Sometimes when you anticipate an event for so long, it may not live up to your expectations. But this was not the case with GeoWoodstock XII in St. Charles, Mo. GeoWoodstock is a moving festival for Geocachers from all around the world. Simply put, it is one of the biggest Geocaching Mega Events in the world. Thousands of geocachers from as far as Germany and Alaska traveled to the heartland of America in search of some Geocaching goodness.
St. Charles, Missouri – Host Town for GeoWoodstock XII
The host town for GeoWoodstock XII was in St. Charles, Missouri just up the river from the beautiful city of St. Louis. We were excited about making the journey to St. Louis and GeoWoodstock because we love our road trips. Plus, we love exploring new cities together, and we really love to meet other geocachers from all over the world at these types of mega events.
St. Louis did not disappoint, but St. Charles was a surprise to us! The beautiful history of St. Charles was just the perfect back drop for us history-crazed geocachers. We did not realize that the town of St. Charles was actually the launching point for the Lewis and Clark expeditions to the west. GeoWoodstock was actually held near the statue of Lewis and Clark near their launching point along the Missouri river. This made the event theme “discovery” make even more sense. We really enjoyed walking through the rich history of St. Charles, and having other geocachers roaming around town.
GeoWoodstock XII – Geocaching Festival
Usually all Geocaching Mega Events have a meet-and-greet Friday to give people a chance to mingle and get to know each other. We arrived at the Pre-Event party in the afternoon to gather our event registration and our Bingo Sheets, which is always a fun icebreaker at events. The bingo sheets had different geocaching achievements on each square and you had to go up to cachers to see if they would qualify for signing a square on your sheet. These achievements were anything from ‘Has found caches on a more than continent’ to ‘I’m a Muggle’ to ‘I have only been caching for less than one year’. Once your card is filled, you would drop your card into a box for raffle giveaways going on throughout the event.
At Mega Events you will also find that there are other breakout events. There were several breakout events leading up to the big Saturday GeoWoodstock event. We were able to participate in one breakout event over breakfast with our friends at GeoGearHeads. DarryleW4 and The Bad Cop held a meet and greet at an awesome bikeshop/cafe. Here we were able to get fueled up with a yummy breakfast and coffee for a full day of geocaching. During breakfast the guys were giving away signature geo-coins and some sponsored items. We were lucky enough to have our named pulled for a signature Cache-A-Maniacs geocoin.
GeoWoodstock XII Flash Mob
After breakfast, GeoWoodstock started off with a Flash Mob at the iconic Lewis & Clark statue in St. Charles. This was one of our first Flash Mobs that we have participated in. It was a lot of fun to get a photo with all the cachers around the statue, and a great way to kick off the official day of the event. Our good friends Sonny & Sandy at Podcacher – Geocaching Podcast could not be here at this event, but we felt as though they were here in spirit with us in this Flash Mob. The guys at Podcacher are the brains behind the World Wide Flash Mob. Every year around the same time over 40 countries get involved and host Flash Mobs all across the world. This year there will be over 42 countries participating. Make sure to keep an eye out for a WWFM event near you.
Geocaching Around the Beautiful & Historic Town of St. Charles, Missouri
Geocaching around St. Charles did not disappoint; after all, what would a geocaching event be without actually going geocaching! Liz and I took a break from the GeoWoodstock festivities in the early afternoon on Saturday to explore St. Charles through Geocaching. Typically we have to keep a low profile while caching so we don’t draw attention from muggles. But the great aspect to an event like this is that we were surrounded with thousands of cachers! So teaming up with other cachers and asking for clues or hints is not as bad as if you were out in the real world geocaching. There were also some great lab caches and multi-caches set up around the city of St. Charles to go after.
Geocaching Gadget Caches at GeoWoodstock XII
After Liz and I explored the town of St. Charles through Geocaching, we made our way back to the giant Lewis & Clark statue to meet up with some of our fellow online geocaching personalities. Mega Events are a great to finally meet those more popular geocachers in person, and were excited to meet and go caching with some of our favorites like Joshua from The Geocaching Vlogger, Justin The GCDoc geocaching vlogs, Dave from Geo Dave geocaching vlogs, and our friend Elliot, who has tons of international geocaching experience caching around the world.
Together, we all decided to go after the GeoWoodstock Gadget Caches. These were some of the coolest geocaches that we have ever run across during our travels. Going after popular caches like these at Mega Events can be tough due to the crowds, but these were worth waiting for! For these gadget caches, we needed to be really creative and use our minds to figure out certain objects to use to open the caches, or solve the codes. Others even involved finding wires and using your body as a circuit to make a light turn on – oh the science behind these caches!
Geocaching for the Little Cachers
One aspect that we didn’t get to partake in, but will one day, is the kids geocaching. The crew at GeoWoodstock XII set up 12 fun geocaches just for the little ones. Our good friend Dave DeBaeremaeker from Only Googlebot Reads this Blog did a great post called GeoWoodstock XII: Kids of Discovery. And it is a great story about caching at GeoWoodstock with his kiddos! It was a great idea – so if you have kids, be sure to check out his post.
GeoWoodstock is also great place to browse geocaching tools and other products that you may have been thinking of adding to your collection or to your Adventure Bag, and we enjoy visiting with them. There were vendors here where you can purchase t-shirts, geo-coins, trackables, and other fun geocaching items. Our good friends from Garmin were there showing off their latest handheld GPS devices. They were also there to help you out with any questions you may have about your device or about GPS’s in general. Great to see them at the event and get a few pointers with our Garmin devices.
We finally got to meet our good friends from Spokane, Washington; Cache Advance. Lookout Lisa and her husband KidVegas 19. They brought several great geocaching items from their Geocaching Store in Washington state. They had a great booth set up where you can see and touch the items you may have been thinking about adding to your Adventure Geocaching Bag for some time and walk away with them. We also ran into our good friends at TravelFleas from Sarasota, Florida. We have been spotting more and more of these TravelFleas out in the wild and “along for the ride” during our travels.
What Did We Take Away From GeoWoodstock XII?
Memories With Geo-Friends
At GeoWoodstock you can expect to meet cachers from all over the world. Some you may recognize by their geo-names, or from shopping on their websites, listening to their podcasts, reading their magazines, or watching their YouTube videos. We were very excited to meet some of our Geo-Favorites here during the event and discuss our shared hobby of geocaching. It was also a lot of fun to go caching with them, or socialize over a meal.
Helpful Information from Geo-Seminars
We were also able to sit in on a class held by Geocaching Reviewers from all over the country. The Geocaching Reviewer watches over geocaches that are placed to ensure they fall within geocaching.com guidelines. This was a great Q & A session that will help us along with our travels as we start hiding caches in America and abroad.
Trackables that Want to Travel the World! (Our Favorite)
The Geocaching Trackable Tent is one aspect that we always look forward to at Mega Events. People from all over bring trackables they have picked up, or bring special trackables to the event. In particular, we enjoy picking up trackables that are going to international destinations!
To be able to pick up a trackable to take with you, you must exchange a trackable. So for the number of trackables you bring in, that is the number you will take with you. All the trackables are sorted out to the locations they want to go to. Each trackable has a goal to where it would like to go and thats where they are sorted out to. Any ideas on where we will be going soon?
Not sure what these are? Click here to read our story What is Geocaching Trackable?
Overall, We Had an Awesome Time at GeoWoodstock XII
GeoWoodstock is a great Mega Event for geocachers to go to. This is more like a convention type of setting for geocachers, but it’s an awesome way to meet cachers from all over the world and to learn more about our hobby of geocaching. The next GeoWoodstock location will be in Maryland, near Washington DC. We hate that we will not be able to go to this event, but if it is anything like GeoWoodstock XII, it will be worth packing up the car and heading out on another road trip.
**We want to Thank the Volunteers at GeoWoodstock for putting in so much time to make this event one to remember.