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CoyoteRed

Geocachers Code Of Ethics

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As I am reading this thread I am starting to get the sense that I have joined up with the Boy Scouts again and am about to be asked to agree to memorizing the "Boy Scout Promise" and the "Boy Scout Law".

 

I like the idea of a list of ethics that we can show to land managers, that we, as Geocachers attempt to adhear to. BUT, I feel the bile gurgling up inside me when I start seeing this ethics discussion start to bleed over into how we should trade, or how we should treat caches etc.

 

Let's go ahead and have a code of eithics or general eithical guidelines that we follow written up for people outside of geocaching. BUT PLEASE, let's keep the internal ethics out of that listing!

 

I think Geocaching promotes a lot of good things and has certain rules that enable it to be a game played in areas where managers or land owners want activities to be of minimum impact. BUT, the minute I start being a part of a group of people espousing "I will . . ., and I will . . ." in any kind of a formal document, I want to puke.

 

Sorry to add a sour note to a wonderfully upbeat thread, but for me, geocaching isn't bible study it is a relaxing, outdoor, recreational activity. I will be horribly saddened if it starts touting moralistic ideals.

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hile these are all nice things, they are getting into the ettiquite zone. Also, a code of ethic should be short. I'd say 6-8 statements would be good and with an aboslute max of 10.

 

I can actually see two purposes developing from these guidelines.

 

One should be to educate newcomers to the hobby, and those rules should really be linked from the homepage as guidelines. That should include the trading etiquette, pen replacement, logging guidelines, etc.

 

The other one, about protecting the property --- while it also would be great (necessary) to put online, THAT is the one I'd reserve for sharing with land-owners. I wouldn't confuse them with all the etiquette of logging a find. I'd suggest in that final PDF version to keep it related to how this will/won't impact their land. I can visualize it with a picture of the geocaching.com logo and maybe some prisitne land? The CITO will definitely be a plus to add.

 

Both are excellent discussions, and I can see them originating from the same webpage, but really each has a different audience in the end.

 

I would have LOVED to have the one for property owners while obtaining permission for my cache sites. I think these are really terrific, and really speak favorably about geocaching etiquette. It is also a good reminder for newcomers as to how to tread lightly.

 

About the "I will" statement. I'm not sure I am crazy about repeating the "I will" over and over, as it sounds chant-like. If you have to put the "I will" statement in there, could we perhaps put it once, and then put bulleted items below for easier reading?

 

i.e.)

 

I will:

 

* trade trinkets cache items fairly or not trade at all ("{Trade even or trade up")

 

* make minor cache repair when appropriate.

 

* return trinkets cache items back to their baggies containers when included.

return the pen and logbook back to the bag when included.

 

* re-seal the container properly.

 

* not claim a find on a cache I did not, in fact, find. I will log "found" only to caches I find, and then only once, and will log "did not find" for caches I failed to find after a fair searh

 

* be considerate and civil in any log or coorspondence with a cache owner or finder.

 

* provide the appropriate feedback to the cache owner, approvers, and other cachers.

 

I think these will be really important guidelines in the end, and the website format keeps them fluid, so as future concerns arise, they can be easily updated. I like this idea a lot.

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... let's keep the internal ethics out of that listing!

The next version will be less about etiquette.

 

The Code needs to be about the internal ethics of the group. It shouldn't just be about how we deal with people outside our group, but inside it, as well.

 

I'm not thinking up anything new here, only distilling everything we, as a group, already know down to something someone can grasp in a short time. This thread is for getting your input as to how this should be included and how it should be worded. It should be a group effort.

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About the "I will" statement.
I concur. The next version will be re-written so the bullet points will not sound like a mantra. It wasn't what I intended. I was just writing things down and they all included the "I WILL" and then I put them under different headings.

 

Trade even or trade up.
I would very much prefer the Code be as "outsider friendly" as possible. In every other walk of life "trading up" means to get something better than you give, not give something better than you get. We use it just about the opposite the rest of the world does. "Trade fairly" is much easier to understand (and fewer words for the same concept.) Then once a newcomer comes into the group and starts learning more of our slang they can be introduced to this term.

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Should we include a tenet of:

 

I WILL protect the cache and its location.

 

Protection from getting discovered and vandalized by outsiders. This is a major element of the hobby, protecting the cache.

 

Why is this an ethical question? I think this is an ethics issue over aa ettiquette one because the cache belongs, depending on your point of view, either the cache owner or the geocaching community at large. The cache is not put there just for "me" or "you," it's put there for all of us. So, it should be like finding and then re-hiding a valuble for a friend to find later.

 

I suppose this could come under "property rights," but I feel this is such a major element of the hobby it should be broken out to stand on its own.

 

Of course, it should be further explained the situations where it is okay to let people know where it is, pointers on how to deal with authorities, when to walk away from a hunt, etc.

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    * No scented items or food items or risk , food, or other items that might result in an animal distrubing the cache.

 

What does the "or risk" part mean? Someone asked before, and got no response. I'm just curious.

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Markwell, would you mind that we linked directly to a named anchor on your page?

That's fine.

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    * No scented items or food items or risk , food, or other items that might result in an animal distrubing the cache.

 

What does the "or risk" part mean? Someone asked before, and got no response. I'm just curious.

He was removing part and putting part of it in.

 

Original: "No scented items or food items or risk an animal disturbing the cache."

 

Modified: "No scented items, food, or other items that might result in an animal disturbing the cache."

 

He was showing the section to take out in italics and the section to put in as bold, thusly "No scented items or food items or risk , food, or other items that might result in an animal distrubing the cache."

 

In my post holding what we have so far, I show the part we've taken out as strikethrough with the new text in italics: "No scented items or food items or risk , food, or other items that might result in an animal disturbing the cache."

 

I wanted to show what we've taken out and what we've replaced it with as we post each new version. I reserved bold for the actual Code text.

 

Hope this clears things up a little.

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Drop mention of "etiquette?"

 

"Trading fairly," in my option, is an ethics issue. While leaving extra items if the cache is depleated, cleaning out trash, minor repairs, stuff that help maintain the cache is a etitquette issue that can be discussed seperately as accepted practices.

 

So, should "I WILL trade kindly and use proper geocaching etiquette" be changed to something else? Maybe roll this and the above mentioned "I WILL protect the cache and its location" into something inclusive which concerns ethics only?

 

How about, "I WILL protect the cache's integrity?"

 

This would include the trading fairly (not unfairly depleating the trade items), protecting it from getting muggled, etc.

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Maybe it's the idea of a defined and published set of shared "ethics" that raises the red flags with me. Maybe what I'm comfortable with is a general set of "guidlines" which encompas the ethics of the sport in general. Of course, Groundspeak has alread outlined these pretty well, maybe just not put them in bullet form.

 

Do we have a bullet form set of guidlines distilled from Groundspeaks FAQ and other pages without adding anthing new?

 

I'm comfortable with the guidlines currently espoused, and what I see in this thread is an attempt to repeat these guidlines formalize them further and then add a bunch of etiquette to them.

 

Fundamental to my tremendous discomfort with the direction of this thread is probably my fundamental difference in philosophy with CR and other cachers that want more clearly defined rules. I DO NOT WANT MORE "RULES"! I cherish the simplicity of this sport and dread the thought of more politics and etiquette. I generally support the No Trace Ethic (although, leaving a cache is NOT "No Trace" and "No Trace" doesn't work in conjuction with four wheel drive caching!), and I support Groundspeaks general guidlines in most cases. Please, let's not turn our generally shared community ethics into a set of rules that turn good hearted citizens into resentful rule following minions!

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Again, this thread is not about whether a Code should be developed, but a way to steer it. Let's keep it on topic.

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Great effort CR!

 

I strongly agree that some issues of etiquette rise to the level of ethics and should be included in the code. In particular, I hope some version of the statement: I WILL not collect hitch hikers, coins, or signature items that are meant to stay in the wild stays in the code, because keeping such a hitchhiker is tantamount to stealing (perhaps unintentionally), and I think we'd all agree that stealing is an ethical concern.

 

The issue about internal and external audiences could be addressed by simply listing the things of interest only to geocachers last in the code. That way landowners see what they need to see upfront without a lot of confusing jargon, but the internal ethics are not diminished by being relegated to a separate section or document.

 

A few wording suggestions:

 

The first tenet: I WILL always cache in a safe, legal, and ethical manner. Since this is a code of ethics, it shouldn't refer to ethics (i.e. it's referring to itself). So I'd drop the word "ethical". Also, the first three tenets seem redundant to me:

 

I WILL always cache in a safe, legal, and ethical manner.

I WILL observe and obey all laws and restrictions in the area in which I am caching.

I WILL respect property rights and seek permission where appropriate.

 

Doesn't caching in a legal manner mean obeying laws and restrictions and respecting property rights? To make the code a little shorter, how about combining these three tenets into a single one that reads something like:

 

I WILL always obey all laws and restrictions in the area in which I am caching, including respecting property rights and seeking permission when appropriate.

 

and creating a separate one for safety (or combining safety with causing disruptions or public alarm), along the lines of the safety related discussion above?

 

Thanks for your efforts!

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I was wanting the first thing to have those three elements in it and I agree that saying that you would be ethical in a code of ethics is circular.

 

However, I feel the three go together and addresses a great number of things.

 

Safety: We all want our fellow cachers to be relatively safe while getting as much thrill as they are comfortable with. It is irresponsible for us to place caches with known hidden dangers or to lure others into dangerous sistuation they can't handle. This is not to mention that we are individually responsible for our own well being so we can handle unforeseen situations and not push ourselves beyond our limits. With this forefront of our Code it should be easier to assuage landowner fears of liability. Personal safety, I'm thinking, should always come first.

 

Legal: We don't want the outside world to get the impression that we are underground and unsavory. We are above board and we respect the law. We don't place caches illegally, nor will we break the law to hunt a cache.

 

Ethical: Conducting ourselves with consideration to others and treating others fairly. Not just land owners and property rights, but internally, as well. Ethics come into play just beyond "laws and rules." It's not against the rules to take a nice item and leave a candy wrapper as a trade, but it certainly isn't fair. This not only guides newcomers, but instills a sense that we are not scoundrels.

 

How we actually incorporate this into the Code is the question. I would almost like to have "Safe, Legal and Ethical" as some kind of standalone core, but I don't know how to do it.

 

I do disagree however with trying to roll a few tenets into one long one. Shorter ones should be easier to remember and some points need to stand on their own. I'd rather seperate similar issues and make an important part--property rights--stand out and keep them shorter. I'm not sure this is a good example, but say it isn't against the law to leave a cache in a park, but the manager doesn't want you to do it. I see that as a property rights issue versus a legal one. I don't want someone to come back later and use "legal" as a excuse to get to loggerheads with a park manager.

 

So, with that, and with risk getting folks confused, what if we didn't call it a Code of Ethics, but simply the Geocachers Code? Put the Safely, Legal and Ethical under the heading:

 

The Geocachers Code

Safe · Legal · Ethical

I WILL...

 

Something like that?

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So, with that, and with risk getting folks confused, what if we didn't call it a Code of Ethics, but simply the Geocachers Code?  Put the Safely, Legal and Ethical under the heading

I like it! B):ph34r:

 

I would like to see an updated version posted, to see how the title/subtitle effects the text...Here's my suggestion (just can't resist tinkering with the wording - these are just the tenets, further detail would be linked/attached as you suggested):

 

The Geocacher's Code

Safe · Legal · Ethical

 

When placing or seeking geocaches, I WILL:

> Not endanger myself or others.

> Observe all laws and rules of the area.

> Respect property rights and seek permission where appropriate.

> Avoid causing disruptions or public alarm.

> Minimize my and others' impact on the environment

> Treat others as I want to be treated.

 

:laughing: Now to contradict myself, with these broad statements I'm thinking it might be better to fold the hitchhiker's piece and the piece on interferring with another cacher's placement under that last one. For the purpose of printed documents, it might make sense to list the key tenets first, and then list them again with the subpoints for each.

 

Obviously just my suggestions - feel free to ignore me (many people do). :lol:

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WOW!

 

I like very much!

 

Short and to the point.

 

Unless, there are any objections, I'd like to move in this direction.

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I like it as well. Definitely moving in the right direction as something we can point new members to for reference as well as assauge (sp?) land managers worries.

-J

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One thing that is nagging me. The last item seems to be overly broad. It's pretty much the golden rule and is the basis for many of our laws, ethics, etiquette, and decorum. The rest of the items could really fall into that one.

 

Should we go ahead and break out what is meant by it in the context of geocaching? Maybe, "protect the integrity of the gamepiece/cache" "not collect items meant to stay in the wild," stuff like that. I would think if we can break it into a maximum of three items that would be great.

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The Geocacher's Code

Safe · Legal · Ethical

 

When placing or seeking geocaches, I WILL:

> Not endanger myself or others.

> Observe all laws and rules of the area.

> Respect property rights and seek permission where appropriate.

> Avoid causing disruptions or public alarm.

> Minimize my and others' impact on the environment

> Treat others as I want to be treated.

I think that sums it up pretty well. I could live with something this straight forward, simple, and open. Of course, it's also pretty much a no brainer for anyone trying to participate in any legitimate outdoor activity. But hey, if having this in words helps, so be it. I really do appreciate the intent and effort.

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One thing that is nagging me. The last item seems to be overly broad. It's pretty much the golden rule and is the basis for many of our laws, ethics, etiquette, and decorum. The rest of the items could really fall into that one.

 

My opinion: I see newbies seeking guidance on how the game is played. I'd be more specific. Not everyone reads every page in the website, so having one place where all the basics are summarized in one place is important. For example: I read everything ad nauseum, but it took a couple weeks before I found the "trade even or trade up" ethic on the website (I think it was in the forums here, actually). I have to admit, there were probably 2 cases when we didn't trade up back then before we knew better, and it haunts me now. We more than make up for it now.

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One thing that is nagging me. The last item seems to be overly broad. It's pretty much the golden rule and is the basis for many of our laws, ethics, etiquette, and decorum. The rest of the items could really fall into that one.

 

My opinion: I see newbies seeking guidance on how the game is played. I'd be more specific.

I don't want to get too specific in the tenets themselves.

 

You are right about specificity, but that is where each of the tenets will be further explained. We will have room on a web page or a brochure to display these further explanations, but I think it important to keep the tenets short, but not overly broad.

 

Kai Team made a good point. The next update with display the Code just by itself. Below that we will repeat it with the bulleted items. The way I have it now, I think some people are getting confused and thinking the whole thing is the Code--it's not.

 

I do envision a page that would have guided you much better in the beginning.

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For example: I read everything ad nauseum, but it took a couple weeks before I found the "trade even or trade up" ethic on the website (I think it was in the forums here, actually).

This whole issue just gripes me to no end.

 

"Trading up or trading even" is just common sense and human curtesy in every aspect of human relations unless one is told they should do otherwise or unless one is deliberatly or carelessly exploiting the system. Even if a reminder helps some of us remember not to be careless, no sane person needs to read this to know it!!

 

And, as has been discussed ad nauseum on this site, the idea of trading up or trading even is often vague or impossible to define and downright inappropriate at other times. Tout the ideal as just that, an ideal we all strive to achieve. BUT, as soon as these types of issues start becoming presented as rules our sport will suffer from it, and people that are inclined not to trade up or even will still continue exploiting the system. Nothing gained, something lost.

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Look, why can't you stay on topic? This is not about trading or even if there should be a Code. If you want to contribute, fine. Otherwise, take your rants somewhere else as they are not welcome here.

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Look, why can't you stay on topic? This is not about trading or even if there should be a Code. If you want to contribute, fine. Otherwise, take your rants somewhere else as they are not welcome here.

CR,

 

Even though I often disagree with you, I appeciate the effort and sencerity that you put into this sport. It's really great. However, I have not yet made a comment in this thread that was not a direct reply to the content being discussed in this thread. I am abundantly aware that I am the only person that isn't jumping on the bandwaggon and touting the wonder of this idea. But, disagreeing with content or presentation of what is being proposed (and I might add that I generally quote references in most of my messages) is NOT getting off topic.

 

If you don't want disenting opinions, then the thread should be labeled as CR's private rant and should not be here in the public forums.

 

Lastly, I don't really see that we are all that far appart. I think the idea is a good one. I just think that the community needs to be VERY, VERY careful about the content it includes and how it presents such lists of ideals - directly on topic!

 

Sincerely,

The Puzzler

 

P.S. And yes, I am aware that this post is drifting off topic, but I chose to do so because again, it is a direct response to a previous post.

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I don't really see that we are all that far appart.  I think the idea is a good one.  I just think that the community needs to be VERY, VERY careful about the content it includes and how it presents such lists of ideals - directly on topic!

At the risk of getting caught in the crossfire B) I don't think you are that far apart.

 

CR is appropriately trying to keep the topic on the content of the code, not whether there should be one (we're lost if we go down that road). IMHO, Puzzler's early posts were more focused on the idea of a code being bad, but his last couple of posts (before the flame war started) have focused more on the content - i.e. in his last post, I think he was largely agreeing with CR's statement that "I don't want to get too specific in the tenets themselves.."

 

However, The Puzzler's focus on content was easily lost because there was a lot of distracting verbiage of the general rant variety (e.g. "This whole issue just gripes me to no end". "...no sane person needs to read this to know it!!" etc). This is the kind of verbiage trollers frequetly use, and there is a great risk that using it will derail the topic with counter rants that take us off into the wilderness (and not the geocaching kind).

 

I'd like to suggest that The Puzzler tone down his rhetoric and CR relax his trigger finger, just a little, so we can get on with the task at hand. Smile guys, this is supposed to be fun!

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One thing that is nagging me. The last item seems to be overly broad. It's pretty much the golden rule and is the basis for many of our laws, ethics, etiquette, and decorum. The rest of the items could really fall into that one.

 

My opinion: I see newbies seeking guidance on how the game is played. I'd be more specific.

I don't want to get too specific in the tenets themselves.

 

You are right about specificity, but that is where each of the tenets will be further explained. We will have room on a web page or a brochure to display these further explanations, but I think it important to keep the tenets short, but not overly broad.

 

Kai Team made a good point. The next update with display the Code just by itself. Below that we will repeat it with the bulleted items. The way I have it now, I think some people are getting confused and thinking the whole thing is the Code--it's not.

Excellent idea, CR - this approach should help those who want to see more specifics and those who want general guidelines without too much specificity.

 

I know your idea is to structure this similar to the Leave No Trace website, where the code is very brief and general, followed by "more details and information". I'd probably call the bulleted items "Examples of How to Apply the Code" so that it's clear that these are examples of safe, legal and ethical behaviors, not a long list of "rules". This provides the specificity needed for newbies without making it feel too preachy.

 

Edited to clarify the last sentence.

Edited by Kai Team

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Puzzler, I humbly appologize for coming out blazing.

 

Again, Kai is able to better articulate the idea I'm trying to get out. It's almost as if someone is reading my mind! I don't know if I such say, "thank you" or B) or :laughing:

 

:ph34r:

 

Anyway, back on track.

 

I'm still nagged by that last item. I think we need a bit of specificity, not just something so broad.

 

What if we broke the that last one into:

 

>protect the integrity of the cache. (To handle putting it back, protection from muggles, making sure it closed. Mainly treating it like it has some worth--as it does to the owner--and making sure it remains viable for the next person.)

 

>respect ownership of all gamepeices (kind of awkward wording, but relates to not collecting hikers, coins, or what have you that is meant to stay in the wild. Plus, handles not stepping on another placers toes by putting a cache too close. Moving the cache out of place. etc.)

 

There is another one that addresses with how you deal with other players. It keeps coming back to "Treat others as I want to be treated," though. This should address not claiming a find that you didn't find, not writting abusive logs, etc. I almost want to say "conduct myself with intergrity" but this whole thing is about that and is pretty much the same as "Treat others as I want to be treated."

 

Thoughts?

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There is another one that addresses with how you deal with other players. It keeps coming back to "Treat others as I want to be treated," though. This should address not claiming a find that you didn't find, not writting abusive logs, etc. I almost want to say "conduct myself with intergrity" but this whole thing is about that and is pretty much the same as "Treat others as I want to be treated."

 

Thoughts?

How about "Remember to always trade kindly. The person after you should be as pleased as you are." That has a nice (if familiar) ring to it.

 

It gets us back into trading, and maybe should be broadened to "cache kindly" which would include trading, placing caches, posting logs, etc.

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Hmm... I agree with CR that the last one needs more specificity but not too much specificity (I think it's much broader than trading).

 

I'm not as convinced of the need to divide it, but I'm open to it - maybe we should start with one, have CR list all of the related examples when he posts the latest version, and then see if they hang together or beg to be divided?

 

The last one (or two) have to do with integrity, respect, fairness, kindness, courtesy... "Cache kindly" captures much of it, but seems almost as vague as "Treat others as I want to be treated". I keep thinking of things like "Respect the friendly spirit of the activity/game/sport" or "Be a good citizen of the geocaching community" but... <_<

 

We're talking about capturing both the formal guidelines (like those posted on gc.com) and more informal practices or customs (like helping to maintain another person's cache, not poaching, etc). How about something like:

 

The Geocacher's Code

Safe · Legal · Ethical

 

When placing or seeking geocaches, I WILL:

> Not endanger myself or others.

> Observe all laws and rules of the area.

> Respect property rights and seek permission where appropriate.

> Avoid causing disruptions or public alarm.

> Minimize my and others' impact on the environment

> Cache kindly by knowing and respecting geocaching guidelines and customs

 

Too long, but I put it out there for editing!

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Just wondering whom these "codes" will be for.

"Old timers" who are pretty much set in their ways?

"New comers"?

Land managers?

Will we have to "sign" this "code" in order to get our caches listed?

Will we have to "sign" this "code" to get our PQ's?

 

How about using the same code the Doctors use.

 

"Do No Harm."

 

This "code" idea all sounds well and good but I have a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that somehow, somewhere, sometime, it is going to bite me in the buttcheeks somewhere down the line...

 

logscaler.

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"This "code" idea all sounds well and good but I have a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that somehow, somewhere, sometime, it is going to bite me in the buttcheeks somewhere down the line...

 

LOL I have to agree, rules can seem pretty inhibiting. However, when I go through them, they all seem to be what we already use for guidance. I think it is meant more to help define the hobby. I do agree we need to interpret them with an open mind. If putting a cache within a side of a cliff or at the bottom of the ocean has to fall under the "safe placement rule," the hobby would lose its advanced flair.

 

But I do feel strongly that people do need some guidance in the beginning, and of particular importance to me is that land, nature and property are respected. The guidelines present a really positive light on geocachers when we go to ask for permission and share the guidelines with land-owners. Of course, if a rogue geocacher doesn't know the rules and starts taking apart stone walls, that pretty much ruins it for everyone, land owners and geocachers both.

 

I think most "old-timers" already know these guidelines pat. It becomes an innate standard. Just my opinion. <_<

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...it is going to bite me in the buttcheeks somewhere down the line...

The main unlaying principle is just as you said, "Do no harm."

 

(Of course, one can argue that keeping one alive against their will is more harm than good, so you can see why a too brief or too broad concept is not always the best.)

 

The idea is to figure out the best wording to take care of most situations without locking us into one point of view. "Trade up, trade even, or don't trade at all" while a sound principle on the surface doesn't take into account full caches. So, as a result these over-full caches aren't being closed, getting exposed to the weather, and the whole contents is destroyed.

 

We're trying to guide one's decisions when faced with a delimma, not create rules.

 

For instance, JoeBlo finds a spot where he thinks would be a nice place to put a cache. Problem is there is a cache nearby. He could go ahead put the cache there. So now, CacherAmy finds out that JoeBlo just put a cache pretty much right next to hers. How do you think she's going to feel? Isn't that incroaching on a spot? Gc.com developed rules for that and maintains a general guideline of 528' seperation unless there is a compelling reason to override that a little.

 

Two problems. One is the Code is being developed for the geocaching community, not geocaching.com. Another listing site might want further seperation or some other definition of "too close." Then there are those who will be privately listing caches. What's to guide them?

 

Second, a blanket 528'-with-a-little-wiggle-room doesn't take into account physcial seperation. One cache inside a park and the other in a different park with no easy way to walk from directly to another. A 1/1 cache at the top of a cliff and 5/5 at the bottom. Approvers have a little wiggle room and can approve a cache that only 450' if there is significant physical obstacles like a gorge or river, that's it.

 

So, we leave the idea at "too close" and let the individual sites set their own definition.

 

Hopefully, if these tenets are written properly, the only way they can "bite you in the buttcheeks" is if you're just not being safe, legal, or ethical.

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Just wondering whom these "codes" will be for.

Forgot to address this in my other reply.

 

Everyone.

 

I noticed recently a query by someone who I thought had been around for a while. Not everyone runs into a particular situation until further down the road of their caching career. Without any other guidance, if they adhere to the tenets, whatever they do should turn out fair to all parties.

 

For instance, what's more important "Trading up" or being able to close the cache? Okay, that was easy, but what if you come across a cache where already the lid can't be closed? What if you generally dont' trade and don't have any small trade items? Now, it's getting tougher to answer, right? The Code would be a guide.

 

(BTW, to answer the above dilemma, the cache integrity is what's most important. Just take a large item or two and move it to the next cache that has room. It's better to sacrific one item than to let it all get ruined.)

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BUT PLEASE, let's keep the internal ethics out of that listing! 

 

I think Geocaching promotes a lot of good things and has certain rules that enable it to be a game played in areas where managers or land owners want activities to be of minimum impact. 

 

Interesting idea. So the list you're talking about has more to do with the ethics of how we make caching integrate with world. Makes sense to me. Avoids all the debate that internal lists have of groups telling other groups what the "right way" to play is.

 

-t-

Edited by twilliams

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I understand what your after. Accepting it is another thing.

A basic guideline to introduce new cachers to the concept of caching as we know it now and a guideline for old timers on how to approach a problem they have not encountered before.

 

But as I see it, this will all come down to personal ethics irrespective of the guidelines, rules, suggestions or anything else "we" as a group decide will be best for the continuance and development of our pastime / game / hobby / obsession.

I also have a problem with the "I WILL" statement and it rankles me to no end to be forced to take an "oath" for a game. Drop it.

 

Yes, it will be good to have this topic fleshed out with a good product at the end.

 

I just have to wonder how many people will actually see it, as I doubt that even 10 to 15 percent of all cachers even read these forums let alone the topics involved.

 

And heeding the guidelines will be voluntary and up to each individual at the time of the incident. Again, Personal Ethics will come into play at that time, guidelines or not. Just read through all the forums complaining about logs on cache pages.

 

How many people know that in order to claim a find, you have to be able to sign the logbook - or supply a dang good reason why signing the log was not possible - or supply needed information for a virtual to prove you have been there and done that. Yet it seems like everyday there is a new topic started that someone claims a find even though they only found the park - swamp -an old stump - hollow tree -didn’t have a 4x4, canoe, space shuttle or whatever sorry a** reason as to why they did not locate the cache but want credit for the find anyway and your a no-good-rotten-@#$(&^ because you won’t let them jack up their numbers.

 

Anyway, back to the guideline’s. Keep at it, it sounds to me like a worthwhile project and what I have read so far, your getting it down to the basic’s in a simple format. So far it is all basic common sense and should not need pointed out to people. But there are those out here. . . . .

 

How about setting up a “peer review” board to arbitrate problems?

 

logscaler.

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How about setting up a “peer review” board to arbitrate problems?

:lol: I like the concept, but wouldn't want to serve on that board!

 

twilliams Posted on Nov 28 2004, 04:31 PM

 

(The Puzzler @ Nov 25 2004, 10:32 PM)

BUT PLEASE, let's keep the internal ethics out of that listing! 

 

I think Geocaching promotes a lot of good things and has certain rules that enable it to be a game played in areas where managers or land owners want activities to be of minimum impact. 

Interesting idea. So the list you're talking about has more to do with the ethics of how we make caching integrate with world. Makes sense to me. Avoids all the debate that internal lists have of groups telling other groups what the "right way" to play is.

There should be at least one tenet in the code that applies to the ethics of how we play, which is different than the mechanics of how we play. We do need to be careful about imposing "style" on people, e.g. the examples listed with the code might include something about placing interesting and fun caches, but should not say anything like "micros on lamp posts are lame". But let's not throw the baby out with the bath water by excluding any reference to how the game is played.

 

The content and examples for this part of the code should be things that most (i.e. 80%) geocachers would agree with because these are the things that make the game family-friendly and fun. In other words, these are the things that create an equitable social exchange, and prevent frustration and hard feelings that always leave a bitter taste and sometimes drive good people out of the game.

 

I want a code to point to when someone is playing inappropriately - e.g. keeping a travel bug that was intended to remain in the wild, or logging a cache on line that they haven't found. Right now it boils down to "That's YOUR opinion, and I don't agree with it". Having a code that addresses internal ethics allows us to say, "No, that's the opinion of most geocachers - see the code". Although not "peer review", such a code does allow us to exert some peer pressure.

 

Newbies and open minded folks will join the ethical consensus. Some jerks might look at the code and decide this game isn't for them and move on without hassling everyone else. Other jerks will still do what they please, but at least they won't do it convinced that they represent the general sentiment of the geocaching community!

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> Cache kindly by knowing and respecting geocaching guidelines and customs

There is so many items we could list under "cache kindly..." I think we need to break it out a little. If we consider how we deal with the gamepieces itself is such a big part of the game, how about we split this into:

 

>protect the integrity of the gamepiece.

 

>be considerate of others. (almost copying LNT's last item.)

 

>protect the intergrity of the gamepiece includes:

  • putting the cache back.
  • making sure it is closed
  • not moving to match your readings
  • not collecting hitch hikers
  • not tampering or involving a gamepiece in "alternate" games without permission
  • ...

>be considerate of others includes;

  • treating other cachers civilly
  • trading kindly
  • moving hitchers hikers along with their goal if possible
  • placing too close to another cache
  • ...

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For instance, what's more important "Trading up" or being able to close the cache?  Okay, that was easy, but what if you come across a cache where already the lid can't be closed?  What if you generally dont' trade and don't have any small trade items?  Now, it's getting tougher to answer, right?  The Code would be a guide.

If this is one of the reasons for instituting this "code" it sure isn't very clear. Does the code now need an order of priority?

 

I don't think it's realistic to expect to code to be of any signifcant use to most geocachers for whom the tenants in it are common sense. I also don't see where this code is setting priorities for conflicting issues like stated in the quote above.

 

I DO see this code as potentially useful in being able to wave a flag of "see, we're good guy's and you should let us hide and hunt on your land".

 

I also see where it might be useful as a teaching tool for young kids that think finding treasures is cool and don't yet have a sense of "fair play".

 

But, if adults haven't already figured out how to play fair, I don't think this code of ethics is going to make any difference to them.

 

As such, I think it makes sense to keep the intended audience in mind.

 

I really think there are two very different audiences that you claim to be addressing, and from what I am seeing, I think trying to address both insiders and outsiders in the same document is not going to be nearly as effective as clearly defining the issues for each seperately.

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I also don't see where this code is setting priorities for conflicting issues like stated in the quote above. 

 

The code is organized in order of priority. I mentioned that in this thread. The first order of the code is personal safety. It superceeds everything else. That's why it is first.

 

Next is to obey all applicable laws. Yes, personal safety can superceed law and obeying the law always supercedes landowner wishes.

 

See a pattern developing?

 

As such, I think it makes sense to keep the intended audience in mind.

 

The intended audience is ourselves. It's for how we conduct ourselves. We can't dictate how outsiders conduct themselves.

 

Nor is it "The Code of How We Treat Outsiders" It's how we act within the game. It doesn't matter if the other person is a cacher or not, we treat them the same with respect to courtesy and consideration.

 

I DO see this code as potentially useful in being able to wave a flag of "see, we're good guy's and you should let us hide and hunt on your land".

It is not "The Code of How to Get Landowner Permission"

 

If this is going to be the only goal, or even a primary goal, then we might as well stop right here, right now. Creating a "Code" simply to make it easy to place a cache and not something we really follow is at best disingenuous and not something I will part of. I'm doing this to better the hobby, not pull the wool over some land managers eyes.

 

At best, being able to present this is to a land manager as proof of our sincerely and seriousness should be a side effect, a pleasant bonus, nothing more.

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"I will not allow the actions, decisions, and non-decisions of a single listing service to influence the game of geocaching."

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"I will not allow the actions, decisions, and non-decisions of a single listing service to influence the game of geocaching."

I like it! Now, how do I live up to it? :lol:

 

Actually, I think it should be rephrased to say ". . . influence the game of geocaching in a detrimental way".

 

Afterall, every decision each of us makes has some influence. We just hope it is all possitive.

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There is so many items we could list under "cache kindly..." I think we need to break it out a little.  If we consider how we deal with the gamepieces itself is such a big part of the game, how about we split this into:

 

>protect the integrity of the gamepiece.

 

>be considerate of others. (almost copying LNT's last item.)

 

>protect the intergrity of the gamepiece includes:


  •  
  • putting the cache back.
     
  • making sure it is closed
     
  • not moving to match your readings
     
  • not collecting hitch hikers
     
  • not tampering or involving a gamepiece in "alternate" games without permission
     
  • ...
     
     
     

>be considerate of others includes;


  •  
  • treating other cachers civilly
     
  • trading kindly
     
  • moving hitchers hikers along with their goal if possible
     
  • placing too close to another cache
     
  • ...
     

CR -

 

I see "protecting the integrity of the game piece" as part of "be considerate of others" - all of the things listed under the former are intended to accomplish the latter, but...I'm beginning to feel like we're debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. I think it's time to look at a complete draft, and can certainly live with the two items you suggested. Why don't you post a new draft with all the changes discussed thus far and let's see what it looks like?

 

Edit: Should it be "Protect the integrity of the game" rather than the "gamepiece"? Or is that too open to interpretation (i.e. "integrity")?

Edited by Kai Team

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New update sent today. Changed date will be December 1, 2004.

 

As Kai Team suggested it has a completely new format. Check it out.

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We may want to consider calling this code something like geocachers' code or perhaps geocacher ethos. Geocacher Code of Ethics seems too stuffy and uninviting to a countryboy such as myself. :rolleyes:

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At CR's request, I've copied in the latest draft text of the Code to the post near the top of the thread. Jump to it here. Keep up the good work!

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Hi,

 

Looks great! I like the macro/micro presentation of the information, and the examples given. Thanks to all involved for the hard work, I think this will give everyone, especially newbies, lots to think about regarding their approach to geocaching.

 

nfa-jamie

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Looks good, here are a couple of minor wording suggestions on the examples:

 

"could be found by children or even prisoner work release"

could be found by people such as children or prison work crews

 

" might be a target for terrorist."

might be considered a target for terrorist

edit: or....might be considered a terrorist target

 

"and is in as good of shape or better for the next finder as you found it."

and is in as good a condition, or better, for the next finder as it was for you

Edited by WindChill

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New update sent today.  Changed date will be December 1, 2004.

 

As Kai Team suggested it has a completely new format.  Check it out.

Missed my post as part of the environmental impact?

 

Just curious if it was forgotten or intentionally disregarded. No hard feelings or accusations - just curious.

Edited by Markwell

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It was just an oversight.

 

Tomorrow I will go over the suggestions from my last post above onward and incorporate them into the expanded text.

 

I think it's most important to try to think of any situation that can't be handled by the main tenets themselves or if the order is wrong.

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...try to think of any situation that can't be handled by the main tenets themselves or if the order is wrong.

CR,

 

Good work! The main will tenets cover any situation I can think of. There may be a need to add a bullet point example or two, especially for newbies, but we should wait until you've reviewed and added the suggestions since your last posting before commenting on that.

 

In terms of the order, I'd suggest switching the last two - i.e. putting "Be considerate of others" before "Protect the integrity of the gamepiece". The message being: people before things.

 

I have some wording suggestions (of course :rolleyes: ) for the examples in the current version - I'll add those in a separate post.

 

Thanks for keeping this going - it's looking like it will be well worth the effort!

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