When I was introduced to geocaching in 2013, I viewed it as a great opportunity to get my little ones interested in the outdoors. I myself had never really been interested in hiking, camping, and the like. At the time, my oldest son was just 4 years old and he didn’t really have any outdoor experiences other than the local playgrounds. I remember inviting him on a real treasure hunt where he would be able to pick his prize from a hidden container. He was very excited at the thought of being a real life treasure hunter. I carefully picked our very first geocache that happened to be only a couple miles from our house. A very easy D1/T1.5 Mailbox Cache made for a quick find. I’ll never forget his confusion as to why the treasure was in someone’s mailbox. Between work and life at home, time to go find geocaches were very limited. Anytime I managed to get out, Hayden was right with me. His excitement grew with each new find and he began to ask when we would go find treasure. One particular cache in those early days held a very special meaning to him as he was able to walk along a retired section of railroad line. He loved trains.
Once my second son had grown big enough he began asking when he could go along with Daddy and Brother. I was eager to include him because of his interest, but I had no idea what the trips would entail. Both boys are very strong-willed and would argue constantly of things that only little boys find important. The constant back and forth made me dislike the adventure altogether. I quickly found that taking one at a time on my outings made things much more enjoyable. Their differences being apparent made me plan my cache routes differently. Hayden wasn’t very fond of long walks and getting dirty, while Parker didn’t care for the easy P&Gs. Parker’s resilience and energy kept me motivated to go on the hunt for caches further away from home.
The great thing about Caching with Kids is the endless supply of SWAG. I found myself robbing Happy Meals, because McDonald’s “ran out” of toys. Holiday gift bags from school were prime sources, not to mention my wife’s urge to fill Halloween Buckets and Christmas Stockings with little trinkets that held their interest for 2 minutes. Bouncy balls, vampire teeth, themed pencils and erasers all for the taking. Soon the supply would come to an end.
Hayden soon lost his interest in the adventure. He was now in school and began to explore common interests with his classmates. I encourage him to explore different activities that he enjoys so that he will grow up with a wide array of childhood experiences. This actually made him a bit more agreeable whenever I wanted to include him on the hunt for a few caches. Before I knew it, Parker was in school beginning to experience the same little boy problems as his older brother. Every so often, I find myself lucky enough to have both of them along with me while I am on the road for yet another find. Earthcaches are great for them, because they actually enjoy learning. Even though they are rare in my drivable area, I try to pick them so that the boys can actually assist with figuring out the answers. They both are always game to find a large cache containing SWAG too.
I hope that the youngest of the brothers finds himself wanting Daddy’s approval by joining in on the adventure. I can almost see the 4 Cody Boys, and Mom of course, out enjoying nature together. Walking, boating, camping, biking, and climbing mountains. All for the joy of finding that one geocache. Talk about a smiley.
Sir-Drumalot lives in Mississippi and enjoys vlogging about his geocaching adventures. You can find him on YouTube (Sir-Drumalot), Twitter (@SirDrumalot77), Instagram (@SirDrumalot77), and Facebook (@SirDrumalot77). If you’re lucky, you might discover his unique trackable drumsticks – his own personal swag item.