Starting a geocaching association
Good 4th of July weekend to you,
I am from Texarkana and we are just curious about pros and cons of starting an association down here. I was wondering if that is something that is recommended, or if maybe we should just hold our own events and be under the umbrella of the ArkGeo Association. My family has absolutely become addicted to this hobby and held our first CITO event in April and are hosting our second meet and greet July 9th. Any suggestions?
Personally, I can't see a lot of pros, however there are quite a few cons. The biggest being in having enough cachers to support an association. We have a hard enough time getting volunteers on the State Association side. I don't think there is anything at all wrong with having a "group" similar to the group out of Hot Springs, to have weekly/monthly eats/gatherings to support local geocaching activities. But, your larger events need to be under the State Association, that way all the cachers can get to know other cachers around the State. It's nice to be able to put a face with a cacher's name. This is just my opinion, but we'd love for you to expend your energy in the State association - we can always use the help!!
You could always work with SWAG (Southwest Arkansas Geocachers) as they already doing some events in the area.
Where does SWAG hold most of their events? I want to be involved with a group that is active. We haven't been, but the group from Texarkana is growing and I want to keep them excited. And do most people just stick to one association, or do they do events with diferent associations? And if we do "join" an existing group, is there money avaiable to assist with some of these events? These are just questions I have.
Sorry it has taken so long for me to respond on this issue.
My feelings are that the smaller an organization is the harder it is to get things done.
As the history of ArkGeo clearly shows it takes some leverage and a statewide organization to get certain things accomplished when dealing with the various agencies who own the land that we hide geocaches on.
There are 2 other Arkansas Geocaching "sites" in the state. One of which is very localized to a certain area and the other gets hardly any traffic at all anymore. Setting up a website and forums takes quite a bit of work and special knowledge, not to mention time and money, so that probably would not be feasible for just a small section of the state.
I am not in any way trying to discourage you from forming a group to help promote geocaching in your area. The Arkansas Geocachers Association exists for the purposes of promoting and improving geocaching in Arkansas and anytime our members step up and take the lead like you are doing it is a great thing. I have not seen so much enthusiasm from a new cacher in a very long time and I applaud you for your efforts thus far.
As far as holding your events, by all means please do so. And I would like to encourage more of our members to host events in their areas. You could even set up an account on GC.com for your group to post all of the events in your area under if you wanted. Several other groups around the state have done the same thing for a few years now. All while still continuing to be members of ArkGeo. I would ask that you place one of the ArkGeo banners on the cache page of the event, and all of your caches pages for that matter, to encourage other cachers that may not have heard of us to visit the website.
Bottom line is that the larger an organization is the better chances we have of getting things accomplished. If we start splitting up into smaller groups we lose that edge. For example: getting GeoWoodstock to Arkansas will require a very strong organization with lots of enthusiastic members to be able to handle such a large event. It would be great to be able to get it here someday so we can show the world just how great geocaching is in Arkansas. I think it is a very possible goal for us to look forward to.
Sorry to be so long winded but it just gets me excited to see the membership want to get so involved in improving geocaching within the state. If you ever need any help or have any ideas for improvement that you want to share please don't hesitate to let me or anyone else know. Thanks again for all that you do for this wonderful sport of ours.
question, a pseudo-logistics question.
Many other state organizations (InKy for example) has smaller groups as chapters of the main group. Any possiblity of maybe looking into that type of structure?
is InKy an Arkansas group? And thank you so much for the replies. I was beginning to wonder, lol. I'm definately all for just doing our thing here but being involved in the larger group. We will forsure come to the Hot Springs area sometime. We look forward to events/meetings being around here, which is not often, so that's why we started holding our own. I would like it though if maybe someone from the ArkGeo Assoc. could show up at our event and talk us through what we need to do and how we can help the Association. (the reason I ask about the ark geocaching assoc. is because i have been to one of their events and one of their members hosted our first meet and greet here in Texarkana.) I will for sure watch for events happening with SWAG and attend what we can. I want to make sure I know what I'm doing and not step on anybodies toes since were new to this too. Thank yall again for your advice and I look forward to meeting you or talking to you again...maybe even in Texarkana on October 21, hint, hint!!
InKY is the Indiana/Kentucky organization, and is composed of about 3-4 kentucky small groups and 2 or 3 Indiana subgroups, and a group based in lousiville that covers the border area.
InKy is the group that is running Geowoodstocky, not GeoCKY (geocachers of Central KentuckY) that is absed in Louisville. What IRBH says is valid. The bigger teh group, the better you can get things done...thus why I asked about possibly an umbrella setup here as well.
Awesome! Thanks again for all of the advice. I think we have decided to just keep doing what we are doing and see where it goes from there. If someone wants to join us and guide us, then we will be happy to follow. So, for those that hae been talking to me, just letting you know that our next event will be in Fouke, AR (sorry I dont have coor right now), and we are going to do some cool things on October 21. We will have a haunted hayride, in honor of our own 'The Legend of Boggy Creek', food, games for all ages and even a surprise that I am super excited about that I'm not telling ANYONE about, not even my fellow helpers. I hope that you can come. It should be on the geocaching website by today Im hoping. Look forward to meeting you!!
What is the time on the event on Oct 21?? Trying to get there after work on a Friday may be hard to do for us.