Happy 10th Anniversary, WSGA!
Can you believe it? WSGA will be 10 years old on Sept. 8, 2012. Break out the party hats! We have big plans for this year - Leap Day, CITO, picnics, our annual Summer Campout, Going APE Mega-event, 10th-anniversary events around the state, and much, much more.
And we're not the only ones toasting ten years: Groundspeak co-founder
Bryan Roth (see photo) and TravisL (cache machines
) are celebrating as well.
We also have a new look for our Member Newsletter - let us know what you think! If you're a lapsed member, this will be your last issue - so renew today
! (Yes, there's a weird photo glitch at the top; it's a template error at the vendor end.)
|Leap into Geocaching on Feb. 29
Have you ever cached on Feb. 29? Leap Day occurs once every four years, and this is only the third time geocachers can log finds on this auspicious day. There are 12 Leap Day events
around Washington, so get your leap on!
Being rather fond of frogs, Groundspeak is leaping all over this
. They will award a Leap Day Souvenir (see image) to all accounts tha
t log a "Found it" or "Attended" on Feb. 29. The goal is to double the number of accounts logging a find on Leap Day (in 2008 it was 36,696). That means 73,392 accounts need to log a find on Feb. 29 - so ready, set, leap! (It will also fill in a key date for those cache-a-day challenges.)
|Get Psyched for CITO|
Groundspeak's 10th-annual Cache In Trash Out (CITO
) weekend is April 21-22 (Earth Day), so we hope to see you at a CITO event this spring! The more we help the parks, the more support we'll get for geocaching from land managers. All our chapters will sponsor CITOs this year - we already have events
planned in Seattle (2), Everett, Lynnwo
od, and Pilchuck Tree Farm (Arlington) - what about your area?
Of course, CITO events aren't limited to Earth Day weekend. Take a trash bag with you and pick up more than caches. Organize a CITO with your local parks anytime they need help.
Parks at every level - city, county, state, federal - can benefit from CITO. Despite the name, CITO also includes invasive-plant removal, native plant restoration, even trail-building - whatever type of volunteer work will help the park.
|Have You Renewed Your Membership?
WSGA finished 2011 with another membership record
: 376 Individual, Family, and Associate members!
We have big plans for 2012, our 10th anniversary, so if you haven't renewed
yet, please do so now - your dues fund the club's activities and help support geocaching in Washington State, including our work with the parks. (If you've renewed, the Membership box on the WSGA home page
should say "Expires: 12/31/2012.")
Have more than one person under your account? Consider the Family Membership; it's only $6 more than an Individual Membership ($18 vs. $12) and helps offset the additional member costs - plus you get a name badge for each person.
Want a refresher on our membership benefits? Here you go
. In addition to events, CITOs, coins, campouts, website, newsletter, and swag, over half your dues are returned to your chapter for local events. Plus, you get discounts on coins, campouts, and special Member Bonuses.
|Going APE...as a Mega Event
WSGA's 3rd annual Going APE event
- now with Mega status - will be Sunday, Aug. 19. We had so much fun the past two years, we're gonna host Going APE every year alongside Groundspeak's Geocaching Block Party.
Bonus: Groundspeak is creating a Souvenir for this year's APE Mega-event!
WSGA will also have a booth at the Block Party
on Saturday, Aug. 18 (thanks, Groundspeak!). If you'd like to help with the APE event or WSGA booth, please contact hydnsek
So mark your calendars: The Pacific Northwest is now THE destination for geocaching on the third weekend in August - International Geocaching weekend.
|Tomb Raider Goes Geocaching
|I've always wanted to play Lara Croft, so I'm intrigued by Groundspeak's partnership with Crystal Dynamics, publisher of Tomb Raider, on the next release of the best-selling video game. Details of the promotion are sketchy so far, but expect a series of treasure-hunting adventures featuring both traditional caching and Geocaching Challenges. Sounds like the 2012 version of the venerable APE caches.
|Summer Campout Comes to 48 North |
WSGA's 9th annual Summer Campout will be July 27-29 at the Masonic Family Park outside Granite Falls, hosted by the 48 North chapter with FluteFace
as co-managers and Wrastro
as our Masonic host.
The Mountain Loop Highway has a wealth of wonderful caching opportunities - Big Four Ice Caves, Monte Cristo, Mt Pilchuck, and much more - and if you've never done Alnilam's contrapti
on caches near Darrington, now's your chance.
The Campout Registration page
is now live, so you can sign up any time. The event page should be published by early March; meanwhile, here's the basic scoop
- Feb 25, Spokane Valley - 6th Annual WSGA-IE Winter Party
- Feb 25, Aberdeen - Grays Harbor Meet-n-Greet
- Feb 29, Spokane Valley - Your Odds Are 1 in 4, I'd Take It!
- Feb 29, Lacey - Dirty Dave Celebrates with 29 on the 29th
- Feb 29, Puyallup - Fill Up That Calendar and Eat Afterwards
- Feb 29, Renton - It Happens Once Every 4 Years
- Feb 29, Silverdale - Feb 29th at Silverdale Round Table
- Feb 29, Walla Walla - Leap Year Event, Walla Walla Style
- Feb 29, Bellingham - Leapin' Lilypads Leap Year Event
- Feb 29, Castle Rock - Leap Year 2012 Winter Meet-n-Greet
- Feb 29, Richland - Leap into Geocaching
- Feb 29, Clarkston - Ice Cream on Feb 29, 2012
- Feb 29, Darrington - Leaping from Cache to Cache
- Feb 29, Wenatchee - Do the Cache-cadia Leap
- Mar 3, Vancouver - March Madness Scavenger Hunt
- Mar 3, Seattle - North Seattle Cleanup CITO
- Mar 10, Kirkland - Kiss Me I'm Irish!
- Mar 17, Seattle - St Patrick's Day at the Museum of Flight
- Mar 17, Vancouver - St Patrick's Day Breakfast
- Mar 24, Woodinville - Meet and Greet at Big Daddy's
- Mar 25, Gig Harbor - Piratical Pre-Boarding Party
- Apr 7, Everett - This CITO's a Beach
- Apr 7, Seattle - Licorice Fern Work Party (CITO)
- Apr 11, Seattle - King Tut IV: Pyramid Meet and Greet
- Apr 21, Lynnwood - 2nd Lynndale CITO
- May 5, Bellevue - Jedi Training V: The Cache Strikes Back
- June 22, Richland - Tri-Cities Geocoin Challenge 2012
- July 27-29, Granite Falls - WSGA Summer Campout
- Aug 18, Seattle - Geocaching Block Party 2012
- Aug 19, Hyak - Going APE...at the Tunnel of Light
- Aug 25, Bremerton - Pirate High Seas Adventure
| WSGA Membership|
Your annual dues help support geocaching in Washington.
| Follow Us on Facebook|To get the latest news on WSGA and geocaching, "Like" the WSGA Facebook page. And we welcome your news and comments.
| WSGA Board Members|
The 2012 Board of Directors took office Jan. 1, and we're thrilled that nine of 11 members chose to return for our 10th anniversary year.
Abby Wolfe / hydnsek
Elaine Edwards / lucymogus
Chris Brue / mc3cats
Margaret Dunn / FluteFace
Gene Reed / Mr. Gadget #2
JD Parkman / kidvegas19
South Central WA
Nate Canfield / mazeracer
Ray Harrison / Geek&Gopher
Jo Dunn / idajo2
| WSGA Bylaws, Revised|
The Board's final business of 2011 was to approve a substantially revised set of WSGA Bylaws
This is the first major update since the club was founded in 2002, and a statewide organization with 376 members in seven chapters (as of 12/31/11) needs more structure than a Puget Sound club with 19 folks (our founders). The revised Bylaws should provide better clarity, governance, and transparency into the club's operating principles.
WSGA's Board of Directors meetings are open to all members. Meetings are online at 7:00 p.m. on the dates listed, except for the Annual General Meeting at the Summer Campout. To join an online meeting, click Live Chat in the menu bar on the WSGA site.
2012-13 Board meetings:
January 26 - done!
July 28 (Campout)
February 28, 2013
Agenda items may be sent to the President until two days before each meeting.
The Minutes of Board meetings are accessible from the WSGA home page (lower left column), and an archive of Board Minutes is also available.
| WSGA Donates to Anderson Fund| WSGA has a good relationship with Mount Rainier National Park - Ranger Kevin Bacher (K2D2) is a cacher and hosts an annual CITO. So, with our members' support, the WSGA Board voted to donate $100 to the fund established for the family of Ranger Margaret Anderson, killed in the line of duty on Jan. 1.
If you would like to make an individual donation, checks should be made to the Margaret Anderson Donation Fund, and mailed to KeyBank, PO Box 159, Eatonville, Washington 98328.
|Order Your 2012 Anniversary Geocoin Today!
This year's Washington coin celebrates WSGA's 10th anniversary and reflects both sides of our great state. Designed by WSGA member NepoKama, one side depicts the ferries endemic to watery Western Washington, while the Eastern Washington side features the historic Looff Carousel in Spokane.
The 2012 coin is now on sale
to members ($10), who have an exclusive two-week order window before we open sales to nonmembers ($12). The coins are due from the mint in late March, so expect yours to arrive around April 1.
We minted 270 Regular coins in black nickel - fewer than in previous years, so get yours before they're all gone
. (We also minted 30 satin-gold Volunteer coins.)
|Our Favorite Caches
|Each issue, COTM manager and WSGA Vice President jcar highlights caches that get Favorite votes but have been overlooked by WSGA's Cache of the Month and Cache Recommendations (until now), and by many cachers. He seeks out caches that have been around a while but rarely noticed, or those in out-of-the-way areas that are a "must do" next time you're in the vicinity. (He welcomes your suggestions.)Spokane Basalt Waterfalls
This earthcache highlights the spectacular waterfall in the heart of downtown Spokane. Many great viewing locations around the Riverfront Park area.
If you prefer a container, Forks Geocache
(2002) is an oldie but a goodie, located in the town of Forks on the Olympic Peninsula - a former logging town now better known for its vampires and werewolves. Speaking of which, be sure to visit Twilight
Not interested in waterfalls or vampires? What about power trails? We now have a few caching-on-steroids routes in the state; while none compare to those in California or Nevada, they can make a great afternoon of caching. Recent conversations suggest most aren't well-known yet, so here's a sampling, with a link to one cache for each:
|Which Chapter Are You In?
After gathering input from geocachers across the state, and looking at geographies and caching activity, the Board approved WSGA's first official chapter boundaries last fall, and they took effect Jan. 1. Read about the changes
Our current seven-chapter structure remains, with revisions. We can revisit our chapter structure as needed, but these changes improve on the previous arbitrary boundaries and should benefit both the club and cachers. (You can always align to a different chapter by updating your online profile.)
|Cache Machines: a Northwest Phenomenon
Have you made your plans yet for the March 24 Cache Machine
in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho? How many CMs will this be for you?
Mention "cache machines" to someone outside the Pacific Northwest, and you're likely to get a blank stare. But our homegrown mashup of caching-camaraderie-flashmob is a regional phenomenon dating back to 2002, originated by WSGA co-founder TravisL
and still going strong 10 years later.
What is a cache machine
(CM)? It's a day of power caching and socializing along a pre-planned route, with a group dinner at the end. CM mastermind TravisL carefully plans each cache machine, working with locals to set the route appropriately, alerting local law enforcement, and finding dinner spots capacious enough for the caching horde. The mapped routes and cache list are distributed beforehand, then everyone meets up on Cache Machine day and caches till they drop (almost). It's an adrenalin rush as folks dash around, running into different cachers and seeing the sights.
After the Long Beach CM
on Jan. 7, feedback on the local impact of CMs led TravisL to make format changes that take effect with the Coeur d'Alene Cache Machine
on March 24. So if you plan to attend - heads up! There is no longer a specific starting point or starting time, to encourage cachers to spread out along the route, and some caches will be marked on the route map as off-limits. For complete details, see the forum thread
TravisL typically plans four CMs a year around the region. After Coeur d'Alene, the next three are:
- Longview II on June 30
- Yakima Valley on Sept. 22
- Mount Vernon on Dec. 29
If you haven't attended a cache machine yet, it's worth checking out. You can do the route however you want, as much or as little as suits you - just be sure to attend the official event dinner. See you there!