There is something about Summer that brings out the adventurer in many of us. Maybe it is the warm weather and the long days. Or perhaps it is the blossoming of new life that energizes us. Whatever the reason, Botetourt County Libraries hopes that their Reading Colors Your World Summer Learning Challenge helps wake up the adventurer in you too!
In the Spring of 2000, the accuracy of GPS increased tenfold when 24 satellites around the world updated and received new orders. Now anyone around the globe could precisely pinpoint their location or the location of items left behind. For GPS enthusiasts, this was exciting news and they immediately started brainstorming how they could use this technology.
One such enthusiast, Dave Ulmer, wanted to test the accuracy. He decided to hide a container in the middle of the woods and note it’s GPS coordinates. Sharing those coordinates to a GPS user group online, he challenged those willing to find the object using only a GPS receiver. The rules were simple: “Take some stuff, leave some stuff.” Ulmer called it the Great American GPS Stash Hunt.
Within three days of posting the coordinates two readers located the stash and wrote about their experience. Excitement grew within the user group as more of them went and found the original and several of them decided to hide their own. By the end of May a new craze was spreading rapidly and geocaching was born.
Geo meaning Earth, was used to describe the global nature of the activity. While cache referred not only to the French meaning (a hiding place used to temporarily store items) but also in technology terms. Memory cache is computer storage that is used to retrieve frequently used information. Combining the two terms seemed to be the perfect blend to describe this new activity.
Twenty-one years later, geocaching is going strong with over 1.4 million geocaches being hidden and found by over 4 million people. Usually made with a waterproof container, containing a logbook (with pen and/or pencil) and trade items or trackables, geocaches can be found worldwide. Including Botetourt County.
Discovering a hidden treasure is something that has excited most of us at some point in our lives. Where to get started is what tends to bog us down. That’s why we have made it so simple for you to go on a treasure hunt when you participate in our challenge. Accessing the activity badge portion of our Reading Colors Your World Summer Learning Challenge at botetourtva.beanstack.org will open up a world of adventure. Listed amongst the activities are the names of 4 newly created geocaches hidden in Botetourt. Create an account at geocaching.com (or download the app) to get the GPS coordinates and start the hunt.
These geocaches highlight influential people like Dave Ulmer, who took something they were passionate about and shared it with the world. And now we are sharing it with you through the take home activities you will find inside. Make sure to read everything carefully so you don’t miss the secret code needed to earn digital tickets towards our grand prize giveaway this summer.
Ready? Set. Hunt!
– Jaime Duval, Eagle Rock Library