It’s always surprising to me the amount of passion that geocachers can have. This is, after all, a game. But like any game, there are people who have a passing interest and people who become obsessed.
Caching was a near instant hit with me and my family. It was a reason to drive backroads and a reason to jump out of the truck. It was a way to connect with mysterious strangers. Geocaching, is after all, the closest thing to a secret society most of us will ever experience.
Like any secret society, there are rules. And there are people who love to enforce those rules – or at least their version of them. They can put even more time and energy into their love of making sure everybody does it THEIR way than into the game itself.
And I think I might have been a rule breaker.
My dad and I were business partners in a website called EatStayPlay.com. And when we discovered geocaching we both realized that this was an activity that really SHOULD be added to our website. (We provided free information about outdoor recreation across 12 states.) Geocaching was absolutely awesome and something that needed to be shared!
The challenge with EatStayPlay always was that it was a great idea but it just wasn’t easy to monetize or advertise. Or even explain, some days!
Somehow dad came up with an idea to have geocachers help us spread the word about our website. It came in the form of a free geocoin that you could earn by placing little plastic geotokens into caches. To keep things fair (and to keep caches from being stuffed full of the things) we created rules of our own. And I’m the first to admit, the whole thing was to run on the honor system. But let’s face it – all of GEOCACHING really runs on the honor system.
A few posts on the geocaching forum and we were off and running.