- Written by SLAGA
- Hits: 676
Confluence Trash Bash
Saturday, March 18, 2017 8:00am til 1:00pm
Confluence Trash Bash is the annual clean-up in North St Louis and North St Louis County.
All are welcome, no experience required! Individual volunteers, civic groups and youth organizations are encouraged to attend.
|Please dress appropriately for working outside and current weather conditions. Be prepared to get wet and muddy.||Click to view flyer|
- Written by Patricia Hutchison
- Hits: 410
Continuing in its tradition of educating new geocachers, SLAGA VP How-D, with the help of other SLAGA members, introduced Cub Scout Pack 499 to the activity on Saturday, February 4, 2017.
In late November, 2016, Den Leader Larry Willick contacted SLAGA to request a class in geocaching for his Cub Scout Pack. Six scouts and their parents attended the class, held at the Grand Glaize branch of the St. Louis County Library in Manchester, MO. How-D (Bill Lange) spoke to the students for about an hour, covering the basics while illustrating his commentary with samples of cache containers and trackable items.
GPS units were distributed to Pack members and parents alike, so that everyone could have a hands-on experience. After a brief demonstration with the units, Walkingstic-stl (Nancy Gelb) and GeoConformity (Rick Rouse) led the class into the library’s parking lot, where there happened to be a published cache – SLCL: The Hobbit 5 – Riddles in the Dark (GC4KR92) – on site. The Pack followed their GPSes to the cache pretty quickly, where they made the grab and signed in, while checking out the contents of the container. After replacing the cache for the next seeker to find, How-D used the picking up of the trash in the area to demonstrate the geocaching practice of CITO. Then the group moved to Queeny Park where they hunted both temporary and permanent caches. The students were able to not just sign in on the logs, but could trade items from their swag bags as well. The activity proved to be very popular with the Cub Scouts.
Cub Scout Pack 499 in the field.
As the class ended, several of the attendees indicated that they would be interested in doing more geocaching in the future. All were encouraged to check out the SLAGA website for more information and to become involved in geocaching by attending upcoming events.
Groups interested in learning more or requesting classes should contact SLAGA. Because training sessions are led by volunteers, it is best to submit inquiries as soon as possible to ensure someone is available during the timeframe requested.
- Written by Korriaan
- Hits: 581
- Written by Patricia Hutchison
- Hits: 364
The holidays that bookend the close of one year and the beginning of the next have come and gone, but not without some fanfare from the SLAGA family.
Beginning with the Twelve Days of Cachemas on December 13, SLAGA celebrated with new caches and several events. Twelve lucky (and persistent) geocachers obtained not only smileys but the coveted annual Cachemas ornament, created by L Frank. The bonus cache, released on Christmas Day, was FTFed by SWASeeker. Congratulations to all who braved the cold, venturing out before sunrise in some cases.
In the middle of the Cachemas fever, Nan-D1955 hosted the SLAGA Christmas Party at Kirkwood Station Restaurant on December 17. In spite of freezing temperatures and icy conditions, about thirty-five party animals showed up, bearing canned goods and toys to be donated to charity. Nan collected ninety-one cans of food for Circle of Concern in Valley Park, while Spiritwolf922 carted out four large bags of gifts for Toys for Kids.
On Christmas Day, for the fourth year in a row, Strider and Crowesfeat30 hosted Cachemas Day with Friends at the Hibachi Grill Supreme Buffet in Ballwin, with about eighteen cachers logging for their Attended smileys.
Team_State brought the celebration to a close with two same-day events: SLAGA New Years Brunch and SLAGA New Years Day Hike 2017. The group effectively took over the Eureka Culver’s restaurant with over thirty attendees, filling the main dining area. The hike drew a few more with nearly forty Attended logs posted.
The hike consisted of two teams – Strider’s and L Frank’s – hiking in opposite directions on the loop trail (which wasn’t nearly as flat as advertised), picking up the few ‘resident caches’, but also collecting twenty-two temporary caches which contained two Scrabble-style letters in each, intended to spell out a secret message at the end. L Frank’s team arrived at the parking lot first, but Spiritwolf922 made everybody wait until all the hikers had returned before she opened her gallon-sized bag of homemade chocolate chip cookies to share.
Both New Year’s Day events were great successes, with the weather cooperating beautifully. What was expected to be gray and chilly turned out to be sunny and upper forties, allowing many of the hikers to leave their heavier coats in their cars.
The holidays may have come to an end, but there are still many SLAGA events yet to come in 2017, including two in January: The Ninth Annual Slurpin’ Soup and Watchin’ Eagles (GC6XK93) in the Village of the Blue Rose, between Clarksville and Louisiana, MO; and The SLAGA Winter Potluck & Cabin Fever – 2017 (GC6X1ZQ), in The Pavilion at Lemay, in Jefferson Barracks Park, St. Louis County, MO. Be sure to check out the upcoming events in the panel on the right side of the screen on the SLAGA.org webpage.
- Written by Team_State (on behalf of Hobbit Taz)
- Hits: 655
Final Race States: Jan 21, 2017
- Written by Patricia Hutchison
- Hits: 588
A few weeks ago, SLAGA was contacted by Girl Scout troop leader Katherine Meirink, inquiring if we had anyone willing to teach a dozen fifth-grade girls how to geocache. Of course, the answer was a resounding YES!
On October 5, Nancy Gelb (walkingstic-stl), Nan Fritschle (nan-d1955), Evelyn Fenter (arabbit, of arabbit&ubuck), Bill Lange (How-D) and Patricia Hutchison (spiritwolf922) showed up at the Dog Museum entrance of Queeny Park to introduce 12 students and three adults to geocaching.
Walkingstic-stl had already been busily setting out her gear, which included samples of caches, trackables and swag, as well as four temporary caches interspersed among ‘live’ caches for the kids to find.
At about 3:30 pm, members of Troop 1247 of St. Clement’s arrived with their leaders and gathered at the picnic tab-2-2le where walkingstic-stl began with introductions of the other SLAGA members who were assisting her, then engaged her students by asking what they already knew about geocaching and GPS units. The kids enthusiastically responded and asked their own questions.
The presentation was brief due to time constraints, but walkingstic-stl and her supporters were able to explain geocaching etiquette and what to expect with searching for caches, such as sizes of containers and signing logs. She also introduced them to some geocaching terms such as ‘muggle’ – which the students all knew from Harry Potter – swag and CITO. Several of the volunteers reinforced the idea that cachers are eco-friendly and that to keep our game board clean and fun for everyone, it is a good practice to pick up trash whenever we see it.
Walkingstick-stl also stressed safety, reminding the students that they would be in an active parking lot and crossing the entrance to the park. “Watch out for elephants!” was her mantra for this lesson – and one which was repeated throughout the next hour, as volunteers reminded the students to look up from their GPS units periodically to make sure they weren’t walking in front of a car.
Each student was provided a small bag of swag to trade at the temporary caches – the ‘live’ caches were all too small for swag – and, splitting into three groups, they were off to find their first hides.
ETrexes in hand, walkingstic-stl led one set of girls with the troop leader, nan-d1955 took off with another lot and How-D and arabbit headed off with the last group. How-D’s and arabbit’s charges headed toward their first location, zeroing out quickly and beginning to look around. It took a few minutes for them to spot the hide, with How-D suggesting that they fan out a little, reminding them of the title of the cache – a temporary called Cave Dweller – and explaining that geocachers used more than their eyes to puzzle out where something could be hidden. In this case, the cache was stowed in a crevice between two large boulders and had a slim stone covering the entryway.
There’s nothing quite like the cry of “Found it!” by the first-time cacher, and the smiles on the faces of the SLAGA members showed the same delight, pleased at having passed that excitement along to their students, and hopefully, future geocachers.
Throughout the lesson, the SLAGA volunteers answered questions, offered their insights on caching as well as emphasizing the need to stay together and work together – no cacher left behind! – while walking between hides. The students loved finding the larger containers, eagerly spilling the contents and making their trades, then signing in and putting the cache back in its hiding space for the next bunch to find.
How-D’s and arabbit’s group were at one cache when walkingstic-stl’s students approached. The kids at the cache began hurriedly signing the log while some of the others worked to distract the newcomers so the cache could be replaced for them to experience the same fun finding it.
All too soon, the session came to an end and the Girl Scouts had to gather in the parking lot to leave for their next activities for the evening. The leaders appeared to be quite pleased with the results and profusely thanked walkingstic-stl and her supporters. Before they left, the SLAGA representatives suggested to the Girl Scouts that if they had any further questions or just wanted to learn more about geocaching, to contact SLAGA through its website, and to consider looking for and attending events to meet other cachers.
Groups such as Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts looking for assistance with the geocaching merit badge are encouraged to contact SLAGA via the local website. Because these sessions are provided by volunteers, it is best to inquire as early as possible to ensure that someone is available during the timeframe requested.