Our family has recently taken up the hobby of Geocaching. This is all thanks to my handy dandy Android phone. It has an application for geocaching.com and for the GPS it requires. It has been so much fun. I must share.
Geocaching is a treasure hunt all over the world! People hide a box of "treasures" somewhere in a public area, post the GPS coordinates and maybe give a hint in code. One of my kids deciphers the code, I plug in the coordinates in my GPS application and we're off! It was a rough start for several reasons. I was so used to Letterboxing so I tried to follow the hints more than the coordinates. After I learned my lesson, we went back to the sites to try again. Some examples of treasures are small toys, pens, coins and other cute trading items. I carry a stash of treasures in my fanny pack. I just so happen to have a box of little items that were donated to me by a Girl Scout leader that used them to trade at Day Camp. I was turning those items into neckerchief slides for my Cub Scouts (I miss them!). I have plenty left for Geocaching. But really...when will my house ever be free of little treasures that I don't need? ....um....never?
There are other Geocaches that do not have any treasures in them. They are just simple log sheets where you sign your name when you have found it. It may sound a bit boring but its not! It is so exciting to find what you have been looking for. Some of these are in old film cannisters or camouflaged pill bottles. Some are as tiny as your finger nail where you need tweezers to pull out the log sheet. Samantha and I found one disguised as old gum stuck under a picnic table. Max and I found another that was hidden inside a screw. The creativity of how and where they are hidden just builds our excitement. This could easily be a hidden lesson about the treasures that await us all in heaven. We search and search using the compass that God has provided...follow the narrow, but exciting path, and walah, you have found your treasure. Throw away the compass (or GPS) and try to find the treasure yourself, what do you end up with? You end up finding other things that you believe are the treasures but are only counterfeits. The one's who have found the treasure, know it. They know it! And it is far more exciting and worth the labor, and exhaustion it took to discover it.
|A microcache. Thats a log sheet in the center. You either need tweezers or long, sharp nails.|
|The kids hardly know that they love each other during our expiditions.|
|Yeah, I found this one. NOT HIM. I found it!|
|It looks like gum but is it?? I think not!!|
|The screw! It was stratigically placed in a curb stop in the parking lot|
|This one is a little too obvious|
|The one we found today. It is so much more pleasurable when the kids find it before me.|
I bought Samantha a Geomate Jr. for her birthday this year. It has over 250,000 geocaches recorded and points her in the right direction of the closest one. She has it hanging on her neck as she carefully follows her arrow. I see one in Max's future too.
The weather, the outdoors, the exercise, the anticipation of what we will find and being together is what makes this the perfect family activity.