Archive for the ‘Events and Games’ Category
This past Saturday, I participated in WWFM 2011.
WWFM – World Wide Flash Mobs – A fun and friendly way to promote geocaching around the world. Thousands of geocachers at dozens of coordinated events spanning the globe, gathering at the same time.
Sonny and Sandy of the PodCacher podcast came up with the WWFM idea in 2007 after attending a mega-event. It was meant to be a fun “opposite” of a mega-event: all the cool aspects of a geocaching event, crammed into 15 minutes of excitement. An added dimension is represented by the letters “WW” – World Wide – these events occur across the planet on the same day at (mostly) the same time! These caching events are intended to bring geocachers together in a creative way, as well as introduce others (newbies) to the hobby.
- Hold the event on the official, announced day, preferably at the official time
- The event should last only 15 minutes (some locations hold separate “after” events for more fun)
- Take a group picture
- Collect the number of people attended for statistical purposes
- Be creative and Have fun!
There were about 40 people at the mob here in Prescott, Arizona. We gathered at the southwest corner of the Courthouse Plaza at 9:45. At 10:00, we took off for a walk around the square and then met at the south side steps for a group photo. There was a doggie event going on so I know we attracted a lot of attention. I told a BUNCH of people all about geocaching and EatStayPlay.com too!
Unlike the Tucson WWFM event, for our flash mob, we all wore red.
The best part of these geocaching events is that you get to meet all the “famous” cachers in your area. Like JeanAnJoe who are prolific cachers having found nearly almost 5,000 caches and have hidden over 700.
Here’s some more information about geocaching events.
Readers Weigh In:
- Have you ever been to an event? What did you think?
- Have you ever been in a flash mob? (Geocaching or otherwise)
- Would you attend a local meet-and-greet?
Those brilliant people over at geocaching.com realized that not only do geocachers like to find and hide geocaches, they also like to get together with OTHER cachers and share stories of the hunt.
In order to make it easier for you to meet other geocachers in your area (short of lurking at the most popular caches and popping out of the bushes for a chat) is to attend a geocaching event.
Geocaching.com calls these (drum roll please!)
An event cache is when an individual or a geocaching organization designate a time and location to meet and discuss geocaching. They are gatherings that are open to all geocachers and which are organized by geocachers.
There are three recognized types of event caches:
Anywhere from a handful to a few hundred people. They can be an evening meet-and-greet at a local cafe or an all-weekend camping extravaganza.
My very first event cache was a campout. About 200 cachers from Arizona (and farther) gathered in the deserts south of Phoenix for a weekend of caching. New caches were hidden just for the event, there was a skills contest, a poker run, and a flash mob.
This was a second “event cache” where all the participants took a huge group photo. In order to get credit for the “find” for the Flash Mob event, you had to sign in. It was a fun way to meet other cachers before we all headed out to search for the elusive First To Find.
Basically these are like an event cache EXCEPT for scale. Mega events have 500+ people attending and are usually HUGE annual events.
While out there on a cache hunt, we collect litter along the trails and properly dispose of it. Cache In Trash Out Events are much larger clean-up events that involve and benefit the larger community. What is Cache In Trash Out? (CITO)
One way to find these gatherings is by browsing through the event calendar: http://www.geocaching.com/calendar/
If you’ve attended an event in the past, contact that event organizer. Often times, they keep a mailing list to let people know of upcoming events in your area.
Tips To Getting The Most Out Of Events
- Like with any cache, be sure to read the event description carefully. You might need to bring swag or geocoins to trade, trash bags to collect garbage (CITO), and food to share.
- If you’re heading to an event that requires travel and lodging (including camping!), make sure you plan in advance. Larger events may lead to a shortage of nearby accommodations if you wait until the last minute.
- If it’s an outdoor event, come dressed for the weather. Don’t forget sunscreen, insect repellent and a water bottle.
- Make sure you have plenty of caching supplies AND gas in the car. When we attended this event, in the desert, we didn’t fill the gas tank up on our way INTO the event. We had to stop caching early the next day to go into town for more gas.
Readers Weigh In:
- How many events have you attended?
- What are your favorite types of events? Event, CITO, or Mega?
- Have you ever hosted an event?
When we went to the AJACS geocaching event, we were introduced to a “Poker Run”. Now, never having DONE a poker run before I was really interested to see how this event would happen.
Frankly, I’m no good a poker. Just ask my grandma. (Shown below in her EatStayPlay.com apron!) Every Thanksgiving, the family gathers at her house. And after the turkey is consumed and the left overs put away, Nana proceeds to whip my you-know-what in poker.
I’m terrible at it!
So the idea of playing geocaching poker… Well, I figured I might as well give it a shot.
I had figured that you’d go to some caches (5 maybe?) and pick a card to make a hand. But what I just couldn’t figure out what how that would be FAIR. I mean, wouldn’t the first person to each cache just get to choose cards that would make a Royal whatever-you-call-it?
Boy! Was I ever wrong!
Here’s how the poker run we participated in happened:
Number One: Ante up.
In this case, we needed to provide a quality trade item. The winner of the poker run was going to win a fully-stocked ammo can cache ready to hide.
(I contributed a first-aid kit)
Number Two: Get the cords
The fantastic coordinators from AJACS hid 5 caches around camp. So, all we had to do was visit each cache.
Number Three: Pick the cards.
Ah-ha! We were part of deck “B”. (There were over 200 people at the event so there were multiple decks in each cache.)
At each of the 5 caches, we just picked a card from deck “B”.
Now, remember how I was worried about fair? Well, turns out each card is in a sealed envelope. They’re even the blue-inside security envelopes so you can’t see the card. Just collect one envelope from each can and return the UNOPENED envelopes to the organizers.
To make it even better, each envelop had a big “B” written on it as well as the number of the cache: 1-5.
Number Four: Reveal the hand.
Just to give the team a fighting chance, I was very careful not to pick cards in any way. At ALL. When we got back to the registration, the event hosts opened the cards and wrote down our hand.
Not touching the cards must have paid off. We had the highest hand in our deck.
My Nana was so proud!
How do cachers in your area do a poker run?
Our caches were all practically IN camp and very easy to find.
Have you ever done a run where the caches were difficult to find?