About 260 more new Geocachers...
July 23, 2011

Just wanted to let you all know that you might be seeing about 240+ additional eager and youthful Geocachers out on the hunt!

I volunteered and taught 13 classes over 4 days of 16+ Webelos Scouts how to Geocache at the Webelos Extreme Adventure Camp at the Lost Pines Scout Reservation in Bastrop, TX. They gave me free reign to teach these scouts about Geocaching, so I gave them a little of everything. I started off with explaining what Geocaching was, explained sizes (nanos, micros, large and undetermined sizes) and then taught them how to use a GPS and how they work (explaining Latitude, Longitude, Satellites, Equator, and Prime Meridian). I explained muggles, and how to be stealthy and inconspicuous while hunting, why that was important, so as not to bring unwanted attention to themselves to prevent the dreaded bomb-scare or other ill-thought schemes by muggles.

From there, I took them out to find three privately hidden geocaches that I had placed on the scout reservation and rewarded there finds with a certificate for a free ice cream sandwich at the Trading Post. We discussed the importance of signing the log and replacing the cache exactly as they found it. We then convened again under a roof, to get out of the 100° temperatures, and I explained the many different types of caches while they enjoyed the cold treat.

I explained night caches, earth caches, puzzle/mystery caches, and multi-stage caches. The night-cache example I gave was, "Threat Level Midnight", explaining that night caches are very cool and sometimes involved lasers, infrared, fire-tacks, glow-in-the-dark, and night-vision goggles. I showed them some of the travel bugs that I had in my possession at the time, explain why they were so very cool. I told them a quick story about a travel bug that I had found that will bring a fellow Netherlands geocacher and myself together to return a travel bug to him.

I then spoke about being prepared as scouts and geocachers before they go out geocaching (the need to carry water, wear the right shoes and clothing, bug spray, sunscreen, flashlight, trade swag, and some basic tools) We covered how the scouting LNT (Leave No Trace) program was much like the CITO (Cache In Trash Out) geocaching program and how they should always make sure that they respect the environment, clean up and try to make the location they visited the same or better than when they visited.

They were full of questions, and with my passion for the sport, there were lots of stories about caches found on top of volcanoes, on the international space station, and some that could only be found with scuba gear. I told them about the earthcache on top of Mount Everest and how the story and an interview with the last person to log the cache, and how he almost died, could be heard on a geocaching podcast called "Podcacher".

I explained 5/5 caches, and some of the other characteristics of difficulty and terrain ratings. Explained how they can sometimes read logs for hints and look at photos, if they really get stumped. I told them about the events, meeting other cachers, and befriending some to gain phone-a-friend and email-a-friend status for hints and tips.I wrapped up the course with information and rules on how to hide a geocache and the rules that went with it.

We talked about the right container, seasonal camouflage, why the can not bury them, and how saturation works and the rules that exist to help prevent it. I invited them all to get free accounts and get out caching. I showed videos and pictures of some of the caches that have been documented on YouTube and some of the many Geocaches that I had found (without giving away of course any identifying information).

All the parents and scouts really enjoyed the course, some came back in their free periods and we talked, exchanged contact information, and some existing geoachers said they had even learned something new from the class.