President's Cacheside Chat, Spring 2009

It's that time of the year again, folks! Time to start using your GPSrs and stop following tracks! Yes, Spring is here and people are out finding new geocaches, doing maintenance on their existing caches, and keeping our volunteer reviewer Surfer Joe very busy with loads of new cache placements!  So, in time for the new caching season, I present to you, the President's Cacheside Chat, Spring Edition!

There are several large upcoming events that I'd like to point out. The first is
GC1HMNE: The Crowning of King Boreas (aka KB's 2000th Hide). This event promises to be Minnesota's largest event ever held, with a likely outcome of achieving the fabled MEGA status! People are coming from all across the country in order to honor King Boreas' contributions to geocaching in Minnesota. The MnGCA is proud to sponsor this event and has donated funding to help defray the costs associated. The event starts this upcoming Saturday, so check it out and come on down! Be sure to check with Grey Wolf or mucluck to purchase your own KB 2000 hides geocoin, minted especially for the occasion!

The second large upcoming event is our very own Spring Event,
GC1MBAK: 2009 MnGCA Spring Event - Safari Send Off! The event starts Saturday, May 2nd at 9:00 AM. The event commemorates the kickoff of the new Safari themed caches that will be in every Minnesota State Park AND also serves as a meeting point for all those who completed the Minnesota History Challenge last year. There is a wide variety of activities planned for this event, including a "How Far Can You Go" progressively difficult multi, a FTF hangman race, Kid friendly cache placements, Creative Cache Judging competition, temporary caches, a commemorative t-shirt, potluck lunch and the Spring 2008 Event TB Racer Finish Line results. It is a safari themed event, so optionally come dressed as a safari explorer. Rumor has it that there may be media coverage there, so bring your best smiles, your pith hats and khaki clothes. There are plenty of spaces available for camping, so bring your camping gear and hang out under the stars next to a roaring campfire. This event has been set up by andrewmcc, bflentje, Jam3s, meralgia, MNSearchers, MrRogersNghbor, RudeRat, and theodellfamily and myself, with gracious donations coming from butcherandswimmer, rogheff & the Minnesota DNR.

The MnGCA Spring General Meeting is going to be held during the Safari Send-Off Spring Event. The meeting is open to all who are interested in attending and is one way to meet board members, voice concerns, add suggestions or to discuss matters pertaining to the MnGCA and its operations. The meeting is expected to start at 2:30 PM, but is subject to minor changes in time to accommodate event activities.

There have been additional changes to our website to extend the functionality and ease of use. We have implemented a user recognition program designed to honor those who have donated their energy to the organization. MnGCA members will now begin to see icons for various achievements and efforts made under their user profiles, so you can look at anyone's profile and know exactly how they've chipped in to help out.

Very recently we've added an MnGCA calendar of events, which is an aggregate of all submitted events to our website. It's in iCal format, so you can import it directly into your own digital calendar and always keep up-to-date on the when and where of geocaching events in Minnesota. For more information on how to set this up, read here.

The MnGCA website is constantly changing these days with new content, such as podcasts, new features, programs, added events, policy changes and other big news items that often get buried in our forums. We're still looking for additional content, in particular guides and tech tips. Have a good idea for a front page article? Contact our webmasters via the contact page and specify 'Front Page Article'.

Have you ever wanted to go to WeekNIGHT Caching but your Wednesday evenings are never free? Do you go to WeekNIGHT Caching outings but didn't get your weekly fix? Worry not! We now have a hearty group of cachers who are also hitting the parks Friday evenings, too! Friday Night Cachers, an idea brought to life by fireman121, can be found in our event section of the website alongside WeekNIGHT Caching. Both events are an excellent way to get to know your fellow cachers any time of the year!

There are new cache placement policies in effect since the last President's Cacheside Chat, specifically information has been updated for The City of Brooklyn Park, Duluth, and Maplegrove. As always, cache placement policies can be found on our website, under Cache Guidelines. Cache policies can be rated right from our website. Rating a cache policy is a great way to let parks know how effective they are and it also lets the board of directors know which park districts need to be contacted for potential revision. Policies that aren't doing so well will get the most attention, while policies that are in place that are more "geocacher friendly" will have higher ratings.

The MnGCA geocoin committee is making great progress on the new MnGCA geocoin! They're finishing up with the design stages of the coin, so expect the coin to be available for purchase starting sometime this summer. The coin is being designed by
The Hipster, CLAMM, firstbass, incakola, speedysk1, topgear and X51hz.

That's all for now! I hope to see you at the events or on the trail!

Cache On,


MnGCA President