Back in December, right before Christmas, I was in the middle of a daily geocaching streak. My goal was to find at least one cache a day from November 1, 2017, until January 1, 2018. During the course of the streak, a winter event was planned at a local park pavilion. The event was planned for 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The pavilion is an outdoor shelter. No restrooms. No heat.
One geocacher marked that they will attend and was looking forward to the event to meet other geocachers. I think the comment was on Facebook and not the cache page at geocaching.com , and I think I gave a thumbs up to the will attend log because I like meeting other cachers. As my son and I were pulling into the park, a car was pulling out. Weird, I thought, but maybe it was someone using the park who’s not a cacher.
The event host made sure to say hi to us as we walked up to a picnic table with about a dozen people gathered around, standing and sipping on hot chocolate. We swapped some stories and gifts, signed the log and I had to leave to get back to work. A few days after the event, I saw there was a comment on the event page from someone who was upset by how rude everyone was at the event and they said they’d never go back to another event. Was this the driver of the car I saw pulling away?
I recall going to my first event, the local presentation of the Geocaching International Film Festival, or GIFF, in November 2016. I didn’t know anyone there except my wife and son. I am, by nature, rather shy. My wife and son had been to a geocaching Halloween event a month earlier, and my son fearlessly walked up to all these adults and introduced himself and wanted to know their caching name. I talked to a few cachers, but it did seem a bit cliquish. Everyone knew each other but me.
Fast forward a few months and I went to an April Fool’s Day event. The host welcomed me and my son as well as another cacher and his girlfriend. They had never been to an event, and my only event was the GIFF. MaxB on the River was there from Niles, Michigan. I learned a lot about trackables while talking to them. I found out about dipping and discovering. I also learned that some people stick with GPS units and others use smartphones. I learned that geocachers are friendly and they want you to enjoy yourself.
A couple weeks after that, my son and I made our way from Fort Wayne to Indianapolis for an event. We wanted (or maybe it was just me) a Signal the Frog souvenir for attending the event. The restaurant that was the host site is a German bakery that I had discovered decades earlier while I was stationed at Fort Benjamin Harrison during my time in Uncle Sam’s Army. Space was tight and tables were set up for four people each. One of the women at our table was from Martinsville, Indiana. I can’t remember where the other person was from. We talked about trackables and cemetery caches. As I was leaving, I noticed a dozen or so people hanging out by my car (it had no trackable on it at that time). Apparently, I was parked next to a geocache. My sound found the cache and everyone signed the log.
Geocaching wasn’t cliquish that day, nor has it been at any other event I’ve attended since.
What are your experiences? When you were new, did you find it cliquish?
Mike, from teamtailwagger, lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and caches predominantly in Northeast Indiana and Northwest Ohio. He’s found roughly 1125 caches since he started caching in August 2015. He’s not on any kind of streak right now, but he has attended more than a dozen events and hosted his first in July 2018.
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