Today our class went geocaching!
First we had a reminder lesson about latitude and longitude, and a how-to with the GPS devices. Oh, and we talked about what GPS was, too. 🙂 We needed our plan and our GPS devices:
Then we were off! And how lucky we were they today’s weather broke just before we were scheduled to go outside on our hunt. We’d been watching it rain all morning out our windows, but it was reasonably dry by 1:00. Yay!
The cache we were looking for was hidden across the street from our school at Meramec Community College and was put there by a College for Kids class that learned about geocaching a couple of years ago. We went walking in that direction, checking our GPS’s as we went.
Then we new we were getting close when lots of kiddos started to gather around this tree. Their directions were to just stand there if they thought they found it–rather than yelling and screaming and spoiling it for everyone else.
We found it!! Can you see it there? Even though we didn’t need it, there was a clue on the directions to help if you got stuck. The clue was: the container is a camouflaged plastic jar.
Now, to open it!
Yeah, I know–horrible picture! But inside we found a log book, directions and an explanation, and lots of little trinkets that other geocachers had left before us. We signed the log book, and I showed them all the other goodies that were inside.
We logged in: 9/17/12 Robinson 5th Grade 2012. We saw that lots of other people had been there since the cache made in 2010. One entry was from the Trailblazers group at our school on June 29, 2011, and one was even Anna’s family! I took a picture of the log book to prove it, but alas, it was blurry, too. Believe me, her dad signed it with song lyrics! 🙂
I know–corny pic, right? This one was a card that the person made solely for the purpose of using it to geocache. He was San Diego, CA! All the way to that geocache in Missouri. Very cool.
So after we found this one, Keelan and I took the class to the geocache that Trailblazers (a science/technology club that our librarian, Mrs. Meihaus, and I let the last two years) had created and placed. We were originally going to hunt for that cache, but we couldn’t find it when we searched for it online. BUMMER! We took them there and found another huge bummer.
Looked great on the outside, but the bummer was what we found on the inside of our cache:
Half of the things we put in there were gone, and it was all wet and moldy! YUCK! This will definitely take some tender-loving-care to get back to the state it was in when we hid it last year. Boo. 😦
Ok, now a few more fun pics that were taken when I gave Fiona the camera, and a group shot.
What a great afternoon of geocaching fun with friends! I know I wish I learned about geography like this when I was a kid. 🙂
Have you ever been geocaching before? Do you have any suggestions for any good caches we could find? Tell us your stories!
How long did this take out of the day? Are the GPS units a set the whole school shares? Fun experiences.
We were gone for about 45 minutes, since we were just across the street. Yes, the GPS units are for our whole school. We bought them with grant money through Trailblazers last year for everyone to use! Have you ever been geocaching before?
Thanks for taking them geocaching. For those who want more fun there are more than 100 geocaches within 2 miles of Robinson school! Depending on what you all did you may have done 3/5ths or more of the requirements for the Girl Scout badge.
YAY! I hope to send home more info about geocaching with families, so that maybe kiddos can try out more of those outside of school. I hope to be able to take them again this year, too. Have you been to the one at Quinnette Cemetery?
I’ve heard of this but never knew what it was. Looks like y’all had a blast. 🙂
Yes, we found the cache at historic Quinette Cemetery and most of the others nearby. This cache is a small container without any goodies inside. The hide is slightly tricky but it shouldn’t be a problem.
Yeah–I’ve done that one twice actually. Just curious if you’d been there since it was so close. Any other suggestions for ones close to school would be great!
I can see by your photos you all enjoyed your geocaching experience. It was a pity someone and/or some water got inside the cache. If containers aren’t water tight and hidden, these things can happen.
In a way, I went geocaching long before we had hand held GPS devices to help find the way. I was in the Scouts here in Australia.
My GPS device back then was a hand held compass and military survey map of the area. Without the help of satellites sending signals, I needed to look for landmarks and locate them on the map so I could see where I was. I could also use the sun during the day and stars at night to help me find directions. Of course, using the sun and stars doesn’t work very well if it’s cloudy. 🙂
One journey was to last for three days. At the end we were required to arrive at a certain location. Careful map work and I led my team out within metres of where we intended.
Even these days I have explored the national parks in my area and know many fire trails and walking trails as well as some places few people would have seen. Imagine on a hot day coming across a pool of clear fresh water with a sandy bottom. I took it’s invitation and jumped in to cool off. It was only about 120cm (4′) deep but what an experience.
Keep blogging and geocaching.
Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia
That’s a skill I had to (quickly) develop in the Marine Corps, and something I wish I’d experienced before I got to training! Probably similar to being able to write code vs only using computers or websites, being able to follow a topographical map with a compass, step counts, and your own eyes (even to my low degree of proficiency) is something I’m proud of.
It’s probably paradoxical for me to be a techie teacher and pander to the old ways, but I hope to spend lots of time in the woods with my own children in a few years nurturing those skills.
Without doubt, the outdoors are all the more enjoyable when we know how to find our way around. Had friends concerned when I head out alone but I say I feel less safe crossing the roads in town. Besides, these days I can carry a mobile phone if I needed help. Tech in the outdoors can be handy but, I agree, there’s something more satisfying with a simple map and compass. I always have had a good sense of direction to help.
I had so much fun! I hope we get to do it again!!!