Gathering Activity (in their circles)
- Attendance and dues
- Compass Point Message (adapted from the Time Travel Challenge for Brownies, compiled by the 1st Donaghcloney Brownie Guides, Northern Ireland) [Which Way interest badge]
- Circle Songs
- Brownie Song
Discussion - Geocaching
- Geocaching Challenge - history
- All around you, in every province and over a hundred countries around the world, people have hidden boxes for you to find in a global treasure hunt called Geocaching.
- There are currently over one million active caches worldwide and the number is growing rapidly. You probably pass right by a few of them every day and don’t even know it. Some caches contain prizes, others contain puzzles, and most contain log books for you to sign to prove you found it.
- Back in 1978 the Global Positioning System (GPS) was first launched and it was known as “Navstar”. It was designed, built and operated by the US Department of Defence. They created it for the military (for example, the US army) and so they “scrambled” the signal, only to be decoded by the military. If you didn’t have the code, then the signal you received was only accurate to 100 meters. Imagine a tall building with 32 floors – that’s how far 100 meters is. That is taller than any building in Kelowna.
- In the 1990s they had 24 active satellites orbiting the earth, and at that time the first GPS devices were available for purchase.
- But on May 1st, 2000 President Bill Clinton decided to turn the “selected availability” feature off – no more scrambling of signals, and now GPSs could be accurate to just 3 meters!
- Two days later, a man in Oregon (Dave Ulmer) thought that it would be fun to hide something and see if anyone could find it using a GPS device. He hid a bucket in the woods near Beaver Creek, Oregon and posted the location on the internet. The bucket had in it a logbook, a pencil, and some prizes. Within a day, the bucket was found, and geocaching was born!
- At first they called it “the GPS Stash Hunt” but by the end of the month the word “geocaching” was invented.
- Shortly after that, the geocaching.com website was created. This is the website we use today to find where geocaches are hidden, and to record our findings.
- In order to go geocaching, you need to have a GPS receiver, you need to look on the geocaching.com website, and you need to be prepared – because you are going hiking!
- You will find the coordinates (that’s the location) on the website, then put them into your GPS. Then you follow the GPS to the “treasure”. It has a compass on it to point you in the right direction. If you are in a big open area, you can just follow the arrow, but if you are in the woods, you will sometimes have to go in a different direction from the arrow, and follow the trails instead. The GPS will show you how far away you are, with the distance number decreasing as you get closer.
Discuss - more Geocaching!
- What to do when you find a geocache
- There are rules, or “etiquette” for when you go geocaching:
- If you find other geocachers when you are along the way, don’t tell them where the cache is – that would spoil their fun!
- Don’t be obvious about what you are doing – people who don’t know about geocaching are called “Muggles” (like the non-magical people in Harry Potter) and often they don’t understand this “game”. If they see you hunting for something, they might think you are hiding a bomb or doing something else that is bad.
- Sometimes there are “traders” in a geocache. If you take something, you need to leave something behind that is just as good, or better than, what you took. If you don’t have anything to trade, then don’t take anything. You must ALWAYS write in the log book.
- Replace the cache in the same place that you find out. Make sure it is hidden well enough so that the “Muggles” won’t discover it and throw it away!
- Make sure you log the find so the owner knows – this can also include posting it on the website and putting a DNF (did not find) so the owner can make sure it is still there.
- Don’t trespass on someone’s property unless you have their permission.
- Always have fun!
- Things inside a geocache:
- Logbook, pencil (bring your own), traders (not always), and sometimes there are “trackable” items.
- Trackable items are not traders. You should only take them if you are going to go geocaching again soon and can move the item to a new location. You NEED to record the item on the website. They have a special tracking code on them.
- Examples of trackable items are: travel bugs (show Zap Pop Gun) and geocoins.
- Travel bugs can be anything that you attach a tag to. In 2009 my Spark group put a Spark bracelet travel bug into a geocache in Mission Creek Park. – show picture of bracelet & map printouts from Google Earth
- Show some geocoins we have found.
- Compass game (choose one from Becky's Guiding Resource Centre) [Which Way interest badge]
- Traders for an upcoming camp (we made shrink art fish)
- Sing Now Run Along Home – song tune at http://www.dltk-bible.com/now_run_along_home.htm
- Sing the Brownie Closing Song