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Shuswap GeoQuest
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couloir



Joined: Jan 19, 2008
Posts: 152
Location: Kamloops

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:42 pm    Post subject: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

We found this article in the Salmon Arm Observer:

"Geocaching Gets Cash Boost

Shuswap Geo Quest co-ordinator James Gjaltema holds an example of one of 250 caches to be added to more than 300 already in the Shuswap for geocache seekers to find.   full article.
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Doonchak



Joined: Sep 07, 2008
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 7:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

Another group huh?

This initiative also sounds very exciting.

So does this bring the total to 3 groups with gov funding?

Gold Country group
Shuswap GeoQuest
Unnamed Gold Country group using existing caches to create some sort of route...?

What are people's thoughts about this whole thing? Do you expect a significant number of cachers to travel here to explore these areas?
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scruffster



Joined: Sep 29, 2004
Posts: 1207
Location: Burnaby

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

Don't forget last year's Geo Rush sponsored by B.C. Parks.

Does anyone know if any other Province or State is embracing geocaching as much as communities around BC?
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Doonchak



Joined: Sep 07, 2008
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:45 am    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

Is GeoRush going to be a yearly event? Some of the releases sent out last year hinted towards that.
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ShuswapJack



Joined: May 25, 2009
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:51 am    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

Hello all, we at Shuswap GeoQuest have launched the first series of five caches, our project will be going for the whole year and we've already met with a lot of support from the Shuswap region.

We may need to ask for a correction from the newspaper, however, the funding of the project comes through Community Futures from the Western Economic Diversification Fund. Which is a federal program which provides funding to short term projects, whose goals are to diversify Western economies away from being solely resource dependent.

The province of Nova Scotia has a growing GEO-Caching movement. Nova Scotia's success with GEO-Caching as a tourism project was what sparked the idea here in the Shuswap.

Stonehame Lodge and Chalets - Has had great success www.geocachingnovascotia.ca/

There is also an exciting pilot project launched with Environment Canada
www.ec.gc.ca/geocache/...E923094B-1

Check out our websites www.shuswapgeoquest.com

We're also on facebook and twitter

twitter.com/GEOQuestSummer

www.facebook.com/group...4&ref=name

We're creating a blog, geoquest.wordpress.com/

Our first five caches have been posted on our website, and we will be posting them on geocaching.com soon
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knightorc



Joined: Apr 18, 2009
Posts: 22
Location: Salmon Arm, BC

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

ShuswapJack wrote:

Our first five caches have been posted on our website, and we will be posting them on geocaching.com soon

Hello ShuswapJack,

Why are the not on geocaching.com in the first place? Have you verified that these caches do not encroach on current posted geocaches?

I think they all should be submitted to and approved by geocaching.com prior them being released to ensure that they meet all the same criteria as "joe" geocacher has to meet to publish their own geocaches.

The cache located at N50 48.862 W119 02.696 is only 121 m from a geocaching.com geocache GC13263 located at N 50° 48.911 W 119° 02.628 which does not meet the minimum distance criteria which prevent geocache saturation.


KnightOrc
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Rhondle



Joined: Oct 07, 2008
Posts: 15
Location: Salmon Arm

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

Quote::

Shuswap Geo Quest co-ordinator James Gjaltema holds an example of one of 250 caches to be added to more than 300 already in the Shuswap for geocache seekers to find.

More than 300 caches? I just ran a pocket query (using the Shuswap Area Route) and it returned 183 caches .. that's a far cry from 300. Is adding 250 more caches really what we want? Personally, I don't this this is such a great idea.

Also,

Quote::
Shuswap Geo Quest co-ordinator James Gjaltema is hoping to kick it up a level in a way that will not only showcase the Shuswap as a whole, but also benefit local businesses

Umm.. is it just me, or does this sound like it completely conflicts with Groundspeak's guidelines for cache listings?

From Groundspeak's website:

Quote::
Solicitations are off-limits. For example, caches perceived to be posted for religious, political, charitable or social agendas are not permitted. Geocaching is supposed to be a light, fun activity, not a platform for an agenda.

Commercial caches will not be published on geocaching.com without prior approval from Groundspeak. A commercial cache is a geocache listing or geocache which is perceived by Groundspeak, Groundspeak's employees, or the Volunteer Geocache Reviewers as having been submitted to geocaching.com with the principal or substantial intent of soliciting customers or generating commercial gain. The geocache is presumed to be commercial if the finder is required to go inside a business, interact with employees, and/or purchase a product or service, or if the cache listing has overtones of advertising, marketing, or promotion.

Additionally, links to businesses, commercial advertisers, charities, political or social agendas, or the inclusion of their associated logos are not permitted on cache descriptions without prior permission from Groundspeak.

From what I have read so far, I am doubtful that Geocaching.com would be too thrilled about publishing these caches...
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knightorc



Joined: Apr 18, 2009
Posts: 22
Location: Salmon Arm, BC

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

I had to look at them all.

GeoQuest Cache - Little River is 12m from GCYJZD

GeoQuest Cache - Shuswap Arms is 121 from GC13263

GeoQuest Cache - Bastion is close to (191 m) GCV371 but o it is ok

GeoQuest Cache - Eagle River is free an clear

GeoQuest Cache - Jade is also free an clear

KnightOrc
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Doonchak



Joined: Sep 07, 2008
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

The distance issues sound like a problem, and I, as a cacher, would much prefer that they are posted on GC.Com, but there is no requirement that says they have to be.

I would think (hope) that they are referring to the business benefits due to the fact that people will be coming to the area to cache, and likely spending money in said area during their time their, thus increasing the tourism dollars being pumped into the region. That makes total sense. However if the cahces are placed inside a store or somehting, and the puzzle cache requires that you buy a 'Big John's Cola' to get the next clue, then ya....that wouldn't fly with many people.

How much did this group talk about their plans with the community as a whole before putting them into motion?
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shuswapgeoquest



Joined: May 05, 2009
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

Doing a search on geocaching.com with a radius of 40 miles from the Salmon Arm postal code of: V1E4P9 there are 370 results as of June 30, 2009.

Please feel free to e-mail me: geoquest @ futureshuswap.com to share your thoughts and concerns. I will reply to concerns openly on this forum so that everyone can understand the project plans. Comments will help provide direction as we continue to develop the initiative.

We are in the early stages of the project and all feedback is appreciated.

Please stay tuned for more responses in the next few days.

Geocaching is supposed to be a light, fun activity. Smile




Rhondle wrote:
Quote::

Shuswap Geo Quest co-ordinator James Gjaltema holds an example of one of 250 caches to be added to more than 300 already in the Shuswap for geocache seekers to find.

More than 300 caches? I just ran a pocket query (using the Shuswap Area Route) and it returned 183 caches .. that's a far cry from 300. Is adding 250 more caches really what we want? Personally, I don't this this is such a great idea.

Also,

Quote::
Shuswap Geo Quest co-ordinator James Gjaltema is hoping to kick it up a level in a way that will not only showcase the Shuswap as a whole, but also benefit local businesses

Umm.. is it just me, or does this sound like it completely conflicts with Groundspeak's guidelines for cache listings?

From Groundspeak's website:

Quote::
Solicitations are off-limits. For example, caches perceived to be posted for religious, political, charitable or social agendas are not permitted. Geocaching is supposed to be a light, fun activity, not a platform for an agenda.

Commercial caches will not be published on geocaching.com without prior approval from Groundspeak. A commercial cache is a geocache listing or geocache which is perceived by Groundspeak, Groundspeak's employees, or the Volunteer Geocache Reviewers as having been submitted to geocaching.com with the principal or substantial intent of soliciting customers or generating commercial gain. The geocache is presumed to be commercial if the finder is required to go inside a business, interact with employees, and/or purchase a product or service, or if the cache listing has overtones of advertising, marketing, or promotion.

Additionally, links to businesses, commercial advertisers, charities, political or social agendas, or the inclusion of their associated logos are not permitted on cache descriptions without prior permission from Groundspeak.

From what I have read so far, I am doubtful that Geocaching.com would be too thrilled about publishing these caches...
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knightorc



Joined: Apr 18, 2009
Posts: 22
Location: Salmon Arm, BC

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

I have started email communications with James Gjaltema and I am pleased that he has responded promptly.

I have invited him and his committee to participate in this forum. I hope they do,

I have sent him my concerns about proximity.

If and when the caches are listed on geocaching.com I will definitely visit them.

KnightOrc.
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Rhondle



Joined: Oct 07, 2008
Posts: 15
Location: Salmon Arm

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

shuswapgeoquest wrote:
Doing a search on geocaching.com with a radius of 40 miles from the Salmon Arm postal code of: V1E4P9 there are 370 results as of June 30, 2009.

40 miles would encompass the following communities:

Vernon / Coldstream
Armstrong
Lumby
East of Kamloops (Pritchard, Monte Creek, etc)

All of which are not part of the Shuswap.

For example, there are ~130 geocaches in and around Vernon, which is not part of the Shuswap. Neither is Kamloops (the westernmost boundary of the Shuswap is Chase).

To the West of Chase and East of Kamloops, there are about another ~60 caches.

Your 40mi query would include all of these caches, thus adding approximately ~190 caches which should technically not be included. I suggest re-running your query using a route similar to this one: Shuswap Area to get a more accurate count of the geocaches in this area. (NB. The query isn't perfect (eg, Enderby is a gray area), but it's much more accurate than just doing a general 40mi query)
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knightorc



Joined: Apr 18, 2009
Posts: 22
Location: Salmon Arm, BC

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

Holy I am not an active poster but my brain is running in overtime on this one.

I just sent the following to James

QUOTE:
Wow, he I am thinking of things left and right.
My motive in asking these questions are to help you and the activity of geocaching.

Where do people log that they have visited these caches if they are not on geocaching.com?
How are you verifying the first to finds?
How are people to report issue with the caches? Missing? Maintenance? etc
Who will be maintaining the hope 250 caches? For how long?
END QUOTE:
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shuswapgeoquest



Joined: May 05, 2009
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

When I was looking at locations for the first series (which is a practice, trial run) I admit that I did not do my homework and check for proximity issues before putting it on our web-site. We will modify the series asap. It is no longer available on-line.

We are in the early days of the project and didn't expect so much publicity this soon. We are still working on developing the project.

We had planned to develop a few series and continue consulting with as many people as possible to work out the bugs and double check things before planning our official launch in August or September.

Anyone who would like to beta test or proof-read our series before we make them public, please let me know and I'll send you a copy before we go live.

When we are ready to go, we will be using geocaching.com to post the caches and their reviewers will make sure that we meet all the guidelines as well.

I hope to get as much feedback as possible to make sure that the project is successful and adds value to geocaching.

Please stay tuned for more info later this week.

knightorc wrote:
I had to look at them all.

GeoQuest Cache - Little River is 12m from GCYJZD

GeoQuest Cache - Shuswap Arms is 121 from GC13263

GeoQuest Cache - Bastion is close to (191 m) GCV371 but o it is ok

GeoQuest Cache - Eagle River is free an clear

GeoQuest Cache - Jade is also free an clear

KnightOrc
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Rhondle



Joined: Oct 07, 2008
Posts: 15
Location: Salmon Arm

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

shuswapgeoquest wrote:
We had planned to develop a few series and continue consulting with as many people as possible to work out the bugs and double check things before planning our official launch in August or September.

Anyone who would like to beta test or proof-read our series before we make them public, please let me know and I'll send you a copy before we go live.

I think if you asked around with any of the local cachers that many would be more than willing to provide feedback, ideas and assistance with your project. Always leverage local resources!


Doonchak wrote:
How much did this group talk about their plans with the community as a whole before putting them into motion?

I'm not sure. I do know Couloir mentioned that he had briefly spoken with James about the project but that they had not been in any further contact with either BCGA or IGA.
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shuswapgeoquest



Joined: May 05, 2009
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

Thanks... I will use that method in the future. There were a few inaccuracies in the newspaper article. When I did the presentation about the project I used the radius method... it was a way to show people about geocaching in the area.

We have included the Chase area in the Shuswap region (it is on Little Shuswap lake and home of the original town of Shuswap, BC) even though it is not in the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. Armstrong and Vernon are not included, but we are going up to Seymour Arm and East to Craigallachie.

The article says that there are over 850,000 caches worldwide, I believe it was 815,000 at the time that I did the presentation. As of today the time of this posting it is currently: 838,515



I will be out with my family tomorrow for Canada Day.

I hope to have a chance to post more comments on Thursday or Friday.

James Gjaltema



Rhondle wrote:
shuswapgeoquest wrote:
Doing a search on geocaching.com with a radius of 40 miles from the Salmon Arm postal code of: V1E4P9 there are 370 results as of June 30, 2009.

40 miles would encompass the following communities:

Vernon / Coldstream
Armstrong
Lumby
East of Kamloops (Pritchard, Monte Creek, etc)

All of which are not part of the Shuswap.

For example, there are ~130 geocaches in and around Vernon, which is not part of the Shuswap. Neither is Kamloops (the westernmost boundary of the Shuswap is Chase).

To the West of Chase and East of Kamloops, there are about another ~60 caches.

Your 40mi query would include all of these caches, thus adding approximately ~190 caches which should technically not be included. I suggest re-running your query using a route similar to this one: Shuswap Area to get a more accurate count of the geocaches in this area. (NB. The query isn't perfect (eg, Enderby is a gray area), but it's much more accurate than just doing a general 40mi query)
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shuswapgeoquest



Joined: May 05, 2009
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

I was away on holiday in England for the past 2 weeks so I haven't been in contact with anyone for a while. I did get my father-in-law into geocaching and found my first nano-cache in a Cheshire field.

As I mentioned it is early days for the project we definitely want to have more discussions with geocaching.com, bcgeocaching, interiorgeocaching and others.

We've got lots of ideas, but we want to make sure the ideas are good, well thought out and beneficial to the geocaching community.

I enjoyed the IG Social at Frick n' Frack in Kamloops and hope to attend more events.

If anyone is interested in a geocaching social in Chase or Salmon Arm, I hope to get some people together in the Shuswap.

I'm sorry I missed the last event at Shuswap Lake Provincial Park.

Happy Canada Day everyone!!


Doonchak wrote:
How much did this group talk about their plans with the community as a whole before putting them into motion?

I'm not sure. I do know Couloir mentioned that he had briefly spoken with James about the project but that they had not been in any further contact with either BCGA or IGA.[/quote]
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Doonchak



Joined: Sep 07, 2008
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

Hopefully all the quick comments that were made are not construed as overtly negative. In a forum such as this people are often quick to voice concerns and it can seem like a negative response.

I would think that everyone would love the idea of more well placed caches in interesting locations, so I am sure you will have a ton of support in helping to get this off the ground.

I for one look forward to enjoying the fruits of this labor at some point and time Beanie
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Rhondle



Joined: Oct 07, 2008
Posts: 15
Location: Salmon Arm

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

Doonchak wrote:
I would think that everyone would love the idea of more well placed caches in interesting locations, so I am sure you will have a ton of support in helping to get this off the ground.

Agreed.

James, if you'd like to meet up and discuss if there's any way for myself or other geocachers around here can assist you, I can make time for that. I do have a couple of ideas and suggestions which might work out better if we discuss them in person.
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couloir



Joined: Jan 19, 2008
Posts: 152
Location: Kamloops

PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

Well, its good to see so much dialogue. The article prompted some networking and any collaboration and cooperative planning will just benefit geocaching in B.C. I am also willing to help out where I can. This good idea just needs a little "tune-up."
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knightorc



Joined: Apr 18, 2009
Posts: 22
Location: Salmon Arm, BC

PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

I too would be interesting meeting with James and his committee to discuss their project. I would like to help them make their project work and also stay within the guidelines of geocaching.com.


Today I was out caching and I went to pick up GCYJZD which is located near GeoQuest Cache - Little River.

I wonder to myself whether if I would stumble across it during my search.

To my surprise I was able to see it from my truck 15 m away. Either someone who found it, thinking it was GCYJZD or a non geocacher found it and placed it where it was, On top of a stump.

My biggest concerns regarding the "business" angle where confirmed. The lock-n-lock container had a label on top which displayed sponsors logos.

We did look inside to see what was there. There were "prizes" from many local businesses. Coupons and such.

In the logs we saw that a cacher on their way home to Calgary signed the logs stating is was a quick find on their way home. Unfortunately for them they did not find the cache they were looking for.

We returned it to the base of the stump and placed some cover over it so it will be there for James to collect and relocate.

I think James and his team are stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to keeping to there mission of promoting local businesses and staying within the guidelines/rules of geocaching.com (this is if they are striving to stay within them). I say this based on these words from geocaching.com "soliciting customers or generating commercial gain". This labeling (containing sponsor logos) is a big grey area in my mind and I would be interested in having geocaching.com (Groundspeak) comment (yes or no) on it.
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knightorc



Joined: Apr 18, 2009
Posts: 22
Location: Salmon Arm, BC

PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

rhondle & I are meeting up with James on Thursday evening. We will be bring up all of the concerns mention within this forum.
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Rhondle



Joined: Oct 07, 2008
Posts: 15
Location: Salmon Arm

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

KnightOrc and myself met with James from Shuswap Geoquest today to discuss some of our concerns about how their project was implemented and to also provide some suggestions and support for their project.

Here are some highlights from that meeting:

James explained the project and showed us a sample geocache of the type that would be used, some of the prizes that were donated by some of the local businesses and some of the literature that he had printed. The geocache was a lock-n-lock container filled with a number of standard swag items, a high-quality printed log book and some example items that they had produced, such as wooden tokens branded with their name. I was particularly impressed with the fact that a quality, purpose designed logbook was being used in the project; of course I would have preferred to see "rite in the rain" paper but I understand the associated costs would be prohibitive.

Our first response to viewing the cache was in regards to the prominent placement of a large sticker on the outside of the cache lid that displayed the logos of several local businesses that were sponsoring the project.

The full-colour sticker also contained the Shuswap Geoquest logo, Groundspeak logo and a Government of Canada logo, but the logos of local businesses that are sponsoring the project appeared to be the highlight of the sticker. We suggested that this gave the cache the feel of advertising, and since the interpretation of the Groundspeak guidelines are always somewhat vague that he contact Groundspeak about the issue to receive a definitive answer.

James responded with a suggestion about the potential of discussing with the sponsoring businesses about removing the sticker with the logos from the cache container entirely, thus avoiding any potential issues. I believe that his comments that local businesses would be likely be willing to compromise to avoid any negative publicity is an excellent observation, and I expressed my belief that this would be the preferred solution that many geocachers would prefer to see.

The second concern that we raised was in regards to the large number of geocaches that Shuswap Geoquest was intending to place in and around the Shuswap area - approximately 250. There are a number of concerns that could be derived from this, ranging from selecting unique or interesting locations to place geocaches that don't encroach on existing caches to the long-term maintenance of these geocaches.

We suggested that if the Shuswap Geoquest involved local geocachers in the placement and maintenance of these caches (providing them with the cache container and contents and allowing them to essentially "own" the geocache on behalf of the Shuswap Geoquest), the burden of placing them and the concern of maintaining these geocaches for 2 years, 5 years or even 10 years down the road is completely alleviated. In addition, this would also provide local cachers with a sense of involvement in the project, which would in turn result in positive publicity for the Shuswap Geoquest and their sponsors. James mentioned that this was something they had been considering as well.

We also mentioned the fact that when deploying this many geocaches, diversity becomes a challenge. My understanding was that every single one of the (up to) 250 geocaches deployed were going to be lock-n-lock containers in two different sizes; likely all of them being rated as a "regular". I personally would have preferred to see cache sizes spanning the range from "micro" through "large", not just 200 regular sized caches.

We also suggested that perhaps not all geocaches need be listed on geocaching.com; the Shuswap Geoquest - despite being committed to placing a large number of caches - isn't under an obligation to list all of them with geocaching.com. Outside of geocaching.com, there are no guidelines, permitting them to deploy a number of caches strictly for the purposes of tourism and local business promotion - and even conspicuously advertise that fact.

Following a number of other suggestions, our final suggestion was that the Shuswap Geoquest produce and distribute a good quality trackable geocoin; perhaps giving them away at local events or providing them as FTF or 2TF prizes. James said that they had done some research into this possibility, but they have a limited budget which would potentially make a custom geocoin impractical.

I still personally believe that a geocoin would be one of the highlights of this project, as they can bring awareness of the Shuswap to the world over without requiring substantial effort on the part of the person or group who creates them. Perhaps if someone with more experience with geocoin production (ie, Landsharkz) could work with the Shuswap Geoquest in creating a quality trackable geocoin with a custom icon.. now that would be cool.

James assured us that he would consider our suggestions and see what was possible to remove the commercial feel from these caches.

Promoting geocaching in this area is a worthy endeavour; but no small feat. If done correctly, the Shuswap would benefit immensely from an influx of geocachers as a result of the caches placed as part of this project.
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tjguy98



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

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

Good to see such positive feedback so quickly from the parties involved. Thanks for taking the lead on this issue...

_________________
Read about my geocaching adventures on my website at:
tjguy98.blogspot.com/
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shuswapgeoquest



Joined: May 05, 2009
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 8:37 am    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

Treasure
Rhondle wrote:


We also mentioned the fact that when deploying this many geocaches, diversity becomes a challenge. My understanding was that every single one of the (up to) 250 geocaches deployed were going to be lock-n-lock containers in two different sizes; likely all of them being rated as a "regular". I personally would have preferred to see cache sizes spanning the range from "micro" through "large", not just 200 regular sized caches.

We also suggested that perhaps not all geocaches need be listed on geocaching.com; the Shuswap Geoquest - despite being committed to placing a large number of caches - isn't under an obligation to list all of them with geocaching.com. Outside of geocaching.com, there are no guidelines, permitting them to deploy a number of caches strictly for the purposes of tourism and local business promotion - and even conspicuously advertise that fact.

Following a number of other suggestions, our final suggestion was that the Shuswap Geoquest produce and distribute a good quality trackable geocoin; perhaps giving them away at local events or providing them as FTF or 2TF prizes. James said that they had done some research into this possibility, but they have a limited budget which would potentially make a custom geocoin impractical.

I still personally believe that a geocoin would be one of the highlights of this project, as they can bring awareness of the Shuswap to the world over without requiring substantial effort on the part of the person or group who creates them. Perhaps if someone with more experience with geocoin production (ie, Landsharkz) could work with the Shuswap Geoquest in creating a quality trackable geocoin with a custom icon.. now that would be cool.

James assured us that he would consider our suggestions and see what was possible to remove the commercial feel from these caches.

Promoting geocaching in this area is a worthy endeavour; but no small feat. If done correctly, the Shuswap would benefit immensely from an influx of geocachers as a result of the caches placed as part of this project.

Our meeting was very positive. Rhondle and KnightOrc have a wealth of knowledge and are eager to share their passion for geocaching. They have hidden excellent caches and have a commendable big picture view of maintaining the integrity of geocaching.

As Rhondle noted, we are committed to 250 caches which is a large number and if it is not administered well, could lead to serious issues in terms of quality. This is were the involvement of the geocaching community is essential. We will be meeting regular with new and existing geocachers to discuss ideas and work together to create quality caches. The majority of caches will be regular sized locking plastic containers (2 different sizes) large enough to contain quality trade items. However we will also definitely have a number of micro, nano and large sized caches for variety.

By being creative, the standard containers can be transformed into unique camouflaged caches. We hope to enlist the participation of new and existing geocachers to come up with interesting ideas.

In addition as Rhondle points out, not all caches need to be listed on geocaching.com. That is also part of the plan. We have held educational events to introduce people to geocaching and are planning several larger events that will have unlisted, temporary caches. Another example is that an organization such as a tour operator or hotel may have a series of caches available for their clients. These series will provide an introduction to new geocachers while not interfering with official caches that may be nearby.

As for trackable items, we are planning on creating a custom trackable geocoin and possibly some travel bugs. Rhondle suggested that we should have at least a thousand, and at $5-$10 each, that is where the budget constraints come in. We have room in the budget for about 100 high-quality coins, in addition to the series of non-trackable "wooden nickel" coins we already have.

Quality and a positive impact while following appropriate guidelines is our approach. We will continue to encourage feedback and involvement.

Please stay tuned as we are planning to schedule regular gatherings for people interested in geocaching in the Shuswap.


James Gjaltema
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tjguy98



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

PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 3:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

Thanks James, appreciate the excellent updates of what has been discussed; it definitely puts the GeoQuest campaign in a good light.

As a cacher, knowing that there are that many more caches in a certain area will help make up my mind where I want to go on a road trip.

This conversation has peaked my interest already......

_________________
Read about my geocaching adventures on my website at:
tjguy98.blogspot.com/
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Mrs_Landsharkz



Joined: Dec 04, 2008
Posts: 295
Location: Victoria

PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 7:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

shuswapgeoquest wrote:

As for trackable items, we are planning on creating a custom trackable geocoin and possibly some travel bugs. Rhondle suggested that we should have at least a thousand, and at $5-$10 each, that is where the budget constraints come in. We have room in the budget for about 100 high-quality coins, in addition to the series of non-trackable "wooden nickel" coins we already have.
James Gjaltema

James, Congrats! It looks like your area is getting to be more than just a place to break the journey on the way east Dog !

Will you have some Terrain 5 caches for the houseboaters and boaters? That's always a nice addition as long as they are able to survive winter Bear . These probably shouldn't be your nano's or micros though!

1000 trackable coins is possibly too many unless you want them for a few year's worth of cache stocking and prizes Treasure .

Coins are priced purely on resources required and materials used and any coin design and production firm worth their salt should be able to design a stunning coin within your budget instead of the other way around.
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Rhondle



Joined: Oct 07, 2008
Posts: 15
Location: Salmon Arm

PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

shuswapgeoquest wrote:

Rhondle suggested that we should have at least a thousand, and at $5-$10 each, that is where the budget constraints come in. We have room in the budget for about 100 high-quality coins[...]

Just to put that in context, I was suggesting that with some of the funding they had recieved they should produce a regional coin - which I believe requires a minimum of 1000 coins if a custom prefix is assigned. However, as James pointed out, most of the money they received for this project is actually going towards wages so in reality there just isn't much in the way of finances for the caches and for producing things like trackable coins.

Even producing 100 trackable coins would be great though. I am not aware of a coin that specifically showcases the Shuswap area so seeing these in circulation would be fantastic.

Mrs_Landsharkz wrote:

James, Congrats! It looks like your area is getting to be more than just a place to break the journey on the way east

Actually, myself and a other cachers in Salmon Arm have been working hard over the past year or so to to change that perception. In the last year, nearly 80 new caches were published in the Shuswap region. Hardly a huge amount by big-city standards, but many of them (particularly in Salmon Arm as that has been our focus) are unique or challenging caches designed to appeal to those weary of the same-old.
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Mrs_Landsharkz



Joined: Dec 04, 2008
Posts: 295
Location: Victoria

PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:03 am    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

Rhondle wrote:
shuswapgeoquest wrote:

Rhondle suggested that we should have at least a thousand, and at $5-$10 each, that is where the budget constraints come in. We have room in the budget for about 100 high-quality coins[...]

Just to put that in context, I was suggesting that with some of the funding they had recieved they should produce a regional coin - which I believe requires a minimum of 1000 coins if a custom prefix is assigned. However, as James pointed out, most of the money they received for this project is actually going towards wages so in reality there just isn't much in the way of finances for the caches and for producing things like trackable coins.

Even producing 100 trackable coins would be great though. I am not aware of a coin that specifically showcases the Shuswap area so seeing these in circulation would be fantastic.

Mrs_Landsharkz wrote:

James, Congrats! It looks like your area is getting to be more than just a place to break the journey on the way east

Actually, myself and a other cachers in Salmon Arm have been working hard over the past year or so to to change that perception. In the last year, nearly 80 new caches were published in the Shuswap region. Hardly a huge amount by big-city standards, but many of them (particularly in Salmon Arm as that has been our focus) are unique or challenging caches designed to appeal to those weary of the same-old.

Rhondle, the requirement to buy 1000 tracking number to be entitled to use a custom prefix is for the initial purchase. Fewer than 1000 can be obtained for future orders for a similar client.

When Chris and I made the 2006 geocoin we minted 1000 and purchased the custom prefix BC. Now we can order less of those codes because we've already cleared the hurdle of the initial 1000 tracking number purchase.

As long as we're making a provincial, regional or association coin, we can order fewer than 1000 for subsequent orders and still use the BC prefix. We have always offered this prefix to the BCGA, regional associations like Gold Country and we've also used it on all the BC geocoins thus far.

If you or James would like to know the ins and outs of coin production and what you can and can't do, please send us a note to landsharkz at shaw dot ca and we'll help you figure out if this coin with a custom prefix is a viable option for the Shuswap group. Groundspeak had a big upheaval of their rules and regs with regards to coins, codes and icons a few months ago - some of the old more limiting rules have gone by the wayside.

In addition to the caches and coins, advertising on geocaching.com with a side banner and also advertising in tourism magazines worked very well for Gold Country. A hefty ad campaign lets people around the province (who may not be cachers already) know that you have a cool new product to entice them to visit your region.
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Rhondle



Joined: Oct 07, 2008
Posts: 15
Location: Salmon Arm

PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:55 am    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

Mrs_Landsharkz wrote:

Rhondle, the requirement to buy 1000 tracking number to be entitled to use a custom prefix is for the initial purchase. Fewer than 1000 can be obtained for future orders for a similar client.

When Chris and I made the 2006 geocoin we minted 1000 and purchased the custom prefix BC. Now we can order less of those codes because we've already cleared the hurdle of the initial 1000 tracking number purchase.

Aha! That's really good to know! If the Shuswap GeoQuest wanted to make a run of 100 coins showcasing this area, would that qualify as a "regional" coin and be able to use the "BC" prefix?

I'm actually quite excited that groundspeak has loosened the rules a bit regarding the geocoins, I know they have done so in the past as well which allowed for the upswing in personal coins over the past few years. To know that more of their limitations have been lifted is very encouraging, as I have been interested in having a personal coin made on a budget I would be curious to know more about the updated details on minimum runs that would affect me (and Shuswap GeoQuest as well of course). Will you be updating your "coin manufacturing" page on your website with the new info?

Mrs_Landsharkz wrote:

[...]advertising on geocaching.com with a side banner and also advertising in tourism magazines worked very well for Gold Country. A hefty ad campaign lets people around the province (who may not be cachers already) know that you have a cool new product to entice them to visit your region.

Agreed. Excellent idea! Enticing more people to this region is an exciting thought - It makes we want to go place another cache or two Smile
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Mrs_Landsharkz



Joined: Dec 04, 2008
Posts: 295
Location: Victoria

PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

Rhondle,

Shuswap Geoquest would qualify as regional and we would certainly offer them the option of using the BC prefix for 100 coins if that's what they choose. They can also purchase a custom icon for 100 trackable coins now too which is a big change from the previous 250 code purchase requirement to get a custom icon.

With regard to the new reg's from Groundspeak and our site's coin manufacturing page - thank you for bringing this to our attention. Our whole site us undergoing 'review' because we will be launching a spiffy new site soon. All web content, such as the coin manufacturing page, is getting a thorough look-over for out-of-date info, or areas where we can add clarity. Accuracy and spelling is ultra-important when we produce a product that is in the public eye!

It's a big job when a new site is launched, but rather than hijacking this thread Embarassed , I'll pre-announce a wee contest in a new thread.
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shuswapgeoquest



Joined: May 05, 2009
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 9:44 am    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

We are planning to meet regularly with people interested in geocaching in the Shuswap.

On July 23rd at 5:15pm we will have an informal meeting at Podollan Inn (N 50°42.185' W 119°16.060') to provide an opportunity to get to know geocachers in the area, discuss the GeoQuest project and to do a series of 5 temporary event caches.

Beginners and non-geocachers are welcome to attend. We have some GPS units available for those who do not have their own. Please contact us at 250.833.3111 or Geoquest @ futureshuswap.com to let us know if you will be attending.

Podollan Inn is on the Trans-Canada as it climbs East from Salmon Arm town centre. The property has several acres of wilderness and is adjacent to the Rotary Trail. If the weather is nice we will meet outside beside the pool. The restaurant has 2-for-1 appetizers and will likely have a beer special. The venue is open to all ages.
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shuswapgeoquest



Joined: May 05, 2009
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:38 am    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

Mrs_Landsharkz wrote:

Shuswap Geoquest would qualify as regional and we would certainly offer them the option of using the BC prefix for 100 coins if that's what they choose. They can also purchase a custom icon for 100 trackable coins now too which is a big change from the previous 250 code purchase requirement to get a custom icon.

Thanks for the info on coins. We are working on design ideas for a limited amount of high quality trackable coins at the moment. Some local artists are planning to help out to make a really amazing coin.

We hope to have these coins made up before the end of the year. We will be giving them to lucky people who are in the area for our events. We plan to have a large event for each season starting with the Winter 2010 Shuswap Qeocaching Games that will tie in with the Olympic Torch Relay as it comes through the Shuswap.

We are planning a number of smaller events before then as well. Details will be available on our web-site as they develop. www.shuswapgeoquest.com has limited information at the moment but will be expanded by the end of the month.
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shuswapgeoquest



Joined: May 05, 2009
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:48 am    Post subject: Re: Shuswap GeoQuest Reply with quote

Global Kelowna aired this story which was also shown in Calgary and Edmonton.

www.sendspace.com/file/fiar7u

The games have been a lot of fun so far and continue until Oct. 10.

Visit: www.shuswapgeoquest.com for more info.

Plans are already under way for the Winter Games and a Mega Event for next Spring or Summer.
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