It seems like yesterday that I went on my first day of geocaching. Two of us went on March 1, 2008 in search of these Tupperware containers in the woods or elsewhere.
We found five that day, which was a cold but sunny winter afternoon.
I soon became addicted to this game and have loved doing it ever since. One other thing I have always enjoyed was the events. The first I went to was in May of 2008. That fall, three of us worked on an area event with the idea that it would grow over time and be a yearly things.
It’s done that and then some.
The Hall of Fame Picnic was born out of the idea that we had two Hall of Fames (at the time) within 30 minutes of each other – the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta.
Alas, the Soccer Hall has since shut its doors, but the name continues.
Over time, we’ve held it at a few different parks – Neahwa in Oneonta, Glimmerglass in Cooperstown and Fortin in Oneonta, which is where we’ve kind of settled in as our “home.” Maybe down the line we’ll move it around somewhere again, but the Grove Pavilion at Fortin Park has become a great spot for us.
This past weekend we held the event for the seventh consecutive year. It’s hard to imagine seven years have passed by with this wonderful event. Seven years. In a few more years, we’ll be hitting 10.
We set a record this year with more than 35 geocachers (at least names) attending. The number of actual people is higher as some teams have two or three people under one geocaching name. Some stayed most of the day, some came and went and some made brief stops. But it was all good in the end as we had a good turnout – our best yet.
Our first year was, obviously, our smallest. We had 17 legit attendees (there were 35 who logged they came, but three people unethically logged the event caches as a will-attend to get finds – and not being the “owner,” I couldn’t do anything about it). The numbers fluctuated over the following years, but stayed in the 20s until this year.
We’ve had a lot of fun with it, too. I always strive to find something different to do. We’ve done a photo scavenger hunt twice, a regular scavenger hunt, had potluck picnics and, this year, did the GeoOlympics.
What an event the GeoOlympics was.
We had five events where cachers competed and earned points and medals. We had an FTF Dash where we gave the person the coordinates and they had to go sign the log and return. We had a micro toss and an ammo can toss. There was a closest to the pin, as well as speed container – where they were timed decorating a geocache container. (Side note: these containers will all be released as live caches, with the person’s name as part of the title. I’ll just go through and “clean ‘em up” if needed before placing).
There was plenty of food, chat and other geocaching fun. And, honestly, I’m not sure we could have asked for better weather.
What was really nice is that we had people travel from all over for this event – from an hour or so away to spots in other states, such as Pennsylvania and New Jersey. I had the chance to meet some new faces and catch up with those I already knew.
Doing the in-depth games are fun, but sometimes it takes away from the event to the point that every year or two, it’s worth doing just the picnic and having people hang out, eat, play some “yard games” and have a good time. Maybe next year. We’ll see.
In the end, it was a fine time and people seemed like they had a great time. I always enjoy hosting events and coming up with different ideas, so this all worked out well.
I truly do believe this was our best summer picnic yet. It was perfect weather, some fun activities and people stuck around, which was nice. There are some early talks for ideas for the next couple of years, so hopefully we can continue to grow the event as we march toward 10 years in 2017!
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