Table of Contents
Program Plan 8
Geocaching is the treasure hunt for the 21st century. It allows children and adults to live out their fantasies as Indiana Jones using not an ancient map, but a GPS. New technology has allowed the idea of searching for lost gold on an island to finding and old ammo can in your neighborhood park. The cost is minimal, the involvement plentiful, and the benefits useful and entertaining.
Many parks and recreation departments are implementing geocaching programs like Clarksville, TN, who partners with local clubs. In order for Geocaching to continue to be an enjoying hobby for many, this manual will serve as a basic setup for any parks and recreation department wishing to add Geocaching to their program.
The manual will consist of Geocaching basics, a marketing plan, and a program plan. The basics will include what, who, where, and how of some current programs and also trends and issues of geocaching patterns. The marketing plan will research the target market, financial requirements, and advertising the program. The program plan will include implementation, special populations’ considerations, and finding and placing caches.
Geocaching is the hobby that involves using a GPS to find hidden “caches.” These caches are hidden around the world and are not buried or otherwise hidden beyond capable accessibility. “Cachers” can be of any age and difficulty of access is often stated so that if anyone has a disability, they can modify their approach.
There are a few pieces of equipment necessary in order to participate in geocaching. The primary tool is a Global Positioning System (GPS). This can be elaborate or simple as a handheld version by Garmin or Magellan. The GPS uses three satellites to triangulate one’s exact position on the planet. One’s exact coordinates can be affected by weather, steep canyons, or high mountains. Some people may even use their smart phone with the available Geocaching Application Program (National Wildlife, 2011). Other equipment needed includes items to exchange and sometimes a pen.
The process of geocaching involves three main steps (Anderson, 2008). The first is to use the Geocaching.com website or App to locate nearby geocaches. The coordinates are programmed into the GPS or guided through the smart phone. The next step is to use the clues and coordinates to find the cache. It could one of many different containers, camouflaged or not, easy or difficult to find. Once found, the last step is to sign the often included log or go online to log that you found it. This last step is where “cachers” are expected to exchange an item, some requiring specific objects. One of the issues presented by Hawley (2010) states that the act of geocaching is partly deviant by nature. The act of searching for a cache and the warning of “watch out for muggles,” means to not let any passers-by see you searching or locating the cache. Even though all geocaches are legally hidden and checked often, the act seems intrusive, like a burglar or thief (Hawley, 2010). One of the trends is connecting geocaching to nature. In the magazine, Ranger Rick, children are encouraged to search for geocaches to connect them to the natural world (National Wildlife, 2011). Second, a trend is connecting geocachers to their community through clubs and socials (Virginia, 2009). Both views use geocaching not just as a hobby, but as a linking network that can encourage resource appreciation and conservation.
Now that the basics have been explained and there are goals in mind, the next step is to prepare how to get the foundations of implementing the program through...