Geocaching

  • GPS device

Purpose

Explore the world around you, and learn to navigate using the Global Positioning System (GPS).

Description

Geocaching is when an individual or team uses a GPS-enabled device to locate a geocache, or container, that is hidden in an area. There are thousands of geocaches in cities, towns, and forests across the world. In order to go geocaching, you will need to obtain the coordinates for a nearby geocache and attempt to find it using a GPS-enabled device. For an ideal experience, groups of two to four people should go geocaching, making sure that each member has an opportunity to navigate with the GPS.

Plan a series of activities to help you learn how to go geocaching. These activities should be planned by various team members and chosen from the following five fields of emphasis. You should also choose and plan a culminating activity—such as a geocaching treasure hunt with other Varsity teams—from one of the fields of emphasis.

All Scouts and adult leaders will need to have a smartphone or other GPS-enabled device. You will also need to search the Internet to find geocaching websites, coordinates, and applications.

Fields of Emphasis

Personal development

  • Invite an expert to teach your team how to use GPS, including marking way points, making track logs, and backtracking.
  • Learn how to find coordinates on a map and how to navigate to a marked point. Learn how to enter GPS coordinates for longitude and latitude.
  • Learn geocaching etiquette and protocol.
  • Practice finding geocaches in your community.
  • Create and share with your team a scripture geocaching course that teaches a gospel principle.

Service

  • Clean up around a geocaching site.
  • Teach another group of Scouts to use a GPS-enabled device or orienteering compass.

High adventure

  • Plan an overnight camp and geocaching excursion in an area where there are multiple geocaches.
  • Create one or more geocaches. Respect private property rights, and ask permission before creating a site.
  • Build a GPS track log for a wilderness trail in your area.

Special programs and events

  • Organize a competition among several Varsity teams. Have the teams race to find the greatest amount of geocaches in the shortest amount of time. These geocaches could be real geocaches or created by team leaders. This activity may cover a widespread area and require hiking, cycling, or other forms of transportation; it could also be combined with an overnight camping trip.

Advancement

  • Geocaching merit badge

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