This title might be misleading. A better title would be, “I am a Geocaching Imbecile”.
This week, I’m teaching at Performing Arts Camp. The theme is a travel, GPS kinda thing. We thought Geocaching would be a fun activity. So, I’m teaching it. I’ve never been geocaching before. Well, that one time with Wendy. But basically, I’m a newbie.
But how hard can it be, right? I mean, I went to geocaching.com, I downloaded an app. And from there, you just follow the coordinates, right? Well, that’s what I thought.
First, I decided to practice. So last week, I took the kids (my kids, 2 and 5) to some coordinates right behind the church. After hiking 20 minutes and the kids getting scratched from their necks to their ankles, we had to give up. Later that day, my mom joined us and we tried for cache #2 (there are 3 on the church’s vast property). No luck. Asa kept crying, “Can we get out of here?”
Now, it’s time for our first class. We gave them a brief overview, watched a video and made our own version of a geocoin.As soon as Performing Arts Camp was over, I grabbed yet another worker and brought them out to wear the cache should be and had her help me look. But she had flip flops on and couldn’t do much. Yet again I was cache-less. But not bug-bite-less.
The next morning, we figured if we took 8 kids out there and our other assistant, we could scour the area and find the cache . We couldn’t. We didn’t. The kids left hot, sweaty and a little disappointed. Oh, and with a few scratches.
This morning I decided I was going to plant my own cache with prizes and let the kids find it. But when I was hiding it (at 9 this morning, a mere hour before my class started), I tried to find the original cache (the one the kids and I couldn’t locate). My GPS seemed to lead me somewhere differently than before. I had on jeans and my Keens and felt adventurous. So, I hiked for about 20 minutes. Then realized, there was no way my class could get to the spot I was at…even if I could find the cache. I was a little turned around (yes, I had a compass AND a GPS) but could see the houses from the neighboring…uhm, neighborhood so I headed that way. But when I got to the houses, I could tell it was different than the houses I had seen on previous hikes. And as I walked to the front of the neighborhood I realized I was indeed somewhere else.
I walked out to the main road. Still not sure of where I was but kept walking down the road figuring I’d run into something that I knew. But as I walked (and car after car whipped by me), I realized I was VERY far away from the church. So, I pulled up another map app on my phone. And saw that to walk back to the church along the roads was over 3 miles away and would take me almost TWO HOURS. And my class was beginning in less than 10 minutes!
I called my mom (my geocaching co-imbecile teacher) and left her a message to STALL! Then called her secretary to see if they could locate my mom and my class and DO SOMETHING!
Finally, after sitting on the side of the road for awhile, walking awhile, wondering if I should knock on a neighbor’s door or flag down a passing UPS man, I decided to take off for the woods again. And what do you know? I followed my little flashing blue arrow on my app and got back to the church. In fact, I intercepted my class and even planted my own cache for them to find (full of silly bandz and plastic bugs).
Therefore I would like to add a line to Alanis Morissette’s famous song:
Isn’t it ironic when the leader of a geocaching class gets lost in the woods?