View Full Version : Important participation!

09-06-2006, 10:54 AM
I received a phone call from the Director of the Jonesboro Parks and Recreation Department this morning. He is a member of the Arkansas Parks and Recreation Association and he is hosting a meeting of the association on February 28th starting at 1:00 PM. He wanted to know if I could lead some Geocaching activities for the association members! About 20 or so will be attending.

This seems like a most excellent contact event! What else could you ask for in a group of geocachers other than the park department heads from around the state?

I would like some help with this. The first step will be to gather some examples of some activities and email them to him. I mentioned on the phone a couple of ideas I have seen online. Having a small child I have missed most of the activities at the meetings I have been to so I am little behind.

If February 28th is open for the steering committee members to attend, that would be great!


Stocked Ammo can with Geocoin

Woodwalker 3
Top Kitty 1
Cachecrazies 1
Arkansas_stickerdude 1
tech_guy and the missus 2
ltfighter 1
cachemates 1
nonnipoppy 2

Total 12
Goal 20

Woodwalker 1
tech_guy and the missus 4
Arkansas_stickerdude 3
TheAlabamaRambler 1
sayitagain 4

Total 13
Goal 10

Steering Committee Members to be Present:


Sample Permits

Arkansas State Parks tech_guy and the missus
Arkansas State Parks - filled out OldRiverRunner

Total 3
Goal 3

09-06-2006, 04:38 PM
Sounds like great fun, let us know!

yes, a committee member


09-06-2006, 04:40 PM
Waaaaaaay off the topic, but that was my 200th post and I got another star! woo hoo!

:lol: :lol: :lol:

09-06-2006, 04:49 PM
What a great opportunity! I'd love to be there! Calendar is marked...

09-06-2006, 08:15 PM
OK, so back to my original plea of help! what kind of activities would be good for a group of 20 or so professionals who are in charge of granting permission to geocachers?

Groundspeak makes money on team building stuff. Is something along these lines appropriate in this situation? Has anyone been involved in one of these activities? Googling turns up several mentions of scanenger hunts in these corporate activities.

09-06-2006, 08:59 PM
Ed had some good games at the Alabama meet Arkansas event. The blindfolded event was fun. Put a navigator with a gps in the middle of a circle of blindfolded people with all the people facing out. Give out some coords for a cache and watch the fun.

09-06-2006, 09:25 PM
SWEET COUNT me in. I did some stuff with the boy scouts and we hid 5 or 6 caches in different sizes and let them find them. If there is anything I can do please call me 479-461-9295 .

09-07-2006, 10:09 AM
I would do a brief intro to GPS, explain how the system works.

Then I would explain the relationship geocaching has with landowners, talk about the various permit systems, mention some landowner's who have had good experiences with geocaching.

Have loaner GPSrs available, at leat one for every two attendees.

Make a paper handout folder for each attendee. Have a printout of the Groundspeak Cache Listing Guidelines and say 10 local cache listings. Maybe a printout of some of the CITO events that have happened.

Offer to host a CITO in their park!

Tell them where these caches are, describe the access and any environmental issues. Provide contact info for the permission giver if any.

This will give them a warm fuzzy that they know what we're doing and are legit.

Do a GPS accuracy game; Choose a spot - a small stone, a flower, any unobtrusive and un-noticeable spot in an open area. Mark this as a waypoint (get coordinates). At the event give attendees the coordinate and show them how to enter them into the GPSrs. Give each a numbered stick or flag and ask them to place it where the coords take them.

This will show them how a GPS works and how geocachers use them. It will also show how accurate GPS location is. To us a 30-40' spread is terrible, to newbies being able to navigate to that degree of accuracy is amazing!

Then play a game where everyone finds a stocked traditional that they can keep and hide in their park.

Hide one for every park representative. Give the coords out at random. Give each seeker an FRS/GMRS radio. One guy has a GPS and stays at the starting point; he has to guide the group to the cache by radio command. Repeat until everyone has a cache to take back to their park.

The person with the GPS can walk back and forth along a line and see how the directional arrow points toward the cache, giving them some insight into triangulation.

Yep, it will take some work, and some borrowed equipment, but you'll end up with park representatives who feel good about geocaching and return ready to get the ball rolling in their park!

Hope that helps.

09-07-2006, 12:31 PM
What a fantastic opportunity. It sounds like Ed had some great ideas. If you need an extra GPSr, I have a 60CS that you are welcome to borrow. Also, if I can help in any other way, just let me know.

09-07-2006, 01:54 PM
Hey Tech_Guy,

I took all the available Power Point presentaions I could find and made one that we presented to the local Boy Scouts. If you want it I will email it to you....poppy

09-07-2006, 06:22 PM
Send me the PowerPoint Poppy!

And Ed nailed it on the head! (I'm a poet!)

There are several good ideas in your post. He is expecting about 20 participants. So 10 GPS's. I may can get a couple from our school. I can loan out mine and maybe two of my friends. Woodwalkers makes 6. Need four more. How about the Arkgeocaching pitching in on the 20 stocked ammo cans. I can offer two or three.

I'm working on some handouts. Some activities that other parks have done, the geocaching brochure from GeocachingU, a page of links and open to other suggestions.

Can the Association afford 20 Geocoins?

Per Ed's suggestion, I'd like to include various permit samples. I have the Ark. Parks but would like a couple more.

In summary, can I get some committments on:

4 (or more) GPSs for loan. I can mail them back after the day of the event.
20 stocked ammo cans (a ArkGeo coin in each)
Personal appearance from one or more of the Steering Committee
Sample permits


09-07-2006, 09:06 PM
Alrighteee then,

I will be glad to donate a stocked ammo can WITH an unactivated Arkansas geocoin.

Would that be a Wednesday?

Anyone else care to "sponsor a can"?

09-07-2006, 11:08 PM
I have 3 GPSr and 100 ammo cans. So just tell me what you need and its there!!!!!!

09-07-2006, 11:26 PM
I'll follow TK and donate a stocked ammo can WITH an unactivated Arkansas geocoin. I'll get it to you at your meet and greet in October.

09-08-2006, 07:23 AM
We'll join the list with the others - we'll supply a stocked ammo can with an unactivated coin. Will bring it to you in October.

We can't help you out with a gps - Bob's has bit the dust so we are just using mine these days! :(

09-08-2006, 11:20 AM
I will donate a stocked ammo can with an Unactivated coin as well. I recomend we use the coin not for the can but 1 for each park director as a personal coin for them. We will also try to make the event to help set up.

09-08-2006, 03:33 PM
Arkansas_stickerdude, is that 3 extra GPSs or you own three? I don't think it would be necessary to leave you without one. IOW, you want me to put you down for 2 or 3?

09-08-2006, 09:50 PM
For the ones coming to the Oct 8th meeting, maybe we can take a look around the park and discuss some of the caches for February? I'll pass along the feedback I have gotten from the park director about the park.

09-10-2006, 07:35 PM
Email me your physical address and the date and coords for the event.

I will load a PQ for the area and mail you my Magellan Meridian Platinum 'backup' unit.

Sorry, but you aren't gettin' my 60CSx! 8O


09-11-2006, 04:01 AM
Cool! Never had my hands on a Magellan before! Thanks. I'll take good care of it.

09-12-2006, 11:25 PM
Tech guy I have 3 and on the Steering commettee there will be 2 of us . I'm on the commettee also.

09-14-2006, 05:53 PM
We will be happy to supply an ammo can or two stocked and ready to go. Our ability to be there will depend on several things that cannot be determined at this time but we will try............. poppy

09-15-2006, 07:58 PM
tech guy,

I am a member of the Arkansas Recreation and Park Association and will probably be coming to the conference in Jonesboro. We bought several GarminGPSmap60CSx units this spring and are really utilizing them in our department. We are using GPS coordinates to mark the location of our utility meters, we use them for location when we contact one call before we dig. And this summer an intern who I got hooked on geo caching last year while he worked for us figured out how to download tracks from the Garmin GPS onto the Pagis system and we were able to download our park trails onto GPS maps. We also use them to measure mowing area as well. I could probably bring four of the units to Jonesboro with me. If per chance I wouldn't be able to make it Im sure I could send them up with one of the exhibitors or someone from another parks department. Just let me know how I can help. Sayitagain

09-15-2006, 08:23 PM
Thanks a heap. I'll put you down for four and get back in touch a few weeks before the meeting.

Sounds like you guys have found a good tool! From my conversations with Mr. Wilke, what he has in mind I think is to demonstrate what is probably going on in the parks and surrounding communities in the way of Geocaching. I am working on some things to show a few GPS features like the tracks feature you mentioned for example. I wanted to show a few different cache types and containers, some traditional and some non traditional to show how some caches, especially micros might be hidden.

What are your thoughts and what are some things that might be of interest to your peers?

09-16-2006, 09:08 AM
Dang, I had forgotten that SayItAgain was a Recreation & Park Association member!

Seems like a gold-mine to find that a member of our geocaching community, an experienced cacher, is part of the very association being addressed!

Given the familiarity SayItAgain has with the uses the association has already developed for GPS maybe he can give input into the presentation.

Association members already using a 60CSx aren't going to be impressed with an intro to GPS presentation!

So, questions, SayItAgain:

How many of the attendees at this meeting likely already use GPS?

Of those who do not, how many likely will? For what?

As an Association member, what are the concerns and issues the attendees will want to see addressed?

Should the focus lie on geocaching and how to do it or on the individual's CITO ethic, group CITO activities, the culture and practices of environmental sensitivity inherent in geocachers as outdoorsmen?

In other words, what does the Association hope to get from this meeting?

As a geocacher, what would you want to tell the Association?

Could you in fact be part of the presentation rather than just an attendee? (it's not my gig, so that's not an invite, I am just curious!)


09-18-2006, 02:08 PM
Sorry, this slipped past me without a full response. We ARE planning to be there in February. So count me in as another committee member coming please. We have 2 C-whatever the letters are that do the good stuff- same kind as woodwalker's gps that we will have along and if necessary we can bring an OLD Magellan and a Garmin ETrex Legend. I can bring some kinda fingery food too. Let me know about that.

We cannot come to the October Event, though.


09-19-2006, 11:57 PM
You know if you really think about it us geocachers are an awful lot like poor old Harry Potter in that we really don't know who to trust. We sneak around trying to open containers and sign logs without the Muggles seeing us when in actuality passing up an opportunity to tell someone about geo caching who might be interested enough in what we are doing to take up the sport. I have been put in situations before when trying to locate a cache that I just had to explain what I was doing and I have always left thinking that I just might have hooked someone else on this fantastic hobby. Now on to the questions. All of these are just calculated gueses based on what I have experinced but hope it will help shed some light on things. When I started talking about geo caching and using a GPS to my friends the ones who had them were the avid hunters and fisherman. They would use them to mark things while they were in the woods. Of the three guys I knew who had a GPS none of them knew how to put in a way point. In fact until I showed them how to do it on their GPS they didn't even know they had that capability.They used their GPS to Mark where they were and would just scroll down to find it again. They were always tracking where they had been. I imagine that will be the same for the ARPA. The hunters and fisherman will have a GPS but the majority of them will never have used it the way we do when we go geo caching, so I think evryone will be learning something new. As to how they will use it in the future or whether those who do not have one will go out and pick one up I think will depend a lot on how we tell our story. The reason that most people go to these conferences is to pick up knowledge about things happening in their profession and to net work with their fellow professionals. They also get to see other park and rec facilities and the chance to get ideas on how to incoroporate them into their facilities back home. Geo caching is a form of recreation so who better to tell about it to then a group of people who make their living making sure that people have fun. These are the teachers. The problem is an awful lot of them know knothing about the subject. I see our first challenge as being to explain geo caching and how it works. Basic info like the web site different containers basic knowledge of how it works. We need to show them how to use a GPS and some of the fun things we geo cachers do. We then need to go into the benifits exp family entertainment, excercise, chance to go places where you would not ordinarily go. I think we need to emphasize the conservation end of things and how we as geo cachers are concerned about the environment and the fact that we CITO. We need to make sure that the Parks Director who gets a request from someone to place a cache in one of their parks knows all of the benifits of allowing that. We need to educate those workers out in the field that might possibly find a cache while they are out there doing their regular duties to take care and not disturb it. One big adavantage to geo caching that I have found is that since so many of them are in parks I have visited parks all over the place in search of a cache and been able to see other department facilities, pick up ideas for our department and talk to fellow professionals that I have run into. We could touch on some of the uses that we have found with the GPS other then geo caching but I think that the emphasis should be on educating the educator. I think that it is fantastic the way that the members of this association have jumped on the band wagon to help put this presentation on and I know that this enthusiasm and can do attitude will be a big factor in how many additional geo cachers we can pick up in Jonesboro.This is a great opportunity to finally tell our story. There are no muggles here. These people are our friends just like Ron, Hermione and Dumbledore.

10-16-2006, 08:04 PM
I see you need a couple more completed state park permits. I'll scan a couple of the 25 I currently hold and email them to you. -- ORR

10-23-2006, 07:37 PM
Thanks OldRiverRunner! If anyone has a city permit that you have had to fill out, I'd like to include that. I think a couple of different formats would assist a land manager that wants use permits get one designed for their park. Mr. Wilkie in Jonesboro elected not to use permits but another park director may want to.

10-23-2006, 09:14 PM
ar_kayaker had something for an area he is involved with south east of Benton - I think they were city permits. Don't remember where they were on the forums.

10-24-2006, 08:31 PM
ar_kayaker had something for an area he is involved with south east of Benton - I think they were city permits. Don't remember where they were on the forums.

Malvern City Parks, if I recall correctly. -- ORR

10-25-2006, 11:36 AM
ar_kayaker had something for an area he is involved with south east of Benton - I think they were city permits. Don't remember where they were on the forums.

Malvern City Parks, if I recall correctly. -- ORR

This form was posted in the "Downloads" area of our site, under the "Forms" section.

11-11-2006, 10:07 PM
I got my newsletter in the mail this week from the ARPA talking about conference in Jonesboro. It had a tentative list of all of the different educational sessions and activities scheduled for the conference. Nothing on times just a list. Every year they have a golf tournament in conjunction with the conference and they have another one planned this year too. But this year they are offering a geo caching experience for those that do not want to play golf. I had wondered exactly how all of this was going to fit into the conference schedule . There should be plenty of time to not only talk about geo caching but also plan some fun activities related to it. I think this is fantastic. Sayitagain

11-12-2006, 05:59 AM
Thanks for the update sayitagain! I'm looking forward to it. I hope the weather is agreeable.

11-12-2006, 09:44 PM
That Malvern permit is basically a copy of the one the state parks use.

The parks director saw the state version and re-wrote it with their own letterhead and a few minor changes.

11-19-2006, 09:26 AM
I have been wanting to return to AR and see my caching buddies, so this looks like a great opportunity!

How's about I host a Meet & Greet pot-luck dinner event after your presentation meeting, invite them to come if you wish, at a nearby park?

Let me know if anyone is up for it and I will schedule it!


11-19-2006, 05:22 PM
I am up for it and would appreciate the opportunity to meet again! I'll pass the word in my area.

On another note, I got my copy of "Local Treasures" a couple of weeks ago and I was pleasantly surprised to see a cache listed, with picture, of a cache I attempted recently! "Beloved Elizabeth and the Unknowns" in Overland Park, KS.

I am enjoying the book but it's not the style that I can read from front to back. It is an excellent "bathroom reader" the way it's written. Each page is a cache and photograph therefore each page stands on it's on and doesn't require the knowledge of the previous pages. There is some beautiful photography and is probably the strength of the book. I recommend it and thanks to AlabamaRambler for introducing it to me.

11-19-2006, 06:24 PM
That's a great idea Ed. I would certainly love to attend another meet & greet. Let me know if there is anything that I can do to help.

11-19-2006, 07:24 PM
February 28th is on a Wednesday. I don't know what kind of turnout there would be in the middle of the week and meeting after the APRA meeting would put it late in the afternoon or at night so meeting at a park at the last of February may be a little uncomfortable.

So far Gaddiel, TopKitty, ArkansasStickerDude, and Lghtfigther have mentioned that they would attend.

01-01-2007, 04:25 PM
Since the holidays are over, it is time for me to start work on the February ARPA meeting in ernest. If you have committed to a contribution please contact me so I can start getting everything together.


01-16-2007, 11:51 AM
This has been changed to a public event. It will be posted in the next few days. The steering committe is still invited to a pre-event meeting to wine and dine the parks directors.