2005 MnGCA Spring Event Meeting Minutes

MnGCA General Membership Meeting
April 28, 2005

Attendees: J.T., Silent Bob, Kitch , Buzzygirl, S4xton, KC0GRN, TangoDeltaDelta, TECGeoJim, Arcticabn, Marsha, Moe the Sleaze, Wayfarin’ Stranger, Bananaforce, Miles58, Buro, Fireoak, Moleson, Joelcam

Meeting called to order at 19:02.

J.T.: Read the minutes from last autumn’s general meeting. Arcticabn made motion to accept minutes as read; Moe seconded motion. Minutes APPROVED as written.

S4xton: Treasurer’s report: We have a total of $100.30, mostly from donations. Not a lot of account activity going on. We will display account info on our website. Recent transactions include fee to Secretary of State for club incorporation, $75, and Lester Park fee of $45.

TECGeoJim made motion to accept report; Arcticabn seconded. Report APPROVED.

J.T.: Bylaws are on our website. Lots of work went into these by board. JT gave a general description of the bylaws and articles. This will become a “sticky” link within next day or two.

Highlighted sections of bylaws: nominations for board positions; inclusion of outstate members. We will allow for proxy votes via snail mail. Member would notify the secretary if they needed a ballot, one will be sent in mail. Questions arose as to who exactly is a “voting member.” Some requirements include minimum age of 18, needs to live in Minnesota and be member of the MnGCA. More discussion occurred on this topic.

Motion was made by Arcticabn to have board look at the minimum time as a member of the club before voting. Moe seconded. There was some discussion about state subchapters and trying to include all cachers.

How many members do we have that are active and have posted on the MnGCA forums recently? There are under 30 members who post on a monthly basis. Uncertainty as to exact total; around 300+ people, but perhaps 50-60 are active. There is a different registration for forums as opposed to MnGCA membership. One’s profile will show if one is a member or not. Question arose as to whether we should make an announcement on the forum and main page on how to tell your membership status.

S4xton made a motion to do this, and JT suggested to add to it that we should have webmaster look at this and approve it too. Marsha seconded motion.

Contact Information and Usage Policy. JT read document stating our desire to have this for important association communications, for yearly nominations announcement, election notification, and in the unlikely event of club dissolution. We have not contacted members en masse via e-mail before as a board and wanted to get this in place so we can do it properly. This might mean 2 board e-mails/year. Question, does this mean the members need to agree to bylaws? Probably— this will be put on website- Chad to do this. At our next meeting (autumn) members will be able to vote on approval of the bylaws. This will be a thread on the forum, letting all know that anyone can approach the board about any questions or concerns.

Parks / DNR- Three Rivers Policy. Three Rivers park system has a whole bunch of rules for cache placement. MnGCA has no authority to enforce cache placement—we can suggest limits, etc. JT read the Three Rivers’ cache rules. All Three Rivers caches need to be re-registered on April 1, and caches can only stay in place for one year. Some other districts are copying their cache policies. MnGCA is also developing caching guidelines.

Silent Bob: DNR—Paklid’s Earth Cache was approved. The DNR likes earth caches because of the educational/geological tone. It is a special approval process, and geocaching.com approval. DNR does not like virtuals. Contact with DNR has been sporadic. They have no authority to approve virtuals, as any changes to state park caching policy in general may need to go in front of the legislature. We may eventually set up a meeting with the DNR; who knows when.

JT may write an article on the positive aspects of geocaching in our parks.

TecGeoJim had a cache turned down because it bordered, but was not in, a national wildlife refuge. Mtn-man, geocaching.com approver for our area, is under a lot of pressure to keep caches away from sensitive areas like this. This is something to keep in mind regarding cache placement near wildlife refuges.

We encourage individual members to know and follow city and county guidelines on geocaching. We should also let Mtn-man know if a new policy on geocaching is implemented in various cities and counties. We could send a friendly e-mail to members whose cache placement may be out of city or county park guidelines.

MOGA: MnGCA was well represented there! Chad (towlebooth) took first place in individual competition, and MnGCA took 1st and 3rd place in team competition.

Upcoming Events: Breakfast Buddies is rotating around to different places.

Lester Park: S4xton has reserved a pavilion and a course for temporary caches. We’re still figuring out food and other details. Spirit Mountain has campground sites available. June 4th is the date for the Lester Park bash.

Duluth Parks and Rec meeting – S4xton met with Erin, who is a geocacher. She handed out a draft of the geocaching policy for Duluth Parks & Rec. Silent Bob and S4xton want to work with Duluth on this. Developed rough draft of potential cache guidelines, will post online soon. Differences: removed restrictions (many), focus on obeying all rules and laws of the parks, hiding and finding caches should not negatively affect parks or others’ experiences in the parks; and parks should be notified if someone’s placing a cache. S4xton will keep us posted on forums as these policies are further developed.

Website Updates: There are some changes. You can add your own milestones now.

Recent Milestones: Silent Bob showed us some new milestones certificates designed by Arcticabn. He’ll mail copies of these to awardees, as none of them were at the meeting. SB read the achievements.

Fall 2005 Board Meeting: JT: need to firm down date and place of next board meeting. We will try to move around general meeting place as well, perhaps incorporating a weekend event, maybe this fall.

Open Floor Discussion: Moleson gave some of his ideas on how we should define a member of the MnGCA. This will likely become a hot topic on the forums, and will have its own separate thread.

Arcticabn made a motion to adjourn the meeting, S4xton seconded.

Meeting ADJOURNED at 20:09.

Respectfully submitted,

Jackie LaVaque (Buzzygirl)
MnGCA Secretary