Meeting Minutes, 12/11/2002

In attendance: towlebooth, CB-GPSERS, kingboreas, 15Tango, Perrine, Popeye, Bobhiker, Pam from Lady and Laddy Bugs, Centris, Kleiner, jonsom, Jillibean, berg0449, Lance from Team VE, and John Moriarty from Ramsey County Parks.

1. Elections
The MnGCA will be led by a board of 9 people, with 2 co-chairs selected by the board from among themselves. In order to be elected, a board member must be nominated, accept that nomination, and be at least 18 years old. They will serve for a 1-year term, but half of them will step down after 6 months so that half of the positions will be up for re-election every 6 months. 9 people were nominated to serve on the board, so it was decided that there would be 9 positions rather than holding elections this time. The board members are:

* Corey Klein "c k" from Mankato
* Nola Cutts "Centris" from Anoka
* Chad Towle "towlebooth" from Woodbury
* Dan Berg "Berg0449" from Maplewood
* Rob Sime "Bobhiker" from Richfield
* Jon Sommerdorf "jonsom" from Mounds View
* Pam Combs "Lady bugs" from Eagan
* Matt Mikesell "15Tango" from St. Paul
* Chris Brown "CB-GPSERS" from White Bear Lake

Kleiner suggested that half the board members be from the metro area and half from out-state Minnesota, but since we hadn’t been able to contact many of the out-state cachers and 8 out of the 9 nominations were for metro area people, we decided to try to recruit more out-state cachers into the organization and in the next elections in 6 months we may have more out-state nominees.

2. Web site report
The MnGCA web site is still under development. Jillibean and towlebooth are creating the site structure and c k and Calisota are creating the logo and contributing to the look-and-feel to the site. It should be completed within the next couple weeks.

Towlebooth reported that it will cost $90 per year for the ISP to host the site, and the domain name registration costs $21.50 for 2 years. This can be paid for by donations from cachers, which can be organized once the board has met and appointed someone to act as Treasurer.

3. Mission Statement
Bobhiker, with help from others, had written the proposed mission statement, which was approved by everyone in attendance with the addition of "technology" in the last sentence, suggested by Perrine. The ratified statement follows:

"The Minnesota Geocaching Association (MnGCA) is a group of Minnesota geocachers who are committed to promoting safe, responsible, and environmentally friendly geocaching. We welcome the involvement and cooperation of park management and government to work with us to develop this activity to benefit both geocachers and parks. The MnGCA also provides a way for people to come together to organize regional activities and events that will promote the credibility of the sport and bring families together in nature and technology."

4. Events
Potential future caching events include:

* Winter caching event to coincide with the St. Paul Winter Carnival medallion hunt. Will be held the Sunday after the medallion is found, in the park where it was found. Kingboreas (Ian Stevens) will coordinate this event.
* Early spring Trash-out event, possibly in a State park or some other park that does not currently support caching, as a gesture of goodwill. This would be done with permission from that park. 15Tango (Matt Mikesell) will coordinate this event.
* Late spring cache event near St. Cloud. Centris (Nola Cutts) will coordinate this event.
* Summer metro-area event, similar to our first picnic/cache event last July.
* Fall cache event in northern Minnesota, possibly in Duluth or on the north shore.

In addition, it was mentioned that the Wisconsin and Great Plains groups have caching events coming up in the next year, which Minnesota geocachers could attend. It was also mentioned that we could do a combned regional event with these groups.

MnGCA meetings will be held quarterly, and board member attendance is recommended. If possible, this will be combined with caching events. In addition, the board may meet on its own as needed.

5. Discussions with parks
John Moriarty, who works with the Ramsey County parks, was very helpful in explaining the perspectives of Ramsey County and other county and state parks, and giving recommendations as to how to put into practice "environmentally friendly geocaching" as per our mission statement. He suggested staying on the trails when possible, respecting and following park rules and not caching in protected natural areas, and not having too many caches concentrated in any one park or area of a park.

He also handed out a draft of the proposed policy for geocaching in Ramsey County parks. Once this is approved, this will be available on the MnGCA web site. The draft includes a list of county parks, and the maximum number of physical caches that will be allowed in each park. Caches in Ramsey county parks will be registered with Mr. Moriarty, and should be spread out within the park. This allows the county to approve the concentration of caches within its parks, and allows us to demonstrate environmentally friendly geocaching practices to Ramsey County, and hopefully, to other county and state parks.

Jon Sommerdorf (jonsom) will be our contact with John Moriarty and Ramsey County parks.

Thanks to everyone in attendance, the organization has begun and I think we're all really excited about promoting responsible geocaching in Minnesota and hosting lots of fun events!