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Member Newsletter
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.)
leapLeap 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 thaLeap Day Souvenirt 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.)
citoGet Psyched for CITOCITO icon
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, LynnwoCITOod, 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.
renewHave 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.")

CoolCowCachersHave 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.
apeGoing APE...as a Mega Event
Dancing ApeWSGA'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.Mega icon

So mark your calendars: The Pacific Northwest is now THE destination for geocaching on the third weekend in August - International Geocaching weekend.
tombraiderTomb Raider Goes Geocaching 
Tomb RaiderI'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.
campSummer 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 and Lizzy 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 contrapticampfireon 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.
eventUpcoming Events
Winter 2012 
IE Cachers
In This Issue
Leap into Geocaching
Get Psyched for CITO
Renew Your Membership
Going APE Goes Mega
Tomb Raider Goes Geocaching
Summer Campout in 48 North
WSGA Donates to Anderson Fund
Order Your 2012 Geocoin
Our Favorite Caches
Which Chapter Are You In?
Cache Machines: a Northwest Phenomenon
WSGA Membership
Your annual dues help support geocaching in Washington.
facebookFollow Us on Facebook
To get the latest news on WSGA and geocaching, "Like" the WSGA Facebook page. And we welcome your news and comments. Facebook logo 
board 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.

Officers
President
   Abby Wolfe / hydnsek
Vice President
   Jim Bertrand / jcar 
Secretary
   Al Funk / acfunk 
Treasurer
   Elaine Edwards / lucymogus

Chapter Representatives
Puget Sound
   Chris Brue / mc3cats
48 North
   Margaret Dunn / FluteFace
Cache-cadia
   Gene Reed / Mr. Gadget #2
Inland Empire
   JD Parkman / kidvegas19
South Central WA
   Nate Canfield / mazeracer
Southwest WA
   Ray Harrison / Geek&Gopher
Olympic Peninsula
   Jo Dunn / idajo2 
 bylawsWSGA 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.
meetingBoard Meetings

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!

March 22

May 24 

July 12  

July 28 (Campout) 

October 25

January 24, 2013

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.

coinOrder 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.)
        2012 Geocoin
favesOur 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 - Spokane waterfallThis 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 as well.

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:
chaptersWhich 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.)
Chapter map
cachemachineCache 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.

Caching car tagAfter 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!