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Oga White Paper


rjo
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Hey guys,

 

These are some thoughts I put down on paper tonight. Just some random things that popped into my head that might be positive for the OGA to consider. I'm the new kid on the block and I don't wanna seem too instrusive or anything just thought I'd maybe make some suggestions :D

 

Any who...

 

LINK NOT WORKING...

 

READ BELOW FOR DOCUMENT

Edited by rjo
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Well thought out! BTW, you could add another comms method... a NET on a local repeater!

 

I'm pretty much ready to right my Basic ticket but I do have a scanner and would be happy to "tune in" once a week and just listen until I can get my license and purchase a handheld.

 

BTW, do you know anyone in Toronto who does testing?

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I don't wish to dampen your enthusiasm, but I must make a couple of comments.

  • Find It Here - Personally, I'd rather not have to download a document to read it. If ideas are valid, this forum is the place to post them. If you are unsure of how to cut and paste, I'm sure someone can help you out, but I doubt if that is the issue. Not only is there a risk of virus, I just don't want to read it unless it is in the forum.
  • White Paper - Do we really need buzz words like this?
  • 2 Finds - 0 Hidden - 43 posts - I still think you would best serve yourself, this forum and the entire geocaching community, by going out and finding some caches. No amount of talking about geocaching can truly describe what this hobby is about, without actually doing it.
  • Education - While I am all for educating children, wherever possible, I think it is way overboard to suggest that we send teams into schools to teach about geocaching. I don't really think we have the resources and even if we did, I'm not sure it would be appropriate.
  • Thoughts - Clearly you have taken time to think this out and jot down some ideas, but most of these have been or are being discussed or organized already. As I said above, I don't want to dampen your enthusiasm, but several people have been working really hard on a lot of these things for some time. It might be more appropriate to find out what has been done, what needs to be done and where you can pitch in.
  • Snow - Welcome to Canada! :lol: Isn't it beautiful? Why not go and find a cache, in the snow?

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Well thought out! BTW, you could add another comms method... a NET on a local repeater!

 

I'm pretty much ready to right my Basic ticket but I do have a scanner and would be happy to "tune in" once a week and just listen until I can get my license and purchase a handheld.

 

BTW, do you know anyone in Toronto who does testing?

That'd be cool. I am in contact with one other basic ticket holder and it'd be great if we could do a net or something for Geocaching.

 

Should really take a roll call on who has their basic :lol:

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I don't wish to dampen your enthusiasm, but I must make a couple of comments.

  •  
  • Find It Here - Personally, I'd rather not have to download a document to read it.  If ideas are valid, this forum is the place to post them.  If you are unsure of how to cut and paste, I'm sure someone can help you out, but I doubt if that is the issue.  Not only is there a risk of virus, I just don't want to read it unless it is in the forum.
     
  • White Paper - Do we really need buzz words like this? 
     
  • 2 Finds - 0 Hidden - 43 posts - I still think you would best serve yourself, this forum and the entire geocaching community, by going out and finding some caches.  No amount of talking about geocaching can truly describe what this hobby is about, without actually doing it.
     
  • Education - While I am all for educating children, wherever possible, I think it is way overboard to suggest that we send teams into schools to teach about geocaching.  I don't really think we have the resources and even if we did, I'm not sure it would be appropriate.
     
  • Thoughts - Clearly you have taken time to think this out and jot down some ideas, but most of these have been or are being discussed or organized already.  As I said above, I don't want to dampen your enthusiasm, but several people have been working really hard on a lot of these things for some time.  It might be more appropriate to find out what has been done, what needs to be done and where you can pitch in.
     
  • Snow - Welcome to Canada! B)  Isn't it beautiful?  Why not go and find a cache, in the snow?
     

"Find It Here"

I posted it as a document for formating sake. Hosted on my box a file by a member of this community is virus free.

 

"White Paper"

I work in politics, I write them every day, I use the word every day. It's as simple as you using a word from your job in every day conversation because it has a place in your vocab

 

"... Finds..."

 

For one, its not your place to decide how I partake in this hobby. I am going out tomorrow however to put out my first TB and do a couple of finds. I'm working on it, I've just been extremly busy. I'd have 50 finds if I had the time B)

 

You should not go out of your way to discourage people new to the hobby, if you do its a good way assure the hobby will stalemate, I've seen it in the ham community :lol:

 

"Education"

 

All I suggest is we maintain a list of those who want to partake at a volunteer level. There is lots of Geocachers I know of who've volunteered time with Scouting groups. This can be a real positive. Even if its not for you, it might be for someone else.

 

"Thoughts"

 

Firstly, there is only so much information on the OGA which can be found. Its wide spread and not easy to find. Next. I am putting down my ideas. Even if most of this had all been said before I'd still put it down as they are my take on things.

 

___

 

These are only ideas, take them as you will. If you dont like them, meh fine, no sweat off my back. I am only adding my input, if its not welcome, that's fine, I'll just enjoy the hobby and forget about stuff like this B) I am not trying to take away from the work of others and I thought I made that clear.

Edited by rjo
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"Find It Here"

I posted it as a document for formating sake. Hosted on my box a file by a member of this community is virus free.

People have no way of knowing that, so many will simply not risk it. I was simply stating that if you want your ideas to be read, they should be posted on the forum.

"White Paper"

I work in politics, I write them every day, I use the word every day. It's as simple as you using a word from your job in every day conversation because it has a place in your vocab

Fair enough! This was simply my disdain for corporate buzz-words, but your point is fair. Touche.

For one, its not your place to decide how I partake in this hobby

Of course not. Partake, partake. That was my point. Reading about geocaching or talking about geocaching is not geocaching.

I'd have 50 finds if I had the time 

We all have the same amount of time! <<<eg>>>

You should not go out of your way to discourage people new to the hobby

I wasn't. On the contrary, I explicitly encouraged you to go caching.

if you do its a good way assure the hobby will stalemate

Not gonna happen! B)

I've seen it in the ham community

Which, since you brought it up, is where your other little discussion probably belongs. :lol:

 

Anyway, I'm not at all surprised by your response. As I said, I am NOT trying to dampen your enthusiasm. I offered some advice. You are perfectly entitled to take it as an attack, though I don't know why one would choose to do so. The advice was honest and sincere. Take it. Ignore it. Your choice. I have no interest in a little flame war here.

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Your response just sounded negative and and I made it quite clear I wasn't trying to step on toes or anything. I don't want a flame war either.

 

Im sorry if my response was harsh I was just a little miffed by the response which had a negative ring to it when all I was trying to do was create dialouge and maybe bring something new to the table.

 

As for your ham comment, I've seen lots of ham discussions on these forums (well, the old forums) :lol:

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I've had my ham licence for a while now. I usually end up taking my handheld with me when I go caching, although I hardly ever seem to use it. I guess it's because I'm too busy caching to want to chat while I'm searching.

 

Next time you wander in to RadioWorld looking for a new GPS for your geocaching, ask the staff there about getting your license. They'd be more than happy to help.

You could also try checking with your local amateur radio club. Radio Amateurs of Canada has a list of southern Ontario clubs at: http://www.rac.ca/cdn_clubs/region_ontario_south.htm

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The link to that White Paper has not worked for me today so I cannot comment on it. I think this is chat night for the OGA so you might want to join in there. I am going to try tonight if I can to check it out.

Son of a ....

 

It has stopped working for some reason, I will address that this evening.

 

I just had a seriously long day at work and just got in (11pmish now) so I missed the chat I was hoping to make.

 

I will repost the document in the forums for ease of use <_<

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REPOST OF MY DOCUMENT:

 

__________________________

 

How To Establish The OGA As A Respected Representative Body Of Our Hobby In Ontario

 

In order for the Ontario Geocaching Association to establish itself as the representing body for Geocaching in Ontario steps must be taken to move into the role. Not only must the OGA seek to serve the Geocaching community internally but also externally dealing with the government and public. My suggestions to help solidify the OGA’s position:

 

Member Benefits and Tools

 

Members should be offered many things by the OGA; not only a voice when it comes to dealing with government and the public. For members of the OGA I would recommend setting up common means of communication to help make sure that Ontario cachers are up to date on the latest news. This can be done via several means. I suggest the following as potential options:

• Newsletter (Monthly, Quarterly, volume to be determined by need)

This will allow members to know what is going on in an organized fashion published officially by the association

• Internet Forums

Internet forums are a great way to provide members with a place to discuss any ongoing issues or business of the association. Not only that but it provides a place for members to bond and advance the hobby

• Mailing List

Mailing lists could be used by OGA executives to address any immediate concerns (like calling for feedback on a time sensitive issue as well to inform members on events and such)

• Annual General Meeting

Every year the association could host an AGM where issues of the association could be discussed. This of course would come down the line when the association is well established. This would allow one day a year where all members from all over Ontario could meet at a central location, an opportunity that would otherwise be unavailable. These AGM events are often the focal points for coming up with great new ideas to benefit an association or organization

 

By providing members with benefits you insure a healthy and thriving association that people will be encouraged to become a part of

 

OGA In The Government’s Eye

 

You’d be surprised how many hobbies, from big to small, have regular contact and input with local, provincial, and federal levels of government. The issues we are currently having with Parks Ontario show the need for this type of contact. It is hobby organizations like the OGA who maintain this contact and ensure that governments are aware of the interests of Geocachers in Ontario and across Canada. We have a unique position as a young association within a young hobby to take a leadership role in educating MPs, MPPs and members of the civil service on our hobby.

 

This government contact would easily show that we are environmentally minded (CITO and like events show how much of a truly positive addition we can be to our parks and public lands) and pose no threat to their lands or to our personal safety within their lands. There is parks in the United States that WELCOME and CALL FOR Geocachers and it is because associations like the OGA that stood up and were counted that this is the case.

 

OGA In The Public and Media’s Eye

 

For years I’ve been an advocate for Amateur Radio in Canada and I’ve found that talking to the media or a member of the public can go a long way in explaining what otherwise might seem a complete mystery to them. Media loves grasping on to tech hobbies and exploring them, especially when they have a “helping hand” spin (like we do with the environment (CITO, etc)).

 

By issuing statements and establishing contact with local media we can get the word of our hobby out and show that we are a positive force who is out to have some fun and help out in our communities.

 

With the media and public on our side we can insure that in the future things like trouble with the Ontario Parks do not happen again. Community acceptance is a positive step towards cooperation that will allow us to have more places to cache without having to deal with as many complications.

 

By way of events in our communities and educating the public I think this is a no brainer for this hobby and association.

 

OGA In Education

 

I believe that the OGA has a big role to play in educating any Ontarian interested in Geocaching. Be it the local scout troop or the Joe Average who just bought a GPSr and is looking for something interesting to do with it.

 

I believe that having a solid website heavy on information on Geocaching in Ontario will help interested members of the public learn all about our hobby. Any perspective cacher could come to our site, see what his area has to offer in terms of caching and instantly become hooked.

 

I suggest we take the education aspect one step further. I believe that we should compile material aimed at combing education and Geocaching. Many schools are now using GPS units to teach geography. If we could provide teachers with information on how to setup a cache in their school yard or local park we could have an easy way to educate the public and provide a useful education tool to our communities. These days more then ever kids are looking for ways to spend their time and if we could provide a potential hobby that they learn right in the class room I think we would be serving not only our interests but also theirs.

 

Education and Geocaching goes one step further when you look at Scouting and other youth groups that rely on orienteering and GPS heavily as an outdoors’ survival technique. These same education materials could be used to help group leaders put together Geocaching based learning activities. Again we would be educating the public and contributing heavily to our community.

 

OGA Members As Volunteers In Education

 

The OGA could maintain a list of volunteers who were willing in certain areas to help out with the association’s education program. If a school was looking for some help in establishing a Geocache based learning program they could contact the association. The association in turn would then refer to the volunteer list and see that member XYZ is in that area and would be interested in working with a teacher for an hour or so to setup a program. This could also apply to having a volunteer showing up at a Scout Troop’s meeting for an hour or two.

 

OGA As An Event Host

 

The OGA should take an active role in supporting Geocaching events in Ontario. The OGA’s volunteers could help setup CITO events, Travel Bug Runs and who knows what else. It would of course be up to the creativity of the members to decide what could be done.

 

The more events that are had the more the association could show itself as a legitimate organization representing a legitimate and entertaining hobby.

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I've had my ham licence for a while now. I usually end up taking my handheld with me when I go caching, although I hardly ever seem to use it. I guess it's because I'm too busy caching to want to chat while I'm searching.

 

Next time you wander in to RadioWorld looking for a new GPS for your geocaching, ask the staff there about getting your license. They'd be more than happy to help.

You could also try checking with your local amateur radio club. Radio Amateurs of Canada has a list of southern Ontario clubs at: http://www.rac.ca/cdn_clubs/region_ontario_south.htm

Where did you write your exam?

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*shrugs* I'm willing to help regardless, people need to remember, pre-november I worked for those who run Parks Ontario :blink: I know how this all works and I've started hobby assocations or worked with them in the past.

 

I'm here to help, everyone knows where to find me :D

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I have read the document and there are many items in it that are well written and thought out. If rjo is willing to help us continue to develop our guidelines we would welcome him with open arms.

 

I personally do not pay any attention to how many caches someone has found, or hidden or how long they have been a geocacher. None of those items have much if any impact on how a person can create or support ideas about good geocaching policies.

 

Establishing policies with regional Conservation Authorities is our primary concern right now. This has been started with the Hamilton Conservation Authority, and is about to be followed with the Niagara Penisula Conservation Authority. These two CA's are semi-linked and the OGA would prefer to establish a single policy across Ontario.

 

This is a big step, and must be handled professionally and completely, before we can move on to groups such as schools or scouts.

 

While many people have taken offence to statements made by other cachers, some with less practical experience, from the meeting with the HCA I have learned that these people have valid points and concerns. Public Land only means that public taxes pay for it's upkeep and it does not mean the public has permission to do anything it wants. Many activities are currently not allowed, and some are regulated.

 

So, while it is great that rjo is bringing his/her experience and background to geocaching, I hope that the OGA can have his/her services to work together as a unified group.

 

Please let me know at thebluequasar@cogeco.ca if you would like to meld in with the OGA and how you would like to contribute.

 

Either way.... I hope that rjo enjoys geocaching as much as I do.

 

:blink: The Blue Quasar

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