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South Carolina Legislation Meeting


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I am shocked at how many were not paying attention when this bill was being read. Does this happen with every bill?

The theory is that most reps will either 1) have already read it or 2) have had it explained to them (this was not meant as an insult). These individuals normally either already know how they are going to vote, or know that they want to discuss it more.

 

Its kind of like how you sit through the safety briefing everytime you fly. You've heard it all before, so its just noise in the background.

Edited by sbell111
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What don't you understand Grizzly?

I don't understand how a group of people and a company can be so worried about about something that is said that may be taken out of context. Anything can be taken out of context and there is nothing to be done about it.

 

Have we really reached the point where not only do have to worry about offending someone for the words we actually say but also have to worry about phrasing things in such a way that they can't be taken out of context and used against us? If that is the case it is a sorry state of affairs.

 

I was told that if this was taken out of context it could be seen as a threat. Well that does not make it a threat. If this person that is supposed to be representing her citizens sees it as a threat let her report it as such. I will take my chances in court. And wow how much power can a person have if they are able to live hundreds of miles away, type a few words on the internet and actually be able to move an elected assembly from another state to vote a certain way. If the people in SC really believe that they should be embarrassed for putting such people in office.

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Grizzly these folks are just trying to keep anything out of here that the rep in question and her staff can take and use against us. Surely you understand that. Many many things have been said about us that simply aren't true. US meaning all cachers not just SC. Everything said in this forum is being watched by more than just us.

 

Hsvr you watched the video link CR posted? Taking a short bathroom break turned into urinating on a grave. How's that for twisting words. You are right, anything can be taken out of context but don fuel the fire.

 

Respectfully,

 

X

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I get all of that I really do. But this person will find and it would seem make up anything she needs to make her case. Maybe some of the nonsense she has been going on about should be exposed for what it is. Attack her credibility and she suffers not only now but in the future. I don't think there would be nearly the amount of angst shown if she had put this bill out there and presented an honest argument about. Sure people would still not have agreed but the statements made by many here would not have been as pumped up. Of course, then it would have really been seen as a useless piece of legislation and likely not make it out of committee.

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...But this person will find and it would seem make up anything she needs to make her case. ...

That may be true but the right thing to do is make them work a lot harder at it. If they have to stretch far enough the case they are making is a house of cards that people can see through. If we do give them more to work with it makes us spend more of our time defending ourselves rather than making our case that geocaching is harmless.

 

The best way to deal with someone’s credibility is to have more of it yourself. If you are lacking it then you build it by recruiting an ally that has more of it than who you face on the subject. Failing that pose a geocacher by a fireman in a cemetery with somber children taken back in awe at the tomb of the unknown soldier.

 

Not that your post wasn't humorous, and humor is how I took it.

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I'd like to know where these African American cemeterys are in Beaufort county, The ones I did go to are so remote, how could any one know if you were there unless you logged the cache. I beleive this Rep is getting pressure from other sources to pass this bill. This my own oppinion ! iS THERE A SPELLL CHECKER OR GRAHMER CHECKER ON THIS THING ??? ;)

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I just watched the video from Thursday's (I think) session. Do all bills introduced seem to have this level of unpreparedness? I was kind of shocked to see how little anyone knew and that none of the arguments used to draft this legislation in the first place were even introduced during this session. Of course we know much of that was doctored up and taken out of context from the get-go.

 

Do all the reps present have a summary or something that they should have read beforhand? That would at least make me feel better about the legislative process I watched.

Edited by AtlantaGal
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That would at least make me feel better about the legislative process I watched.

Someone once said you don't ever want to see laws or hot dogs being made. Or something like that. This is pretty standard on how things go in most places. None of this prelim stuff really matters much especially on minor bills like this. When it comes time for the vote many times they don't know what they are voting for or against. They look over at party leadership or other reps from their district or state and see if they get an idea from them on which way to vote. That is part of the job of the whip. They make sure that people hitting the floor that have not been there for the debate but are showing up for a vote know what is being voted on and how they should be voting.

 

You should watch C-SPAN sometime if this worried you that will cause to be afraid to close your eyes. I always love the person who has been giving a speech for awhile and they then go to a wide shot and there is nobody there.

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The best way to deal with someone’s credibility is to have more of it yourself. ...

The absolute best way of dealing with someone like this is to expose their lies. What shocks me about the entire SC situation is the unwillingness of individuals to expose Ms. Ceips' lies.

 

I think it is great how everyone has reached out to the legislature, but we need to feed the reps who are on our side enough information that they are asking Ms Ceips to defend her accusations.

 

Basic strategy is that if you are attacked, you first defend yourself and then you take the battle to them.

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The best way to deal with someone’s credibility is to have more of it yourself.  ...

The absolute best way of dealing with someone like this is to expose their lies. What shocks me about the entire SC situation is the unwillingness of individuals to expose Ms. Ceips' lies.

 

I think it is great how everyone has reached out to the legislature, but we need to feed the reps who are on our side enough information that they are asking Ms Ceips to defend her accusations.

 

Basic strategy is that if you are attacked, you first defend yourself and then you take the battle to them.

If we are lucky, it will be sent back to commettee where, if it makes it back to public comment, we will be able to confront Ms. Ceips with her "facts".

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As I understand it, most laws are only really tested when they get to court. As long as the initial test of this law is done under optimum (from geocaching's point of view) circumstances, it could be quickly seen to be ridiculous.

 

How about this if the bill passes:

 

- A geocacher stands in front of the site of a virtual cache in one of the prohibited parts of SC, with his/her GPSr.

- A "friendly" law enforcement official - there must be cops who cache in this state? - determines that this individual is clearly in breach of 3777 and arrests said geocacher ("just doing my job, sir").

- It goes to court, where a judge is invited to sentence the geocacher to 30 days for, er, standing in the street with a GPSr.

 

My slight fear would be that instead of the above scenario, the first test case will be a bunch of drunken yahoos who get arrested while urinating on graves, one of them having a GPS-capable cellphone and wearing a grounspeak.com beanie (which he swiped from someone's locker at school).

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As I understand it, most laws are only really tested when they get to court.  As long as the initial test of this law is done under optimum (from geocaching's point of view) circumstances, it could be quickly seen to be ridiculous.

 

How about this if the bill passes:

 

- A geocacher stands in front of the site of a virtual cache in one of the prohibited parts of SC, with his/her GPSr.

- A "friendly" law enforcement official - there must be cops who cache in this state? - determines that this individual is clearly in breach of 3777 and arrests said geocacher ("just doing my job, sir").

- It goes to court, where a judge is invited to sentence the geocacher to 30 days for, er, standing in the street with a GPSr.

 

My slight fear would be that instead of the above scenario, the first test case will be a bunch of drunken yahoos who get arrested while urinating on graves, one of them having a GPS-capable cellphone and wearing a grounspeak.com beanie (which he swiped from someone's locker at school).

I think your post could be taken out of context and be used to show that our group promotes breaking the law but what do I know.

 

In watching the video of the "debate" (yes I am being polite) and reading your post what struck me was the lack of common sense on the part of lawmakers. There was a very minor discussion asking about trespassing laws. Some point was made that current trespassing laws would not work in this case becase how they are written and there being a need for a sign, blah, blah, blah. Then maybe it is the trespassing law that needs to be fixed. It would seem that even if this "bill" were to pass one could still go on a cemetary and do all manner of things because the current law would not cover it. I find all of that a little hard to believe but if that was her point then actually do something that counted. Private property seems like it would be private property and coming on to that property without permission is wrong, sign or no sign.

 

As for urinating in public I would expect there is a law against that. If not -- seems like a good idea to actually get one. But the obvious is sometimes lost on some people.

 

I don't think anyone here would have a problem if trespass or public urination laws were tightened up. Then the law could be used for what it is supposed to do. I don't think anyone here would have a problem with charging people for those crimes if they were being broken, regardless if that person were caching or not.

 

The "representative" is a Republican someone may want to go to party leadership and point out that she would be adding more regulation. I know the Republican party that I belong to is not in favor of that sort of thing. So if in fact her "aides" are watching trying to find something to use here go take that. You are an embarrassment to the party now go do something useful. Also didn't I see she says she is a member of Women in the Outdoors or something like that? What is that and do we have any geocachers in the organization maybe that is another way to head her off.

 

Hopefully none of this can be taken out of context and offend some elected "leader's" common sense.

Edited by GrizzlyJohn
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Just a couple of questions in general:

 

Is it not illegal for a law to be introduced for personal gain? Not saying this is the case, but I want to know.

 

Are there not "Ghost Tours" that go through graveyards and historic sites nightly in Charleston? Yes! Is someone making money off of this? YES! Are these more invasive than Geocaching due to the fact that they are scheduled events? I would think so. I have participated in one of these tours and thoroughly enjoyed it but this just came to mind a while ago.

 

Given that, there are several tours that go through historic sites everyday, some self guided. Just some food for thought.

 

X

 

Good points Grizzly.

Edited by Clan X-Man
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Also didn't I see she says she is a member of Women in the Outdoors or something like that? What is that and do we have any geocachers in the organization maybe that is another way to head her off.

I can answer one of your questions, Women in the Outdoors, WITO, is an organization that holds seminars during the year organzied at the local level, they are usually one day long. At these seminars they offer a variety of classes so women can try out outdoor activities in a safe controlled environment. The classes that are taught can include; hunting, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking & canoeing and yes Geoaching. After teaching a Geocaching class for a local park I was asked by a woman if would teach a Geocaching class for the seminar in Pennsylvania in late June. Like every class I have taught this is a volunteer situation. Its just one more way for people to learn about how much fun they could have Geocaching.

 

This link is for their mission statement. Scroll down one of their partners is the South Carolina Dept. of Natural Resources.

 

You can contact the SC chapter through this LINK. Perhaps they would be interested in a Geocaching class at their seminar.

 

Click this LINK and you find the list of events in SC.

Edited by magellan315
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....Basic strategy is that if you are attacked, you first defend yourself and then you take the battle to them.

If the charge is bogus there is nothing to defend and nothing to gain by repeating a false allegation. The trick is to answer the charge is such a way that it turns things to a positive without repeating the negative.

 

The classic example.

 

"Senator have you cheated on your wife? "How dare you accuse me of cheating, I would never cheat, I can't believe you said I would cheat on my wife..." What the public hears is "Cheat, Cheat, Cheat"

 

vs.

 

"Senator have you cheated on your wife? "I love my wife and family and our private lives are not part of this political campaign. Did you have a question on my proposed policies?..." What the public hears is "Love, and Campaign Issues".

 

The odds are we are not going to sell the rep who submitted the house bill on geocaching. She's not who we need to sell. It's everyone else who's going to vote. If by chance the positives do sell her then great. After all geocacaching is a viable and low impact land use.

Edited by Renegade Knight
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The idea that they would pass laws on geocaching, that so many of them admit to have no comprehension of what it is, is positively frightening.

Guess what. These people - and their counterparts at every level of government, all around the world - pass laws daily about medicine, data processing, and many other topics much more complex than Geocaching. These decisions about concepts totally out of their reach control our lives in many profound ways.

 

Now how frightened are you?

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What confuses me is on the video there was a statement of something about geo-cachers make a profit from this ??? " How do you make any money from geocaching" ?? I havent made a cent yet, am i doing something wrong??, where can i cash in all this Mctoys at ?? :D The guy talking in the back ground about someone urinating on a gravesite was Mr. scarborough

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Isn't it always about the money? lol

 

Yeah, Groundspeak obviously makes some money... ad sales, merchandise, tb tags, coin tracking. But I think she was thinking the cachers who place the cache might get some $ out of it, and we all know we don't. Creating a cache actually costs us money, now doesn't it :grin:

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Geocaching is no more a commercial enterprise than geneology, photography, hiking or birdwatching. Sure, there are websites that make money off of geneology and whatever, but the activity itself is not a commercial enterprise.

 

What about letterboxing? A good number of clues aren't even found on the internet. How is that a commercial enterprise?

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Geocaching is a comercial enterprise for some. We know who they are, and good for them for being the first to get their products and services out there. That's the American way, right? The statement that was made is that someone is making money off this. Let's not deny this and become what we have been complaining about. Let's not spin facts or lie to make it look like we want it to.

 

X

 

commercial enterprise

 

n 1: an enterprise connected with commerce 2: the activity of providing goods and services involving financial and commercial and industrial aspects

Edited by Clan X-Man
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Again, geocaching is no more a commercial enterprise than any outdoor activity. Geocaching dot com is a commercial enterprise. The SCGA website where she got one of her quotes is not.

 

Is hiking a commericial enterprise? Of course not. Is someone making money off hikers? Of course, there is.

 

There is a distinction and that was my point.

 

Can you name any activity where someone is not making some money?

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I've been reading through the proposed bill and the referenced related sections of current law. I don't understand why a law is needed specifically for geocaching. According to current law (SECTION 16-17-600.) it is currently illegal for ANYONE, geocacher included, to destruction or desecrate human remains and/or to deface, vandalize, injure, or remove a gravestone.

 

Why do geocacher need to be singled out when there is already a simular law that covers everyone? The current laws are adequate, geocaching does not need to be singled out. What seems to be inadequate is enforcement of current and very adiquate laws. The reason for lack of enforcement may be as simple as the none reporting of law violations.

 

If these law makers feel that geocachers are in violation of SECTION 16-17-600 they should turn the matter over to the police for enforcement. Making additional, almost identical law for one group when there is adiquate law already on the books, that cover every group, is a waste of our tax payer money and a waste of your legislators time and simply unneed.

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I was really bothered by the video link. I was amazed at how most of the representatives in the room weren't even paying attention and were talking and joking amongst themselves. That's fine I guess if you totally understand the issue, but they admitted themselves that they don't!

 

I was also kind of bothered that geocaching was repeatedly referred to as a "game". Just my opinion, but I consider this to be a hobby of mine. Just like hiking, or biking, or climbing, etc. I've been racking my brain to think of another hobby (or sport) where the participants take trash bags and pick up trash while they participate. (On the contrary....marathon runners, marathon bikers, etc. actually create trash by pitching their water bottles as they race!)

 

One last thing...how do you post No Tresspassing signs on every cemetary? I, for one, do visit cemetaries to pay respects to deceased friends and family. Would a historian then be tresspassing if he was there doing research?

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Again, geocaching is no more a commercial enterprise than any outdoor activity.  Geocaching dot com is a commercial enterprise.  The SCGA website where she got one of her quotes is not. 

 

Is hiking a commericial enterprise?  Of course not.  Is someone making money off hikers?  Of course, there is.

 

There is a distinction and that was my point.

 

Can you name any activity where someone is not making some money?

Distinction noted. Will this distinction be made in the House? I think not. I can appreciate where you are coming from but it's just like correcting someones spelling in the forums, it doesn't matter. Mrs. Ceips doesn't care because the distinction wouldn't have to made to validate what she thinks is a good point.

 

In other news I just had an hour long conversation with Rep. Laurie Funderburk of Camden. It was a very nice informative exchange. This is the second rep I've talked to that has done a little research and asked questions that I have been wondering when they were going to be asked. She thinks that this will have a hard time being passed as law anytime soon. We've still got the Senate to go through. The House caught us with our pants down. We can still beat this.

 

 

X

:grin:

Edited by Clan X-Man
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Is there anything that us non-SC folks can do?

 

Basically I just wanted to make a statement to the lawmakers in SC that if they "effectively ban" most geocaching opportunities within that state, that I am no longer interested in taking my family there as a vacation destination.

 

What would be the best method of making that statement?

Edited by Rupert2
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There was a representative here in Massachusetts who spearheaded legislation to ban animal trapping. Not just the leg traps, live traps as well. There was all kinds of debate back and forth but ultimately, the bill passed.

 

Some time later, a beaver decided to build a dam on a stream near the representatives house which basically flooded him out. Due to the law which he pushed through, he had no recourse to remove the beaver. State police who are pro-trapping, even went to guard the beaver on their own time to prevent it from "mysteriously disappearing".

 

Just as this law came back to bite the rep in the butt I believe the same will happen in SC. If they effectively ban geocaching sooner or later they will come to regret it. Mark my words.

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Again, geocaching is no more a commercial enterprise than any outdoor activity.  Geocaching dot com is a commercial enterprise.  The SCGA website where she got one of her quotes is not. 

 

Is hiking a commericial enterprise?  Of course not.  Is someone making money off hikers?  Of course, there is.

 

There is a distinction and that was my point.

 

Can you name any activity where someone is not making some money?

 

Search on geocaching in Google and see how many sites you hit make money off it.

Not that many and the prodominent one is geocaching.com.

It is mostly subscription based.

 

Then search on hiking and see how many businesses make money on hiking. Lots. And how many of them give fee based subscriptions for hiking...probably none.

 

Geocaching.com is making money off the activity, not solely merchandise.

That is why they see it so directly linked as commercial.

 

Kenneth

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Then search on hiking and see how many businesses make money on hiking.  Lots.  And how many of them give fee based subscriptions for hiking...probably none.

 

Geocaching.com is making money off the activity, not solely merchandise.

That is why they see it so directly linked as commercial.

 

Kenneth

Perhaps I missed something here, I do not have to have a subsrciption to access cache listings on GC.com, post finds, or hide caches. All a subscription does is allow people to use some addtional features, nice as they may be, they are not required to participate.

Edited by magellan315
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Then search on hiking and see how many businesses make money on hiking.  Lots.  And how many of them give fee based subscriptions for hiking...probably none.

 

Geocaching.com is making money off the activity, not solely merchandise.

That is why they see it so directly linked as commercial.

 

Kenneth

Perhaps I missed something here, I do not have to have a subsrciption to access cache listings on GC.com, post finds, or hide caches. All a subscription does is allow people to use some addtional features, nice as they may be, they are not required to participate.

Yep...you missed it alright...it was the word "mostly" in my reply.

 

Kenneth

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I was also kind of bothered that geocaching was repeatedly referred to as a "game".  Just my opinion, but I consider this to be a hobby of mine.  Just like hiking, or biking, or climbing, etc.  I've been racking my brain to think of another  hobby (or sport) where the participants take trash bags and pick up trash while they participate.  (On the contrary....marathon runners, marathon bikers, etc. actually create trash by pitching their water bottles as they race!)

 

First one that pops in my head is

Trout Unlimited....at least the ones in it I knew when I was attending meetings.

 

Kenneth

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Curiously, there is an activity that will launch in Charleston next weekend that is specifically aimed at making money that involves the players going to <gasp!> historic places around Charleston to get clues in order to find a $10,000 medallion.

 

Players pay $22.70 to get the treasure map that holds the clues to get to the medallion.

 

Curious to me that geocaching (where we run around and find McToys, write up little stories in our logs and help TB's along) would get so much of our elected officials' attention versus a game where hundreds (thousands?) of folks will be frantically gathering clues to find ten g's.

 

The treasure mapss will be mailed out May 5. You might consider staying off the roads next weekend here in the lowcountry.

 

For more info you can look at www.citytreasurehunt.com

 

p.s. I wrote my rep and he wrote back, "I will support it!" (meaning the bill). I found out after I wrote him he's a co-sponsor.

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p.s. I wrote my rep and he wrote back, "I will support it!" (meaning the bill). I found out after I wrote him he's a co-sponsor.

In that case I would write him back and tell him that you will be actively supporting his opponent in the next election, doing your best to insure that he is not returned to the state capitol in the next term, enlisting others in the effort. With his firm statement of support it might be the only thing that will get through to him.

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Is there anything that us non-SC folks can do?

 

Basically I just wanted to make a statement to the lawmakers in SC that if they "effectively ban" most geocaching opportunities within that state, that I am no longer interested in taking my family there as a vacation destination.

 

What would be the best method of making that statement?

Write to them and state that. Outside of SC residents, tourism is a real issue. Write and let them know that you won't be visiting the state if this passes.

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Then search on hiking and see how many businesses make money on hiking. Lots. And how many of them give fee based subscriptions for hiking...probably none.

 

...

 

That is why they see it so directly linked as commercial.

You mean like trails.com?

 

Oh, yeah, I see your point. :D

 

Like I said...

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I was at the meeting yesterday. The Special Laws Subcommittee meeting was scheduled to last an hour, and topic H. 3777 which seeks to restrict Geocaching was the third item on the agenda.

 

The subcommittee has 5 members, there were 6 Geocachers in the room a half hour before the meeting. Our intention was to give the subcommittee introduction to Geocaching. We were prepared to demystify it, to talk about what it was and who was doing. We knew of six South Carolina Policement who were Geocachers, a firefighter, three paramedics, a retired missionary, an active minister, the General Manager of a hotel. More importantly, we knew the occupations of Geocachers in the districts represented by the sub committee members, and we were prepared to show Geocachers as a responsible group of citizens who could be trusted with the sensitive areas within the state. We were lined up to talk about CITO, and we had pictures from past projects as well as the calendar of future events. We were pysched.

 

Ten minutes before the meeting, the sponsor of the legislation enters the meeting room and she sets up material for her presentation. In addition to lots of printed material, she sets of two large poster boards on an easel at the front of the room. These poster boards are covered with text from log entries from finders who were logging cemetery caches, as well photographs they had taken while within the cemetery. They had done their research well, and they were displaying the worst of the worst.

 

(I'm working with the Representative to identify every picture and every log entry, and rest assured that I will post them all here once they have been identified. In the meantime, I will have to describe what was displayed.)

 

There were photographs of groups of people out night-caching, posing for a group photograph as they leaned against old grave markers.

 

There were photographs of caches that had been found, temporarily resting atop prominent gravestones so that a picture could be taken.

 

There were several pictures of people lying on the ground right next to markers, and getting

their pictures taken so that their smiling face, the marker and their GPS were all visible.

 

There were log entries too, some of these said things like:

"There was a freshly dug grave but no one was in it yet, this was so cool."

"It was great fun spooky fun to be out at night in the graveyard."

 

There were many more pictures and logs as well, and over and over they underscored the "game" aspect of this pasttime, and they showed the worst practices engaged in while cache hunting in grave yards. These images and logs, which had been freely provided by Geocachers in their own log entries, were incredibly damning evidence. They were appalling, and not one of us there could take a stand and defend those practices.

 

Needless to say, for those of us who were there our tactics changed at this point. We could have talked until we were blue in the face about the educational value of geocaching. That was not going to be disputed. We could have talked about the benefits of CITO. That was not going to be disputed. They were going to talk about disrespect in cemeteries, and they had evidence provided by Geocachers to do so.

 

It was also apparent as the meeting time approached that the meeting was filling up, and I was not recognizing additional Geocachers coming in.

 

The other legislative items on the agenda were discussed first, and about twenty five minutes went by before the Geocaching Bill came up for discussion.

 

The sponsor of the legislation got up and introduced her bill. She talked about how Geocaching started, even referring to the Clinton Administrations actions regarding Select Availability which led to the production of accurate civilian hand held GPS units. She spoke of the general cache hiding and seeking process, and then she told of the assault by geocachers into the cemeteries in her county.

 

Background- At one point in time there had been a series of cemetery themed multi caches in the Beaufort county area. The owner had done careful research to make sure that all of his chosen locations were in public cemeteries, and he had been very responsive to any complaints found in logs about neighbors & residents who didn't want the visitors in their cemetery. Despite the careful planning and the historical nature of these caches, the influx of primarily white geocaching visitors into these rural historical primarily black cemeteries was noticed, and as some of the cemeteries experienced vandalism or even digging and looting, the local residents became increasingly uneasy with the visitors, many of whom seemed more interested game-playing than in the history of the area.

 

During her introduction of the topic, she read aloud a handful of logs by people who had found these (and other) cemetery caches.

 

After she spoke, the next speaker was the State Archaelogist for South Carolina. This gentleman spoke of the impact on Geocaching in sensitive historical and archaeological sites within the states. He had a list of caches which were on or near sensitive sites, and for over a year he had tried to make contact and had not found anyone who was responsive to his issues.

 

So, it's ten minutes into the discussion of the of this legislation, and here's where we stand:

1. We have pictures of incriminating behavior taken by Geocachers themselves within cemeteries.

2. We have log entries read aloud which show that romping around in cemeteries at night is fun (as opposed to educational and of historical value), and it's even more fun if that was find number 8 of 10 at night.

3. We have the state archaeologist talk about his attempts to contact someone to talk with, and futile that experience has been for him.

 

The next speaker for the state makes similar comments and makes the point that since it is has not been easy to contact us and since this behavior has gone on for a while, the time for Geocaching to police its own behavior has come to an end, and the state must take action to protect its own sensitive areas, and this includes cemeteries, archaeological sites and historic sites.

 

And these last two speakers were impassioned. They were folks who had obviously had frustrated by what they perceived as out of control rogue behavior, and they spoke with a force that had built up over time.

 

Someone for our side spoke next. We had a copy of a letter written by the Geocacher who had created the original Beaufort county cemetery series. In the letter, he explained on how he choose these sites based upon their public access locations and their historical value, and that he never had intended the series to be disrepectful in any way. His letter contained logs from Geocachers who had encountered local residents during their cache hunts, and in all cases but one the contact between Geocachers and local residents was friendly. The letter ended with an apology for any tension that might have been caused by the placement of these caches. Our speaker acknowledged the damning photographs and condemned the actions of those who appeared in them. He thanked the committee for allowing him to speak and took his seat.

 

The next two persons to speak where from Beaufort county or nearby areas. They were caretakers of cemeteries and other historic sites in the area, and they spoke out in support of this Bill.

 

There was time for one more speaker, and I spoke. I stated that I had prepared remarks last night and I was fully prepared to talk about the educational benefits of Geocaching and to even mention the responsible Geocachers across the state, but instead I wanted to acknowledge how ugly and indefensible those pictures were. I talked about the Geocachers in the state, the retired missionary and other clergymen, the policemen, the firefighters and paramedics and others. And I said that all these folks would be as appalled to see this evidence as I was. I thanked the chairman for letting me speak, and I took my seat.

 

The chairman then spoke and acknowledged that since there were so many visitors who had not spoken, that this topic would be continued next week, and it would be the first item on the agenda.

 

For what it's worth, they had 8 more folks who could have spoken, we had 2 more who were prepared to speak.

 

I've tried to record these observations as accurately as possible without spinning.

 

We were definitely caught off guard by how organized the supporters of this legislation were, as well as being caught off guard by all the evidence that we gave them freely through the website. The frustration in their voices seemed genuine. Given the evidence presented to us and the mood of the room, yesterday was not the time or place deliver the positions that we had intended. It was better yesterday to acknowledge how embarrassing the evidence was, and to pledge to work to stop that behavior.

 

I've typed parts of this hurriedly because I'm running late for an evening engagement. If I've been unclear, please let me know and I'll try and clarify. I plan on being at the second meeting next week, and I hope that we will be able to act from a stronger position at time.

 

I will post the entire poster boards as they are made available to me, as quickly as possible.

there were 6 Geocachers in the room a half hour before the meeting.  Our intention was to give the subcommittee introduction to Geocaching.  We were prepared to demystify it, to talk about what it was and who was doing.  We knew of six South Carolina Policement who were Geocachers, a firefighter, three paramedics, a retired missionary, an active minister, the General Manager of a hotel.  More importantly, we knew the occupations of Geocachers in the districts represented by the sub committee members, and we were prepared to show Geocachers as a responsible group of citizens who could be trusted with the sensitive areas within the state.  We were lined up to talk about CITO, and we had pictures from past projects as well as the calendar of future events.  We were pysched.

 

This is all good.

 

the sponsor of the legislation enters the meeting room
Great opportunity.

 

There were several pictures of people lying on the ground right next to markers

So?

 

There were log entries too, some of these said things like:

"There was a freshly dug grave but no one was in it yet, this was so cool."

So?

 

There were many more pictures and logs as well, and over and over they underscored the "game" aspect of this pasttime

 

So?

 

These images and logs, which had been freely provided by Geocachers in their own log entries, were incredibly damning evidence

 

Apologies that I'm undiplomatic and tactless, but you blew it right there. There was no "incredibly damning evidence". Did you think this was a trial or something? :(

 

I'm a South Carolina Geocacher, and this is exactly why I stopped posting here, and never felt compelled to join any formal group. What's happened is that control-freaks have entered the picture, on *both* sides. People feel the need to "legislate" us. Worse, unprepared geocachers feel the need to go to the meetings and validate the controller's reasoning. :D

 

Look, there's been no criminal activity here, and if we subordinate to politicians they're going to simply use this as an opportunity to promote their job security. It's what they do best, having nothing better to do.

 

Since you felt compelled to feed them - NOT pointing out no laws were broken was dropping the ball. NOT turning the conversation toward the educational value was dropping the ball. NOT pointing out that people romp through cemetaries for all manner of reasons, from making-out to geaneology research was dropping the ball. These things are NOT illegal activities. Thinking an open gravesite is "cool" is NOT an illegal activity. Leaning on a headstone is an *anticipated* activity - that's why they're built the way they are. This ball wasn't just dropped, it wasn't even in play.

 

There is simply no way to play ball with these people without supporting their game. The best thing is to let them play unsupported on an isolated court. In other words, don't go to their meetings.

 

If a law IS made then address it. We're all better off skipping the meetings and writing some letters instead. Attending these feed-fests is non-productive.

 

You have to understand why these people are making these meeting plans. They're doing it because people like you folks show up and validate this kind of waste of tax dollars. DON'T GO. Go geocaching instead. Write a letter when you get home if you're so inclined, citing your experiences and the educational value. It'll be far more helpful than what you did in person. And yeah - wholesome fun is still allowed in America (at least among conservatives). No need to leave that out. You can say that you have fun geocaching. Getting youth organizations to say it in writing would be even better.

 

If you plan to go to any more meetings, I'd advise you to recruit a geocaching lawyer to speak on your behalf. But nobody on this side wants to go there, either.

 

The best thing is to just geocache on an individual level, share your positive experiences with your buds, and don't feed the animals.

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I am shocked at how many were not paying attention when this bill was being read. Does this happen with every bill?

The theory is that most reps will either 1) have already read it or 2) have had it explained to them (this was not meant as an insult). These individuals normally either already know how they are going to vote, or know that they want to discuss it more.

 

Its kind of like how you sit through the safety briefing everytime you fly. You've heard it all before, so its just noise in the background.

This is a new things. Politicians look at new things in 2 ways: 1: How can I make money from this 2: How can I gain job security from this.

 

A wholesome, enjoyable activity done within the letter of current law robs those powers at the onset. Youth involvement in wholesome, legal activities with educational value robs any self-serving goals even further.

 

Getting politicians and/or their family members and/or their low-income constituants personally involved in a fun way robs the opponents completely.

 

These things are happening, and will continue to happen on an exponential basis. The best thing to do with the politicians who oppose it at this point is ignore them.

 

Dwell on the positive aspects, and hook as many politically active people as you can by inviting them on a cache trip. If you can afford it, buy them or a family member a gps. That's pretty much all the investment you'll need to make.

 

There is *nothing* wrong with this activity and *everything* right with this activity. Don't let that thought get away. They will try to murk and mire it - and that will only happen if you let it. Don't. Stay positive above all.

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Worse, unprepared geocachers feel the need to go to the meetings and validate the controller's reasoning.

That is just highly rude considering you more then likely know nothing about the people who went. I happen to know a few of them and they have been around with Geocaching since the beginning and are VERY highly respected in their communities. So I sugget you need to re-examine what cachers you talk about since most of them have been around for years doing something you have only done 5 times.

 

Post like that are what is not needed there. Opinions are more then welcome, nothing wrong with that, but:

A- Do not attack people no matter who they are even if you feel they are dead wrong, there are other polite ways to deal with that.

B-Like I said before, opinions are more then welcome, just put some thought behind them before you spew forth everything you feel in your heart.

 

This is not the time to question what was done right or wrong in the sub-committee meetings. This is not the time to argue over things that might seem trivial time. This is the time that we as a geo-community need to come together and show everyone we are not bad people like we are made out to be. We need to ALL come together and show people what geocaching truly is, what great educational support there is for it. Educate is the key word. We need to edcuate people about the good qualities like CITO, and other community services. Instead of hamerping efforts by attacking other cachers, educate someone about the educational values of geocaching, educate someone on what great history you can learn from geocaching, educate someone on what great community service it can provide.

 

Posts like that are read by both sides those who support and do not support what is going on and people who support the bill see those posts as cachers who can not get along and fight against each other. If that is the image you wish to show us as, I highly suggest you do it somewhere else. Right now we are trying to provide education to everyone about the great things geocaching offers.

 

I am sorry if I offended anyone and willing to edit as needed. Things just needed to be said

Edited by geoholic28
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Then search on hiking and see how many businesses make money on hiking.  Lots.  And how many of them give fee based subscriptions for hiking...probably none.

 

Geocaching.com is making money off the activity, not solely merchandise.

That is why they see it so directly linked as commercial.

 

Kenneth

Perhaps I missed something here, I do not have to have a subsrciption to access cache listings on GC.com, post finds, or hide caches. All a subscription does is allow people to use some addtional features, nice as they may be, they are not required to participate.

Yep...you missed it alright...it was the word "mostly" in my reply.

 

Kenneth

And you know that GC.com makes "mostly" of its money from subscriptions because you have direct access to their financial records or is the merely a guess on your part.

Edited by magellan315
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