|Dec. - Jan. 2011-12 Vol. 2 Issue 1||Official Newsletter Of The IGO|
From The President's Desk
Happy New Year, IGO!
It’s hard to believe we’re already 1/12th of the way through 2012, but with the odd winter we’ve had, it’s also hard to believe it’s not already full-blown spring! Seems reasonable that everyone should be racking up the find counts already this year, right?
If you’ve been on the site in the last couple of weeks, you already know that the Board of Directors for IGO had a very serious January meeting. At the meeting, we set the wheels in motion for a major revamp of the bylaws of IGO, in preparation for our non-profit filing with the IRS. Our discussion was conversational regarding the changes we wanted to see, and our attorney will write up the resulting document for us to formally review and adopt, hopefully at our February meeting. The biggest changes that our membership will notice will be a more formal re-registration requirement for the website. This must be done to create and maintain an accurate accounting of our membership. The other change that is proposed will be to the annual calendar, moving our elections to the end of the summer, with the seating of our newly elected board during the Hike-N-Seek weekend (watch for an announcement about HnS soon!). Some of the behind-the-scenes adjustments are to bring us more in line with Iowa Non-Profit norms. Stay tuned for updates on these issues.
The other major topic at our January meeting was grave and unpleasant. It’s not necessary for us to lay out the specifics, but the Board acted to remove one of our own members. After a lengthy discussion, the Board felt it was in the best interest of the Iowa Geocachers Organization to remove SuperGoober from his director position. The Board weighed the issue in good faith; no personal agendas clouded the discussion. After, and in light of the meeting, The Weasel submitted his resignation from the Board. It should be noted that both gentlemen remain as members of IGO in good standing, just no longer serve on our Board. As a result, IGO is required by our current bylaws to hold a special election. The announcement of that election was made on our website, and the nomination period opens February 1st, 2012. Stop by the website to see the rest of the special elections schedule and to learn how to nominate an IGO member you think would serve IGO well.
Now, fun stuff! The First Annual Bucky’s Ammy Awards Banquet is happening on February 4th in Des Moines. While the reviews of the format have been mixed, the event itself should be a blast. We’ll give full reports on the evening, including who won the awards! Stay tuned to the IGO site, our forums, and social network feeds.
IGO will have a Pathtag offering again for 2012, with an awesome new design. Again, stay tuned to the usual information outlets.
And, of course, Iowa’s first Mega Event is coming up (less than 90 days away!). You won’t want to miss MOGA 2012 at Rathbun Lake. And, if you’re coming in on Friday, be sure to stop by Bucky’s BYO Bash! The annual meet-n-greet will be hosted by YOUR IGO this year, and promises to be a great time! See you all there!
Written by: bumanfam / BOD President
Letter From Your Editor
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and got to make some wonderful memories with the people that matter the most to you. Those holiday "days off" are long gone and now we are all back to the bump and grind of things. Although the warmer weather this season makes me want be out there looking to see what I can find!
This issue is full of fun things to do and to read about. I would like to send a BIG thank you out there to those of you who have been sending in the Cacher Profiles. They are all fantastic! Don't forget to send in your photo that you would like to have put in with your profile.
There are a couple of really great articles in here by our very own IGO members. These articles show how great people and geocaching can touch so many lives. Make sure you read these articles.
Keep those articles and Cacher Profiles coming in. You can check out this page on different ways to participate in THE SEARCH. YOU could be featured in the next issue!
I hope you enjoy the issue as much as I enjoy putting it together. Thank you again to everyone who contributed. Happy Caching!
~ Dori Kempker (Team Kempker)
In This Issue:
Ways To Participate in IGO:
The countdown is on and there are only 86 more days until MOGA!!
What an exciting weekend it is going to be. Make sure you have your registration done and waiver signed and turned in. MOGA requires that you register and submit a waiver to participate. Even your guests and their guests should be registered. Here is where you can go and check out the status of your registration. Still need to register? No problem, just go here and get everyone in your group registered. Don't forget to sign and submit the waiver!
Now that you are all signed up, you need a place to stay. If you already booked your spot, you are ahead of the game. If not, go and check out MOGA's Lodging and Camping page for all of the places that still have spots available.
I bet you are all excited to find out what fantastic things are in store for you while you are at MOGA. Well, wait no longer, here's a schedule! When you are looking over the schedule, be sure to read the important notes at the bottom of the page as well.
There are some really fun activities going on starting on Friday with IGO's BYO BASH! It is tradition at MOGA to hold an event the night before for everyone to come together and socialize. This year IGO is hosting the event and they are having a SOCK HOP! Dress in your finest sock hop gear and be a part of the Sock Hop Party of the year!
MOGA has some great things in store for us this year from a Naturalist Program and Night Hike offered by the Iowa DNR/Resort Staff to Poker Runs, CITO's and Awards. There is even a PARTY BOAT CRUISE!
Make sure you keep checking back to the MOGA website for all your updates. They are always posting new information and their Forums are always a fun place to meet others and chat. MOGA is also on Facebook and Twitter as well.
Bucky's Inaugural Ammy Awards
IGO is holding a new annual winter event that will be held on February 4th, just days away. Here are all the details about the event taken from the event page, GC39TYN :
The inaugural event will be held February 4, 2012 at Tursi's Latin King restaurant in Des Moines, Iowa. The Latin King is one of the best restaurants in Des Moines metro area.
The night's intinerary is listed below:
Social Hour: 5:30 p.m. (Well half hour)
Dinner: 6:00 p.m.
Dinner will be served family style and you will have a choice of Chicken Spiedini, Pepper Steak with Garlic Mashed Potatoes, or Pasta with Meatballs. This comes with a salad. There will be a cash bar for drinks.
Awards Presentation: 7:00 p.m.
Newcomer of the Year
Hider of the Year
Volunteer of the Year
Geocacher of the Year
The event will wrap up around 8:00 p.m.
This event is meant to be a first class event with having fun and socializing as its goal.
Cost of the dinner is $25 per person which includes tax and gratuity.
Seating is limited to the first 40 guests posting a "Will Attend" log.
A special election is starting today with the nomination process. Here are some details taken from the IGO webpage. Go and check it out and check back regularly for more details.
A special election process will be held to fill two vacancies on the IGO Board of Directors, beginning with a two-week nomination period to begin February 1st, 2012. The seats to be filled are a result of the departures of SuperGoober (Jeff G.) and The Weasel (Tim S.). The vacancies will be filled for the remainder of the terms, both currently set to expire on June 30 (though the board is considering updates to the bylaws that would extend all current terms by 3 months).
Nominations may be made by and for IGO members who are at least 18 years of age, and are residents of Iowa (or non-residents who have petitioned the IGO BOD for voting privileges).
Reconnecting A Family
By: Twila S. (Hill Folk)
Gary's cousin, Lori, writes articles for the Ottumwa Courier once in awhile. She recently had one published on using a GPSr to mark cemeteries and grave sites. She and Gary went to a rural cemetery where their great great grandparents are buried. Lori took a picture of that. She went on to talk about the GPSr being used for geocaching.
My cousin, Mike, and his wife Joan, saw the article and e-mailed us and said that she had been working on genealogy and family buried in Ormanville, Iowa. Gary's grandparents are buried in Ormanville, too. After some research, Joan and Gary are related through the Orman side. THEN she says,"Our son does the geocaching thing, too"
Mike and Joan had done some caching with their son and thought it was a lot of fun. We set up a day and went caching and way pointing grave sites of ancestors with Mike and Joan. In the course of our adventure, Joan talked about their son being a student in college in Arizona. That struck a cord.
A year or so ago, we pulled up to a cache where someone with a gps looking over a cannon. We had found that particular cache and knew it could be tough. We asked if he needed help. He had either just found it, or didn't want a hint. I truly do not remember which was the case. Through describing the incident, we figured out the young man was indeed, my cousin, their son.
A little later, we were stumped at one Red Darlings' caches. This was the second time we had been at the cache site and still could not quite figure it out. Joan called Kevin to confirm it was what we thought and we were able to log the find.
We had a great time reconnecting with my cousins. This is one thing we really love about the obsession of geocaching. It truly can be the way to re-connecting with family and friends. We are planning another caching/way pointing day when the weather is just a little nicer.
A Boy Scout Merit Badge Geocaching Adventure
By : Tom W. ( IowaTom)
It was November 5, 2011. The place was packed with boy scouts eager to learn, and then earn, merit badges. The Sun Rivers Merit Badge College XVI was held at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo, Iowa. I was asked to teach a class to boy scouts wishing to work toward earning a merit badge in geocaching, a brand new badge as of last year.
The history of scouting sheds light on the purpose and value of merit badges. During the early 1900s many American families were migrating from rural to urban centers. This worried key figures in the community. They were concerned that young men were no longer learning as many core values as they did when living in the rural environment. As a result, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was incorporated into the US on February 8, 1910. It began in England a couple years before – the work of General Robert Baden-Powell. His objective was to teach young men peacetime military scouting. Today, scouting teaches patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred values. Even back then, within a year the BSA was offering 57 merit badges that could be earned. To obtain a badge, a scout, then and now, needs to demonstrate a knowledge and proficiency in the specific area of merit. Over the last century, the number of badges has increased from 57 to 127. In the last year geocaching was introduced as a new merit badge!
I was thrilled to have been asked to teach a class about geocaching to a group of interested scouts. I made sure to share a number of tips about things I myself had learned the hard way. What to do and not to do, that sort of thing. At one point the boys were challenged by trying to figure out how to get to the log paper in one of my puzzle containers. They were not successful so I gave the last boy a big hint. People laughed and smiled as the log paper was finally located.
This is what I believe geocaching should aspire to, I shared. Do your best to make creative containers, creative websites, and try hard to teach something as well. One of the examples I shared was how I made a geocache-webpage combination that requires the seeker to learn how to program their GPSr in a way they probably would not normally take the time to do. Not that the method is not useful, it is! It just requires some time to input a number of waypoints. E.g., to find Tombstones Rock! (GCQWEH) in the way I intend it to be found, the geocacher needs to create a multileg route in their GPSr. Why a route? The seeker of the cache must locate the approximate point where I was standing in several cemeteries in Waterloo and Cedar Falls. How could anyone possibly do this? By giving them a N-S multileg route that leads them past each of the points where I was when I took a picture of key tombstones, that’s how. Ideally, the person should carry a printed copy of each of the cemetery images I provide. It is also very helpful to hold the picture a certain distance from their eyes. At that distance – determined by experimentation at the first point - the print will show the same perspective as what I saw when I took the picture! Off topic but certainly useful - knowledge about the relationship between perspective and viewing distance of a print helps us to understand why we are often disappointed with the size of subjects in a wide angle picture. We are not viewing the image anywhere near close enough to create the perspective that we saw when we took the picture.
The students were also taught basic information about how the GPS system works. This included things like, for us to know how many feet we are from a geocache, the US military must know precisely where each massive GPS satellite is as it hurtles around the earth at a speed of just over 7,000 miles per hour! They use sophisticated radar to track them precisely. After all, the GPS satellites don’t “know” where they are until someone “tells them”. Orbits are being perturbed slightly all the time. When four or more of these satellites broadcast their coded information to the GPSr computer, it computes where it is in latitude, longitude and elevation.
In the last hour we took out 10 Garmin eTrex units graciously loaned to us by the AEA 267 Agency. Using a computer and a PowerPoint projector we searched geocaching.com for the two geocaches that were close to the Hawkeye Community College campus. The scouts input the coordinates then we were off, to the cold windy miserable weather outside. Where was that warm air the weatherman had predicted? He happened to be there teaching a badge course. I should have asked him!
Once outside we all waited impatiently for the units to lock onto at least four satellites. Finally! Everyone quickly made a GOTO to the closest geocache and like a Wal-Mart mob on Black Friday, off they went. I was stalled trying to help a scout resurrect his father’s old beater GPS unit. I handed him the eTrex I was carrying so we could get moving. We finally found the mob, and one geocache.
One the way back a hoard of scouts were hovering around a trash can penned in by the front of one of the classroom buildings. The coordinate of the other geocache we hoped to find lead them to that garbage can. I used that moment to explain how the geocacher that supposedly placed it there would not have intended that we hunt for it in full view at that obvious location. He also would certainly not require anyone to pull the can out or take it apart, as they did before I caught up! After some looking I suggested that the coordinate that was written onto the whiteboard by one of the scouts was wrong. It was. This error turned into a valuable learning experience however. On my projected map we could see where the cache was supposed to be and where that trash can was, straight west of the cache. I predicted that the longitude was copied down wrong. As it turned out, my helper scout had a dyslexic moment when writing the longitude. So we didn’t find the second cache but learned valuable things from the experience as a result.
Next year I’ve been asked to do the same class again. The scouts had fun and learned a lot, I was told.
2012 Pathtag & Geocoin Updates
The submissions were made and the Board Of Directors unanimously chose the design. Congratulations to Kim of JeePSers for being the winning designer of IGO's 2012 Pathtag! The BOD will reveal the design soon after contact has been made with the artist for blueprint information. Keep watching the website and your social media sites for updates.
If you are making a Pathtag for MOGA this year, there is a Pathtag Give Back for MOGA 2012 available. IGO is the proud host of MOGA 2012!
For those of you who pre-ordered or are still interested in buying the 2012 Iowa Geocoin, CCWashburn has an update for you. "As of today we are back in the swing of things with the samples being made by a different mint. I am no longer accepting pre-sales and I am hoping to have this project laid to rest by the end of July barring anymore setbacks. Iowa Geocoin is also now a 2012 instead of 2011. Drawing has begun on a design for 2014, definitely nothing as elaborate as the 2012 but still neat."
2011-2012 IGO Trackables Race
The 2011-2012 trackables race is off and running. Everyones trackable started at IGO's Hike n' Seek 2011 (GC2R6J3) in Elkader, Iowa. They were off to a great start beginning at Arikaree (GC31) in Kansas State. Along the way, they were all dipped in Mingo (GC30)! They are now all happily traveling in Colorado, Nebraska, and Texas! Go and check out where they are at and if you would like to follow along during the month, check out the IGO 2011 TB Race page.
|Hide and Seek Geocoin
|welch Virginia Geocoin||welch||1320|
|Together we can make a difference.||L J Silver||977|
|Travel Bug Dog Tag||grizzlyman1971||779|
|Swim fast, little fishy!||tbruihler||752|
|Geowoodstock 5 Geocoin||welch||675|
|ZOEY the Travel Cat||L J Silver||651|
|Seriously Geico....couldn't you come up with better advertising?||CCWashburn||646|
|The Travel Slug GeoCoin||grizzlyman1971||646|
(*Mile totals as of 1-30-12)
Cache Of The Month (COTM)
We have all been to some really great caches out there in our state and here is your chance to share that great cache with others. Every month you can nominate a cache that you think should be the Cache Of The Month. Here is how you can do that. Don't be afraid to jump right in and start nominating and voting!
Right now voting for the February COTM is now open. Every month from the 1st - 15th voting is held and the 16th - the end of the month is the nominations of a cache. Click VOTE to pick your favorite cache. You can also vote from your home page on the IGO website. Log-in to IGO and scroll down to find the COTM information. Click on the title of the article to see the complete list of rules.
So remember to not only vote for your favorite COTM at the beginning of the month but to nominate your favorite cache at the end of the month as well. Be sure to leave a comment on the COTM page telling everyone why you nominated that cache.
This month's nominees are:
|GC38MT9||2011 AYOPC: Saylorville Lookout by The NVG, Traditional Cache (1/3.5)|
|GC38JPJ||F Marks The Spot by iowaPete, Traditional cache (2.5/1.5)|
|GC2XN45||Kalona Quilt Crypto by WyseGuys, Micro Cache (1/1)|
It is just as much fun voting as it is nominating so make sure you get your vote in. You do not have to have been to the cache to vote for the cache.
What is your first name and last name initial?: Blair and Cheryl J.
What is your Geocaching name?: BjCheryl
How did you come up with your Geocaching name?: My intials and nickname and wifes first name.
When did you start Geocaching?: June 2006
How did you learn about Geocaching and what kept you going?: Read an article by the Iowa Conservationist Magazine. About an Iowa couple that cached their vacation to Florida and back.
What was your first GPSr and what do you have now? What's the GPSr you would like to have?: First GPSr was a GARMIN etrex and now we have the GARMIN Oregon. Would like to have the model that can see and find the cache for us, sometimes.
Do you cache with other cachers, family or on your own?: Cheryl and I cache as a team, you know partners in life and we do enjoy caching together. However, sometimes I go off by myself for an adventure or for a FTF early in the morning.
What is (are) your favorite geocache(s)?: Any empty log book is my favorite cache. I like to get that FTF.
What are your favorite types of geocaches?: I'm getting to like EVENT caches the best, because the more time I spend with other cachers is the best time spent. There are no better people than geocachers, and we are always with family when around cachers.
What is your least favorite type of geocache?: Any cache that is on top of the steep hill required to get there. LOL It doesn't take much of a hill for me to not understand why this T1.5 is not a T5. LOL
Do you have a favorite area to cache? Why is this your favorite area?: It's not where we cache but, who we are cacheing with. Small groups of friends are the best. The memories of making each other laugh or spotting the cache at the same time as the elderly. (I'm not saying this would be HILL FOLK)
What do you keep in your geocaching bag?: Just the normal stuff, flashlight, spare batteries, tweezers, a few new log sheets. Bug spray in the summer time.
What is the coolest/wierdest thing that you have found in a cache? What do you enjoy finding in caches?: The coolest things that we have found at caches are strangers, more often than not they become BFF's.
Do you have a collection and what do you collect and why?: We do have a small collection of both geocoins and pathtags. Most have been given to us or won as door prizes at events. The tags that have been given to us bring back memories of that person or family of cachers.
Which do you prefer more: finding geocaches or hiding geocaches? Why?: Finding caches is the best. Each cache can be a new place to visit. It's fun to see what around the next corner.
If money and time were no object, what & where are the cache(s) you would love to find? Why?: Again, the where would not be a big deal. I think I would become an EVENT planner and play host to guest geocachers. We like to meet people.
Do you have a favorite event you like to attend or have attended?: IGO Hike & Seek. We have attended two of these and they are GREAT.
Where & how far away is the farthest geocache you've ever found from your home coordinates?: We did some caching in Lincoln, NE a few years ago, about 300 miles from home. Without the help of caching friends we managed to find several caches that day. LOL
What was your hardest cache to find and/or container? (Without being too much of a spoiler!): Without a doubt Aaron's Letterbox. Spent some time finding that cache. It should be on everyone's todo list, if they are in the area.
Cacher Profile Coming Up Next...........
In The Know...
Did you know....
- The IGO Forums is a great place to learn more about Iowa Geocaching and to get to know all of your fellow IGO Members.
- All over in the articles of this newsletter, there are highlighted links to more information.
- You can be featured in the Cacher Profile too! Just fill out the form here.
- All of the pictures that are used in THE SEARCH can also be viewed in IGO's Photo section located on the bottom of the list of links on the left side. Click here to go directly to the Newsletter's Photos.
- You can listen to the Board Of Director's Meetings on TalkShoe. All of the past meetings are available to the public. You can also attend a live meeting thru TalkShoe on every third Thursday of the month.
IGO's Supporting Membership Winners!
Congratulations to iowian who won December's prize and to warfieldm who was January's winner from the IGO Prize Vault! Thanks for being an IGO Supporting Member!
Each month IGO draws one winner from among those who have opted to become Supporting Members of the organization. You can find out more about becoming a SM at the IGO Store. Another way to participate is to donate a prize to the IGO Prize Vault. Check out the IGO Prize Vault page to learn how you can help support IGO in this way too.
Congratulations to the following IGO members for reaching a milestone find in the last 30 days. To update your own statistics be sure to visit "My Account", click on "Edit" then "Profile" and scroll down. If you would like to check out these milestones through-out the month, visit http://www.iowageocachers.org/member-stats.
|Name||GC Milestone||Date Recorded|
|Big Brother Bear||1000th||2012-01-28|
|L J Silver||1100th||2012-01-11|
|Big Brother Bear||900th||2012-01-05|
|Road King Phoenix||200th||2011-12-02|
Upcoming Iowa Events
|GC3AAP8||Shipwrecked by bucknuts, Event Cache (1/1)||2012-02-01|
|GC3ADXP||Where's Waldo? by Borky00, Event Cache (2/1)||2012-02-03|
Bucky's Inaugural Ammy Awards by IowaGeocachersOrg, Event Cache (1/1)
|GC3A1JV||You've Been Grounded by schnider, Event Cache (1/1)||2012-02-18|
|GC3ABDB||We Celebrate (because BJ lost bet) by bjcheryl, Event Cache (1/1)||2012-02-18|
|GC37Z27||The 366th day by JeePSer, Event Cache (1/1)||2012-02-29|
|GC383WJ||Leap Day Tradition by bucknuts, Event Cache (1/1)||2012-02-29|
|GC383QY||Get your Calender Well by bucknuts, Event Cache (1/1)||2012-02-29|
|GC3A13D||Leap Year 2012? : 10, 40 or 39 Years Old by Sioux City Geocachers, Event Cache (1/1)||2012-02-29|
|GC39FYK||NOW PLAYING "LEAP YEAR" 2012 POPCORN EXTRAVAGANZA by MovieCatz, Event Cache (1/1)||2012-02-29|
|GC3B3YE||Another Little Decorah Meet and Greet. by lagrac, Event Cache (1/1.5)||2012-02-29|
|GC3B4GX||Waverly Meet N Greet #4 by birgenfamily, Event Cache (1/1)||2012-03-03|
|GC3AAQB||Honen Matsuri by bucknuts, Event Cache (1/1)||2012-03-15|
|GC3BTTG||Bucky's BYO Bash (Before the Big Bash) by IGO, Event Cache (1/1)||2012-04-27|
|GC2QM9C||MOGA 2012 by MOGA, Event Cache (1/1)||2012-04-28|