Geocaching develops navigational skills, connects adventurers from around the world, and it’s the perfect activity for young people going on camp, a hike or an expedition over the summer.
As geocaching involves learning about GPS skills and how GPS works, it’s an engaging way for young people to learn about technology. For loads of fascinating information and a fun video about GPS, take a look at this helpful guidance from NASA.
For those new to geocaching, you’ll soon see that this outdoor activity is similar to a treasure hunt. But instead of treasure, participants seek out caches – small, waterproof containers that contain a logbook. When participants find the cache (based on its GPS coordinates, using a smartphone or GPS receiver) they enter the date and their established code name into the logbook as proof that they’ve found it. The cache is then returned to its spot so future geocachers can find it too. Geocaches are located all over the world, making it a global game of hide and seek.
Here are some ideas to support your young people develop their geocaching skills and work towards their badges.
Beavers – My Adventure Challenge Award
Support your Beavers to develop their interest in geocaching by trying it out together as part of a walk or hike. This could be a fun activity to do when heading out on a woodland walk or exploring a local nature reserve in search of wildlife and birds. All you need to get started is a smartphone and to download a Geocaching app. This could be done for their ramble or nature walk for their My Adventure Challenge Award.
If doing it as part of a journey of two hours or more, your Beavers will also be working towards their Hikes Away Staged Activity Badge.
Your Pack could try Geocaching together, as an outdoor activity or as part of a hike, to work towards their Our Adventure Challenge Award. Cubs will also be working towards their Hikes Away Staged Activity Badge if they do a hike of three hours or more.
Cubs interested in geocaching might also be interested in developing their tracking skills, while working towards their Our Adventure Challenge Award. Head into the outdoors with your Cubs, where they can leave tracking symbols made from natural materials like sticks and stones to set along a trail for others to find and follow. Download the tracking information sheet over here.
Scouts – Geocaching Activity Badge
The Geocaching Activity Badge gives Scouts the chance to get to grips with the ins and outs of GPS navigation. They’ll discover how it works and how it benefits society as they set out on exciting geocaching adventures of their own, where they can seek caches and hide them too.
For the Geocaching Activity badge, Scouts will need a handheld GPS receiver. If you don’t have one, ask around other local Groups, or think about purchasing some as a District to share. Alternatively, you can book to do this activity through a Geocaching course through the Activity Badge Programme available at some Scout Adventure Centres.
You can find information on GPS navigation here
or on pages 90-93 in the Haynes Outdoor Adventure Manual.
Scouts could also work on this badge over two days as part of their exploration or for their expedition task, for the Expedition Challenge Award.
Remember, young people aged 13 or under need an adult to sign up to a Geocaching website on behalf of their Troop.
Explorer Scouts – Top Awards
Explorer Scouts can work on their geocaching skills on an expedition in pursuit of top awards. They could include geocaching activities on their two-, three- or four-day expedition for their Chief Scout’s Platinum Award, Chief Scout’s Diamond Award or Queen’s Scout Award. They’ll show their ability to prepare and follow through to geocaching success, while having fun.
Network members can plan or get involved in an event or project, to gain their Geocaching virtual badge. Here’s some guidance on how to run a Network event or project.