Geocaching as an event for internationals

Here is an idea from a colleague, Randy … using Geocaching as a group building event with international students

I knew a couple of people with GPSs, and the youth group from one supporting church had three. A couple of student brought their own. (The ones designed for cars did not work well for this event – they were not accurate enough)

My steps for the event
1. Determine the location of the event and get permission.

2. Scout the area and find the places to hide the caches. I setup 18 plus an example cache. The park I chose also had a registered geocache.
a. Photograph each spot
b. mark and record the coordinates
c. decide what type of cache container you will use at that spot
d. create a name, description, and hint for each spot

3. prepare your cache containers.
I used several types and sizes—magnetic key holder, camping match holder, sprinkler head, fake rock key holder, disposable food container bowl (like tupperware – which I spray painted dull green), 1 foot long 2″ PVC pipes with one end glued on (and spray painted). I got just about all of them at Home Depot.

4. print a log sheet and geocache document sheet for each cache container and place them in the container.

5. Divide the caches into courses.
I created 3 courses out of the 18 caches. Each course had 6 caches to find. This allowed me to start 3 teams at one time, each headed in a different direction. Then I could start 3 more teams 10 minutes later and they wouldn’t easily run into each other. I included the registered geocache on each course so that they could look at this later online.

6. Create a sheet for each course that can be given to the teams. Each cache on the sheet should have the coordinates, size, name, description and hint (cover it with masking tape, so they can pull it off and use it if needed).
a. create a seperate sheet for the example cache

7. Create a master sheet for each course, that you keep – this one has pictures and what the container is.

8. Day of the Event
a. Explain Geocaching and show them the official website
and the registered geocache on the course. You may
have to do this where you can have internet access.
a. Divide into teams–have them pick team names.
b. explain how the game will work
c. do a sample cache together
I created a sample cache in the parking lot
and gave everyone a sample course sheet
with the sample cache data. We all used our
GPSs to find the cache. I used a small cache
hidden under flowers, so that they understood
that the cache could be hard to find. This
also made sure each team could use their GPS.
d. start the first teams – log the time
e. I stayed at the start/finish and teams could call me
for additional help.
f. Log the time when a teams returns.

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