Posts Tagged ‘events’
I’ve been invited to be a presenter at the 2013 Prescott’s Great Outdoors event in October! This is the second year of the event, held at Watson Lake Park.
The details are still getting nailed down but it looks like I’ll be teaching at least one clinic on beginning camping. I’ll also have lots of books for sale and signing!
This event is designed to highlight the many outdoor and water-based recreational opportunities, organizations, retailers, equipment, and resources in the Prescott area. The expo component is designed to expose participants to the latest equipment for enjoying the outdoors, while the festival component includes a large educational emphasis.
Prescott’s Great Outdoors is a family-oriented event with music, food, vendors, clinics and demonstrations, recreational activities, and displays. Various musical artists will also add to the festival component.
The event will take place 9:00 am to 7:00 pm Saturday October 12 & 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Sunday, October 13 at Watson Lake Park.
Rumor has it that they will charge an entrance fee but I haven’t heard for certain one way or the other.
Here are articles about the 2012 event:
- GREAT OUTDOORS FESTIVAL & EXPO: New event showcases Prescott’s outdoor recreation
- On target: First Outdoor Expo draws people to fun activities
- Great Outdoors festival highlights wide array of nature activities; continues today till 5 p.m.
And PS Happy Birthday to The Queen Mother!
Back when I was organizing my big multi-day geocaching event, I decided that one of the games I would offer would be a poker run. It seemed easy and straightforward. I based it off the AJACS event we attended in 2010.
Here’s a link if you’re wondering What is a geocaching poker run?
Overall, the event went well, but I have some additional ideas and suggestions if you’re thinking of hosting a poker run event of your own.
1. Decide on the ante
I did a 50/50 pot with a $5 per player ante. The overall winner got 50% of the pot. The other 50% went to offset event costs. We had about 40 people at the event but not everyone participated. Some people were turned off that it would “cost” money but I just kept stressing that the event itself was free and the poker run was optional.
2. Decide how many decks
We played with 5 decks and every time a geocacher would ante up, I would assign them to a deck A-E. I went in order figuring that it would be more fair to have 3 players per deck than to have 5 players on Deck A, 5 on Deck B, and 2 on Deck C.
There are 52 cards in a deck and 5 caches of cards placed. So that means 10 choices per cache or a maximum of 10 players per deck.
3. Decide on prizes
Remember that the best hand in each deck gets a prize so make sure you have enough! I went with $5.00 gift cards to Walmart. I contacted a few of my local business owner friends who each donated money to the event. Then at the event I plugged, Plugged, PLUGGED their businesses. (And sent Thank You cards after!)
4. Decide on the rules
I actually HAD a copy of the poker run rules from the AJACS event so for my event I robbed and duplicated. However, it never occurred to me to specifically outline what actions would be considered cheating. And yes, I did have a geocacher try to cheat. It really surprised me — don’t let it surprise you! Spell out what will happen to cheaters in advance and then don’t be afraid to follow through.
I also put a hard deadline on when the SEALED envelopes needed to be returned. And then I enforced it! I also enforced that the envelopes still had to be sealed.
5. Invest in 5 good cache containers (ammo cans!) and chain with locks
Let’s face it, a barely hidden ammo can is temptation to EVERYBODY. So take the time and make sure that you chain yours securely so it can’t grow legs for the event.
6. Buy your supplies
One deck will allow up to 10 players so plan accordingly. It would be terrible not to have enough! And you’ll need 52 security envelopesper deck.
You’ll need a TON of small security envelopes; 52 per deck. You’ll label 52 envelopes with your deck letter and then number them 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 for the cache container. Make sure that you put 10 in 3 containers and 11 in the last two.
Remember what I said about cheating? Well, it turns out that by flexing the envelope and holding it to the sun, you can more or less see through the security printing. The solution? FOLD the playing card in half. Is it more work? Yes. But it makes cheating virtually impossible.
8. Brush up on your knowledge of winning poker hands
Here’s a .pdf download from Poker.com that even has PICTURES. I printed a similar list and then brought it with me to the event.
9. Plan how you’ll open and tabulate results
I gathered each hand, labeled the envelopes and stuck a rubber band around it to deal with later. DON’T DO THAT! I was too much work at the end of the event, the geocacher didn’t get to watch me unseal the envelopes (to know I wasn’t cheating either), and then it made calculating hands a nightmare.
What was suggested to me was to get a big cork board and pushpins. Then you’d open the 5 sealed envelopes with the geocacher and pin it to the cork board with their name and deck assignment. That way, everybody could see at a glance what everybody had. I LOVED that idea and will implement it in the future.
Readers Weigh In:
Any other suggestions for a basic, 5-card poker run?
I finally have my geocaching event, “100 Years of Statehood: Arizona’s Centennial Event” published on geocaching.com. You can find it at GC30K47
I’m still working out a few details like what type of geocaching games we’ll play, but I was at a point where I could post it to geocaching.com and start getting registrations!
The event is being held in Memory Park in Chino Valley. In fact, I’m off to the Town Council meeting in just a few minutes to ask the council to refund the fees we paid to rent the park for the three days. Chino Valley Parks & Rec have been hugely helpful in planning this. They’re letting us camp (not something they usually do) and are arranging so the restrooms at the park will be available throughout the weekend for cachers.
Next on my agenda, besides event promotion is to get a TON of caches ready to go out. We’ll be placing about 30 new caches for the event so I need swag and goodies to fill all those containers. I’ve contacted a local business owner who does promotional items to see if she has any “left-overs” that I could put into the caches for swag.
But, I have some questions for you guys about the caches:
- Do you see any issues with hiding a variety of cache sizes?
- What would be good FTF prizes? Do you think that gift cards (donated!) are too hokey?
- Has anybody had any luck getting people to donate cache containers?
- How much “seed” swag do you place in a container? I try to fill it up but with 30 new caches to place, I don’t know if that’s feasible!
Um, getting a bit nervous! Any help or advice is appreciated!
I’m so lucky to have such a great community of geocaching friends who read my blog and subscribe to my newsletter! Thank you so much for all you do.
But, speaking of the wonderful “tribe” I have, I hope you don’t get too frustrated or bored with me because I am working on a series of event-planning posts. I’ll be the first to admit that this is the first major geocaching event we’ve hosted so any and all feedback is greatly appreciated!
It will be a 3-day event celebrating the kick-off of Arizona’s Centennial Celebrations. Please remember that I’m in the planning stages and need your feedback. Very little is set in stone yet! Here are some of the details:
- Free event
- Free camping (tents and limited RVs)
- 30 or so new geocaches placed for the event
- Trackable centennial geocoins
- Ice breaker events
- Catered dinner on Saturday
- Flash mob
And no, before you ask, it’s NOT published on geocaching.com yet. There are two reasons for that:
- I’m working with the Yavapai County Centennial Committee so that just takes a while
- I want to get the details ironed out a bit with my geocaching friends (that’s YOU!) before I put it out there for the whole world
Here’s the schedule I’m kicking around right now.
- Sign-in and registration (all day)
- Geocachers arrive to set up their camping sites
- Ante-up for the poker run. I’m thinking a 50/50 pot so the winners would get cold hard cash. Maybe a $5 buy-in per team. Play for the poker run begins.
- Ice breaker games in the evening.
- Sign-in and registration (all day)
- Geocachers arrive to set up their camping sites
- Can still ante-up for poker run. Can also participate in poker run.
- Locations of new event-related caches are released to event attendees (early morning — depending on sunrise times and temperatures). Gotta be there to get them!
- Cache all day.
- Geocachers must return by “dinner time” for new caches to be counted towards awards. FTF, most caches, poker run, etc.
- Return for evening “awards ceremony” and catered BBQ dinner
- Games in the morning
- Be out of the park by 1
Some more notes about events:
We would be in Memory Park. There are no barbeque or picnic facilities at all. The event in co-sponsored by the Town of Chino Valley. It’s not feasible from a staging area to have a potluck or cookout. Plus, since we’re in the town limits we’d need food handler licenses, health inspectors, etc.
The event NEEDS to be in the Town limits because this is the Town’s contribution to the Yavapai County Centennial Celebration.
The catered dinner: according to the survey that I put out a few weeks ago, 83% of cachers would want to pay $16 for all-you-can-eat BBQ, sides & soft drinks. 6% would pay $11 for a hotdog or burger and not unlimited anything. And 1% wouldn’t eat at all.
Dinner would be OPTIONAL. You would need to pre-register and pre-pay so I could get that information and money to the caterer. But you could still participate in ALL events totally FREE. You’d just have to bring your PB&J while I snarf down ribs!
I think that covers all the concerns I got about having a caterer from the survey. Let me stress again: The event is FREE. Nobody will make any money off this event. Buying dinner is OPTIONAL.
Okay, now that I’ve tried to be as clear as possible, let me ask you my questions:
- Any issues with a poker run for real money? Winners would get cash and the other 50% would be used to pay for Porta-Potties and potable water and trash service.
- What would be a good ante for the poker run? I want it large enough that the 50% winner’s pot is large but not so large that geocachers don’t want to play!
- What events would you like to see on Sunday? I’ll admit I’m not sure what we should do?
- Do you want ice breakers?
- How much time would you want to spend in-camp versus out looking for the new caches?
- Would you want to camp or stay in a local hotel? (Or at home, if you’re local)
- We’re minting 48 Centennial Trackable Geocoins. (Arizona was the 48th state) Would you buy one for $10 or so? Or would you want them as prizes only?
- Do you want to play “other” games in camp? Suggestions have been toss-the-ammo can (horseshoes), Geocaching Clue, etc.
- Do you think I need a kids-only game?
- What else am I missing? What would you suggest?
Even though geocaching is a great game in and of itself, there are other “games” that can be played alongside. I’m really interested in this right now since ESP Boss & I are in charge of planning a geocaching event for Arizona’s Centennial Celebration in September.
We’re hosting a 3-day event and will be placing 25-30 new caches. Of course, there will be FTF prizes, prizes for finding the MOST new geocaches, and maybe the most miles logged in a single day of caches.
This will be a sanctioned event by the Yavapai County Centennial committee as part of the centennial celebration. And part of what the committee has been charged with (and by extension US) is to get people out exploring Yavapai County.
Personally, I’m looking for a mix of socializing and caching!
Another idea that we’ve been kicking around is to have a secondary game or games that could be played for prizes as well.
I was originally thinking of having a Poker Run but in my research, I’ve come across some other games like:
A bingo card is created and you check off each square based off different types of caches.
My concern for geocaching bingo is that it seems really involved. Maybe it’s too involved for a 3-day event.
Geocaching Skills Test
Where you would test all the great geoskills you’ve picked up over the years. I attended an event that had a skills test, but I didn’t actually participate. Ideas?
A get-to-know-you type of game where you try to find geocachers who meet XYZ criteria.
Examples might be:
- Don’t live in Arizona
- Traveled over 200 miles to attend
- Have more than 30 hides
- Have more than 700 finds
Readers Weigh In:
- In addition to finding caches, what games would you like to play?
- Has anybody hosted a multi-day event? What types of activities did you offer?
- What is geo-golf? I’ve seen the term but I don’t know what it is!
This past Saturday, I participated in WWFM 2011.
WWFM – World Wide Flash Mobs – A fun and friendly way to promote geocaching around the world. Thousands of geocachers at dozens of coordinated events spanning the globe, gathering at the same time.
Sonny and Sandy of the PodCacher podcast came up with the WWFM idea in 2007 after attending a mega-event. It was meant to be a fun “opposite” of a mega-event: all the cool aspects of a geocaching event, crammed into 15 minutes of excitement. An added dimension is represented by the letters “WW” – World Wide – these events occur across the planet on the same day at (mostly) the same time! These caching events are intended to bring geocachers together in a creative way, as well as introduce others (newbies) to the hobby.
- Hold the event on the official, announced day, preferably at the official time
- The event should last only 15 minutes (some locations hold separate “after” events for more fun)
- Take a group picture
- Collect the number of people attended for statistical purposes
- Be creative and Have fun!
There were about 40 people at the mob here in Prescott, Arizona. We gathered at the southwest corner of the Courthouse Plaza at 9:45. At 10:00, we took off for a walk around the square and then met at the south side steps for a group photo. There was a doggie event going on so I know we attracted a lot of attention. I told a BUNCH of people all about geocaching and EatStayPlay.com too!
Unlike the Tucson WWFM event, for our flash mob, we all wore red.
The best part of these geocaching events is that you get to meet all the “famous” cachers in your area. Like JeanAnJoe who are prolific cachers having found nearly almost 5,000 caches and have hidden over 700.
Here’s some more information about geocaching events.
Readers Weigh In:
- Have you ever been to an event? What did you think?
- Have you ever been in a flash mob? (Geocaching or otherwise)
- Would you attend a local meet-and-greet?
Those brilliant people over at geocaching.com realized that not only do geocachers like to find and hide geocaches, they also like to get together with OTHER cachers and share stories of the hunt.
In order to make it easier for you to meet other geocachers in your area (short of lurking at the most popular caches and popping out of the bushes for a chat) is to attend a geocaching event.
Geocaching.com calls these (drum roll please!)
An event cache is when an individual or a geocaching organization designate a time and location to meet and discuss geocaching. They are gatherings that are open to all geocachers and which are organized by geocachers.
There are three recognized types of event caches:
Anywhere from a handful to a few hundred people. They can be an evening meet-and-greet at a local cafe or an all-weekend camping extravaganza.
My very first event cache was a campout. About 200 cachers from Arizona (and farther) gathered in the deserts south of Phoenix for a weekend of caching. New caches were hidden just for the event, there was a skills contest, a poker run, and a flash mob.
This was a second “event cache” where all the participants took a huge group photo. In order to get credit for the “find” for the Flash Mob event, you had to sign in. It was a fun way to meet other cachers before we all headed out to search for the elusive First To Find.
Basically these are like an event cache EXCEPT for scale. Mega events have 500+ people attending and are usually HUGE annual events.
While out there on a cache hunt, we collect litter along the trails and properly dispose of it. Cache In Trash Out Events are much larger clean-up events that involve and benefit the larger community. What is Cache In Trash Out? (CITO)
One way to find these gatherings is by browsing through the event calendar: http://www.geocaching.com/calendar/
If you’ve attended an event in the past, contact that event organizer. Often times, they keep a mailing list to let people know of upcoming events in your area.
Tips To Getting The Most Out Of Events
- Like with any cache, be sure to read the event description carefully. You might need to bring swag or geocoins to trade, trash bags to collect garbage (CITO), and food to share.
- If you’re heading to an event that requires travel and lodging (including camping!), make sure you plan in advance. Larger events may lead to a shortage of nearby accommodations if you wait until the last minute.
- If it’s an outdoor event, come dressed for the weather. Don’t forget sunscreen, insect repellent and a water bottle.
- Make sure you have plenty of caching supplies AND gas in the car. When we attended this event, in the desert, we didn’t fill the gas tank up on our way INTO the event. We had to stop caching early the next day to go into town for more gas.
Readers Weigh In:
- How many events have you attended?
- What are your favorite types of events? Event, CITO, or Mega?
- Have you ever hosted an event?