- Hits: 2540
Written by Hilary Korabik
On Saturday, Feb. 25, Clare Conner and Katie Newman, both juniors at Saint Louis University, found themselves corralling chickens in Tower Grove Park. Were they fully engaged in learning where their food comes from? Not exactly; this is just one of the many adventures a person might come across while geocaching.
Geocaching is a global treasure hunt that was started in 2000 by a group of Global Positioning System enthusiasts, after a major upgrade in the civilian GPS system. This upgrade allowed GPS users to pinpoint locations as much as 10 times more accurately than they had previously been able to, according to former president George Bush’s press release on May 1, 2000.Read entire article at unewsonline.com.
- Written by Denmother
- Hits: 3259
Now in its 9th year, MOGA (the Midwest Open Geocaching Adventure) is headed north to the land between the rivers, Io-way! They say Iowa has a time zone all of its own. Well, they might be lightin’ up the tilt sign, but we’ll have a blast with it anyway – so set your clocks back 50 or 60 years and get ready to Rock Around the Clock Cache!
MOGA has teamed up with the Iowa Geocachers Organization, the US Army Corps of Engineers Kansas City District, Honey Creek Resort State Park, and of course, Groundspeak to make your cruise back in time hit the top of the charts! The date has been set – April 27, 28, and 29, 2012. The playing field has been identified – Rathbun Lake, Centerville, Iowa. The headquarters has been secured – Honey Creek Resort State Park, Moravia, Iowa.
You cool cats know that MOGA is an action-packed weekend, where participants race from waypoint to waypoint on foot in search of competition punches. But MOGA isn't just for competitors -- there are also activities geared towards families and the laid-back cacher. There will be around 150 permanent caches of all styles – hikers to park-n-grabs, ammo cans to nanos, and special hides just for the kiddos. You’ll be on Cloud 9 with the poker run and other sister events. You can geocache at your own pace, or you can enter the individual or team competitions for a chance to win a custom-made trackable award coin!
Go to www.mogageo.com to sign up now! There are registration packages for every budget, including a FREE registration, as well as packages that include swag, t-shirts, and meals. Remember, pre-registering is the only way to purchase meals for this event. So put it on your calendar before you get too much smog in the noggin. Iron your threads and poodle skirt, brush out your nest, and polish your saddle shoes. Let’s get Rockin’ ‘Round the Cache!
- Written by Denmother
- Hits: 3627
One of our favorite things about geocaching is that it takes us to some wonderfully obscure locations. Another thing we love is that geocaching allows us to learn a lot about plants and animals along the way. Although our most recent adventure was not geocaching-related, it still had the elements of going somewhere the average person doesn’t get to see and learning something new that opened our eyes.
I don’t know about you, but when I think of the Tyson Research Center along Highway 44 at Antire Hill, I've always pictured two-headed Tyson chickens running around behind that high-security fence. What you may not know is that, nestled in the middle of the Tyson Research area, are 63 acres devoted to the Endangered Wolf Center (formerly known as the Wild Canid Survival and Research Center) founded by Marlin Perkins. (You know, the guy from Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, and former director of the St. Louis Zoo.)
For L Frank's birthday, I signed us up for one of the Wolf Center's monthly Wolf Howls. We were given a 15-minute window to be at the Tyson Research Center gate, where someone would let us in and give us instructions on where to go. Pulling up to the gate after dark, we were surprised by the number of cars waiting to go in. We took our place in line, and eventually the gates opened and the cars were allowed in one by one.
The woods were pitch-black on either side of us as we drove about a mile and a half, where we were directed to park along the side of the road. Then we got out of our cars and walked to a World War II-era munitions bunker where the event was to begin. The inside of the bunker was set up with a presentation screen, chairs, information on the animals at the Wolf Center, and even a little gift shop. We were served wine and cheese before taking a seat.
The event began with a Wolf Center employee giving a presentation on the wolves and other endangered species living there. The red wolf, we were told, used to roam Missouri but was almost completely exterminated in the 1800s and early 1900s. By the 1930s, only two packs remained in the wild.
The mission of the Wolf Center (www.endangeredwolfcenter.org) is to provide an “alternative to extinction” for hundreds of wolves and other endangered canids through education, behavioral and reproductive research and carefully managed breeding. The work done there has been responsible for successful reintroduction programs for the Mexican gray wolf and the red wolf.
After the presentation, our group was invited to walk down a gravel road with our flashlights and call to the wolves to see if they would answer. We had walked a few hundred feet when we all stopped in our tracks at the sound of the wolves starting to howl in the distance. We listened to the sound for a few minutes, trying to imagine the terror that early settlers in Missouri said they felt when they heard the wolves’ cry all around them. How could those early accounts be referring to the beautiful, soulful sound we were hearing?
The wolves quieted as suddenly as they had started. One of our guides stayed with us, and the other continued down the road. They were going to each try to howl as if they were lost wolves searching for the pack. First one, then the other guide gave their best rendition of a Mexican grey wolf. I guess the pack wasn’t fooled, because only one wolf felt sorry for us and answered. Then our whole group howled on cue, but the wolves must have been laughing at us at that point, since the only answer we got when we listened for a reply was a train whistle in the distance. We felt lucky to have heard them earlier, and left wanting to return for a daylight tour so we could actually get to see them in their habitats. All in all, a fun, educational experience in an area that I would have otherwise never been able to see. What more could a geocacher wish for? Maybe next time I’ll spot one of those two-headed chickens.
- Hits: 2930
by Eric Schudiske, Groundspeak Lackey
In the 11 years and 9 months since the first geocache was placed, there is single date on which only a small fraction of geocachers have ever logged a cache. We suspect that’s because this particular date has only happened twice in geocaching history; it’s February 29, also known as leap day.
Given our penchant for all things that leap (frogs, horses, excited geocachers), we wanted to mark the third leap day in geocaching history — February 29, 2012 — by seeing how many accounts can log a cache that day.
Last February 29, way back in 2008, 36,696 distinct accounts logged an “Attended” or “Found it” on a cache. Given the growth of the geocaching community since then, we think we can double that number this year. But 73,392 distinct accounts logging a cache is a lofty goal; it’s the second highest number of accounts to log a cache in a single day. The current record, 78,313, was set on 10/10/10. Considering that 10/10/10 was a Sunday and February 29 will be a Wednesday, it is going to require a huge push to reach our goal.
So, talk to your fellow geocachers, your friends, and your co-workers about going geocaching (and logging their find) on February 29. In order to count toward the goal, people only have to log a single cache.
Everyone who logs a “Found it” or “Attended” this February 29 will receive the Leap Day Souvenir on their profile. As an added bonus, Premium Members who love to look at their “finds by date” statistics most likely see a blank square on the calendar on February 29. This is your chance to fill in the square —the 366th day of geocaching!
Local Leap Day Events:
GC3BY21 Leap Day (City Folk Edition) - St. Louis MO
GC3BXVT Happy (hour) Leap Day! - St. Charles MO
GC3C98C Meet, Greet, Eat and Leap - Salem MO
GC3B5X3 Leap Day in Columbia - Columbia MO
- Written by Denmother
- Hits: 3464
Bring your favorite food to share as we get together for a meet-and-greet on Saturday, January 28th, at Jefferson Barracks Park to focus on getting to know each other and the many new cachers in the area. Starting at 11:00 am, we will have a silent auction, games, good food, geocaching milestone awards, and will swap caching stories inside the heated Grant Pavilion. The winners of the 2011 SLAGA Travel Bug Race will be announced at this event. This is also a good opportunity to invite local land managers that you have personally worked with. Please contact your local land manager or parks department and invite them to come out. We will also have a drop-off spot for those wanting to donate canned goods to a local food pantry. Sign up by logging your "Will Attend" on the cache page.
- Hits: 3112
Written by Ravi Kumar
Whatever happened to that nerd-tastic hobby called Geocaching? The high-tech game of hide and seek still has around 5 million users worldwide if Wikipedia is accurate. But some education start-ups are looking at ways to use the same GPS technology as a way to make learning fun by linking GPS devices to curriculum. The timing is right, given that GPS apps like Google Maps and others now often come standard on smart phones and readers like iPads.
Recently, Apisphere, Inc., the company behind Geomate. jr, an easy to use GPS-based geocaching device collaborated with SDG Creations, Ltd. to enable teachers and students to actively learn through what they call “geocaching.”
Educaching, a GPS based curriculum for Educators would like you to believe that learning is like treasure hunting or geocaching.
"The curriculum combined with the Geomate.jr guides teachers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) based, GPS scavenger hunts that engage students in teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking and exercise in a fun learning environment," said Jason Hubbard, teacher and author of the Educaching GPS based curriculum.
Read the entire article at www.wiredacademic.com.
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