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GrouseTales
WGA Member



Joined: 2002-02-18
Posts: 3399
Location: West Allis, Wi

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2005 8:44 am Reply with quote Back to top

Did I grab your attention?

Read this thread regarding a ban on Cemetary caches in South Carolina. It's a whopping 28 pages, long, but you'll get the feel for things on the first page.

Seems that the folks in South Carolina have pointed out some inappropriate behavior by geocachers in cemetaries. Damning logs describing about how "fun" they had in the cemetary after dark, corny photos of geocachers posing next to head stones, etc. I think these are legitimate concerns.

I personally find cemetaries very facinating, especially old or rural cemetaries. I also found many micro caches located in cemetaries.

Cemetaries are often private property. They are usually open for people to visit, but that doens't mean that geocaching is automatically allowed. Geocaching.com requires that geocachers obtain permission when hiding their caches, including cemetary caches. In parks and forests we don't usually question the permission, but geocachers SHOULD be obtaining permission for any caches hidden in cemetaries, and other private property.

Approval guidelines for cemetaries:
Well, geocaching.com has been discussing some options. It seems that each area handles cemetaries a little different. It would be nice to see some consistancy when applying the guidelines. I can tell you that reports of bad behavior and problems with cemetaries could have a backlash and create a ban on them. I doubt that would happen anytime soon, but it's a possibility.

We approve geocaches in cemetaries as long as they are tastefully hidden, places along the perimeter of the cemetary property, and are not hidden near any grave markers or headstones.

A more important issue is probably how geocache hunter should behave in cemetaries. Can you imagine attending a funeral for your loved one and seeing people "playing" in the cemetary and having a "good time", posing for pictures by the headstones with big smiles on their faces holding a gps. I certainly hope I never see that.

I believe that cemetaries are a place for respectful rememberance. They have historic value. I can see educational value in visiting micro caches hidden in cemetaries, IF they are located away from the markers.

What can we do to police ourselves?

  • Be respectful when visiting cemetary caches.
  • Do not pose for pictures in the cemetary.
  • Perhap we shouldn't post any cemetary photos in our cache logs.
  • Don't hunt cemetary caches after dark.
  • Cache owners should delete logs of geocachers which describe inappropriate behavior in the cemetary, including caching after dark.
  • Don't hunt if there are mourners present in the area.
  • No disrespectful cache names for cemetary caches, or names which joke or play on fears of the dead.


This stuff all seem like common sense to me. Most should go without saying, but it appears there is a need to mention it.

Maybe it would be a good idea to write up a paragraph on acceptable cemetary behavior. Cache owners could copy and paste it into their cache description to alert cache hunters.

Brian

(These are my personal opinions)
 
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EnergySaver
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-05-28
Posts: 1440
Location: Ozaukee County

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2005 9:29 am Reply with quote Back to top

Well written, Brian.
I really like your comment at the end ... I think if everyone that owns a cemetery cache would place you bullet points in the listing, it would help the situation.

A geocaching family that is friends of ours had a daughter that died when she was 4 days old. Every cemetery they see reminds them of the painful memory ... families like that and others have suffered enough loss without us "acting poorly" at grave sites. Please keep your actions "in check" at these locations ... assume there's a family with a loss that can't see you ... as they might be quiet and un-noticed, please try to be the same from their perspective and all should be fine.
 
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river_rat
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-01-23
Posts: 90
Location: Sheboygan, Wisconsin

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2005 11:07 am Reply with quote Back to top

My dad (rpaske) and I were discussing this while hitting a few cemetery caches in and around Washington county a couple months ago. I did feel kind of disrespectful as I was reaching up into a tree to pull out a film canister as someone came to visit a grave. Its like anything else, if everyone were respectful of the land/property/others that use the area there wouldn't be a problem. But, there's always going to be that 2% that screws it up for the rest of us.
 
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Buy_The_Tie
WGA Member



Joined: 2002-07-12
Posts: 2792
Location: New Berlin, WI

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2005 11:58 am Reply with quote Back to top

I think the chances of offensive or disrespectful behavior (at one time or another) in a cemetery is very likely to happen for each and every cemetery cache that is in place.

The silver lining to this cloud is that often there is nobody around to witness this behavior.

In order to keep the witnesses to a minimum:


  • Leave no "evidence".
    Don't post any pictures showing headstones or graves.
    Don't post details in logs (log-book or on-line) about bad behavior.
  • Keep a low profile.
    If there are people around, STAY AWAY.
    "Look" more like a mourner than a geocacher when in the cemetery.
    Don't cut across graves, stick to the main roads / pathways as much as possible.
  • Place your cemetery caches wisely.
    Find out who owns the cemetery and OBTAIN PERMISSION.
    Choose an out-of-the-way place inside of the cemetery for your cache placement.
    Find a good spot outside of the cemetery and place your cache there. Then, in the cache description, mention "An interesting old cemetery is located nearby at NXX YY.YYY WZZ AA.BBB. You should take the time to visit there and ahve a look."


 
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sweetlife
WGA Board Member
WGA Board Member



Joined: 2005-01-17
Posts: 2540
Location: Mountain, WI

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 8:09 pm Reply with quote Back to top

we have done many cemetary caches and have considered putting some of our own out. Neither of us have lost someone close to us yet but, we can see where people are comeing from with the bad memories. We enjoy looking at the gravestones and have seen many interesting stones. We have yet to be at a cache when a funeral was in progress, but we would respect the family and would leave the cemetary without doing that cache that day. there are many of these type of caches in the appleton/green bay area by mark54140 and he does a excelent job of hiding his caches in a respectful manor. Hope geocaching doesnt take these great hiding spots from us.
 
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brkster
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-06-10
Posts: 551
Location: Racine, Wisconsin, USA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:27 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I like the idea of cemetery caches, as long as the hides don't intefere with gravesites themselves. I've found caches in them and have even hidden one myself. Cemeteries, especially the older country style ones tend to have sections near borders that offer nice hiding spots. It's unfortunate, but vandalism and toppling of grave markers does occur, but NOT from geocaching. With a little common sense, I think we can even visit gravesites to get cache info which leads to the final cache without disruption or invasion of privacy.
 
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AstroD-Team
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-05-19
Posts: 779

PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 7:54 am Reply with quote Back to top

I am a BIG fan of cememtery caches! I enjoy the history, solitude and reflection they all offer.

I see geocaching in cemeteries no different than doing some aspects of genealogy in them. For genealogy, I've gone in search of gravemarkers, gotten or verified info from them, taken pixs of them for the geneology books and now even take GPS coordinates of the marker. I've never been questioned or looked at funny by anyone I've encountered.

Compare that to geocaching (at lest the way Marc54140 sets his up), I find a grave marker, grab the vital info off of them and go find a container off in a corner of the cemetery. Never been questioned or looked at funny by anyone either.

My 7 year old son was doing some cemetery caches with me. He can tell which grave markers are those of soldiers and which war they served by identifying the symbol/shape of the metal holders for the American flags. That's not something you learn from a book - that's field experience!

I hope the cemetery caches stay. I find them to be some of the neatest caches out there.
 
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Green Bay Paddlers
WGA Member



Joined: 2003-10-12
Posts: 346
Location: Green Bay, WI

PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 3:14 pm Reply with quote Back to top

We've always skipped the cemetary caches. Nothing against those who do/like cemetary caches, they're just not for us.

Cemetaries are like hospitals to me... I like to spend as little time in them as possible. I've been a pallbearer more times than I care to remember.

Hopefully the WGA can find some type of common ground here and it looks like Brian put out some great suggestions.

Best to all...
 
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hogrod
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-07-24
Posts: 639
Location: New glarus, WI

PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 9:43 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I have been to three Cemetary caches, and have always tried to remain respectful. two of the cemetarys were old rural cemetaries in the woods off the beaten path, with few/no visitors. I felt i was honoring them by visiting these places, since they have long been forgotten. The other one was a well kept and frequently visted cemetary and was much larger. three cars came as we were searching, but since this one was a virtual cache requiring me to find the date instead of a container i didn't feel that we were in anyones way. we just walked up to the civil war soldiers grave, wrote down date and left. now i could see a problem searching all over for a container in a high traffic cemetary like this.
guess there is a good use of a virtual!
 
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marc_54140
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-01-28
Posts: 2631
Location: Little Chute

PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 5:21 pm Reply with quote Back to top

As I own over 40 cemetery caches, I feel I should say something, but what? Been mulling this topic over since it appeared, and am still not certain ....
 
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EnergySaver
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-05-28
Posts: 1440
Location: Ozaukee County

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 7:22 am Reply with quote Back to top

quote:
Originally posted by marc_54140:
As I own over 40 cemetery caches, I feel I should say something, but what? Been mulling this topic over since it appeared, and am still not certain ....


'Tis an interesting situation ... I'm not sure what the "most right" thing is for this. But, if I had cemetery caches I would simply update the text of each cache to include the "Bullet Points" mentioned by GrouseTales, to encourage finders to be respectful. Those points worded from the perspective of what you want your finders to know, would be:

- Be respectful when visiting the cemetary.
- Do not pose for pictures in the cemetary.
-Don't post any cemetary photos in your cache log.
- Don't hunt this cache after dark.
- Don't hunt if there are mourners present in the area.
 
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marc_54140
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-01-28
Posts: 2631
Location: Little Chute

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 8:48 am Reply with quote Back to top

Ron, sorry, I might have mislead you. I was not considering caches, but this discussion.

However, on the matter of cache pages, I do also have some doubts. My first thought is that do we really need to remind cachers to behave properly in public?

Or will the ones it is intended for not read them?

I'm a real pessimist when it comes to people.

 
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Team Shak
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-03-21
Posts: 28
Location: Wisconsin Rapids, WI

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 8:16 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I'm a cemetery person. Always have been. In High School and college I would go to a cemetery and do my homework.

I've only done a couple of cemetery caches and enjoyed them. I also enjoy the history you can find in cemeteries. There are a few groups that do headstone rubbings. While I enjoy doing that also, I think that is far worse than looking at a headstone, getting info and then finding a cache.

My favorite headstone inscription is: "I told you I was sick". I found it years ago in Massachusetts.
 
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Opossum
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-05-11
Posts: 210
Location: WI, USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:07 pm Reply with quote Back to top

We used to play "hide-and-scare-the-#$%^-out-of-the-seeker" in graveyards at night. No harm was done so far as we know. We had a lot of fun and stayed out of trouble. Nobody ever peed their pants, but we kept hoping.

I regularly take pictures of interesting burial places. Sometimes I sell the pictures and therefore get paid for it. Others seem to enjoy the memories the picture brings them.

I went geocaching in a graveyard. I took some pictures of an old church at the same time. I might sell those also. I enjoy the art, as others do.

I've heard of gothic kids hanging out in graveyards at night. I'd like to get some pictures of that and see who doesn't get exposed. Think there are any vampires out there?

I planted the headstone on my grandma's grave. Then I had to replace it because a date was wrong. I wish I had a picture.

----
Out of all of the above, which one had the most negative impact, and did it involve geocaching?
 
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