Geocaching Merit Badge requirements ?

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Posted · Report post

I'm not in scouting, so if I'm wrong, sorry. I think there is a geocaching merit badge. I'm spending some time with my nephew soon who is in cub scouts. If possible, it might be cool to work on it with him. Anybody know any particulars?

Thanks in advance.

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Posted · Report post

Yeah. It's for Boy Scouts, not Cub Scouts. Wish there was a Cub Scout belt loop that could be earned for it. Beans would have it already 10x over.

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Posted · Report post

but 'ol high tech teasure hunt is fun for All ages. I did one for my pack a few years ago down in Camp Sienna. It was a hit. Andy, if you nephew is coming here, I can send you what I did for the cubs.

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Posted · Report post

I've taken the den locally and the pack at campouts, but did it very informally. No doubt they loved it. Refreshing seeing them view cheap swag as true treasure and really getting into it. I'd love to see what you did.

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Posted · Report post

I did conduct several orienteering events for the cubbies and Webelos of which geocaching was a part. In fact we hid a geocache that is still maintained by the Pack in the spring area 1324's First. It was a pretty popular event for kids and adults on the Pack Campouts. I was always amazed how nobody knew how to use a compass. I guess it's a skill that has diminished over the years with digital age.

For the Cub Scouts the whole thing was a game of treasure hunting with a FTF prize...They loved it.

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Posted · Report post

Here's a link

http://meritbadge.org/wiki/index.php/Geocaching

(or at least a URL)

My boys did the merit badge mostly at summer camp, but several boys in the troop needed to do some caching when they got back to finish things off, so Tealcat and I took a group out searching in and around the University.

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Posted · Report post

hey KR... what did you use for an FTF prize?

A compass, Silva or Brunton

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Posted · Report post

Here's a link

http://meritbadge.or....php/Geocaching

(or at least a URL)

My boys did the merit badge mostly at summer camp, but several boys in the troop needed to do some caching when they got back to finish things off, so Tealcat and I took a group out searching in and around the University.

WOW!!! They don't exactly make it easy to get a merit badge, do they?!?!??!!!!!

I don't think I could get that merit badge, yet. I guess I could use it as a goal.

Thanks for the help folks.

And No, Greg, we're going there (Waxahachie).

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Posted · Report post

Here's a link

http://meritbadge.or....php/Geocaching

(or at least a URL)

My boys did the merit badge mostly at summer camp, but several boys in the troop needed to do some caching when they got back to finish things off, so Tealcat and I took a group out searching in and around the University.

WOW!!! They don't exactly make it easy to get a merit badge, do they?!?!??!!!!!

I don't think I could get that merit badge, yet. I guess I could use it as a goal.

Thanks for the help folks.

And No, Greg, we're going there (Waxahachie).

No they don't make it easy. My son's got a little over a year to go before he's a Boy Scout (he's a Weblos I right now.) And I wish they had a beltloop for it.

I've taken my son's Den on a few Geocaching hunts while out camping. Heading out to Stephen F Austin Park tonight for our winter camp out, and will probably take them to some of the caches in the park.

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Posted · Report post

I think it is a shame that this badge is as complicated as it is. Don't get me wrong I am not a fan of the dumbing down scouting or any other program like that. The problem is that there are certain badges in scouts that have a reputation for being easy. The problem is that most of these badges are merely a meet the requirements and they never use it again. Fingerprinting is a good example. This badge is one of the harder ones I have seen. If it was more along the average or slightly easier than average I think a lot of boys would do this and be exposed to the hobby. As it is, only the ones who already cache are going to bother to get the badge.

Eagle (Scout)

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Posted · Report post

does anyone here have a good suggestion for learning/teaching requirement #5 (since it's not something we generally do as geocachers)?  looks like i'm about to be a merit badge counselor.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Map & Compass... should be plenty of scout knowledge on that.

 

For UTM, there's what I use:

   UTM short version:
   UTM Grids:  
 
The best illustration I once saw of UTM was the instructor taking a basketball that had been previously sliced up and peeled it, then laid it flat, and then put squares as an overlay on it.  I've tried to reproduce teh presentation with an orange peel, but I must admit it falls short.
 
I think 8 and 9 are the hardest requirements.
For 8, i used to bring a travel bug and various stuff to the class and have the class come up with a name and mission and pick the items to attache.   Then I showed them how to watch it once it was activated and told them to send me an email in a month with the details of where it went...  most times, the bug didnt move enough and even when it did, only a few scouts over 4 years ever did the follow-up.
I'm reluctant to have them hide a cache.  A CITO is a good idea, but you need to be carefull since it involves inviting non scouts people....
 
Requirement 9 is just hard.  
 
Oh, and for a "gathering game" to get them interested while the class participants are wandering in, I bring one of these up and have the scouts try to find the cache.... and later I refer back to elements of that game.  
 
 
 
There is a lot of lecture for this MB, so when it's gettng dull and kids start noding, off, I do this:  
Before the scouts arrive, I hide a nano in plain sight (usually on the door frame) and the last time I did it, I wrote a hint to the nano in UV ink on the sign in sheet.... then I told the scouts they had all been with in two feet of a cache... and when they ask for a hint, I tell them they already saw it... and eventually pull out the UV flashlight and shine it on the sign in sheet.   
 
Good luck.
Edited by TravelingGeek
green-eyed likes this

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Posted · Report post

thanks!!  we have such little push for geocaching in our troop even though the past MB counselor is a local geocacher himself.  last year, I was supposed to lead the troop at crossover time to do "special tools required" but they ran out of time and the previous counselor was going to come (he'd never done it).  we've got a few parents who are interested from talking to me and one who just started this summer on their first finds.  I think I'd be able to get some excitement out of most of the boys, depending on if I taught it as a class for everyone or just let them come to me as they choose. 

 

we'll see....  the gut feeling I'm about to be voluntold is out there.... the one leader already sent me the registration form for the district.  helps I'm technically a leader and already have YPT.

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Posted · Report post

GE - sent you some stuff I found online from the author.  Very nicely done, and editable.

green-eyed likes this

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Posted · Report post

I've looked at the merit badge, and bought the book.  I think it is too complicated, and there are requirements that we haven't used, but overall, it seems fair.

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Posted · Report post

I completely agree it's too complicated and requirements like the UTM for #5 are not realistic for the real-world geocaching experience.  no one does that.  the rest, sure.  it applies to scouts and to geocaching at the same time (LNT especially).  pretty much every MB is complicated or very detailed and all for a reason.  they want the boys to learn and truly earn what they do instead of half-ass the badge.

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Posted · Report post

I think some of the requirements are more valid in Europe than here.

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Posted · Report post

What if you're caching deep in the woods and your phone and GPS die? Yet you have this old compass thing. I think that's why UTM is thrown in there. Just a reminder that you can have a back up that doesn't need batteries. I think instilling that train of thought is a good thing.

GASTX and Baytown Bert like this

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Posted · Report post

Yes.  But they already have an orienteering one where they study topo maps and such, navigate by landmarks, etc.  And an intro on this isn't bad, but the depth to which they want this covered in this MB is a bit overkill.

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Posted · Report post

man.... I guess i'll have to start carrying a regular compass and all with me in the woods so I don't eat crow if all dies while I'm out with them.  but maybe they'll get me out instead!

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I have spoken to the husband and wife team that wrote the book and requirements.  It took two years and what was published was a complete compromise with people that had never geocached before... but it got it published, which is good.   I got the feeling (although they would not admit it) that there was an agenda being forced on them.

 

UTM is very useful.  I don't like teaching it because you have to teach the macro view of it, but if I'm lost in the woods with a map and compass.. even without a compass, I would be able to use UTM to better estimate where I was and where I needed to go.   In the micro view, it is simple math, and if you have a UTM square, it's even easier.   

 

But honestly... 99% of geocaching is not in that kind of environment and if they are, they darn well better have the training from other merit badges and preparation work for the trek they are on.

 

Oh, for #5... look for any army or marine soldier in your troop.  They will be able to cover UTM in their sleep.  Probably the same for the other branches as well.

cachestacker and green-eyed like this

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