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The President's Cacheside Chat (December 2005)

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Marsha and Silent Bob
Past MnGCA President

Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 6261

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 10:25 am    Post subject: The President's Cacheside Chat (December 2005) Reply with quote

Even with the approaching holidays and perfect caching weather, the MnGCA Board has been busy working towards meeting the goals I had set for myself, the Board, and the Association this past fall.

The short story for those of you only interested in the important “big picture”: Three Rivers, DNR, and website updates as well as failed motions for a Spring Event committee, approvals of the geocoin artwork proof, 2006 CITO, and grovels for front page submissions. See, short and sweet Smile

For those of you looking for just about *everything*, here you go:

I have a couple follow-ups to the points that I raised in the November Cacheside Chat. Obviously when I wrote that some things were on-going and we have some updates. Others have finished up and I can close them out:

1. Due to the nature of our activity and the in and out nature of our players, we discussed and implemented changes to purge our voter roles of those that might have become uninterested in continued participation. This will remain an automated yearly process beginning this May.

The 12/1/2005 database migration went off with only one minor glitch that extended the registration downtime from 12:30 to 1 AM. Everyone that was not in agreement with the Bylaws but was listed as an MnGCA Member was switched to Cache Games Only. In addition, everyone that was a valid MnGCA Member was automatically added to the MnGCA Members usergroup on the Forum so that they could be kept abreast of MnGCA communications and be able to vote in Members Only action. There were numerous notifications to the Forum and to the front page for this. Hopefully everyone that is even remotely active on the website noticed the upcoming changes. If not, it’s a simple three click process to reverse the changes.

Some other backend work was included to make sure that the usergroup remained members only when users switched back and forth. We also purged user accounts on that were not validated within 30 days of creation. This will occur every 30 days from here out and users are warned of it during registration. Anyone who had their account removed due to an inactive status is free to re-register and provide a valid e-mail address for authentication purposes.

As we said before, the purging of our voter roles will occur every year on May 1st at midnight. This process will keep our voter roles clean and eliminate the issues tied with having too many inactive members.

2. Based on some previous discussion and the positive response that other geocaching organizations have received, we went about creating a system to receive and process calendar image submissions which will eventually become the 2006 MnGCA Calendar available on Cafepress to anyone.

The calendar voting has closed and is now for sale on Cafepress (see here: for more information). Thanks to all those that submitted and voted! Pear Head did an excellent job getting this all put together and out the door on such short notice. Thanks go out to him as well for all the hard work with sorting through the submissions, creating the forum voting sections, and posting all the thumbnails, etc. Awesome job!

4. Looking to prepare for our future DNR discussions and planning, soon after taking office, I contacted Marlene at the Three Rivers Parks District with an offer to revise their current policy and make it more cacher and park district friendly. We have already provided them with a proposed policy very similar to that of our own Duluth policy and will be presenting it to them in mid-November.

As most of you know, the Three Rivers policy presentation occurred in mid-November and went off without a hitch. We have posted the presentation (in PPS/zipped) format and the announcement for that is located here:

We’re still waiting to hear back about its adoption as the Three Rivers Park District Board hadn’t met since we made the presentation.

5. We’ve been brainstorming ideas on how we should approach the DNR and what our proposed policy should be like. Obviously, it’s likely that our direction and ideas will change based upon the lessons learned from the final outcome of our Three Rivers talks.

The MnGCA Board made preliminary contact with the DNR and worked with several members of their staff to setup a policy discussion meeting for mid December. We made the official announcement of our discussions with them on December 1st and it’s posted here:

We will keep everyone updated on any future plans, updates, and outcome of those discussions.

6. Based on the success of the Geocoin Committee and my commitment to the association to have more committee based participation in the organization, we came up with and posted a call for the creation of a Spring Event committee to prepare, plan, and carry out the Spring Event in 2006. Sadly, as of yet, not a single person has stepped forward to join the committee.

The 2006 MnGCA Sprint Event committee opening was closed without a single member expressing interest. I believe towlebooth had asked what would happen if there wasn’t enough interest in the committee and I answered that the MnGCA Board would then carry out the planning, preparations, and hosting of the event as we have in the past.

Currently we are only in the very beginning planning stages and are doing some minimal research on where, when, how. Right now all that I can say is that the event will likely be held somewhere near the metro and in May or June of 2006.

We’ll keep you posted.


And now that I’m done boring you to death w/the old stuff, let’s move on to some new business:

Arrow 1. The 2006 MnGCA Board had its first Board meeting on 12/3/05 in Minneapolis and various topics were discussed including Policy/Park Relations, the website updates/webhost/domain/Forum, Committees, Events, and general MnGCA Business.

The minutes from this meeting are posted under your cacher page: and are viewable to all registered MnGCA Members who are logged in.

Arrow 2. International CITO Day (Sponsored by Groundspeak) will be held on April 22nd, 2006. The MnGCA is looking to get an event together and if anyone is interested in planning please contact the MnGCA Board here:

We’re not going to ask for a committee to be formed but if anyone is interested in moving in that direction please contact me privately and we’ll be happy to setup a private forum for your discussions.

Arrow 3. We’re looking for more Front Page article submissions. Thanks go out to RubberToes for writing the informative article on “Dressing Up Your Cache Page”. If you are looking to spice up you cache pages with some great looking photos and HTML work, check out his article here:

I asked eagleyes to submit an article on geocaching “Up North” (in and around the Minnesota Iron Rage) and they are currently working on the final draft of that exciting article. Look for it to show up on the main page soon!

If you are interested in contributing your own articles (about events, geocaching tips/trick, or whatever) please contact the Board here: and I’ll get your stuff posted ASAP.

If you have any questions about this please don’t hesitate to post below or ask privately.

Arrow 4. The MnGCA Board has contacted two local municipal parks districts that had expressed interest in geocaching in their parks. Both had approached other individuals who had pointed them to the MnGCA for answers to their questions. While we are not in policy talks with these two local park districts it is nice to know that we have an open line of communication with numerous park officials in case the need arises.

Happy Holidays and happy cachin’,

Silent Bob
MnGCA President
Sad state of affairs.
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Marsha and Silent Bob
Past MnGCA President

Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 6261

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

See eagleyes' *AWESOME* article entitled "Caching Up North" here:
Sad state of affairs.
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