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Thursday, December 21, 2017
Geocaching at Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site
We are onto our third year of Geocaching at Schoharie Crossing
State Historic Site. And this past summer was awesome! We have talked about
the game of Geocaching in the past issues and the fun it can be, especially if
you have a family and are looking for some outdoor adventure. I find it to be
so thrilling to discover a secret hidden container that only Geocacher’s can
find. If you like the idea of a high-tech scavenger hunt, this game is for you!
for the rules of the game).
But there are other parts of the game that Geocacher’s
enjoy, and one of them is Geocache
Challenges. These take finding geocaches to a whole new level as you are
challenged to find not just one Geocache, but a series of Geocaches. For the
past three summers, Schoharie
Crossing has participated in the New York State Parks Saratoga/Capital
District Geocache Challenge.
The Challenge places 76 Geocaches in 18 State Parks in the
region. They are only placed for a limited time, from Memorial Day weekend to
Veterans Day weekend. The challenge is to find 40 of these Challenge Geocaches
to receive a special Geocoin that features a different State Park in the region
The way these Geocaches are different is that inside each of
them there is a special stamp. When starting the Challenge, you download from
the State Park Site or pick up (at the
participating parks) what is called a “Geocache Challenge Passport”.
You bring this Passport with you to find the Geocaches, and when you find them
you stamp your Passport with the stamp that is inside. Still sign the log as if
it were any other geocache. And go on your way. When you have the 40 stamps in
your Passport, you can take it to one of the park offices to get your Geocoin. This
summer Schoharie Crossing SHS was featured on the coin. What an honor for our
There is also a smaller Winter
Challenge that only includes 3 of the State Parks in the region, placing small,
winter friendly caches. If you are interested in what parks are a part of the
Winter Challenge this year go to www.nysparks.com for more information.
What makes the Summer Challenge so much fun, is the
volunteers who place these temporary caches. The placing of these Geocaches has
evolved over the years from just placing simple containers that are all similar
in shape and size from one park to the next, to very elaborate and unique “hides”.
The reason for these different kinds of hides is “Favorite” Points!
It has become a challenge within a challenge for the
volunteers placing the Geocache’s to try and place Geocaches that garner as
many “Favorite” points as possible. What’s a “Favorite” point? Well that’s a
Although the basic membership in Geocaching is absolutely
free, there is also a “Premium” membership
feature on the Geocaching.com website. For every 10 caches you find you receive
a “favorite point” to give out. When you find a Geocache that you think is
really special or unique, you can give it a “favorite point” to let the person
who placed the Geocache know you really liked it. The Premium membership is $35
per year and offers other benefits as well. (Please see Geocaching.com if you are
interested.) If after trying the free membership you find you are
hooked on the game, you may want to consider the Premium
But with just the basic membership you can still see what Geocaches
have gotten the favorite points. And you may want to consider getting out and
seeing these unique Geocache’s before they become archived at the end of the
At Schoharie Crossing this summer we had two Geocache’s that
received 47 “Favorite” points each, which is pretty good! We came in 3rd
and 4th on the favorite points for all the Geocaches placed for the
challenge. The most “favorites” went to a Geocache at John Boyd Thatcher SP
with 65 Favorite points! It was placed by a good friend who goes by the
Geocache name “C5Z”
For us Geocaching Volunteers it’s wonderful to read the
different comments on the Geocaches we have placed. So, if you do go out and
find these Geocaches, please take the time to log on line what you thought of
the Geocache. I know it takes some time to comment on every Geocache, and with
so many people logging on a Geocache app in the field, they are often eager to
get on to the next find and throw out a brief “TFTC” (Thanks For The
Cache). And move on. I prefer to take notes when I am out searching and
then logging them when I get home that evening. But whatever you decide, get on
out to Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site and find
the adventure that awaits you in Geocaching.