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Forums —» General Caching —» General —» Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration
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Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration
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chrisoutdoors



Joined: Apr 21, 2007
Posts: 16
Location: West Kootenays, BC

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:58 am    Post subject: Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration Reply with quote

Too bad... I know it's a fact of life (and caching) but why do people think it's alright in certain circustances to take something from a cache and leave nothing? Is it because these caches are provided by an external party and not out of pocket from a fellow cacher?

Looking though some of the logs from Bluesky caches from the flurry of activity yesterday, one can see many examples where people grabbed coins, pins and left nothing... and even post that in their logs!

Will these be the same people who complain of poor quality trade items later when these caches are empty? Is the idea of swag not to trade?


Last edited by chrisoutdoors on Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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_canadianbacon_



Joined: Jan 05, 2004
Posts: 1154
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:20 am    Post subject: Re: Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration Reply with quote

Unfortunately the way the caches are presented, and the info on the coins basically says that they are prizes, not trade items. If this is not so, then next year the wording should be different. I guess that is open to interpretation.

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scruffster



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

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:54 am    Post subject: Re: Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration Reply with quote

Thanks for posting this. I've seen the grab bag attitude with a few BlueSky caches. There have been avid FTFers who only took one coin but on subsequent FTF finds still felt they were due a FTF prize and took a pin or something else from the cache.

It's making me re-evaluate my own attitudes when it comes to BlueSky and other BC Parks caches.

Yes, I was one of the many who rushed out to grab a coin. And I thought nothing of contributing after I got my FTF prize. But I'm beginning to think twice. Just because we don't have to put anything in the cache doesn't mean it isn't a good idea. I'll be finding other BlueSky caches in the future and I will think more about contributing than taking. This doesn't mean I'm going to run out and buy swag for every BlueSky cache I find. But I will be more apt to put something in.

If this is done again, it might be an idea to say FTFers can have a coin but only if they contribute something. If they have nothing to put in the cache, they can't have the coin. Oh, maybe not. That will just cause another controversy. **teehee**
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_canadianbacon_



Joined: Jan 05, 2004
Posts: 1154
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration Reply with quote

I actually had the thought of not putting any thing of 'value' in these types of caches. That is coins or collector pins.

Instead put 6 or 10 or 20 cards, with PIN numbers. This gets you to a website where you enter the PIN, and go in a draw. It can be controlled as 1 item per person/address.

Much like the cards we put in last year, but with a draw associated. Then no mattter if your first, third or thirtieth, you have just as much chance.


As for Scruff's idea of having to put something in, well it's hard to police, and most of us don't carry $5 cache trade items, more like left over Happy Meal toys worth 25 cents.

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doingitoldschool



Joined: Jan 07, 2008
Posts: 176

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration Reply with quote

We can post trade up or even notes, remind people and practice fair trading ourselves, but really, it's a small box with cool stuff in it and they are usually found when no one else is looking, so the stuff is going to go fast.

We had one caching family trade 5 quality items out of one of our caches and leave 4 pieces of junk and a knife. And our stuff was not even BCGA or BlueSky!

The PIN numbers is a fascinating idea, but then you have shipping and handling of the coins, so I don't know.

I just see the stuff as an investment in the caching community as a whole.
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Tulameen_Turtles



Joined: Jan 09, 2008
Posts: 347

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration Reply with quote

My own 2 cents on the whole thing - as we know how much into swag we are.. perhaps the coins should be held hostage until people can contribute something back to their environment - perhaps place the caches in areas that humans have abused and give them as prizes for those that make the biggest difference in cleaning up where they go.. such as before and after pictures.

Would be nice to consider perhaps project "blue water" where cachers are more concerned about taking care of and cleaning up their environment then collecting prizes..
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SOLONM



Joined: Apr 12, 2008
Posts: 125

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration Reply with quote

chrisoutdoors wrote:
Too bad... I know it's a fact of life (and caching) but why do people think it's alright in certain circustances to take something from a cache and leave nothing? Is it because these caches are provided by an external party and not out of pocket from a fellow cacher?

Looking though some of the logs from Bluesky caches from the flurry of activity yesterday, one can see many examples where people grabbed coins, pins and left nothing... and even post that in their logs!



Will these be the same people who complain of poor quality trade items later when these caches are empty? Is the idea of swag not to trade?
Holy Hannah!!! I'm not certain why this cache and my and Irlpguy’s logs are being made examples of "Blue Sky cache plundering"!! Pure and simple these are geocaches which have been funded by various levels of government by our tax dollars. We took a pins as a FTF reward. Sorry, we didn't have swag along but it was dark and the trail was treacherous. At no point was it ever suggested one had to trade for a FTF prize.

It is normal for the FTF to take some kind of reward in a well stocked cache. Earlier in the day we were part of a FTF crew and coins were duly handed out to all of us by another cacher. I knew I was allowed only one of these "precious items" and have not taken another.

The responsibility for making FTF rewards clear lies squarely on the CO & the folk who put this show on the road.

I'm not certain what this posted link is all about but it is making me feel distinctly uncomfortable. I also feel unfairly victimized by it.

I have traded for pins & left trackables in 2 other of these caches.....gee FTF too or not but just because I wanted to. I have one of the precious coins in my possession despite the fact I really would have liked to take one of each colour. At least the coins were more available this year. Hopefully everyone who wants one will have one.
Just so you know, those cool pins I have taken as FTFs will get traded into other caches…….and probably far a field.

My blue sky is becoming quite cloudy. Yuck


Last edited by SOLONM on Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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chrisoutdoors



Joined: Apr 21, 2007
Posts: 16
Location: West Kootenays, BC

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration Reply with quote

Thanks to all who repsonded... I like the draw idea though agree it would be more work and cost for those involved. If the coins and pins were termed as prizes, then true enough, you may not feel like you need to trade. And to be honest, I didn't trade an unactivated coin for my Bluesky coin either... I guess I'm just thinking long term effects of taking prizes and leaving nothing, in about 8 visits, cachers (or cacher's kids) are going to find these boxes empty.

Just another certainty in life.... death, taxes and arguing about fair trades! Smack
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scruffster



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

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration Reply with quote

Only the three coins are prizes. The pins and other stuff supplied in the cache is swag. That should be obvious.
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SOLONM



Joined: Apr 12, 2008
Posts: 125

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration Reply with quote

So I could have taken another coin as FTF???? I don't think so considering I already had one.
This is really silly. What you are saying is that if you already have a coin & get an FTF on another of these caches you have trade something??? I don't think that is right.
One of those folks that get to take one of those coveted coins that I didn't take should be trading for it.
We are all adults.....are we not??
I'm still taking huge umbrage to that link.
Yuck
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911turbos



Joined: Sep 14, 2005
Posts: 242
Location: Anmore, BC

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration Reply with quote

I guess I don't understand why the FTF feels entitled to a prize. Shouldn't the fact that you were FTF be enough?
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Catapult Jeff



Joined: Aug 24, 2005
Posts: 169
Location: Surrey BC

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration Reply with quote

I don't put anything in my caches for FTFs. To me I don't think just because you find it first makes you special. Now I know there are lots of cachers out there that go for them for their own reasons. There are many ways to play this game.

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SOLONM



Joined: Apr 12, 2008
Posts: 125

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration Reply with quote

Catapult Jeff wrote:
I don't put anything in my caches for FTFs. To me I don't think just because you find it first makes you special. Now I know there are lots of cachers out there that go for them for their own reasons. There are many ways to play this game.


indeed there are and no one should be questioning that. Some folks are still enthused by that FTF thing. I always put a prize in my caches for the first finder (my lone micro being the exception).
It could be a newbie finder & it would be something they would cherish or enjoy. I guess I'm still keen on what caching is all about. Some cachers forget when they pass 3000 as to what made them happy. I guess.
I try to keep that newbie view.......happy campers are the best!! Party Hat
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IRLPGUY



Joined: Mar 01, 2007
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration Reply with quote

So we have raped and plundered a cache because we took a pin from a cache as a FTF prize, my suggestion to the person making this observation would be to not select a log which honestly reflected what was taken, but guess at what those whose logs which say nothing may have taken. Please read the other 3 FTF’s I shared with Solonm, two of them you will see nothing was taken, period…

My understanding is that the coins were placed in the caches as prizes not just for FTF but for the first three cachers who were lucky enough to get to the cache before they were all gone. I have been FTF on four of these caches and have taken one coin. If there was to be no FTF prize other than a coin then that should be stated on the cache page, really, would you rather I left a dime store piece of junk in the cache and took nothing.

Please do not suggest that taking a pin as a FTF prize is out of order, I am the owner of many caches, “all” of which I maintain as required, and I have restocked some of them numerous times, at no time have I asked anyone to add to the swag in my caches. On each and every appropriate one of my caches I have either left a FTF prize or given the FTF cacher the opportunity to take an item without having to trade, why should the Blue Sky caches be any different from that commonly accepted practice. By the way, some of my FTF prizes were worth more than the cost of the combined contents of any of these Blue Sky caches.

Ultimately it is up to the owner of a cache to keep it stocked, if you choose to leave the junk in your cache and not replace it, then it will look like a very large number of caches around BC. Part of my tax dollars have gone toward paying for the swag in these caches, if placing them through BCGA and BC Parks absolves the owner ( I consider BCGA to be co-owner) of responsibility to maintain these caches, then I would ask, why on earth is BCGA placing all these plastic boxes out in our lovely parks if they are not prepared to ensure they are actively maintained?

I and Solonm have been unfairly singled out for taking a FTF prize in the way of a pin from the linked cache, let me assure you the “pin” will find it’s way into another cache within days.

It would seem the link has been removed, however I am posting this because it considers more than taking a pin as a prize. Now instead of berating a cacher for taking a pin consider the representative of “all” geocachers in the province sanctioning a cache in the Blue Sky series that is “for members only”. There should be no exclusivity in these cache placements, and you have deprived some of logging this cache.

All this over a stupid pin, I suggest BCGA and the cache owners take a lesson from the Gold Country caches before considering placing any more caches in BC Parks.
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911turbos



Joined: Sep 14, 2005
Posts: 242
Location: Anmore, BC

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration Reply with quote

I don't think the intention was to single anyone out. I believe the link was just an example to start a discussion as it has been happening in many of the Bluesky caches. Last year we had concerns because some cachers managed to get a lot of coins while other cachers couldn't find any. I heard that this happened in the Gold Country caches as well. So this year the past executive recommended to limit the coins to one per cacher. I have seen many logs where cachers were excited to still find coins in the caches even though they were not FTF, STF or even the third person to find the cache.

Each year will be a learning experience as to what works and what could be done better. Hopefully, BC Parks will continue to encourage caching in our parks. BC is quite unique in its relationship between BC Parks and the geocaching community. We are the envy of many cachers across the country.
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boomerangpapa



Joined: Apr 25, 2006
Posts: 196
Location: Ashcroft, BC

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration Reply with quote

I'd like to applaud anyone who took a pin instead of another coin as a FTF prize! That is the reason why so many people are able to actually get themselves a coin this year! As the turbos have pointed out, it's great to see that even the fourth and fifth to finds are able to get a coin..and grabbing a pin for a FTF prize instead of a coin is probably a big part of that!
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scruffster



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

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration Reply with quote

It is unfair to single out a cacher or a group of cachers for what is really a widespread phenomenon.

Judging by the swag left in geocaches I'm not sure there is a high percentage of people who can claim to be the posterboy for ethics in geocaching.

Sometimes I take the FTF prize (especially if it is a Tim Horton's coupon). Sometimes I leave it for the next geocacher. If I get several FTFs in a row where prizes are handed out (especially by the same cache owner) I don't feel right taking all the prizes. But that is just me. The fact of the matter is any FTFer is entitled to a prize if offered. But the entitlement should end there.

Geocaching doesn't have many rules but the cornerstone of geocaching ethics is trade fair or trade up. That rule is universal and applies to all geocaches. There are no exceptions unless stipulated by the cache owner.

Trade even or trade up is something we should all be thinking about. Perhaps next year we should start a campaign to restock all the geocaches in the province with good swag, and along with environmental issues, teach the importance of trading up at Geocaching 101 events.
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IRLPGUY



Joined: Mar 01, 2007
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration Reply with quote

[quote="911turbos"]I don't think the intention was to single anyone out. I believe the link was just an example to start a discussion as it has been happening in many of the Bluesky caches. Last year we had concerns because some cachers managed to get a lot of coins while other cachers couldn't find any. I heard that this happened in the Gold Country caches as well. So this year the past executive recommended to limit the coins to one per cacher. I have seen many logs where cachers were excited to still find coins in the caches even though they were not FTF, STF or even the third person to find the cache.

An apology has been made to Solonm regarding the link and that apology has been accepted by both her and I, while the intent may not have been to single anyone out, it certainly had that effect.

Gold country caches had "no" coins in them, the FTF was a certificate that had to be mailed in and redeemed for the FTF coin. There were no other coins or certificates in any Gold Country caches. I was lucky enough to be able to get a certificate but I had to drive a long way over Mission Mtn in order to do so. There were those that took more than one FTF certificate from Gold Country caches but I won't mention any names. Last year I was FTF on several caches in that series and I am the proud owner of "one" coin. There were those last year that took several FTF coins and posted the same in their logs.

Let me say also that those that have sponsored and placed the Gold Country caches have set an example which will be difficult to follow, they maintain their caches regularly, and have already moved 3 that I know of due to damage being done by all the finders, these are simply examples of good cache ownership, and something that BCGA should be considering in sponsoring annual placement of caches in BC Parks, if they and the listed owner do not intend to take on a maintenance responsibility, then they are only placing "junk" in our parks, and everyone would be better served if they sought other ways to encourage the use of our parks.

Folks on this forum should be far more concerned about the longevity and maintenance aspects of these caches than the fact someone took a pin without trading for it.

As I said before Gold Country did it right the first time around.
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chrisoutdoors



Joined: Apr 21, 2007
Posts: 16
Location: West Kootenays, BC

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:21 am    Post subject: Re: Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration Reply with quote

Still working to get that foot out of my mouth! Smack

You absolutely right, it was wrong of me to single out anyone in my tirade. So apologies to Solonm and Irlpguy, my intent was not to single you out, though I know that is what has happened, and for that I am sorry.

I just want to see these caches remain high quality, as this series is a great idea and something the BCGA can be proud of. The best part of this is that there are 80 new caches we can all look forward to finding in interesting spots around BC. My intent was not to 'taint" the experience for anyone but it seems my argument lies in another issue...

The trade isssue is something that is widespread, probably has been discussed to death in this forum and everywhere else, and someone made a good point that the people who need that "training" aren't the diligent and community minded cachers reading these forums. I just prefer not to see the kids I cache with - who are "swag focused" despite nice locations and exercise - open a cache to some loose pocket changes and two lonely marbles rolling around in the bottom of a container.

So thanks for all the great discussion. Anyone want to borrow this shovel now that I'm done with it? Paperbag
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scruffster



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

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration Reply with quote

Don't kick yourself too hard, Chrisoutdoors. You touched on a topic that concerns many geocachers. The mere fact that so many people joined in on the discussion says it all.

I'm really glad you brought up the topic in terms of BlueSky geocaches. These particular caches have been out for less than a week. It's amazing how quickly the caches can be plundered -- one pin at a time -- by gangs of people.

The idea of coupons in caches vs. actual swag is an interesting concept that has been brought up several times over the years. I am not against the idea. But it seems to be a slap on the wrist. It would kill me to think that we can't put nice things in geocaches because we are too afraid they'll be plundered in seconds. Most geocachers are adults and should know better.

I like the idea of trying our best to change attitudes. Trading fair or trading up should be #1 on the agenda at all geocaching events and social activities. I think TRADE FAIR OR TRADE UP tshirs are in order for social events.

It has been brought up here that it is the geocache owner's responsibility to keep the caches filled with swag. I disagree. It's everyone's responsibility.
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IRLPGUY



Joined: Mar 01, 2007
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration Reply with quote

Chris your foot is no longer in your mouth and I am sure both are squarely planted on solid ground. As I stated in my email to you directly, your apology last night via personal email was more than adequate and "I" am sorry you felt the need to further apologize in this forum.

I respect your opinions on the subject of swag and they do not differ much from my own it would appear. Your true colors show through loud and clear with your apology, I certainly respect that as well..

Some opinions were allowed to be voiced because of this thread and it is a subject that will not end anytime soon.

One thing great about geocaching is the fact we can all play the game the way we want to play it..."to each his own".
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SOLONM



Joined: Apr 12, 2008
Posts: 125

PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 10:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration Reply with quote

For those who are keeping track of Blue Sky Swag, try and figure this out. Irlpguy and I found a cache today. We were the 7th & 8th finders. There were a couple of traded items plus 1 BC Parks badge and 4 Blue Sky wristbands and a geocoin.
There were 6 finders before us. 2 of those finders (including FTF) were hiders of Blue Sky caches. We took nothing & the FTF logged that they took nothing also.
Sooo.......5 cachers took a total of 3 coins, 6 pins and a BC Parks badge.......only 2 finders logged they had taken a coin...and I guess someone tossed in an extra wristband. None of the finders would be what I would term as "inexperienced" and with the exception of the 2 claimed coins not one mention of trading was made on line nor in the log book...we checked it ALL as it is a bit of a sticking point LOL
I don't know what the initial inventory was supposed to be but I figure it was 3 coins, 6 pins, 2 BC Parks badges and 3 wristbands.
I wonder what other cachers are noting in the Blue Sky caches they find.
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_canadianbacon_



Joined: Jan 05, 2004
Posts: 1154
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:17 am    Post subject: Re: Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration Reply with quote

I've seen it in other Bluesky. But as noted, the coins do not have to be traded (but you could leave something if you wanted to, I left LED pigs in two). The other swag should be traded.

There are a couple of caches that have all the coins gone after only 2 logged visits, so either someone is taking more, or somene is not logging at all.

I actually wrote in one of the log books "took nothing, there were two coins left", just as a hint to follow on finders what might be in the cache.

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scruffster



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

PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:51 am    Post subject: Re: Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration Reply with quote

SOLONM wrote:
Some folks are still enthused by that FTF thing. I always put a prize in my caches for the first finder (my lone micro being the exception).
It could be a newbie finder & it would be something they would cherish or enjoy. I guess I'm still keen on what caching is all about. Some cachers forget when they pass 3000 as to what made them happy. I guess.
I try to keep that newbie view.......happy campers are the best!! Party Hat

I find quite the opposite is true. In my experience, people with over 3000 finds are the most enthusiastic geocachers. It's the people who get all excited with the first 50 finds and peter out by 500 that forget what caching is all about. More often than not, it's the latter who stop maintaining caches.

It takes a few years and many dedicated days to reach 3000. That is definitely not the action of someone who forgot what makes them happy.

When I began geocaching in 2004, pysical FTF prizes were not common. At best the cache owner would post a little trophy for the FTF on the cache page. The FTF itself was the prize. And that is still how I see it. The FTF prize was originally being the first to sign the logbook, and subsequently the first to sign the online log.

I still get a thrill with an FTF. My first FTF blitz was during the BCGA's first Cache Blitz. And there was one other person, namely CanadianBacon, who I enjoyed beating to the cache. After that, it was MSthebrain. The FTF hound of all time in my area was Mr. Huggy and I can't tell you how much I jumped for joy to find a fresh logbook when he was on the prowl. Although Mr. Huggy would get most FTFs, I would taunt him for weeks if I got to a cache before him. Now that was fun. Yes, taunting local FTFers (who are also friends) makes me happy. **snarfle** Just because they want it so much.

FTF prizes in a cache are a relatively new phenomenon. I find it interesting the FTF prizes have become a motivating factor to get people out to a cache. And I find it a bit disconcerting that FTF prizes are becoming expected. It may be time to question the course geocaching is following when a physical prize becomes more important than the FTF itself. Is it picking up a physical prize what now makes people happy?

I don't know if there is an answer to the swag deterioration problem. As mentioned before -- it's the nature of the beast. Some people will always trade fairly. Others will not. I guess it is something we will simply have to live with.
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HuggyFamily



Joined: Apr 07, 2007
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration Reply with quote

I am still hurting from that FTF you scooped Stu. I need therapy....
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SOLONM



Joined: Apr 12, 2008
Posts: 125

PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Bluesky and Swag Deterioration Reply with quote

I guess this forum needs to get back to the original topic!! I found a blue sky cache today & there was fairly traded swag! I didn't have enough to trade for the very cool mini hip flask.....oh well.....I left it for the next finder. oh there was also a BC parks pin and those blue thingies to slap on your wrist
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