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The President's Cacheside Chat, December 2008

 
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LucidOndine
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 17 Jan 2006

Posts: 1931

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:22 pm    Post subject: The President's Cacheside Chat, December 2008 Reply with quote

Hello! This is my first Cacheside chat and I hope to have new ones out on at least a quarterly basis. For all intents and purposes then, this shall be The President's Cacheside Chat, Winter Edition!

With that being said, I'd like to take a moment to welcome our newly elected board. You may have heard of them before, seen their posts on the forum or have met them at WeekNIGHT, Breakfast Buddies or on the trail. The 2008 MnGCA board consists of MinnesotaBrad, speedysky1, firstbass, Jonas and myself. As always, the current board can be reached via email (board [at] mngca [dot] org) or through our web portal. I would like to thank our previous board members for their hard work and dedication over the last year and look forward to their continuing contributions in the years to come.

Significant changes have come to our website and to our forums! As many of you may know, the MnGCA webpage was completely reconstructed using a content management system that gives us greater flexibility in how to manage user submitted content, events, COTM, polls, and tech tips! The new system is accessible through our website. Expect this system to evolve over time to suit our needs. Please welcome MNMizzou and sir_zman to the forum moderation team! Also, our website privacy policy has been updated. The changes to the privacy policy are viewable here. Pear Head and GeoPierce are primarily responsible for the new website changes and they've done a marvelous job!

The Minnesota State Park History Challenge is quickly coming to an end. If you need to complete the state challenge or a regional challenge be sure to do so before the end of the month! If you didn't get to visit all the parks, worry not! The MnGCA is in contact with the Minnesota DNR with the prospect of getting a new, extended geocaching program throughout their parks. Stay tuned, as more information becomes available; as always, for the latest breaking news, please visit our forums. The Minnesota State Park History Challenge was wildly successful, and we're looking to further foster working relations with them. MinnesotaBrad and andrewmcc are our working contacts to get this rolled out.

The board has moved to update the mission statement of our organization to better describe our purpose. While the changes to the mission statement are minor, it was felt that the social aspect of our geocaching organization should receive equal credence and is vitally important to our success and our future as a volunteer based organization. As such, it is important to note that this will not significantly change the direction of our organization, but it will better describe how we operate as an inclusive organization of all Minnesota cachers that are united for common cause. The changes to our mission statement are viewable in our organization bylaws.

A quick note about Anoka County: we are currently in the middle of a trial period for physical cache placement within county parks. Our primary park contact cachers are Grey Wolf and Trail Zombie. We hope to revisit this sometime this spring to evaluate the park's experience with these caches and with the Fall event which was held in their park system. Our progress with this has not been as timely as we had wished, but we are happy to be making progress and maintaining working relations with them.

We're still soliciting for volunteers to create the next MnGCA geocoin! Have you ever wanted to create a geocoin but didn't have all of the know-how in getting it done? Don't want to go it alone? Don't have the start-up funds necessary? Join the MnGCA Geocoin committee! This is a chance to show off your design skills AND help represent the MnGCA.

Our new website allows for an aggregate of many types of content, and we'd like your help in populating it! To submit an event to our front page, please use this link. We're currently looking for user generated tech articles-- this can be anything geocaching related, from GSAK to "how-to" coordinate math. Other types of content such as podcasts and newsletters can also be linked in.

An update as far as the MnGCA's direction regarding online voting: throughout the year important geocaching issues are brought up in the forums, during board meetings, and to the board via email and at events that need to go to the membership for a vote. Since the MnGCA traditionally has two official membership meeting events, it unnecessarily limits the board's productivity and direction. Online voting was viewed as one possible solution to this problem but it has been met with concern regarding feasibility, cost, accountability and security. In light of the discussion with the membership, the current board has opted to continue the practice of using paper ballots for elections. However, it has decided to allow issue votes to go to the membership online, as voted on by the board. These would be implemented in much the same way as the ballot request form was utilized with Google documents and forms. The forms are a verifiable, accountable, and cost effective way to poll our membership. Voting eligibility is dynamically handled at the time an issue is brought to a vote.

Finally, the designation of "Cache Games Only" and "MnGCA Member" within the forums has been removed. Now all members, unless on the board or having previously served on the board, are "Geocacher"s. That means if you have an account on the MnGCA site, you are an MnGCA member. However, to be eligible to vote you must still match the criteria outlined by the bylaws and required by the state and have your account appropriately documented as such.

That's it! Until next time, happy caching!

LucidOndine
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LucidOndine
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 17 Jan 2006

Posts: 1931

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Finally, the designation of "Cache Games Only" and "MnGCA Member" within the forums has been removed. Now all members, unless on the board or having previously served on the board, are "Geocacher"s. That means if you have an account on the MnGCA site, you are an MnGCA member. However, to be eligible to vote you must still match the criteria outlined by the bylaws and required by the state and have your account appropriately documented as such.
I should add some clarification here.

All members are users.
All users, unless on the board or previously have been board members, have the 'Geocacher' forum tag.

My statement was erroneous re: "That means if you have an account on the MnGCA site, you are an MnGCA member." Apologies.
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Arcticabn
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 30 Nov 2003

Posts: 1846

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I'm blind, but the last change I see listed in the Bylaws was on 6/11/08 in Article III, Section 2 (Secretary).

There is no mission statement listed in the Bylaws. So I am assuming you mean Article 1, Section 2 Purpose. But I don't see any change listed. Is the document referenced by the link an old version? If not and there is a change can you please post the change as has been done in the past so that we can see the changed wording.

Thanks,
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LucidOndine
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 17 Jan 2006

Posts: 1931

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, I must have missed this post. The bylaws now reflect this change-- thanks for bringing it to my attention.
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