Geocaching, the world’s largest treasure hunt
On Thursday, March 2, the Whitecourt and Area Cachers (WAC) met at Trimline to take part in a satellite event for CARW2017 which stands for Catch and Release Winter. The Edmonton Geocachers put on the event which stretches into the surrounding areas of the city, getting people to leave the city and explore. This year’s theme was “Canada Tourism and Parkland County Tourism.”
“This is the first time that Whitecourt has actually participated, and we are one of seven satellite events,” said Sharlene Munday who is a member of the Whitecourt Geocachers. “It’s family fun. We have kids as young as two and people in their nineties playing,” said Sharlene, adding, “It’s a universal game and you don’t have to have much skill outside of being able to look for a cache once you have the co-ordinates.”
The local group has grown very nicely over the last bit and is hoping to continue to do so. “The whole plan is to try and meet once a month. All are welcome. It doesn’t matter if you are a newbie or a veteran.” One of the upcoming events planned is called a Cache In Trash Out which will involve cleaning an area. “Geocachers like to clean so the whole point is to pick an area and clean it,” said Sharlene.
When asked to explain geocaching, Sharlene gave a big laugh and said, “We search for Tupperware containers using million dollar satellites!” Utilizing either a smartphone or a GPS unit (though a smartphone isn’t as precise), adventurers go out with co-ordinates in hand trying to locate hidden caches. Some require a puzzle to be solved while others might lead to clue upon clue before you reach the prize and some even involve trivia. There are so many kinds and within Whitecourt and area there are hundreds to be found.
“Geocaching was started in the states after the satellites were given out and people could use GPS. Somebody hid a can in a field and challenged his friends to find it,” said Sharlene. “They said it was fun and thought it should become a game. It’s a worldwide game now with over two billion geocaches hidden out there.”
The next event for the Whitecourt and Area Cachers will be held at Green Gables towards the end of the month and there are several events planned for the near future including one with a German theme. Join the Facebook group “Whitecourt Geocachers” to keep up to date on all the latest information. You can also visit www.geocaching.com to join the world’s largest treasure hunt.