Geocaching is a chance to be part global explorer, part detective. Through this activity girls search for treasure chests called “geocaches” using a GPS receiver that helps find each chest’s secret hiding place. They then add a trade item (or as girl scouts might call them a swap) to the cache to indicate they had been there. Did you know there are over 1million hidden geocaches all over the world!
Continuing with our “girl-lead” meetings, two girls with supervision by one leader, worked on the Geocacher badge.
The steps to achieving this badge are:
1. Prepare for your adventure – the goal of a geocaching adventure is to find a hidden treasure box. Using a GPS receiver, girls can uncover treasures most people do not know exist!
2. Learn to use a GPS receiver – in order to find their way to a hidden treasure, girls needed to zero in on coordinates of longitude and latitude.
3. Make a trade item – every cacher needs to carry an item they will leave at the site. This item should be small enough to fit inside the box and should not be expensive.
4. Go on a geocaching adventure – start by logging onto a geocaching website
5. Take part in a bug’s travels – A Travel Bug travels from cache to cache. This is a tag with a code that can be tracked through geocaching.com
Step number one of this adventure, during the planning phase, is to get EXPERT information. Thankfully, one of our local radio station DJs, Mackenzie Dodge (Mack) from KEKB is an avid geocacher and was willing to help us out! Mack helped the girls by setting up temporary caches in a local park, showed them how to work with their GPS units, how to read information on her laptop and helped them find all caches. She even brought them each a trade item to drop in and pick out of the caches.
Our two Junior leaders made rainbow loom bracelets as the troop’s trade items, in compliance with step number 3. Through research, in order to complete the last step, the girls decided to follow their bug to beaches around the world! Pretty cool as we live in a land locked state!
FUN FACTS – A traditional cache is usually a small waterproof container with a logbook inside but sometimes there are multi-caches were two or more locations are involved, like a scavenger hunt! The final location is where the actual physical container rests! Also, there are things called Mystery of Puzzle caches were a puzzle must be solved before even knowing the coordinates.
A VERY SPECIAL thanks to Mack for ALL her help and guidance on this badge!!!