Scouts of 3rd Sevenoaks Bradbourne Scout Troop have recently been learning the educational sport of geocaching.
Geocaching is a digital treasure hunt played throughout the world. People leave a 'cache', a small container for others to find. Details of the cache are placed online through a website like geocaching.com. The seeker uses published grid co-ordinates, description, encrypted clues and a GPS reference to help locate the cache. When finding the cache seekers have to be careful not to be spotted by 'muggles' - those not involved in geocaching who may try to find out what it is after the seeker has left. When found, the contents of the cache is normally exchanged for something the seeker has taken with them to leave for the next person. A log book in the cache is also normally completed.
Scouts started learning geocaching through a GPS Easter Egg hunt (the first in 2007, then again 2008) in the grounds of the Scout hut. Each Patrol followed a different route of 6 caches, each cache with a geocaching related task, like swapping an item, decrypting a clue or completing a log entry. The final cache in the route led them to the treasure, a canister of Easter eggs.
The next step was to try some real caches, so on a recent weekend camp, each Patrol hiked to a different cache located in the Sevenoaks District. They took and swapped items and came back with small gifts such as a 'disco ball' which adorned a dining shelter! Some caches were harder to find than others, hidden deep in tree roots and brambles!
The natural next step was to leave our own. Scouts choose the cache type and contents. On Thursday during a meeting at Knole Park we left our cache - a sandwidth box containing a Group photo, Group badges, log book and some Scouting badges as swaps. Having obtained permission we left the cache hidden on the Scout and Guide campsite.
Within 24 hours, 4 people had already recorded that they had visited the cache and left items including a traveling coin (an item with a purpose of travelling around the country/world, passed from cache to cache and tracked on the website).
You too can visit the cache and track its progress using the link below...