imageWe were so excited to begin our adventure in Geocaching!! I had never heard of it (guess we are behind, because others I had talked to had heard about it 😏). Thanks to a friend of mine in Tennessee, who ran across some great resources to get us started, we found our first “swag” or treasures today!

First, some simple background…

  1. Geocaching: A world-wide treasure hunting experience that you can get involved in right where you live! Click here to watch a 1:15 clip on YouTube and get a little glimpse into the basics of geocaching: Basics in Geocaching
  2. Swag: The treasure you receive and leave for the next hunter.

Tools: 

(From the research I’ve done on YouTube, you can really get into this thing, but we are keeping it simple right now.)

  1. A MUST–Smart phone (or GPS) The app we used on my iPhone was awesome! image This App tells you the last time the treasure was found, lets you log in your find, keeps track of the ones you’ve done, etc. And it’s free!
  2. Flashlight, pen/pencil to sign the log book, shoes for light hiking (or heavy, depending on your adventurous spirit) and trinkets or “swag” to exchange.
  • Ideas for swag: Think unique, hand-made, non-expensive, Oriental Trading      Company, even a great opportunity to have your kids clean out their rooms and gather (nicely, slightly used) items that they could trade.
  • Finger puppets, special coins, matchbox cars, glow sticks, rings, etc.
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This isn’t a great picture, but this little guy was made from a tiny fuse (like from a car) and some wire. My son, Carson, loved finding this unique treasure in the first cache we found today!

And here is our return “swag” or treasure that we placed back inside:

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This is a penny we rolled and flattened at Metamora, a historic 1800s canal town in Indiana.

One last “tool” we took with us:

3. A big, strong man (or husband, in my case). Where we went wasn’t scary, but some can be in the middle of nowhere, so make sure you’re careful!

Our second geocache site:

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This is the oldest Baptist Church in Indiana. You can actually go inside it,  although it was a little creepy to me.

 

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It was very hidden. I was standing right by it and didn’t see it. Thank goodness for the App and for Carson’s young eyes.
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This time we didn’t take the swag. We just signed the log and left it for the next person.

So, hopefully you get an idea how fun, easy and super exciting this can be! You can do it anywhere and everywhere. We were actually just going to eat at our favorite pizza place in Brookville, and I decided to get on the App and check and see if there were any locations around us, and Voila!! (“Whala,” for those of you who had no idea it was spelled like this, oops!). It would also be a fun thing to do when you’re on vacation or in another area visiting family. Who doesn’t like a treasure hunt?

The ways you could use Geocaching are seemingly endless! My mind has been reeling about how you could even use this in the classroom. Challenge your kids to see how many geographical areas they could cover over the course of a school year, or if your students are more local and don’t travel beyond the city much, see how many different locations could be mapped just in that city, since there are Geocaching sites in the city as well as in natural settings.

I would love to hear back from anyone who decides to go Geocaching! Post pictures, share experiences, etc. Happy hunting!!

And by the way, when you’re finished running all over finding treasure, you may want to just sit back and relax with your Kindle and a great book! And if you do, I have just the book for you, too! A Light in Bailey’s Harbor, of course, for only $.99 this weekend on ebook! Just click on the picture below.

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Don’t forget you can send a copy to your Mom for Mother’s Day. Just click on the Kindle picture above and then click on the button to the right of the screen where it says “Give as Gift.”

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend!

 

 

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