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#1 Baytown Bert

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 04:43 PM

There's been a lot of history and some hard feelings about the TXGA, but if you want to be proactive about making it better, simply join. It's only $15 a year and hosts two Mega events for all to enjoy. It's under new enthused management and we are pledging ourselves to make our regions better than ever. I have a preliminary plan to bring a geotour to SETX.


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#2 Jhawk!

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 04:56 PM

I joined up a few weeks ago. Apparently if it comes with a pathtag I'll buy just about anything.  :idiot2:


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#3 TexasWriter

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 08:35 PM

I joined up a few weeks ago. Apparently if it comes with a pathtag I'll buy just about anything.  :idiot2:

 

I'm also like a raccoon and attracted to shiny things, so I can relate....


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#4 Baytown Bert

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 03:30 AM

I first joined the TXGA when USMorrows started it and to be honest, never saw much benefit one way or another from the association.  Heck, I knew a number of the Board members for a long time before I even knew they were associated with TXGA.  The subject was never brought up and I believe that is commonplace.  Over the last two or three years I've heard the same thing repeated that there is no benefit to joining the TXGA.  After attending the Challenge, I say there definitely is; it just needs more exposure and more contributing members.

 

Back 15 years ago, I started the TX4X4 Cyber Club, the first organized 4X4 Internet-based club in Texas.  It grew to about 800 members with 14 chapters before I turned it over to a new President and stepped out of it.  It was hugely popular and we held events all across the state and into Arkansas and Oklahoma.

 

The reason I stepped out was I was burned out.

 

What burned me out was the constant complaining by the people who contributed the least.  Yup.  I found that those with the least invested created the most trouble.  I see that to a certain extent in the TXGA.  People with incredible skills sit on the sidelines and take sarcastic potshots, when they could contribute their talents into making the association extremely efficient and successful.

 

As the new SETX Rep, I am expected to be proactive in working with local, county, and state government officials in educating them and the public about the benefits of geocaching.  How hard can this be?  Why are policemen all across the country still ignorant about the game if we are doing this?  The truth is… we aren't doing a good enough job.

 

So, what's the immediate fix for this?  I plan to hold a Geocaching 101 class for Instructors in the Baytown Nature Center sometime in July (tentative) and working with the educational branch of the TXGA, it is my vision to create local hotspots across SETX to spread the word.  It's like the old question of how do you cut down an entire forest.  You cut down one tree at a time, so if one bold TXGA person in Cinco Ranch, Vidor, League City, or Tomball makes it their mission to meet with their mayor and set up a program similar to what HC, Juleed, and I have done in Baytown, we can begin this educational process.

 

Look what one non-geocaching lady has done in Brenham:  http://www.visitbren...in-brenham.html

 

Baby steps.  What I am talking about is a planned, systematic strategy to bring credibility to geocaching and geocachers.  Look at any group across this country that is successful and you will see a simple plan they implemented to bring that success.  Its achievable if we work it.


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#5 Jhawk!

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 06:43 AM

I'm always a little surprised when I run across a cop that doesn't know what geocaching is... it's happened a time or two.

 

I like your plan, Bert! I would love to help if I can. I'm pretty sure Cypress doesn't have a mayor. My conspiracy theory is that the water nazis run the joint, aka the MUD districts. ;-)


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#6 TexasWriter

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 07:06 AM

"It's like the old question of how do you cut down an entire forest.  You cut down one tree at a time...."

 

I thought we were friendly to the environment. Where are we going to hang the caches? I guess it will be a bunch of ground hides. :)


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#7 Mr. ZHR

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 07:32 AM

Groundspeak wants $3000 a year for the honor of having a Geo-tour. From my research, they don't generate a great number of 'finds' for the money.  I may be missing something, though.


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#8 Baytown Bert

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 07:38 AM

Wow!  that sucks.


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#9 cachestacker

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 07:44 AM

Groundspeak wants $3000 a year for the honor of having a Geo-tour. From my research, they don't generate a great number of 'finds' for the money.  I may be missing something, though.

 

Just the fact that GS makes $3,000 per geotour and it's doubtful that they care how many finds it gets.

 

That said, I'd presume it's up to the tour owner to generate the publicity for it.  If I was them, I'd be posting it all over the place, like here, and encouraging people to come.  I've not seen any of that from their end (but could be oblivious, too).  I've only seen what people have said here and the generic stuff gc.com is doing.  I see it and go 'neat' but nothing draws me to it.  Maybe if there was someting from them highlighting it I might be more persuaded...


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#10 Team Four Paw

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 08:44 AM

Who says you can't place a bunch of caches and have a similar map displayed on TXGA?


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#11 Baytown Bert

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 08:52 AM

My thoughts exactly.


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#12 Team Four Paw

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 09:08 AM

The only caveat is that the caches would have to be worded very delicately so as not to piss off GS or PR.


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#13 KeyResults

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 09:29 AM

This is perhaps off topic, sorry:

 

Good luck to you Bert. You've dinged a couple hot buttons that resonate.

 

There's only so much you can do with the framework you have right now. I suppose that's my issue. The organizational framework and operating model. There's only so much you can do with 100% volunteer-based organization. You need scale. You need MONEY.

 

I'm interested in belonging to a non-profit organization that is the national advocate for geocaching in the United States. It has geographical organizations with section elected directors which report into an elected slate of officers that are *paid* full-time positions. 

 

The group is organized to deal with perception, policy, and rights for US Geocachers. 

 

The National Association has a sizable budget with earmarks for all forms of education, marketing and PR. Being a tax exempt organization permits grants and gifts from for-profit organizations to help subsidize projects that promote geocaching directly and indirectly. Have a program that puts the gpsr technology in the hands of those that cannot afford it, re-distributes unused second hand units, etc.

 

I see this so all so clearly it's scary. We Geocachers number in the millions worldwide. Our pass time can be enjoyed by all, young and old, tall and short, urban or rural. It's promotes using the mind, and it get people outdoors walking, riding, or paddling. The largest portion of the enabling technology (satellites) are already paid for and belong to us already. The other piece of the enabling technology is the gps is a barrier to entry, unfortunately. There are other issues, but for the most part this is an awesome activity that should be enjoyed by anybody who wishes for the rest of their days. I can think of very few other activities that match up with all the benefits of geocaching for overall mental and physical health, fun, and social value. The benefits are amazing and the variations unlimited.

 

Geocaching NEEDS a beacon. A lighthouse. A Voice. 


Edited by KeyResults, 27 March 2014 - 09:40 AM.

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#14 cachestacker

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 10:31 AM

Be careful, Kenny.  Sounds like you're volunteering for that right now.  If not, you may be voluntold to start.


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#15 TexasWriter

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 11:46 AM

Be careful, Kenny.  Sounds like you're volunteering for that right now.  If not, you may be voluntold to start.

 

I second Cachestacker's motion. Any objections to Kenny being elected? Going once, going twice... :)


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#16 GASTX

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 12:20 PM

Be careful, Kenny. Sounds like you're volunteering for that right now. If not, you may be voluntold to start.


I second Cachestacker's motion. Any objections to Kenny being elected? Going once, going twice... :)


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#17 TexasWriter

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 12:25 PM

Okay, well that seals the deal. Kenny, you start tomorrow. :D

 

That's the way it's done where I work....


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#18 thacatfish

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 12:45 PM

I agree on kenny!

#19 cachestacker

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 12:52 PM

Kenny - you need to post dues info on another page and get started right away.  Whats the org name going to be?  What's the coin going to look like?

 

OK - back on topic -- Bert, Keep on with the vision.  Post what you want and need.  You are right - there is a LOT of talent here.  Many of them !&*#$ and whine a lot (me included - it's a hobby). 

 

Give us a wishlist and direction.  Support will follow.  People will take more action when what is needed and expected is laid out for them and if they see that their contribution matters or is taking the organization in the right direction.


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#20 Team Four Paw

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 01:42 PM

TXGA's primary focus should be education.

 

1.) to keep 501( c )( 3 ) status

2.) to make sure we continue to have places to hide caches in Texas (educating the popo)

3.) to be ethical stewards of the sport ( educating cachers so the popo and the like don't be hate'n)

 

The events are just TXGA's way of giving back to the membership for allowing TXGA to be their voice.

 

Case in point... Cemetery issue could have been avoided this past weekend if a rep. or other TXGA official went in early and educated the city on what Geocaching is and what the TXC is all about.

 

The fence being torn down, destruction/defacing of game caches, etc, good have been avoided if (NTX folks were beat with the ethical stick) cachers had some education in the form of Leave No Trace, Tread Lightly, etc... 

 

All that big sky thinking is great and I would love to see it some day but state laws differ from state to state. Groundspeak is a business and it would be in their interest to advocate at the federal level. Actually they should be spending their money on that instead of Lab Caches, Waymarking, or WhereIGo... 


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