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Mn State Park Geocaching History Challenge
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EskoClimber
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 24 May 2005

Posts: 810
Location: Duluth area

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:08 pm    Post subject: Mn State Park Geocaching History Challenge Reply with quote

Minnesota State Parks – Geocaching History Challenge Summary

  • Each of the 72 state parks in Minnesota will have a geocache with a baseball card that will have a historical photograph and an explanation of the picture that will help you “find your place in history”. The card for the local park will be in the geocache located in that park. The goal is to visit all the state parks and collect the 72 different cards. The life span of the project at this time is expected to be four years.
  • The caches will be owned by geocachers and placed by the geocacher with the help of the local park manager in an interesting area that the park wants to showcase. The job of the cache owner will be to keep the geocache stocked with history cards, check the logbook, and maintain the cache itself.
  • There will 5 challenges, 4 regional and the statewide challenge. Each regional challenge will require a visit to the caches in a region. At that point, the geocacher will submit a list of their finds to the owner of that regional mystery cache. The coordinates for the final of the regional challenge will then be emailed to the lucky soul. The statewide challenge will be handled the same way.
  • The state is hoping to have a trackable geocoin minted that will be given to each person that completes a challenge. The regional coins will be a different metal than the gold coin awarded for completing all 72 parks.
  • Each region will have at least one GPS Demonstration Park that will be using geocaching as a way of teaching people to use a GPSr. The finals for the challenges will be in these GPS Demonstration Parks as well.
  • The state parks will also be starting a travel bug for each park whose goal it will be to visit the other 72 state parks. This is to give the local parks an incentive to watch the TB’s and garner more interest in the program.
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EskoClimber
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 24 May 2005

Posts: 810
Location: Duluth area

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Minnesota State Parks – Geocaching History Challenge Details

Each of the 72 state parks in Minnesota will have a geocache with a baseball card that will have a historical photograph and an explanation of the picture that will help you “find your place in history”. The card for the local park will be in the geocache located in that park. The goal is to visit all the state parks and collect the 72 different cards. The life span of the project is expected to be four years.

The caches will be owned by geocachers and placed by the geocacher with the help of the local park manager in an interesting area that the park wants to showcase. The job of the cache owner will be to keep the geocache stocked with history cards, check the logbook, and maintain the cache itself.
The state will provide the ammo can, logbook, history cards, and hopefully some travel bugs to be placed in the cache. The cans will be painted, stocked, and then distributed to the local parks. Extra history cards to restock the cache will be divided between the cache owner and the local park so that either one can restock the cache.
The local park manager will contact the geocache owner to set up a time to meet to place the cache. Because of the timeline required to get a cache approved through the park system, this will probably happen before the ammo can is actually available. The reason for that is that it takes 3 to 4 weeks to get the cache through the various databases the state uses to locate and protect natural and archeological recourses.
There will be a set of guidelines for the park manager and the geocacher to follow. We hope this will be a .pdf available on the MN DNR website the geocacher can print out before they meet with the park manager.
The caches will have a name and a web page form so that the cache pages are consistent. The state will be providing artwork and the basic html file which will be available through the MnGCA and hopefully the state. The name is going be something along the lines of Minnesota Geocaching History Challenge – Fort Snelling or Minnesota Geocaching History Challenge – Soudan Underground Mine.
The parks are looking at the cache owner to maintain and keep the geocache stocked. Park staff training is going to be an issue because their training time is limited for all the things they have to accomplish in the park besides the geocache.
The parks that host the regional finals and the 72 park final are also going to be owned by the geocacher that has that park. At this time, we are working to have the MnGCA put the challenge finals on its watch list so either the owner or the MnGCA can issue the coordinates for the finals. That way if a person is on vacation, the coordinates for the finals can still be issued to anyone that completes a challenge.
This means that the owner of the geocache is going to have to put a little time into this project. Watching the number of logs will give a good idea of when it is time to check on a cache to restock cards.
Cache owners will need to be members of the MnGCA so the we can gather contact information to give to the park managers so they can contact the geocacher that has adopted their park and to make it easier for the MnGCA to contact them as well.
The cache owners, or one of the team members, will need to be reasonably close to a park to maintain it in a timely fashion.

There will 5 challenges, 4 regional and the statewide challenge. Each regional challenge will require a visit to the caches in a region. At that point, the geocacher will submit a list of their finds to the owner of that regional mystery cache. The coordinates for the final of the regional challenge will then be emailed to the lucky soul. The statewide challenge will be handled the same way.
The cache owner and the local park manager will have to set a time to meet and place the final for the challenge cache the same as they would for the local cache in the park.
The plan is to have the final coordinates submitted to the MnGCA board so they can issue the coordinates should the cache owner be unavailable.
The reason for having the MnGCA or the cache owner do the verification for the finals is that the park staff doesn’t have the time to deal with checking the logs and lists so they are looking for volunteers to do it. We haven’t worked out the details on how the person would obtain the geocoin for completing a regional or statewide challenge.

The state is hoping to have a trackable geocoin minted that will be given to each person that completes a challenge. The regional coins will be a different metal than the gold coin awarded for completing all 72 parks.
This is dependent on the state securing sponsors to fund the minting of the coins. The proposal is a gold coin for completing the statewide challenge, a silver coin for the regional challenges, and a bronze coin that will be placed in random caches for people to pick or to purchase at the nature store at the local park. The state is going to try and make a feature on the regional coin color coded to match the region it was issued. Remember, this is dependent on sponsorship to fund the project.

Each region will have at least one GPS Demonstration Park that will be using geocaching as a way of teaching people to use a GPSr. The finals for the challenges will be in these GPS Demonstration Parks as well.
The state is hoping to purchase 250 GPS receivers (GPSr’s) for these demonstration parks so they can have seminars to teach people how to use one. This is heavily dependent on sponsorship for funding. This would be an excellent opportunity to have GeoTech events at these parks.
Its unclear if the park staff is looking for geocachers to assist at the demonstration parks at this time.

The state parks will also be starting a travel bug for each park whose goal it will be to visit the other 72 state parks. This is to give the local parks an incentive to watch the TB’s and garner more interest in the program
This is an idea that is just pure fun for the park staff. There are no rewards other than bragging rights. This is not a requirement for a park to start a travel bug but the dog tags will be available for them.

A thought for handicapped geocachers that would be unable to visit all the caches would be to have a travel bug in that handicapped cacher’s name that would travel to all the parks. If the bug hits all the caches in a region or even manages to get to all 72 parks in the system, then that geocacher would be eligible for the final the same as if they had physically visited those caches.
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Marsha and Silent Bob
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 6261

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a very cool way to get more caches (and caching) happening in Minnesota State Parks. Thanks for taking this project on, it certainly looks fun.
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Bus&Betty
Geocacher


Joined: 07 Sep 2007

Posts: 328
Location: Blaine, MN

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for all the work on this project. Your information is very detailed and answered all of our questions. We're looking forward to this.

Bob and Patty
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m&tcacheseekers
Geocacher


Joined: 17 Oct 2007

Posts: 101

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:48 am    Post subject: regional challenges Reply with quote

Just curious, when you mention each region will have a mystery cache
and after cacher visits all on the region they email list to owner of the mystery cache, how and where will the mystery cache be located for the regions.
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EskoClimber
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 24 May 2005

Posts: 810
Location: Duluth area

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The final cache for each region wil be in one of the state parks. Which park will be evident by the dummy coordinates for the mystery cache.
Coordinates for the finals will be obtained by email the same as other caches of this type. That is the reason for having the coordinates for the final available from the board as well. If someone is on the road, it would be nice if they could obtain they numbers in a timely fashion.
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andrewmcc
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 29 Jul 2007

Posts: 996

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EskoClimber wrote:
Minnesota State Parks – Geocaching History Challenge Details


The local park manager will contact the geocache owner to set up a time to meet to place the cache. Because of the timeline required to get a cache approved through the park system, this will probably happen before the ammo can is actually available. The reason for that is that it takes 3 to 4 weeks to get the cache through the various databases the state uses to locate and protect natural and archeological recourses.


Can we contact the park manager before hand just to say hi and start to get acquainted or should we wait until we are contacted like it says above.
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EskoClimber
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 24 May 2005

Posts: 810
Location: Duluth area

PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Certainly, you are welcome to contact the Park Manager. You should be aware that they have definate constraints on their time.
Most of the parks are aware of the Geocaching Challenge but the details haven't filtered down to them yet. Very few have seen the draft of the guidlines, so be patient.
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andrewmcc
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Joined: 29 Jul 2007

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2007 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EskoClimber wrote:
Certainly, you are welcome to contact the Park Manager. You should be aware that they have definate constraints on their time.


Thanks, That is good to know. I have had some park manager friends. This time of year can be really slow for some of them. Once April and May kick in it starts to get nuts for them.
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King Boreas
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Joined: 16 Dec 2002

Posts: 2438
Location: Exploring Minnesota

PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2007 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Coordinates for the finals will be obtained by email the same as other caches of this type. That is the reason for having the coordinates for the final available from the board as well. If someone is on the road, it would be nice if they could obtain they numbers in a timely fashion.


If I understand this correctly, this type of cache is no longer being listed.
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Paklid
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 09 May 2004

Posts: 656
Location: Eagan

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

King Boreas wrote:
Quote:
Coordinates for the finals will be obtained by email the same as other caches of this type. That is the reason for having the coordinates for the final available from the board as well. If someone is on the road, it would be nice if they could obtain they numbers in a timely fashion.


If I understand this correctly, this type of cache is no longer being listed.


Good point. The email for disbursing the coords to the "final" for the region probably shouldn't be allowed, but the coords could be arrived at in the usual manner instead (each cache container in the region has a piece of the info needed to generate the coords for the "final").
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EskoClimber
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 24 May 2005

Posts: 810
Location: Duluth area

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just read through that thread. I understood that to mean that you couldn't use a cache to generate more caches (seed cache). We'll just have to put numbers in the lids or in the log books.

So be it.
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pfalstad
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Joined: 02 Feb 2006

Posts: 1009
Location: Edina

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If that isn't practical, you could just provide a near-impossible puzzle as an alternate method of getting the coords, in addition to email.
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Paklid
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 09 May 2004

Posts: 656
Location: Eagan

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pfalstad wrote:
If that isn't practical, you could just provide a near-impossible puzzle as an alternate method of getting the coords, in addition to email.


What "near-impossible" puzzle is pfalstad proof?
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Bad_CRC
Geocacher


Joined: 02 Oct 2006

Posts: 214

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow. Cool


What an interesting thing. From no caches to park-sponsored caches in about a year?

great work. very ambitious and impressive. I hope this meets everyone's expectations and benefits everyone involved.
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