The Bradley Family on the hunt. (Gina Bradley)
- Last week, my friend Sara mentioned that she and her kids had gone geocaching. Without knowing what it was, I was immediately interested doing it, just because the name sounds so cool!
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting activity using a GPS receiver (or mobile device and other navigation tool) to hide and seek geocaches - that is, little trinkets and treasures and a log book for signing - anywhere in the world.
I checked out www.geocaching.com and signed up for free. It was a freezing cold Sunday and we were all going stir crazy. Winter can be so tough and hard to get
motivated (yes, even me!) to do anything outside - especially when it's 26 degrees! But when I called Sara, she had already selected a coordinate of a hidden cache (you can search by GPS or just the written out clues) so we all bundled up and headed out in search of the treasure.
Despite the cold, I found it so great to be out in the woods on an adventure with the kids. We did have a fair amount of complaining, but I encouraged us all to "trot" the path to keep the blood moving. We used an iPhone as a honing device for our search. As we wandered through the woods, we had to turn around a few times (we let James, my five-year-old son, track a bit for fun) but when we finally got close to our coordinates, we had an all-out search for the treasure. All four children were completely engaged and I found myself joining in the excitement. James screeched when he tripped over a log, and flat on his tummy, from eye-level, discovered the treasure was right there in front of him.
When we opened the air tight-box we found Pokeman cards, jewels, a stick of gum, bead necklaces and a log book that had over 25 sign-in's since December! I was amazed at how many folks know about this amazing activity that is great for all ages.
Next week we are going back on a hunt, a little longer and maybe just using the written clues this time.