because they can tell you exactly which land manager or what administrator to talk to if you want to go "over their head".

 

I guess that's what annoys me the most about some of these situations. People seem to have a worry that the hider didn't contact or talk to someone and they don't seem to deal with that fear by contacting the hider. Where I work, we talk about "going direct", ie. talking to the person on people involved INSTEAD of talking to everyone else. Going direct works a lot better and results in a lot less misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and stress. And like good caching, it's a lot more discrete.

Link to comment

Schools grounds in my community are clearly posted with "no tresspassing from dawn to dusk" signs, along with signs saying that you are subject to search. It's a sad fact of life that they aren't safe from intruders, and just a few days ago some guy went into one of the local schools and starting stripping. (He was caught)

 

That being said, I was just in there last week along with the rest of my neighborhood because it's the local polling place (Super Tuesday Primary). I still would be reluctant to look for a cache on school grounds, at least locally and expecially during school hours.

Link to comment

I don't have a problem with caches being on school grounds, assuming all of the normal guidelines for placing a cache are followed.

My question would be: Why would you hunt for the cache when there are children around? Aren't you just asking for it to disappear?

If you are on school property on a day when there is no one around, who's going to call the police on you? And if it is a public playground, all you have to do is wait until early in the morning, like around dawn. You may see a jogger or two, but no one else. Adults have a greater range of time that they can be out playing than kids do, use that extra time.

 

 

RichardMoore

Link to comment

i have three caches placed on the grounds of public schools. they ALL have the permission of the appropriate school staff, and in one case, the principal has given some guielines to hunters who come during school hours: park farthest from the building and enter the woods at teh top of the playground. one of them is within a few hundred feet of the principal's desk. oh, and mine, while we're at it.

Link to comment

I just fail to see why anyone would think they have legal right to enter school property (or military base) without an invitation or permission (even if they pay taxes).

 

And if the authorities wanted to question me? Well, look at the disclaimer you agreed to. Cache at your own risk.

Edited by TeamX40
Link to comment

Wow, I'm surprised. There are alot of other places to hide caches for the general public, why schools??

 

It's hard enough to teach without having the day interrupted by some guy walking across school grounds, looking for a cache, without properly being there.

 

You must register at our office before you may tour the property and all vehicles and people coming onto school property are subject to search.

 

I am just amazed that some are willing to give up the securtity of our children just to find a cache.

Link to comment
FAHRENHEIT-451! @ KRL-CB

 

:D Never place a cache to close to one of  Fledermaus's. :D  He doesn't like it. :D

:) Temper, Temper! Sounds like Jimmy has a "good buddy" in Tacoma(probably not). Or could it be just an Alternate ID for making rude comments?

 

:) Do I have to take the issue to a friend of mine, at the local school district office, and get this settled once and for all? Let's hope it doesn't come to that, because I know who will loose!

Edited by Fledermaus
Link to comment
I am just amazed that some are willing to give up the securtity of our children just to find a cache.

Not all areas fear their own citizens like yours does. Personally, I'm amazed your citizens allow their students to attend a school they discourages visitors. I can't imagine trusting a group of people with my child when they are obviously filled with distrust of their fellow man. I'm just grateful that I don't live in such a community.

 

My son and I found a cache at a local Jr. High school today (it seemed appropriate with the thread). While we were there there were a number of runners using the school's track, something the school apparently has no problem with.

 

As for the legal right mentioned earlier. I will not allow my son to spend a good portion of the day within the confines of a fence I'm not allowed to enter. If the area is that dangerous, then it's not a place I would choose to raise a child.

Link to comment
Do I have to take the issue to a friend of mine, at the local school district  office, and get this settled once and for all? Let's hope it doesn't come to that, because I know who will loose!

Please do. It's always best if people who want to have their private little local pissing matches do it in their local communities. I don't know what your problem is with this cache, but since it apparently exceeds your personal "I don't like X, I won't hunt the cache", I personally think it's best if you deal with it directly and discretely and not play games with hidden agendas here.

Edited by bons
Link to comment

Just so the facts are known about the particular cache in question.

 

1) It starts at the public library, which happens to be next door to USPS substation, and across the street and about 200 yards away from an elementary school.

 

2) The first waypoint is approx. 120 feet from the starting point, on a ball field that is approx. 150 yards from the school buildings and is seperated by a small maintenance area for the Library and I think I saw 2 fences between the school yard and the ball field.

 

3) The next 2 waypoints are in somewhat wooded areas behind a junior high school. One is accessablbe from the street and the other is accessable from a cabled-off service road than runs between streets on either side of the junior high school.

 

4) The next waypoint is at another ball field across the street from the junior high, and is leased from the school district to the American Legion, who maintain it.

 

5) The final 2 waypoints are on "undeveloped" private land. This "undeveloped" private land used to be the location of an elemtary school. Now it has a heliport on it that supports the nearby hospital. There is also a covered reservoir that has a public basketball court built on top.

 

6) the waypoints are 1/2" x 3/4" metal tags with a number stamped into them and attached to trees. All of which are at eye level.

 

The only thing that concerned me about the cache in question was the homemade water-bong (device for smoking marijuana, for those who don't know) that we found near final cache location.

 

Just thought the facts should be out there. Lest anyone make assumptions.

Edited by Team Misguided
Link to comment
FAHRENHEIT-451! @ KRL-CB

 

:D Never place a cache to close to one of  Fledermaus's. :D  He doesn't like it. :D

:) Temper, Temper! Sounds like Jimmy has a "good buddy" in Tacoma(probably not). Or could it be just an Alternate ID for making rude comments?

 

:) Do I have to take the issue to a friend of mine, at the local school district office, and get this settled once and for all? Let's hope it doesn't come to that, because I know who will loose!

No you don't, however you do have to take it somewhere else, like in to PMs. This thread is degenerating into a pi**ing contest on a personal level.

 

Take it private this thread is closed

Link to comment
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Followers 2
×
×
  • Create New...