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State Park Vollunteers
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theodellfamily
Geocacher


Joined: 29 Apr 2008

Posts: 57

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andy,

You know that Sue and I would love to help out when and where we are needed. Just let us know what we need to do.
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5709

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

andrewmcc wrote:
Pear Head wrote:
andrewmcc wrote:
Thank you to the people that have replied about their parks. I have passed on the feed back.
I still would like to hear back from the rest of you before I open up the positions to the rest of the membership.
Will the following geocachers let me know what you want to do and some feed back would be great.
Thanks andrewmcc


A lot of the people you list are not regular forum users, some have disappeared from the forums completely, and some never were on the forums to begin with. You may want to try contacting them directly (maybe through gc.com?)...


Aaagghhh, I was hoping not to do that.


Just a note that I worked with Andrew off line and have contacted everyone on the list (minus dachebo) on his behalf.
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andrewmcc
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 29 Jul 2007

Posts: 996

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

m&tcacheseekers wrote:
ok, we had a meeting with Camden State Park, and have been given all the information that the park ranger had received currently about the new program, including finding out the 3 picks they are looking at for their critter. We were informed that they will be using the cache containers from the history challenge..with needs of removing all the labels and reference to BB from the container.. the parks will be picking up all the caches and any travelbugs and geocoins to be given to the cacher that helped the park to be placed in other caches to help continue their little goals. We were informed that any statepark travel bugs would be pulled out and returned to the park..it would be a good thing if they could edit the travel bug and add them back into the new program to continue having these bugs moving about.

We have not heard anything back from Split Rock Creek yet.. that park is a satalite park from blue mound. if whomever worked with blue mound has an email address we would sure appreciate it..if not we will be willing to let someone else help with that park if they wish to..

we have narrowed down a place for the new cache at Camden, but the ranger working with us is on vacation until the 5th, so the cache coordinates for that one may not be exactly in by the short noticed date of the 9th of january, but will do our best on that one.


Good job guys, Thanks for getting on that, The deadline is a bit soft.
Andy
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momandson2006
Geocacher


Joined: 01 May 2007

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We would be more then happy to continue in whatever capacity the staff at Lake bemidji state park deemed apropriate. We set up the intire multi-puzzle cache at the park and did the write up we then handed it over to John at the park who published it. We then went on to help with geocaching classes during the summer. We have enjoyed the entire experiance and look forward to a continuing relationship with the state park system and friendships with the staff at bemidji momandson2006
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Kurt Franke
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 22 Sep 2005

Posts: 413

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I worked with the staff at Charles A. Lindbergh State Park. My only involvement came in the original set up and that was made easy as the Ranger had IDed a great spot. I took the position that I was there to help. He did a great job without much involvement from me. Great!

I would be great if the cache pages weren't such boilerplates. Seems it would take some work but I didn't learn anything about the unique features of the park, rather the SPHC program in general.

The other item is the difficulty/terrain ratings. I probably found 35 SPHC caches with none of them being to difficult. Some of the terrain ratings seemed to be understated, in my humble opinion.

Anyways, I would be happy to help again with Charles A. Lindbergh State Park. If you need some help at Lake Maria or Crow Wing I could get out there as well.

I thought this was a really great program for geocaching, the MNGCA and for the State Parks. I assume it was a winner for Best Buy as well. No doubt about it. We should do whatever we can to help this continue or improve.

Count me in,

Kurt Franke
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altura
Geocacher


Joined: 17 Sep 2007

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Count me in (for continuing to work with Carley). The local park staff is great to work with.

We have been in touch. The entire staff is engaged this time around and a lot more familiar with what to expect. It looks like it could be an even better program.

Like you all, I am hoping the MNGCA, park staff, and all of us can influence those things everyone is mentioning such as better listings, etc.

An interesting phenomona I noticed last time around is many people (over half) would visit the park and only hit the single cache and miss out on other caches placed at other key features of the park.

Most of it was probably due to time constraints coupled with the risk of unknown quality control on the non-park managed caches. Almost all of the non-challenge caches we visited were fine and many showed us and taught us about must-see aspects of the park.

I wonder if independent of the Safari caches, there would be value for the MNGCA to take some steps towards making the quality control level of nearby caches known and predictable (certifiction,maitenance level commitments,owner accountability) and tie that with better park staff awareness and support.
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m&tcacheseekers
Geocacher


Joined: 17 Oct 2007

Posts: 101

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew

what have you heard thru your meetings about the roll over of caches
from history challenge to the critter caches, along with the state park travel bugs.
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andrewmcc
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 29 Jul 2007

Posts: 996

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

m&tcacheseekers wrote:
Andrew

What have you heard through your meetings about the roll over of caches
from history challenge to the critter caches, along with the state park travel bugs.


It is pretty much what you have heard from your park. The cans are getting pulled on Jan 1st and then be disabled for a bit then archived. The cans are getting reused, if cans are damaged they will bve replaced.They are working on a new logo and stickers.

Like you said before, any citizen TBs and coins will be given to the volunteer geocacher to move on.

As for the State Park TBs they are going to grab them for now. There are discussions on what to do with them. I am on that committee to help decide what to do with them. We are of like minds to keep them going, Maybe hang on to what we can then send them out after the new program gets going.

The parks each have instructions on what to do to removing the caches and tracking documentation.
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EskoClimber
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 24 May 2005

Posts: 815

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be happy to help Jay Cooke SP.

I'm planning on stopping by there tomorrow to see about pulling the caches from last year. I'll bring my gaiters and snowshoes to place the new one.
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former hawkeye
Geocacher


Joined: 14 Dec 2005

Posts: 275

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be willing to help Buffalo River State Park in placement. I haven't been on the computer much lately as we celebrated a late Christmas due to work schedule this year. Sorry about that!
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fargnot
Geocacher


Joined: 11 Apr 2007

Posts: 17

PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:00 pm    Post subject: Hayes Lake State Park Reply with quote

We had a wonderful experience with our park ranger who was from Lake Bronson State Park. I think they were in the process of getting a new ranger at Hayes Lake, so he was filling in. They were pretty self sufficient and only had us travel up once to establish the initial coordinates and advise on a couple of minor details. The overall experience was very positive and we would be happy to help again in any way possible.

We also visited all 72 parks and met some very helpful park employees along the way. Only one negative experience comes to mind and after thinking it through, it was my fault for acting like an idiot. If I was the park ranger I would have banned me from the State Park system for life, but fortunately he was more understanding. Dealing with the public has got to be trying at times and for the most part they do a commendable job.

Our geocaching relationship with the parks is still in the formative stage and I think it will reflect upon us how we decide to proceed with the next program, which is the critter caches. We can cut and run which sends a negative message about our organization or we can step up to the plate to help them out which will continue to build bridges. If we continue to work with them, then we have a future. I for one want to keep building stronger relationships and continue to be a positive ambassador for this sport which means so much to us. Very Happy Idea
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proton
Geocacher


Joined: 28 Jul 2004

Posts: 33

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will be helping the Soudan Underground Mine State Park again this year.
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elfdoctors
Geocacher


Joined: 10 Jun 2007

Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I worked with the Wild Rivers State Park. They didn't really seem to know how to involve me. They had picked out a suboptimal site, would often have restocked the cards just before I made the 45 minute trip down there, and then even changed the location of the final without consulting me.

I was happy to help, but I did not feel the experience was a great one. If someone else wanted to take this park (if the park even wanted someone) they could have it. If they only wanted some help, I would still be willing to help in a consulting role with setting up a nicer cache.
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Draconisdax
Geocacher


Joined: 02 Nov 2007

Posts: 982

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

altura wrote:
Count me in (for continuing to work with Carley). The local park staff is great to work with.

We have been in touch. The entire staff is engaged this time around and a lot more familiar with what to expect. It looks like it could be an even better program.

Like you all, I am hoping the MNGCA, park staff, and all of us can influence those things everyone is mentioning such as better listings, etc.

An interesting phenomona I noticed last time around is many people (over half) would visit the park and only hit the single cache and miss out on other caches placed at other key features of the park.

Most of it was probably due to time constraints coupled with the risk of unknown quality control on the non-park managed caches. Almost all of the non-challenge caches we visited were fine and many showed us and taught us about must-see aspects of the park.

I wonder if independent of the Safari caches, there would be value for the MNGCA to take some steps towards making the quality control level of nearby caches known and predictable (certifiction,maitenance level commitments,owner accountability) and tie that with better park staff awareness and support.


The two I have in Whitewater were not visited by many of the Challenge Cachers...cough it up to the power of a free coin I guess...I know a similar thing happened in Carley...all of which (Whitewater and Carley) really didn't require a whole lot more time to nab those while in the park nabbing the Challenge Cache...
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DLGPS
Geocacher


Joined: 10 Apr 2007

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

altura wrote:
An interesting phenomona I noticed last time around is many people (over half) would visit the park and only hit the single cache and miss out on other caches placed at other key features of the park.

Most of it was probably due to time constraints coupled with the risk of unknown quality control on the non-park managed caches. Almost all of the non-challenge caches we visited were fine and many showed us and taught us about must-see aspects of the park.

I wonder if independent of the Safari caches, there would be value for the MNGCA to take some steps towards making the quality control level of nearby caches known and predictable (certifiction,maitenance level commitments,owner accountability) and tie that with better park staff awareness and support.


I think a lot of it was time (and energy) constraints. We saw that with the three caches we have at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park that if people were camping in the park and found the SPHC cache that they were more likely to also find some of our caches too as they were in the area longer. But they usually just found the two closest to the SPHC cache and not the one at the northern-most part of the park that required a four-mile hike. Very few people "cleaned out" the park while in the area.

And as we completed the 72-park challenge there were a few nearby non SPHC caches that we didn't go after because of time constraints - Forrestville and Whitewater earthcaches for example. And some were a matter of time constraints and energy output - Just couldn't face the climb to Whitewater's Coyote Point during the same four-day jaunt that included Beaver Creek Valley, Carley's Bluebell cache, Forrestville, Latsch the Lock When You Go, and the Shocked Shocked Lair!!!

Some of the state parks had the coordinates of the non-SPHC caches hidden within their parks printed out and available either as a handout or posted near the SPHC coordinates. Nerstrand did this and listed all three of our caches plus the other two in the park. There were pros and cons to this...we noted about 10 logs in the log books that weren't logged on geocaching.com. Fine...no problem...the more the merrier!!! But we sure noticed the swag level went down in both quality and quantity this summer in those caches. And I don't even want to get into the angst of all the trackables that went missing in both our caches and the majority of the SPHC caches. Wish there was some way to educate newbies about geocoins and trackables at the same time they were being taught about geocaching and GPSr's. Sad But that is another whole issue aside from what I started writing about...

As far as "the MNGCA to take some steps towards making the quality control level of nearby [within State Park boundaries] caches known and predictable"...anyone who has waded through the process of getting a Minnesota State Park cache approved has already jumped through enough hoops to assure the quality of the cache(s).

I am looking forward to the next DNR State Park Challenge and am delighted Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy that we will have up to three years to complete it instead of seven months. This will be our 4th time around to visit all the parks!!! We will have to invest in another passport book! Thanks to all who helped with the last challenge and who will be helping with the next one. Whether your work was used or not...we appreciated it!!!
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