One of the many aspects we love about Geocaching, is the community of cachers. Geocaching Events are a great way for geocachers from all over the world get together for a long weekend filled with stories and adventures. Besides meeting other fun-loving cachers, geocaching events are a great way to expand on your geocaching knowledge and skills. There are many different themed mega events all over the world for geocachers; so wherever you are traveling, you can look up events near you for a fun filled weekend of geocaching.
** A Mega-Event cache is an Event Cache that is attended by 500+ people. Mega-Events offer geocachers a day of planned activities, and there are often several days of additional activities surrounding the Mega-Event. These large events attract geocachers from all over the world and are often held annually.
Liz and I attended our first Mega Event a couple years ago, GeoWoodstock X in Sellersburg, IN. We had attended several local events in Atlanta, but were ready to expand our geocaching network (and throw in a road trip adventure). So we packed up the car with our camping gear and made the journey to Sellersburg, IN (just north of Louisville, KY). After researching the past history of the GeoWoodstock events from all over the country, we knew this was going to be a huge event! We didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into, but after the event weekend was over, we were so glad that we decided to leap in with both feet.
Read more about our Experience at GeoWoodstock XII in St. Charles, MO
What to Expect from a Geocaching Mega Event
Attending a geocaching mega event gives you the opportunity to meet other cachers from all over the world. The geocaching community is grand and its growing, so trading stories is always fun. It’s the one time that you know that you are not the only cacher around, and you can talk freely about your experiences without having to back up and explain the basics (like when you try to explain it to a muggle).
There are typically several events that lead up to the mega event on Saturday. These pre-events are meant so cachers have time to get to know each other. One example is the bingo ice-breaker game, where attendees need to search for other cachers with certain achievements to fill out the squares on their card. Once completed, cards are turned in for the first of many chances to win prizes during the weekend. Or you can grab your GPS and test our your your units accuracy. Our Garmin Oregon 650T was pretty close.
During the Going Caching 2013 Mega Event, there was a name tag puzzle that encouraged attendees to interact so they could decipher a coded alphabet that they needed to solve other puzzles throughout the rest of the weekend! We’ve also seen buttons on nametags that you have to match with other buttons to win a prize, and trading cards that you collect from attendees and match up in order to see a complete map on the back of all the cards. These are clever ideas to get people interact and make friends with other cachers.
Creative Geocaching Activities and Challenges
Beyond the opening events and the opportunity to meet other cachers, you may see some awesome geocaches to be hidden in the area specifically for the event! In fact, at the Going Caching 2013 event at FDR State Park in Pine Mountain, GA they hid over 130 caches throughout the park. These added caches give you a chance to hunt around every corner.
You may also see certain “challenges” at some of these mega events. We recently competed in an Amazing Race-style event, where we had to run around and complete several challenges that would lead us to final mysterious location. Challenges are tons of fun and we always look for them when going to a Mega Event.
Increase Your Geocaching Knowledge and Pass Along Trackables
Another benefit to mega events is the chance to increase your geocaching knowledge through classes and meetings, such as a class we attended to help us get better at breaking codes to solve the puzzle caches. Like any local club, there are local geocaching organizations that have regular meetings to discuss what’s going on in the area, and to keep people informed about geocaching events or philanthropic activities to participate in.
Geocaching events are also a great way to trade trackables, and many mega events will have entire trackable tents dedicated to people who want to trade trackables from around the world! This is where trackables can get on the right path to their destination (if they have one). Knowing that the geocachers attending these events are more on the serious caching side, you know that the trackables you drop off will be taken care of and will continue moving towards their goal. What is a Geocaching Trackable?
Some of these trackable tents will have destinations broken out to where in the world the trackable wants to go. For example, when we went to GeoWoodstock we knew that we were heading to Asia soon, so we traded our current trackables for those that wanted to go to Asia so that during our trip, we were able to help a couple of trackables make it closer to their goal. Mega Events are a great way to help other cachers complete the goals of their trackables.
Watch our Video of us Vlogging at the Geocaching HQ Block Party in Seattle, WA
A Geocaching Wedding? No, Not Ours…
One very unique thing that we saw at a geocaching mega event was a Geo-Wedding. Yes, you read that correctly. It was an actual wedding with Signal (the geocaching mascot) as a groomsmen. We were shocked at first, but then we were so happy to realize that this was real and we were bearing witness to a special moment in two fellow cacher’s lives. They had written some very creative geocaching vows that made the crowd laugh and enjoy the moment with the couple. It was a great experience and one that will stand out in our geocaching memories.
What’s a Geocaching “Lackey?”
Another benefit to attending a Geocaching Mega Event is you will get to meet a “Lackey”. A “Lackey” is a geocaching employee from the headquarters of the company in Seattle. These “Lackeys” are somewhat like celebrities to the geocaching community, so they are quite popular! It’s a lot of fun to talk with “Lackeys” and hear their geocaching experiences, or new developments in the geocaching world. Plus you never know which “Lackey” will be there at the event, so it’s fun to try and track them down!
In the future, we plan on attending mega events around the world to see what they are like in other countries. Often mega events will be themed, held around a certain town, near Geo-Trails, EarthCaches, and so on. We truly love geocaching mega events because we’ve had so much fun experiencing new and unique geocaching adventures, making new friends, and feeling like we are a part of this friendly & welcoming community.
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Read more about Mega Events we have attended:
- Going Caching 2013 – FDR State Park in Pine Mountain, GA
- Going Caching 2013 – A.C.E. Challenge
- Geocachers Come Near and Far Meet for GeoWoodstock XII in St. Charles, MO
- Discovering Gadget Caches at GeoWoodstock XII in St. Charles, MO
- Vlogging at the Geocaching Block Party in Seattle, WA
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