Geocaching is a love of mine.
The facts about geocaching:
1) In the last 30 days, there have been 5,325,670 new logs submitted – which means more than 5 million caches were found around the world.
2) There are 1,979,792 active geocaches.
3) There are over 5 million geocachers worldwide. – which means there are 5 million active anoraks around the world.
This is Geography on steroids – real tangible experiences that can contextualise other geographical skills.
Key Geocaching Lingo:
Key Equipment & Terms
A cache is a box of treasure (other cache types do exist – info here for wanna be cache geeks)
You need a GPS unit or a smart phone. (There is no way The Boy is groping around in undergrowth with my smart phone, i recommend one of these: A Garmin Etrex, Cheap – on Ebay now, water proof, wine proof & shock proof.
You need a pen to complete the visitors book.
You need Treasure. Part of the etiquette is that if you take treasure, you leave treasure. ( Treasure is the usual detritus small children keep hidden in plain sight all over the floor of their bedrooms)
You may encounter a travelbug or geocoin which are geocaching ID tags defining the mission set up by a fellow cacher.
There are such thing as travel bug hotels near to airports, to facilitate easy overseas travel.
What is a Geographer?
Well other than wearing walking boots and walking trousers to work, probably having a beard (just the blokes you understand) and hugging every available tree…..And I must acknowledge Oliver Qunilan here for having the wisdom to refer to the National Curriculum out during one of our evening debates.
The National Curriculum says this: ( paraphrased and turned from a subject into a holder of the discipline) ( its on page 108 if you have missed it)
Geographers provoke and answer questions about the natural and human worlds, using different scales of enquiry to view them from different perspectives. They develop knowledge of places and environments throughout the world, an understanding of maps, and a range of investigative and problem-solving skills……. Geographers understand and resolve issues about the environment and sustainable development. Geographers realise how nations rely on each other.
How does Geocaching help young children engage with the discipline of Geography?
1) It supports different perspectives, the cache owner and the cache searcher
2) People pay much more attention to their surroundings.
3) They have a reason to engage with maps as they plan walks to collect more than one cache on a journey
4) They explore other areas as their travel bug explores the world for them.
5) It provides a real identifiable character to follow around the world.
6) It allows them to explore who visited a cache and where they were from.
7) It develops concepts of distance and time and journeys. The GPS unit gives data such as average speed, height above sea level, distance travelled. For an apprentice
anorak Geographer, that’s gold dust, and it’s real