Looking for a unique gift for anyone interested in geocaching, or in the history and beauty of our area? Gold Country Communities Society (GCCS) is giving away the remaining stocks of its two geocache guides to anyone who wants them.
“The guides are now free,” confirms GCCS chief operating officer Terri Hadwin. “The board of directors decided as a Canada 150 initiative to give them away to community members. Sales have been declining, and the cost of housing the guides outweighs the revenue.” She adds that the guides are also available in French and German.
“We’re still going to continue the geocache program,” says Hadwin, who notes that revenue from the sale of the guides went to pay for maintenance of the 142 caches. “We’ve done well to keep them going for a full five years, and we have enough funds to keep maintaining them for another two years at least.” The guides can be picked up at the GCCS office in Cache Creek, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Hadwin says they know that three of the 142 caches were destroyed in the fires, and suspect another two might have been destroyed, but have not been able to send anyone to check them because conditions in the areas are not safe yet. “Some may have been hidden in logs, and the logs burned. It definitely adds some complications.”
The wildfires also necessitated the postponement of the annual geocache event that was scheduled for early September. However, Hadwin says that the event—which has been renamed “Canada 150 and BC Strong”—will be going ahead from May 11 to 13, 2018 in Savona, Merritt, and Lytton. In addition to the 142 existing geocaches, up to 100 more will be added specifically for the event.
“If people are brand new to geocaching, and want to learn more, this is the best way to do it,” says Hadwin. “It’s open to everyone and anyone.” There is a goodie bag available for those who want one, but purchasing one is optional. The bags are $25 until a month before the event, and $35 on the day.
The event will also see the launch of eight new permanent geocaches, bringing the total number of geocaches to 150. This was another Canada 150 initiative, with funding for the new caches provided by the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, New Pathways to Gold Society, Northern Development Initiative Trust, the City of Merritt, and the Village of Lytton. “They’ll be released on May 12 in Merritt,” says Hadwin. “Participants in the event can be the first to find them, which is a really big deal.”
The caches have been hidden, says Hadwin, and now GCCS is looking for someone to take on a paid Quality Control contract position to make sure everything is in order with them. “We want to have another set of eyes, another point of view, to check and make sure the directions are clear enough for others to find the caches.”
The successful applicant will follow the letter boxing clues to ensure that all eight new geocaches are in the correct sites and the instructions are clear, then take pictures of the sites for use in GCCS publications. In April 2018 the person will return to the eight sites to ensure the geocaches are in good condition before the official release.
“We want to send the information to print, and get it available as soon as possible after the May 2018 event, so people can find them through the summer,” says Hadwin. She hopes to get someone out before the snow falls this year, so is looking to hire someone—ideally a person with geocaching experience—as soon as possible.
Anyone interested in the position should submit their name, address, and expected compensation for the completion of the tasks to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 8, 2017.
This past summer also saw GCCS launch a Bead Trail in the region, with local businesses and organizations able to have unique beads made up that reflect their business or location and sell them. The Bead Trail has proven very popular in the Okanagan, and Hadwin says that the GCCS bead—a golden Canadian flag—sold very well at the beginning of the season.
“We approached close to 100 businesses,” says Hadwin, noting that the Ashcroft Trading Post at the Esso Travel Centre has a feather bead available. “Any business that signs up with the program finds it a great benefit.” She adds that this is an ideal time for interested businesses to sign up.
“The sooner the better, because you’ll be able to get information in the printed Bead Trail guide as well as online. And if you’re in one of our GCCS communities, we’ll promote it as well.”
For more information about the Bead Trail, contact the email address above, or call GCCS at (250) 457-6606.