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Article From the Watertown PO (SD)

 
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loneeagle_24
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Posts: 874

PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 6:26 pm    Post subject: Article From the Watertown PO (SD) Reply with quote

I was asked a while ago if I was interested in talking to the editor of the outdoors part of the paper.I declined but gave them some ideas of who to get a hold of. Anyway here is the article as it was sent to me by the editor.

"Kaia Hofmeister knows what she wants for Christmas ­ Travel Bug
tracking
tags.
The metal tags, reminiscent of military dog tags, are attached to items
which are moved from location to location by geocachers. On Tuesday,
the
11-year-old Lincoln Elementary student dropped off three Travel Bugs at
a
geocache located within Watertown city limits and picked up one, which
she
will place in another geocache.
³Itıs like a hide-and-seek game almost,² said Kaiaıs mother Amy
Hofmeister.
Geocaching is an outdoors activity that has swept the nation and the
world
since the U.S. government made Global Positioning System (GPS) signals
available to the public in May 2000. Using a hand-held GPS unit and
coordinates from a geocaching website, such as www.geocaching.com,
geocachers locate canisters which vary in size and usually contain a
logbook
as well as trinkets.
³The greatest part of geocaching is the search. Many are hidden in
places
that you wouldnıt even know existed,² said Linda Sandness in a press
release. Sandness is the coordinator of visitor services for the state
Division of Parks and Recreation.
The Hofmeisters, who have been involved in geocaching for about three
years,
find this to be true. Amy said they plan camping trips to go
geocaching, and
even look for geocaches when they take their children to swim meets if
time
permits. When traveling, they sometimes take a break from driving to
look
for a geocache.
³I think itıs good and fun because of all the different locations you
get to
go to,² Kaia said.
Sandness said that the Division of Parks and Recreation has worked with
the
state Department of Health and the state Department of Education to
promote
the activity. The exercise involved in locating the geocaches promotes
physical activity, and lessons in a variety of subjects ­ from reading
to
math, science and geography ­ using geocaching can be used to meet
state
curriculum standards.
Sandness said the activity appeals to young people.
³It gets them off the couch, and still into technology that they love,
and
then they get to find a treasure besides,² she said.
However, itıs also a great family activity. Amy said that her family
started
because she ran across a short article in a magazine and thought it
would be
a great way to get her family engaged in an outdoors activity together.
Her husband hunts and fishes. She joined him until she became a mother.
With
geocaching, they have shared their love of the outdoors with their
children.
Plus, it provides them with a bit of friendly competition.
³You get in the location and everyone is looking around ­ it gets to
be a
challenge to see who can find it first,² Amy said.
Within 25 miles of Watertown, 31 geocaches are located, according to
www.geocaching.com. Within 100 miles, there are more than 450
geocaches. In
the Black Hills area, where the Hofmeisters frequently camp and
geocache,
347 sites are located.
Hofmeisters have placed five geocaches ­ one near Lake Pelican, three
in
Watertown and one in the Black Hills. Amy said they placed their first
one
to see how much traffic it would get. However, the three in Watertown
were
placed to give geocachers a historic tour of the community.
³Itıs all tied with the first governorıs family,² she said.
One problem that geocachers encounter is ignorance about the activity.
Geocaches sometimes disappear.
³Sometimes if its found and people donıt know what it is, theyıll
think itıs
trash and throw it away,² Amy said.
Sandness said itıs important for people to respect the geocaches.
While
people who stumble across them are welcome to look in them, they are
asked
to leave them in the location where they are found.
Travel Bugs add another dimension to the experience. The owner gives
the bug
a task, and the bug then hitchhikes with geocachers to achieve the
task. A
stuffed animal that the Hofmeisters picked up started in Lennox and
wants to
travel to the sea before returning to Lennox.
Some trackable items are part of promotions. Unite for Diabetes is an
initiative of the International Diabetes Foundation. The official Unite
for
Diabetes pin and tag will hitchhike from geocache to geocache to raise
worldwide awareness of diabetes. Organizers hope it will lead to a
United
Nations resolution on diabetes.
Jeep is offering geocachers the opportunity to win a 2007 Jeep Compass.
Geocachers can learn about the Travel Bugsı journeys by checking he
website.
The easiest place to start is with the internet. The geocaching website
referred to in this article, www.geocaching.com, has a section entitled
³Getting Started.² The state Division of Parks and Recreation also
offers
information at http://www.sdgfp.info/Parks/Recreation/GPS.htm.


-- Mary Gales Askren
Public Opinion Staff Writer
(605) 886-6903 Ext. 307
<http://ee.thepublicopinion.com/>


It's a not MN article but still interesting all the same.
David
loneeagle_24
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merkman
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 03 Jun 2006

Posts: 2032

PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very well written article Exclamation

I am impressed with the SD Parks & Recreation having a web page about GPS'ing.

Thanks for sharing!!!
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celticwulf
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Joined: 24 Oct 2005

Posts: 685

PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, great article and thanks for letting us see it. I'm impressed by the number around the black hills, I'll have to see if I head that way next summer instead of going into hibernation from caching Wink

Celticwulf
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FlagFinder
Geocacher


Joined: 21 Jan 2007

Posts: 84

PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i love watertown thats where my family roots are from was out there last summer at a family reunion i found almost all in watertown and hid two that were adopted by milbank they were in a small town named estiline (in the same paper a pic of the bench its under was in the pic while fixing up the small park.) and another cache was placed in hazel (used to be the best in basketball in SD, i think thats over) on the way home we cached and there was a pretty good sized bee hive near one of lone_eagles i think? by a small roadside cemitary i bet that would have been a good find well maybe next trip!
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loneeagle_24
Geocacher


Joined: 17 Jun 2003

Posts: 874

PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FlagFinder wrote:
i love watertown thats where my family roots are from was out there last summer at a family reunion i found almost all in watertown and hid two that were adopted by milbank they were in a small town named estiline (in the same paper a pic of the bench its under was in the pic while fixing up the small park.) and another cache was placed in hazel (used to be the best in basketball in SD, i think thats over) on the way home we cached and there was a pretty good sized bee hive near one of lone_eagles i think? by a small roadside cemitary i bet that would have been a good find well maybe next trip!


The cache by the lone cemetary plot is a good one. The cache is just off a main highway and it is a cache that some have had trouble finding. I guess I wasn't aware of any bees at that site though.
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FlagFinder
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Joined: 21 Jan 2007

Posts: 84

PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i dont even remember if i dnf logged it
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