Geocaching has been around for quite a while, and it’s been picking up steam as access to hand-held GPS units are becoming more affordable and available through Smartphone apps. What is Geocaching? People who are “old hats” at Geocaching will tell you it’s “Finding tupperware in the woods using government satellites.” The official Geocaching website (www.geocaching.com) will tell you:
Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.
Participants sign a paper log book, replace the container, celebrate their success (with either a dance, high five, or self-celebratory nod – the option is yours,) then move on to the next geocache. For further information on what Geocaching is and how to get started, visit their official website.
Several St. Thomas Public Library staff members enjoy Geocaching themselves in their spare time. We encourage it because of the following benefits:
- Fresh air outdoors
- A variety of physical activity
- Quality family time, or relaxing time alone
- Outstanding sense of adventure, treasure-hunting, and sleuth skills
- Patience, mindfulness, persistence, planning
- You feel like you’re part of a secret club and get to be AMAZED at how many little secret caches are hidden all over the world!
By now, you may be wondering why the library is choosing to celebrate Geocaching above all other things library. The answer is quite endearing! Just over a year ago, Ron and his granddaughters Emily and Erika approached us with the idea of hiding a multi-cache (a Geocache with two parts to find,) at the library. A certain library staff member, who has been a long-time Geocacher herself, was ecstatic about the idea. It was a brilliant way to get non-library users to see the facility, explore the grounds, and get to know what the library has to offer. It also was a perfect opportunity for local folks to find a new way to get active! We were amazed at how much work Ron, Emily, and Erika had put into it! Their fabulous “For Book Lovers” multi-cache first leads you to coordinates outside of the library, and then leads you to a certain place inside the library where the final cache and log is hidden. It quickly became a favourite in St. Thomas among Geocachers.
Emily had this to say about creating the “For Book Lovers” Geocache:
My sister, grandpa, and I started Geocaching a few years ago when I read about it in my Girl Guide book. We enjoy it because we get to explore the city and find interesting places we didn’t know existed. The best part is the adventure and the memories you make while searching for a cache. We have found lots of caches and have hidden a couple others besides “For Book Lovers.” The multi-cache at the St. Thomas Public Library combines our love of books with the great hobby of Geocaching.
If you already are a Geocacher, be sure to log the coordinates for the “For Book Lovers” cache and start hunting! (Remember, you have to do it during library hours, and use your best stealth techniques to not be spotted by muggles!) If you’re not familiar with Geocaching, there’s no better time to start than right now! Head on over to http://www.geocaching.com to get started. Also, the library DOES have a book available about Geocaching if you’d like to research it before you try it.