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Secret geocache hidden on Camosun's campus.Hidden in a stump, behind a bench, under the water, in a tree, and now at Camosun! GPS devices in hand, treasure-hunters scan Lansdowne campus for an elusive cache.

Capturing the imagination

“I went from finding a way to say no, to realizing this was a really cool idea,” says Sybil Harrison, Chief Librarian at Camosun, remembering the initial request to hide a geocache at Camosun. “And as staff discovered more about geocaching, it captured everyone’s imagination.”

Geocaching is a recreational adventure game that combines high tech with enjoyment of the outdoors or any public area where a small container (the geocache) can be hidden without the threat of accidental discovery.

A geocache owner chooses a hiding spot for their container, identifies the coordinates with the Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, and posts these coordinates at a website—usually www.Geocaching.com. The coordinates will bring navigators within two to six metres of the geocache, so an additional clue may also be provided to help pin down the search and thicken the mystery.

A potential geocacher searches the website for a tantalizing geocache in their area, enters the coordinates into their own GPS receivers, and the treasure hunt begins.

A geocache is usually a small, watertight container—however, creative cache-builders may build their cache to look like a bird feeder, a branch or any other disguise. A find is recorded on a log book inside the container and frequently, a new small trackable item, such as specially designed geocoin or fridge magnet, is exchanged for a found one. The container is placed back into its original hiding spot for the next enthusiastic geocacher and the find is posted at Geocaching.com.

Connecting with community

“It’s a healthy, active and fun thing to do,” says Chris Edley, instructor of both GPS and Geocaching Continuing Education courses at Camosun as well as the Director of the BC Geocaching Association. “It’s a great way for families to hike, connect, and explore the world.”

The enthusiasm for geocaching is growing quickly. “Every thirty seconds, a new person signs up at Geocaching.com,” says Edley, “And there are over 1,000 geocaches hidden within the greater Victoria area.”

The activity is supported by all levels of community. This last July, the B.C. Ministry of Environment chose geocaching as a communication medium to celebrate the B.C.’s 150th anniversary. For the GeoRush 2008 program, limited-edition commemorative coins have been hidden in geocaches in 150 provincial parks.

“Hiding a geocache on campus is a non-traditional way of showing that Camosun is about community,” says Harrison.

And the community approves. In the words of one successful geocacher, Camosun has a “…cleverly hidden and wonderfully created cache. Absolute brilliance, and one of my favourites ever!”

Find out more

To find out more about geocaching, go to www.Geocaching.com or www.bcgeocaching.com. Also watch Camosun’s Continuing Education calendar for Geocaching and GPS courses to be offered in 2009.

Last updated: September 23, 2015 5:12 pm

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