The Ontario Event Cache Experiment

Group Hunt

Friday night, Cachedrone made an interesting post in the Groundspeak Forums – “Testing in Ontario: Organized Group Hunts“.

The text of his post reads:

Recently the reviewers of Ontario approached Groundspeak with a request. We asked if Ontario could be used for a two month period to test the idea of allowing an Event to be listed for the sole purpose of group caching (organized cache hunt). We are pleased to announce that they agreed. For the months of November and December it will be possible to create an Event Cache to simply go geocaching. We are very interested to see what the community creates during this period and how these events are received. This test is exclusive to Ontario and will end on the 31st of December. We may have to limit the number of group hunt events that are listed in any given area. With the exception of allowing group hunts, all other guidelines still apply to the review process, like the 14 days advance notice. It should go without saying that each of these events, the logs posted on them and any forum feedback will be tracked for discussion with Groundspeak at the end of the test. This should be viewed as a one-time opportunity to explore a new way to be social with fellow geocachers on the trail and not an indicator or future developments. We look forward to this study and your feedback.

If you have questions about this you can reply within this forum thread or email me directly at cachedrone@gmail.com

What does this mean, exactly? Well, it means that for two months – November and December 2011 the rules regarding event caches are being tweaked in Ontario, Canada as an experiment. Normally a geocaching event must be a social activity that is more than just a group of people going geocaching together. This is to prevent people from listing an event every time they go caching with friends (overwhelming the event listings).

Now, these organized cache hunts can be listed as an event. That means activities like the Ottawa GeoMob’s weekly breakfast, or the BFL Crew’s friday night get togethers could conceivably be listed as events. More likely, gatherings like the massive GHMGC organized cache hunts that occur monthly will be listed as a monthly get together.

It will be interesting to see how this turns out. It could mean a new social dynamic with regular caching events bringing more cachers together. Or it could mean losing sight of the big events like Spring Fling / GHAGAFAP, as the events are drowned out by a sea of “Lamp Post Micro Events”

Is this another quantity over quality concession from Groundspeak – power trails for event cachers?  Time will tell – at the end of the day, how Ontario geocachers respond to this experiment could define the future of events for everyone.

Events still need to be listed 14 days in advance, and the reviewers will be limiting the number of events in the same area if necessary. Events that are posted will be analyzed by Groundspeak. The experiment ends December 31,2011.

 

[ Groundspeak Forum Thread ]

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Groundspeak Recognizes BFL Bootcamp

My how BFL Boot Camp has grown. The first year, we hid 6 geocaches and they were mainly based on the use of firetacks. The event “Fall Back to Night Caching“ (archived – Geocaching login required) had 38 teams attend, and was organized by 5 people. At the time, we figured it would be a one time event.

Fast forward to 2011, and we are hosting the 6th iteration of this annual event. We’re looking forward to seeing 200 people attend this year, with over a dozen caches hidden for it. We have 20 people helping out on the organizing committee. The caches now feature lasers, UV paint, glow in the dark features, and more. Gone are the days of a simple follow the firetack to the tupperware type cache hunt. Over the years, the BFL Crew has hidden over 50 night caches in North Halton. Two of the original hides are still active – GCYPW9 The Circle, and GCYXNJ What Bugs You in the Night.

The event caught the attention of Groundspeak this week, and they have posted an article on the official Geocaching Blog – “Latitude 47” about the event. The article, titled “Geocaching in the Dark: The Great Canadian Night Caching Event” appeared on the blog Friday evening. Featuring information about night caching, our event and even some photos from past year’s events.

This year, the night caching event portion starts at 2130h and, while the even officially ends at 0400h,  often there are attendees still out well past that time. We look forward to seeing you at the event on Saturday, October 29th.

[ BFL Boot Camp VI – Retro Reflect ] [ Latitude 47 ]

 

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BFL Boot Camp VI – Pub Announced

BFL Boot Camp, our annual night caching tradition,  usually starts at a pub, and then we head out into the woods for a night of geocaching. While the main event was announced a few weeks ago, we still needed some time to get the pub together. Today, I’m glad to say we’ve addressed the pub situation. We’re meeting at the Mohawk Inn and Conference Centre for our pub.

In previous years, we’ve had problems accommodating everyone who wanted to come to the pub, as frankly there aren’t a lot of pubs that can handle crowds of 100+ people all at once. We tried to solve the problem one year by splitting the pub up and taking over three venues. This year we’re fortunate that the facility can handle up to 180 people – we’re taking over a banquet hall.

Still, in less than 12 hours we’ve signed up over 80 people for the pub event which is approaching the half full status so, if you’re coming out for BFL and want a seat at the pub, best to get that will attend in now.

Another fantastic opportunity this year is that the pub is, in fact, an Inn. So you can crash there after caching most of the night, or you can leave family members there to relax while you’re out caching if they are only interested in the pub portion of the evening. Rooms start at $75.

More information about the event activities can be found on the BFL Boot Camp website. The events are listed on Geocaching.com.

[ BFL Boot Camp VI – Super Pub Night ] [ BFL Boot Camp VI – Retro Reflect ] [ BFL Boot Camp Website ]

 

 

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BFL Boot Camp 6 – Coming October 29

BFL Boot Camp is an annual night caching gathering held in North Halton by the Keepers of the Order of the BFL, or simply “The BFL Crew”. This group of cachers head out every friday night looking for geocaches hidden throughout the Greater Toronto Area. One night each year, the tables are turned – and the BFL Crew hides the caches, and hosts an event. This is the 6th year we have held the event.

Most event caches feature caching followed by a meal at a pub. Not this event – our tradition is to meet at a local pub, then send everyone out to look for the caches over the rest of the night. We set up a “command centre” where you can interact with other cachers, chat with the BFL Crew, or simply warm up with some hot chocolate. The pub portion of the event runs typically from 7pm to 9pm, and the caching runs from 9pm to 4am.

We have two “events” hosted on Geocaching.com:

  • GC31VTF – BFL Boot Camp VI – Briefing Pub  (Not published yet – still working out which pub to take over)
    This is a gathering before the night caching where cachers may get together and share stories, or group up for the upcoming night caching session in the woods. The pub is still being organized, so it has not been activated on Geocaching.com just yet
  • GC2YVBH – BFL Boot Camp VI – Retro Reflect
    Is the main geocaching event. This is the location of the “command centre”.We’ll be out there in the woods from 9:30pm to 4:00am.
The event this year is being held on October 29.

 

 

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Cog Spring Fling 007 – This Weekend

COG Spring Fling 007 Logo

Looking for geocaching plans this weekend? Remember, the  Central Ontario Geocachers are holding their annual Spring Fling Mega Event Cache . Once again it’s being held at the Tiffen Centre, less than one hour north of the Toronto Area. Apparently they have been infiltrated by some rogue element so details are scarce. They are calling for all geocachers to assist with their mission – local or otherwise.

This is Ontario’s largest annual event and will most likely see some Groundspeak “lackeys” show up as well. The main event runs on Saturday, but camping and secondary events run from Friday thru to Sunday.

This event is one you don’t want to miss, so be sure to visit the event page to view the vital information. You’ll also want to post a Will-Attend on the Geocaching.com event page.

Spring Fling ][ Central Ontario Geogachers ] [ Groundspeak Forum Thread ] [ GC1MGER ]

 

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Parks Canada – Geocaching Event in Ontario – July 16, 2011

Here’s an interesting Head’s Up from Greywynd. Parks Canada is planning a Geocaching event along the Trent-Severn waterway on July 16. We don’t have much details at this point, other than a “mark the date”. It’s great to see some Parks Canada love for Central Ontario after the geocaching love seen in the Atlantic Provinces (Fundy NP, Louisbourg NP, Cape Breton Highlands NP) and more recently British Colombia (Gulf Islands NP) has been getting some official Parks Canada geocache support.  Oh, and this one could be featuring the Passport idea where you visit caches, get stamps and earn a geocoin for your efforts too.

So, if you can be in the Peterborough area on July 16, make a point to come on out and show Parks Canada that we love caching in Ontario’s National Parks too.

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Rouge Park – Trails Master Plan Community Meeting This Monday

Rouge ParkIf you’re a geocacher on the east side of the City, you might want to take a look at what’s going on at the large natural park over there. There’s change coming, and it will potentially have an impact on geocaching in the park.

Rouge Park, which is home to many geocaches is creating a draft Trails Plan. Now is the time to see what’s going on and provide any input toward the Park’s Trails Master Plan.

If you’re interested, you should visit the community public meeting this Monday, March 7 at the Markham Museum (in the Transportation Room).

The event starts with an open house from 5:00 to 6:30, followed by a presentation at 6:30 and a workshop at 7:00.

From the Master Plan release (PDF):

The Rouge Park Alliance is in the process of developing a Trails Master Plan (Plan) for Rouge Park. This will be the second public meeting to consult with the public and key stakeholders about the Plan.  As a result of the comments received from the First Public Meeting, additional investigation and evaluation were conducted with regards to the Plan. The Rouge Park Study Area is shown below. This meeting will present the visions, principles and the draft Trails Plan for review and input. Rouge Park staff and members of the consulting project team will be on hand to answer questions and receive comments and suggestions.

If you place geocaches on those trails, you are strongly recommended to attend that meeting!

[ Rouge Park ] [ Trails Master Plan ]

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Groundspeak Lackeys are Coming Soon!

Just got this in my weekly Groundspeak newsletter. It’s now official, the Lackeys will be coming to Spring Fling again so there’s one more reason to attend the event. If you’re heading over to Allegany State Park Geobash in New York state, you’ll also have an opportunity to meet them there – and of course they’ll be at Geowoodstock.

That’s three chances to meet a Lackey this year, all within a 3 hour drive of Toronto.

— Below is Groundspeak’s Announcement —

Groundspeak Lackeys to Attend Mega-Events in Eight Countries

 

Mega-EventsGroundspeak Lackeys are traveling thousands of miles from H.Q. this year to share smiles, shake hands and make geocaching memories at more than a dozen Mega-Events worldwide. We’d love to meet you and to hear your geocaching stories! Come find a Lackey at one of these Mega-Events:

Illinois, USA - MOGA (Midwest Open Geocaching Adventure)
Bussum, Netherlands - Geocaching Multi Event 2011
Oeiras, Portugal - 11 Years! Oeiras – Portugal
New York, USA - ASP GeoBash 6
Ontario, Canada - COG Spring Fling
Salzburg, Austria - Pinzgau 2011
Pennsylvania, USA - GeoWoodstock IX
Ohio, USA - Midwest Geobash
Wales, UK - Mega Wales 2011
Wisconsin, USA - West Bend $1000 Cache Ba$h
HQ in Washington State, USA - Groundspeak Block Party
Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany - Geocoinfest Europa
Catalunya, Spain - Mega Event Catalunya
South Carolina, USA - Geocoinfest

We hope to attend even more Mega-Events next year!

 

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Deer Bait: 10 Years Geocaching Event Tonight (Ontario’s Oldest Cache)

It’s been 10 years since GC2B4 – Deer Bait was placed in Short Hills Provincial Park, down Niagara way. It is one of the few geocaches that exist in Ontario’s Provincial Parks system due to the ban on physical caches implemented in 2005 by Ontario Parks. Deer Bait is Ontario’s oldest active geocache, and in the last 10 years 348 geocaching teams have found it. The cache itself is a basic traditional, a pleasant walk along the trail in a natural park. The above photo shows the cache and logbook (opened to a page from 2004).

Tonight, Cachedrone is holding an event cache to mark this milestone – GC2MR0A Deer Bait – 10th Anniversary. If you’ve got the time, pop down to Fonthill and share stories with other cachers. The event itself is being held at The Mouse Trap, which is located at 128 Regional 20 Rd East in Pelham/Fonthill (905-892-7857)

[ GC2B4 Deer Bait ] [ GC2MR0A Deer Bait – 10th Anniversary ]

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COG Spring Fling 007 Pre-Registration Goes Live

COG Spring Fling 007 LogoIn case you haven’t heard, the Central Ontario Geocachers are holding their annual Spring Fling Mega Event Cache on June 11, 2011. Once again it’s being held at the Tiffen Centre, less than one hour north of the Toronto Area. Apparently they have been infiltrated by some rogue element so details are scarce. They are calling for all geocachers to assist with their mission – local or otherwise.

What we do know is that the event is one you don’t want to miss, so be sure to visit the event page to view the vital information. You’ll also want to post a Will-Attend on the Geocaching.com event page. Preregistration opened up yesterday and they will be having a prize draw for those who register before May 1.

[ Spring Fling ][ Central Ontario Geogachers ] [ Groundspeak Forum Thread ] [ GC1MGER ]

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