What's A Geocache?
January 28, 2013
The first time I heard the term "geocache," I thought we might be talking about geodes or some other kind of rock collection. Then I read this year's Mark Twain Nominee, Hide & Seek by Katy Grant, about a young boy who used a hand held GPS device to look for geocaches, and in the process found two children. As I was promoting this book to schools, I decided I needed to know more about geocaching.
About two weeks later, a patron came into the Library and wondered if we would be interested in being a site for a geocache. We sat down, and I was given a grand lesson on the various ways to geocache. Basically, a geocache is a kind of treasure hunt. You are given the coordinates of a site so you can get yourself within about 20 feet of the cache with a GPS device. From there on, you have to search. Once you find it, there is usually a log book for you to sign. Many people use creative signatures they made up to write in the log. Some people leave trinkets in the cache box (if there is a box). You are allowed to take a trinket as long as you leave one of similar value.
There are different styles of geocaches, some have single parts and others have multiple clues to reach the cache. Some are large and others quite small (the size of a key case or less); they are in every US state and almost every country in the world. It is a great way to explore a new area (or see your home area in a new way). It's lots of fun for a family outing, and it's a way to mix digital with the great outdoors.
Oh, and yes, Smithville Branch has a geocache (as do several MCPL Branches). It is great fun to check the cache, see all the new signatures in the log, and realize we have brought some new clients into the branch in a new and different way. Be sure to look at the Geocaching website to learn more about it.