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Forums —» General Caching —» General —» Integrity
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Joined: Mar 01, 2007
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:10 am    Post subject: Integrity Reply with quote


I want to bring to the attention of the local caching community a cache owner who has a “parking lot” cache. When I logged this cache for the FTF I sent an email to the owner suggesting the cache was on private property and if he did not have permission, he might want to seek it, as this was not allowed.

This cache was the owners first or second cache placement. We have become friends and last night I emailed him and asked that he call me on the telephone to discuss his cache. He called me almost immediately and we discussed what he should do, we discussed moving it, or archiving it, since the move would be more complicated than simply archiving the cache, he decided he would just archive it.

The cache has been logged 25 times. Since solonm knew I was going to contact the owner there was no need for her to also contact him, so "almost" all others ignored the fact this cache was likely not in compliance with Groundspeak rules.

I have asked the owner to hold off archiving his cache and I will accompany him, and see if he can get permission to have it remain where it is.

This young fellow attended the recent geocaching 101 event in Chilliwack and I am sure he left with a better understanding of the whole concept of geocaching.

This folks is an owner and geocacher who shows maturity beyond his years, and is one we should all be proud of, because The Designator is only 14 years old.

I say good for you my friend.
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Joined: Mar 24, 2008
Posts: 482
Location: Abbotsford BC

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Integrity Reply with quote

Great Post. I for one could have learned from this young man in the past. I'm sure there are others who could too. You see I just past my 1 year anniversary of caching out here in the Valley and with spring approaching thought that I would review my 28 caches placed since starting this game.

With my first winter of caching behind me I wondered how they all had faired with this nasty weather we've been having. Some fared well others not so well. Standing near each one I examined the area around them to see what if any damage has been done to the area. Most changed the area very little, however a few I can honestly say I regret the spot I chose. My poor location choice quite often was due to not thinking about all the seasonal changes we go through in a year. An area that fits perfectly for a cache in the middle of summer can change quite significantly during the winter. The same can be said for the opposite.

There have been quite a few new caches placed this winter that as I look at them I know without a doubt will be nearly impossible to get to come this spring and early summer. The hiders simply did not take into account the growth of Brambles and Vines that will take over the area in the warmer months. You see a clear dry field in the summer can turn into a soggy, muddy mess when cached upon in the winter. A frozen hard and barren tree grove in the winter will become laden with flower and foliage in the summer and when cachers go into these areas well you can imagine the damage that can occur over time.

The question however still remains how do we properly assess an area before we place a cache? How do we properly educate new cachers on the same? One way is through awareness events, another is through caching time put in to learn the lesson the hard way like I did. However if the cacher is not willing to care about how the placement will affect the area well then there lies a bigger problem to deal with.

Just recently I read a blurb in the monthly newsletter we get from Groundspeak on the importance of cache maintenance. That is when I decided to check on my caches, drying them out, replacing full log books, and surveying for damage to the area. Like I said earlier I have started to remove my less desirable caches archiving them in the process. Now that I have a better understanding of the effects caching can have to an area I hope my next location choice will be an educated one and one I can truly be proud of.

I only hope this message might encourage others to do the same. Looking back I now realise that being new I was all too excited when I found my first few caches and even more excited to hide my own to experience others finding them. In all that excitement I realise some of my choices were not the best ones. Now that I have a few caches behind me I see new cachers and their excitement doing the same. Unfortunately I also see the mistakes they are making like I did. So how do we show them their mistakes and do it in a way as to educate them rather than anger them.

Ultimately it is their responsibility on placing and maintaining any caches they have, but we all need to learn to accept concerns voiced by others and to voice our own concerns when we have them. This is the only way we are going to be able to keep our sport as free and unregulated as it is today or face the consequences of regulations from other less desirable groups such as the government.
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Joined: Apr 25, 2006
Posts: 196
Location: Ashcroft, BC

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Integrity Reply with quote

Now this is how the forums should run! Bravo to both of you for taking the higher road and bringing up a problem the right way so that we can all deal with it in our day to day caching. I agree that sometimes when we put out a cache we might not think about all the possibilities of damage that might occur to an area be it because of seasons or otherwise. I think if everyone voiced their concern about an "offensive" cache (being one that might be in a bad location due to possible damage etc) to the cache owner in a non-threatening, concerned way that we could all work together to keep this sport as positive and regulation free as possible. Because in the end, we are all out there to have fun and to create fun for others...lets keep it that way!
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Joined: Oct 25, 2005
Posts: 129
Location: Langley BC

PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:16 am    Post subject: Re: Integrity Reply with quote

Well stated Kelly!!

If the geocaching community could all have this attitude, in the future, we will not be required to have meetings with Municipalities regarding caching in their parks.

This idea of responsibility is what the Executive of the BCGA should be promoting to the cache owners. Unfortunately the Executive has been - in my opinion - quite restrained in their comments on this topic.

The last "flare up" between cachers on this very topic was ended by the Executive and then removed from the Forums. Is that the way to deal with the topic - to hide it?? I saw that the "war of words" was starting to take on an unpleasant note but the discussion was very pertinent in today's cache hiding.

One thing I took from that "now archived" discussion is that not all cachers believe that after 15 people have found a cache that there should be no indication any have been there. This is what caching is supposed to be.

It appears there are a number of us who are willing to disregard any rules, regulations, authority or general common sense just to place a cache in any spot these individuals decide they wish to.

The defense that there are other caches "just like it" doesn't hold much water to me. Be a leader, show some self control and do exactly what Kelly has indicated - think ahead. There is no shame in admitting your "greatest cache in the world" isn't placed in the most ideal location. The cache hider needs to be able to get an email from someone about possible problems without being offended. The couple of times I have taken this route, I met a brick wall so I do not hold out much hope for that naive solution.

Whether someone belongs to the BCGA or not - if we are to be "self-policing" - the caching community needs to have a way of getting mtn-man to archive the offending caches. This should NOT be the decision of just one cacher but the group as a whole. Will this stop poorly placed caches - No! Will it reduce the time these caches are potentially damaging the surrounding area - I hope so. The Executive should be leading this parade - not hiding behind the tubas.

Perhaps before mtn-man approves a cache from someone in BC, the cache placer should be required to have read and signed off on the regulations or taken a seminar given by the BCGA so the potential problems are pointed out.

Education is the key as I don't believe anyone places a cache with the intention of causing a problem.

Now - what are WE going to do about it??
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Joined: Apr 25, 2006
Posts: 196
Location: Ashcroft, BC

PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Integrity Reply with quote

HwyGuy wrote:

The last "flare up" between cachers on this very topic was ended by the Executive and then removed from the Forums. Is that the way to deal with the topic - to hide it?? I saw that the "war of words" was starting to take on an unpleasant note but the discussion was very pertinent in today's cache hiding.

The reason why the last topic was removed was that it ended up being more destructive conversation as opposed to constructive criticism. The BCGA does not condone this type of behavior and therefore there is no room on these forums for such bashing.

The BCGA has no problem when people voice different opinions on a topic but the manner in which things are portrayed can lead the conversation on a path that is less than productive. As you see, this topic itself deals with the same topic as before but in a much more constructive manner.

The BCGA feels that we should all lead with respect and integrity when on the forums and in the caching community.

We also will look into giving more education during BCGA related events on cache placement and its impact on the area (as there should be none!)

We all choose to play this game so lets work on our sportsman-like conduct shall we!
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Joined: Mar 10, 2009
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Integrity Reply with quote

Since most of this discussion was started by my post and a issue with my cache I would like to say something.

I am new to geo caching, and the thought of hiding well hidden caches that people have troubles finding sounded fun to me. And hey still is!

After reading the posts from the Surrey meetings and also the great post from TESKELLY I see where some people are coming from and realize that it's more than that. If someone goes and finds a micro in the woods and thinks it's cool, than the chances are they may do the same, soon enough we run into the problems that Surrey is faced with now. Really I did the same, I found some cool tough hides in the woods and thought how can I top that! I have already started to review my caches that I have set out and will continue to go through them. I plan to make sure that they not only abide by the rules but will leave as much minimal damage to the area as possible, this might be as simple as leaving a better hint or saying that there is no need to go in a certain area to find it.

Its no secret that I've been having issues with a local cacher and I'm sure he only wanted what was best for the game. But has unfortunately escalated beyond that.

People take criticism and read emails differently.

For example: I read the comment in quotes below and is he saying I'm not a leader and have no self control? I know you are saying this in general(I hope!) but, someone could easily take it that way.

"The defense that there are other caches "just like it" doesn't hold much water to me. Be a leader, show some self control and do exactly what Kelly has indicated"

Everyone who is wanting to help other cachers out, or are going to make a comment need to really think about how they word what you are saying, and also make sure you aren't over stepping any lines. If a new cacher gets the wrong vibe from someone that may give them a negative feeling towards the game.

My personal feelings to the question TESKELLY asked "What are we going to do" because of what I've been through is....I would rather see someone from the BCGA review a cache if needed, I don't think(i know) it goes over well another cacher trying to tell you that your cache isn't placed properly. If someone has an issue with a cache let the rep in their area know this way no tension is caused between cachers, everything can be confidential.

I'm sorry for bringing my problems to this Forum(and this long post), but in a way I'm glad I did, I've been inspired a bit. Hope to meet some of you soon, I'm guessing most will be in Tulameen so I will see some of you then.
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Joined: Nov 14, 2006
Posts: 263
Location: x

PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Integrity Reply with quote

Nice post, geo_canuck77.

There is a lot of communication information missing in an email or forum post. We humans use body language and verbal tone more than words in our communication. You brought up a good point in recommending careful reading of what you type before you send it. makes the rules to list caches on their site, not the BCGA.

I don't think that I would want to have the responsibility to review all cache placements, even in a small area near where I live. I am a cacher, not a cop. This would effectively take away from the fun in caching for me. I do email cache owners with private comments when I see something that may be a problem. Some local cachers contact me to ask for advice before and after they place caches.

In general the BCGA encourages cachers to follow a leave no trace creed, and the current board will do more along this road, but in the end cachers themselves are best able to help out others in hiding great caches, and leaving no impact.

If anyone sees a note from another cacher try and see it as friendly advise, instead of a complaint, no matter how it is worded. If you find the need to send someone a note about their cache, try your best to be helpful and not critical.

Mach2003, BCGA Director.
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Joined: Apr 25, 2006
Posts: 196
Location: Ashcroft, BC

PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Integrity Reply with quote

Look forward to meeting you at the Tulameen event geo_canuck77! Smile
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Joined: Jul 08, 2008
Posts: 280
Location: Abbotsford, BC

PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:51 am    Post subject: Re: Integrity Reply with quote

Well stated TESKELLY and Geo-Canuck

I am not sure if anyone has seen my 'Cache Placement' post but it is along the same lines.
When placing a cache, you want to think...think about what other cachers are going to say about the cache. If you feel they are going to have a problem with it, then they probably are.

I understand that not everyone is up for being a 'caching cop', but if there were a couple people from the general areas who would volunteer to be available to those who have questions about placing a cache, I think that would be wonderful.
If there is someone just starting out and is placing a cache but is not too sure about it, the volunteer could go with them, and help them out.

Why make this game a hard one. The more we work together, the more fun it is for everyone.

I do agree with HWYguy...I would like to see the BCGA participate more in the forums and discussions. Not just one or two, but the whole. I understand life is busy, but to see more participation on the boards would be wonderful. It would also help those who don't have a 'clue' who the BCGA is, get to 'know' you more as well. The BCGA's opinion is valued, so please, have your say Very Happy

ALL VIEWS EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN...not Kelly's, he has his own - ask him.
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Joined: Feb 16, 2007
Posts: 124

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:08 am    Post subject: Re: Integrity Reply with quote

Good Post!

I believe the BCGA board members are not geo police, and are here to organize, facilate, incourage ...but not police. To put all the blame on cache owners for damage is crazy as well, they may have made the first mistake, but they never told anyone to trample over plants. Everyone is responsible for their actions or their part of the problem. These kind of caches can still be found without damage, had cachers respected the area, the owner would have saw cachers in the area, but should have found they did no damage, ask what they are doing, and then may have asked for its removal without being agry. And came up with a better location he would be OK with.

Now with this statement I'm not pointing any fingers, to suggest that a cacher that has over 1000 finds or 50 hides, is better then a newbie is also crazy. It all come down to each individual and the way they cache.
eg: 1) the dog owner that doesn't pick up after their dog
2) the dog owner that does but then trows bag in bush
3) the responsible dog owner how throws it into the trash
4) the owner whp picks up after any dog
5) the guy with no dog how picks up after someones dog
Anyone can be a 4-5, it doesn't take a pro. But I would agree to get advice from someone with more experience under their belt.
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Joined: Apr 12, 2008
Posts: 125

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 7:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Integrity Reply with quote

Integrity is defined in Wikipedia as:

“consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations and outcome.”

“It may be seen as the quality of having a sense of honesty and truthfulness in regard to the motivations for one's actions.”

We use the word integrity (or the lack of) to qualify the merits (and shortcomings) of everything from buildings, to art, science and both the morals and ethics of an individual, business and society.

We are not born with integrity. Developmentally it is an awareness we hopefully absorb in late adolescence as we move into adulthood. “If everyone else jumped off a cliff, would YOU??” We have all had that one thrown at us!! The sentiment behind the words is “show some integrity!!”

Gearhead’s analogy of cleaning up after a dog (or not) is perfect! It illustrates the quote, “integrity is doing the right thing, even if nobody is watching”.

Teskelly and Best Red’s contributions show how integrity continues to evolve and deepen through experience and commitment.

HwyGuy questions the integrity of BCGA’s actions of burying a forum and its content which in turn is defended by BCGA as being consistent to their policy ergo: their integrity.

The purpose of the thread of this forum (as I read it) is to encourage all of us to consider the degree of integrity we demonstrate when both hiding and seeking a cache. We are given clear guidelines through Groundspeak. At every step of our involvement in geocaching from getting our handle to placing a cache, we agree to accept certain terms and responsibilities. If a person requires further clarification, the Geocachers Creed says it all.

Irlpguy’s young cacher does indeed show maturity beyond his years. He accepted his responsibility to the caching community, his role within it and showed integrity by considering his options, agreeing to firstly seek permission and failing that, to archive his cache. Irlpguy has demonstrated his commitment to geocaching and high level of integrity by mentoring this young man to a positive outcome.

We should not require a long list of draconian rules and regulations to regulate geocaching as long as we hide and seek with integrity. However, if we choose to ignore the guidelines, are not prepared to identify and question irresponsible actions on the part of other players, this will be the end result.

The Nordsrom’s Employee Handbook says it all:

Rule #1 Use your good judgement in all situations. There will be no additional rules
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Joined: Oct 25, 2005
Posts: 129
Location: Langley BC

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Integrity Reply with quote

I don't think I am questioning the BCGA Executive's integrity - I have no reason to doubt any of them. I think I am questioning their perceived inactivity while the membership battles around them.

In their posts on this topic two Executive members have stated: "In general the BCGA encourages cachers to follow a leave no trace creed" and "We also will look into giving more education during BCGA related events on cache placement and its impact on the area (as there should be none!)". While I could ask what circumstances allow for the breaking of a "general" rule, or why it is only "general", this would just be me being a contrary s.o.b. and not helpful. But they, as Executive members, brought nothing substantial to the discussion on how to resolve the issues being discussed.

I see nowhere on this - the BCGA site - where it is stated what the Community as a whole ( as represented by the Executive) thinks are good geocaching protocols. In this topic and in the Nanos and Micros topic, I see some saying:
1) we can move stuff around as long as we put it back
2) that sometimes you might need to break a few pieces of vegetation that has grown since cache placement
3) nothing should show you were ever here
4) some geotrails do happen

as examples of what people think should be OK when looking for tupperware in the bush.

What this shows to me is there are as many interpretations of the "rules" of geocaching as there are cachers.

I would like to see from the BCGA a set of guidelines ( not rules ) that spell out what the Executive thinks we, the geocaching community, should be doing when we are in the bush, finding or hiding caches. This set of guidelines could then be discussed at length on the forums (as I am sure they will be). I am aware of having guidelines, but if I have ever seen them I don't remember. In any event, I would like to see more "homegrown" ideas than what would be on that site.

These could then be posted prominently on the Main Page, so new ( or old) cachers could easily see what this organization thinks its members should be doing while participating in this activity. While "word of mouth" works to some extent, the story changes with each telling and soon becomes a far cry from the original story. A written record can be accessed by anyone.

If a cache is then placed that in the opinion of a cacher looking for it, does not follow the guidelines, it would give a benchmark for a discussion with the cache owner. This would help minimize the conflict between the two parties as they discuss their differences.

I guess what I am really looking for from the Executive is leadership.
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The Designator

Joined: Mar 17, 2009
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Integrity Reply with quote

Thanks guys, i am new to this and learned from my Pepere in the summer in Merritt and decided would make my account in Chilliwack and start with some friends.
I admit that my 2 caches are not the best, one on my property which some people don't like and one in a parking lot.
I just happen to pass the one in the parking lot today biking to the cache and wanted to check if it was still there and it's not so nobother getting permission i'm just gonna archive it now.

Thanks to everyone that has helped me out in geocaching especially IRLP GUY!!! Shifty
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Joined: Mar 01, 2007
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Integrity Reply with quote

Bravo HwyGuy

I would like to offer here a portion of an email I sent to the current BCGA President in response to a request for input on just this topic, included here are portions from 2 separate emails I sent March 6,2009:

1) This is something Chris that I think BCGA should take a strong stance on,
and that is when caches are placed in sensitive area's, on private property
without the knowledge of the property owner, and any number of other
inappropriately placed caches, that cachers should not ignore this just to
get a happy face and another cache on their count. I think this should be a
big part of the introduction to new cachers not just for placing caches but
when they are seeking them and come across ones that are not appropriate,
that they should not ignore the problem. If everyone ignores the problem
ones, then newer cachers seeing these types of caches will say "well here
is one that lots of people are doing and no one is saying anything" so why
can't I put out a cache in this area or next to this building or whatever.
We as responsible geocachers must police the game ourselves, if we don't, we
will have no game to play and we will be constantly facing problems with
Cities and municipalities making rules about placement that makes it
difficult for even the most prudent cache owner.

2) I don't know Chris, it seems to me that the guidelines for the placement of
caches is fairly basic, not too restrictive but respectful of the
environment and peoples private property and security. To follow these
guidelines does not hinder our ability to place caches in places we
ourselves would be comfortable taking our Mothers and Fathers and our kids,
I think that the onus is completely on the cache owner to understand that if
you place a micro in a stump that is so well hidden there is a good
likelihood of damage being done to the surrounding area by those seeking it,
then that is not the place to put a micro. But alas I don't know how we can
ever educate those that think they can do anything they like without
thinking of the game as a whole.

I believe that the BCGA's roll would be best served in attempting to not
only educate new cachers but to perhaps make some kind of a mission
statement to the effect that they support the posting of logs which identify
and are critical of improper or inappropriate cache placement, people don't
want to do this for fear of being criticized by other cachers
notwithstanding the owner, I think if they felt it was appropriate to do
just that we would soon weed out the ones who have no long term interest in
the game...

I have also sent an email to another member of the Executive whom I respect very much and I share with you the following, which I have shortened for this post: Dated Mar 15,2009

I have been a member of BCGA since I started caching, I am not a big fan of forums and certainly not a fan of participating in them, as is evident in that I have had 4 posts and they have all been within the last couple of weeks.. On March 10, my friend Paul joined BCGA after caching since last August I believe, he then posted immediately a thread with a topic called “something and geo cops”, I do not remember the exact topic name.

I have looked back at Topic names going back to 2006 and there are none that even come close to being so blatantly controversial and self-serving. That combined with his first post should have sent red flags up all over the BCGA executive’s collective computers. I was informed of this topic and post by a friend since I do not monitor the forums and rarely visit that part of the website.

My question is, how was that “topic” and post ever allowed to be placed and why was it not halted before I felt the need to offer a defense. BCGA promotes and I quote:

(a) The reason why the last topic was removed was that it ended up being more destructive conversation as opposed to constructive criticism. The BCGA does not condone this type of behavior and therefore there is no room on these forums for such bashing.

[b]The BCGA feels that we should all lead with respect and integrity when on the forums and in the caching community.

Am I wrong in saying that there should be no “personal” topics allowed and if one is started then it should be halted immediately.

If moderators are going to stop a topic, as they have every right to do, then they should also be willing to defend their having let it start in the first place. If BCGA is saying it promotes fair treatment and respect then this topic should never have been allowed to happen.
End of messages:

You can agree or disagree with my submissions and my assessment, I care not, for I know who I am, and I am completely comfortable with “my” integrity in caring for this game we profess to love, and choose to play.
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Joined: Apr 19, 2008
Posts: 148
Location: Pitt Meadows, Burnaby, or driving in between

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Integrity Reply with quote guidelines can be found here:

I appreciate what you are saying HwyGuy and we do have a number of projects on the go that will hopefully give you some of what you are looking for from the BCGA Executive.

But I would like you to keep in mind that as a cacher you have over 1500 finds. You can take 4 of the current executive, combine our finds and still not reach that number. We are just average cachers that have put our names forward to help out. We are not expert cachers, we make just as many mistakes as everyone else. This is why the input of all cachers is valuable, not just what the elected minds think.

I do support having a resource for our members to go to for some guidance, but ultimately, the caches we place are approved based on the guidelines I've linked above.

And rest assured, while we may not all be vocal in the forums, we are aware of the discussions that are going on and the suggestions that are being made! Razz

goaliegirl38, BCGA Director
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Joined: Oct 25, 2005
Posts: 129
Location: Langley BC

PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:16 am    Post subject: Re: Integrity Reply with quote

Goaliegirl - thank you for your reply. That is what I was looking for as a constructive addition to the discussion by the Executive.

I went and read the regulations. I found them to be virtually useless for the discussions in this forum. They are very vague and general - which is a great starting point - but this forum has progressed past that in its discussions of "good" caching procedures.

If I use these regs - of my 5 favorite caches - 3 don't meet the criteria and of my 5 most hated, environmentally destructive caches - 3 probably do - at least at the original time of placement.

There are no specifics on that site. Specifics is what new cachers need. No mention of the pitfalls of: geotrails, cammo'ing with moss and expecting people not to tear apart all the moss in the area, the stupidity of a nano in a stump or just a micro in the forest, hiding on a slope, near a stream, using bouncy coordinates without a more direct clue to minimize damage etc.

No examples of good practices such as: hiding caches close to existing trails, taking a number of readings on a number of days before sending a group of people into an area in any type of weather, using a clue to actually help cachers find the spot etc

These are things that need to be itemized in some way so the damage can be minimized, the inevitable discussions can be civil and constructive, and the caches can be placed in a positive, challenging and environmentally sensitive manner. To use the crutch of "these are the rules that the cache placements are following" is not acceptable.

Not all cachers go to events, so to put all our eggs in that basket would be foolhardy. This site could and should be a visible source for what we as members of the BCGA deem to be important guidelines for caching in the province. It would then be able to be shown to groups like Surrey Parks etc that we are proactive in our concerns and that these groups can be more comfortable with us using THEIR resources and lands.

I realize that the Executive are just cachers like the rest of us but they have the platform to make changes, we just have desire for progress.
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Joined: Nov 14, 2006
Posts: 263
Location: x

PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:42 am    Post subject: Re: Integrity Reply with quote

Nice start HwyGuy! Great Idea!

Type up a starting list and email it to me, or, even better, start a new thread and post your ideas there. People can discuss the ideas, add to them, and in the end we can establish our own version of the "Geocachers of British Columbia Creed".

Once something is "finalized", we can post it to the site, and make a big deal of pointing everyone to look at it.

Cudos to you for starting off a positive solution, keep it up!

(ps) If you would like some of the posts from THIS thread moved over to start a new one, just email me, I'd be glad to assist you there. Although these topics are formed from one another, the two threads really should be seperated, anyway.
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Joined: Oct 25, 2005
Posts: 129
Location: Langley BC

PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Integrity Reply with quote

Will gladly start that thread when I get back from Kelowna some time on the weekend.
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Joined: Nov 12, 2006
Posts: 195
Location: Coruscant

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:16 am    Post subject: Re: Integrity Reply with quote

I'm glad this topic has been brought up.

I for one have placed questionable caches in the past, and some of them probably still exist. I recently had a discussion with a local cacher and we decided we were going to soon archive our questionable and undesirable caches.

I'm glad there has been so much constructive discussion in this thread and I look forward to seeing what it leads to.

When I first started my hides, I was so excited to be hiding caches I was putting out 10 new caches a day at times. This is definitely going to lead to some not so nice hides. As with everything, it takes trial and error before you get good at something. Like they say, practice makes perfect. So when we do discover a new cache that is probably not in an area where it should be, lets be patient with this person. I have meet more than one geocacher that was completely turned off from geocaching by the way things were handled. We all started out knowing nothing.

I myself am leaning more towards the hiking hides now.

Anyways, that is enough of my uneducated and incoherent ramblings for now.

I find your lack of faith disturbing. - Darth Vader
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Joined: Sep 28, 2005
Posts: 356
Location: Victoria

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:26 am    Post subject: Re: Integrity Reply with quote

Thanks Grafinator,

This has been a very interesting discussion... I'd like to share a few guidelines that we personally make an effort to use when hiding caches and I encourage people to develop their own along the same lines. They are:

1. Read and understand Groundpeak's rules. Ask questions of your reviewer if you're not sure about their application in specific case.

2. Know who owns the property where you want to hide a cache. It may be public... what does that mean? Is it municipal? Is it federal? Does it belong to a logging company? Are you really ok hiding a cache there?

3. If in a park, does the park authority have policies about caching? Don't know? Find out and abide by them. (BCGA can tell you which of BC's parks have policies)

4. It may look barren... but in the spring, is the area full of wildflowers and birds nests? Are there other seasonal environmental issues.

5. When you hide a cache, put yourself in the mind-set of a new, inexperienced cache finder... a young family with kids for example, trying it out with an old GPS that's not very accurate. Is the cache container the appropriate size for the location? Is there a good hint? Will they find it and go, "COOL! That was fun." If so, great... you may have a good cache hide on your hands. Will they be likely to cause damage or disturbance? Will they likely leave with a DNF because they couldn't find your micro in the woods? If so, it does not belong there.

6. Finally, if you really feel the need to communicate with someone about what you feel is an issues with one of their cache hides, you don't have to do it publicly. ALWAYS treat people as you would wish to be treated... not how you know you can handle being told. A good model of communication to follow is 1. praise 2. express the problem in terms of how it makes you feel (no finger pointing) 3. praise again.

People from all walks of life geocache for all kinds of reasons, but they ALL want to have fun. Not everyone knows and understands the rules... but they really do help make it fun, and breaking them really can hurt the sport. The people involved in this forum are fairly experienced, so I am kind of preaching to the converted here... the challenge is to share guidelines like these with new cachers in a positive and fun way.

my 2 cents.
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Joined: Mar 01, 2007
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 2:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Integrity Reply with quote

The guidelines that Landsharks have submitted as what they try to use in their cache placements are all very valid and important, I would suspect they were formulated very early on in their beginnings into geocaching, for that I applaud them. Many have similar standards they aspire to consider and live by before placing a cache. Each and every one of us will view our placements in a different way as we seek to place cool and desirable caches, hoping to bring pleasure to those that seek them. If we set a high standard to begin with as did landsharks, then there would be very little need to be looking at coming up with guidelines beyond those which are now in existence.

Not everyone who places a cache will look at their choice of a location from the point of view of an inexperienced cacher seeking and finding it, and what their enjoyment might be. This is fine and to be expected, since some will choose to place caches in locations which challenge the seeker physically by placing their cache in hard to access areas along a rock face, or high up in a tree, these placements are “cool” also, providing they meet all the other requirements and clearly warn the seeker of what they should expect to encounter.
Seeking and placing these types of caches is no less valid than those which appeal to the majority of “family” cachers. The important thing here, as with any cache placement, is for the owner to ensure the location meets the guidelines, is safe in all respects, and does not pose any unforeseen danger, if you do this you will not receive anything but good logs on your cache page.

It is my opinion that everyone “should” feel the need to communicate obvious issues with a cache placement that is either inappropriate or does not follow the rules. I do not believe anyone sets out to be critical of the owner in pointing out a perceived issue. It is however my experience that in some cases that will be the result of your communication, no matter how you word that communication.

This is a very public game we play, when we place a cache, and we do not perform our responsibility to ensure it meets the guidelines and is appropriate and safe for others to seek, then we should surely expect to receive criticism and unfriendly logs on our cache pages.

To say that not everyone knows and understands the rules is fine, if you are only seeking caches, however if you are intent on hiding a cache, then you accept the responsibility to make yourself aware and have an understanding of the rules that govern cache placement, because when you submit a cache for review that is exactly what you are stating by ticking off the last two boxes on your page for submission.

If there is any question at all in your mind, ask the reviewer, he has likely had tons of experience and will be more than willing to advise you on your placement. On a couple of my caches his input was asked for, and freely given.

I have been taken to caches where the area was littered with junk and garbage, and the owner knowing that, has asked for me to help CITO the area. Well, I am not going to go and clean up an area that never should have had a cache placed there, but I sure am going to identify this placement as being less than desirable for anyone that might want to read my log and save themselves a trip to this cache location. It is my belief that if we all did this there would be far less undesirable caches out there.

I started this forum topic by pointing to a young man who was willing to accept advise from someone far more experienced, who also did not view the communication I had with him as being critical, rather helpful, and in so doing he did indeed show what the name of this thread was all about. If we all use integrity in our cache placements by knowing and understanding the rules, and attempting to follow them to the best of our ability, asking advise when needed, and accepting someone’s attempt to assist us as being just that, and not a criticism, then new and “old” cachers will all reap the benefits.

That is my opinion for what it’s worth.
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Joined: Sep 13, 2007
Posts: 22
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 8:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Integrity Reply with quote

I have read all of this and I can say as a beginner with 30 finds and several of those from attending events that this is all very interesting. I think that at this point in time pandora's box has been opened and you cannot close it. I joined the BCGA so that I can learn about geocaching and being apart of the community which also includes reading the forums from time to time. I would just like to tell you, as a beginner, what I thought about when I absorbed all of this.

1) I believe the avalanche deaths are in the 20's this year from skiers going out of bounds even though the areas are clearly marked out of bounds. Meaning that no matter what you tell people and how much you write, there will always be those who chose not to follow the rules.

2) I am a member of the BCGA and to be a member I must follow their rules. Period. If i dont want to follow the rules then I don't have to be a member, but that still doesn't stop me from geocaching. Any person can geocache. Anyone. All that the association can do is guide its membership in a constructive manner to allow the membership and the sport of geocaching to grow in a responsible manner.

3) No matter how much I like any person on this earth, there is always something that they say or do that I disagree with. How I deal with that is a measure of my integrity. Calling someone names, calling them out or making fun of them shows lack of respect. Telling them what my concerns are and allowing them to make their own decision with the information I have given them demonstrates leadership. Listening to what a person has to say and acting on that information is more important than dismissing it because of who has said it. That shows leadership and integrity. I would prefer to take advice from someone who has 40 caches found and OFFERS advice then to take advice from someone who has a million caches found and tries to ram it down my throat. In other words what you have to say will be measured with how you say it.

4) If you feel that the course of the current executives is not to your liking then you are allowed to vote them out at the next general election. If you think that you have something to contribute and are able too feel free to run for a position at the next election. Improving something is always a good thing.

5) This is a hobby. I want to have fun but in no way does this rule my every waking hour. If you find that you are thinking about geocaching 24/7 and you are actually getting angry over it, then this, in my opinion, is a time to take a step back and perhaps a break from geocaching until it becomes fun for you again.

6) Lastly as a beginner, the first place I come to for information and help would be here. When my daughter was sick this is where I came to because even though I had only a few finds and a few attendances I had already felt like I was part of the community. I came here tonight to read some of the stuff to try and become a better cacher and I have to tell you that some of the stuff I have read would make any new person never come back.

This is not directed at anyone or at any specific post. This is in fact accumulated over several of the last few posts I have read. If you feel that I am singling you out please read the first line of this paragraph. I just felt that if it is truely your goal to educate me as a beginner then this, as a beginner, is how I feel after reading those posts and how I would like to be educated.

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Joined: Aug 06, 2005
Posts: 206
Location: Maple Ridge

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Integrity Reply with quote

Thank you Olipe for saying so eloquently what many of us have thought about some of the latest posts.....

Read about my geocaching adventures on my website at:
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Joined: Nov 06, 2006
Posts: 95
Location: Abbotsford

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:50 am    Post subject: Re: Integrity Reply with quote

olipe wrote:

5) This is a hobby. I want to have fun but in no way does this rule my every waking hour. If you find that you are thinking about geocaching 24/7 and you are actually getting angry over it, then this, in my opinion, is a time to take a step back and perhaps a break from geocaching until it becomes fun for you again.

This is what I decided to do last week.
Yesterday I took a group of Cub Scouts out for a hike and we did a little caching (we planned it weeks before). I was able to see the kids have fun hunting the cache, not worrying about numbers of finds, good hides or bad. They just had fun getting outside taking a hike and finding a treasure box and looking inside. To me that is what this sport was when I started, and that is what I going back to.
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Joined: Jan 05, 2004
Posts: 1154
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 6:52 am    Post subject: Re: Integrity Reply with quote

olipe wrote:
2) I am a member of the BCGA and to be a member I must follow their rules. Period. If i dont want to follow the rules then I don't have to be a member, but that still doesn't stop me from geocaching. Any person can geocache. Anyone. All that the association can do is guide its membership in a constructive manner to allow the membership and the sport of geocaching to grow in a responsible manner.
Exactly what I was thinking!

That is the great thing. The BCGA does not have any rules around Geocaching, it only has rules around behaviour on these forums, and operation of the society. has the rules, you pay them for the privilege of getting cache information, and their 'volemployees' try to enforce the games rules.

The BCGA's role is to educate cachers about the rules and work with authorities to set boundaries where needed. Not to enforce those boundaries.

When the BCGA becomes a police force, is when I will hand in my membership, stop reading the forumns and continue on caching without a care in the world of what is written here.

~~~~ _CanadianBacon_~~~~
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