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zuma
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-01-30
Posts: 5559
Location: Eau Claire

PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:16 am Reply with quote Back to top

One of the things to remember is that the intention of the State Park Challenge is to introduce new people who enjoy exploring the outdoor to geocaching. In Minnesota, many of the people who found the state park challenge caches were not the people in this forum or veteran geocachers. Rather, they were new people to caching who enjoyed visiting the state parks.

That is one reason that I would like to see this done first class. We should give new people a good impression of the game and the WGA.

Here is how Washington does it:

http://www.parks.wa.gov/geocaching/passportgeochallenge/

z
 
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zuma
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-01-30
Posts: 5559
Location: Eau Claire

PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:19 am Reply with quote Back to top

As to issues getting a state park challenge published, here is how Washington did it, which is fully within the rules.

http://coord.info/GC48635

z

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zuma
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-01-30
Posts: 5559
Location: Eau Claire

PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:22 am Reply with quote Back to top

Washington had a challenge cache for 50 of 100 state parks, and a challenge for all 100. People who found half of the state park caches, received a geocoin. More info here:

http://www.wsgaonline.org/forums/lofiversion/index.php?t918.html

z

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zuma
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-01-30
Posts: 5559
Location: Eau Claire

PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:25 am Reply with quote Back to top

Here are the prizes given away in Texas for their state park challenge:

10 caches found - Entry Level Pathtag, Keychain, and Sticker
20 caches found - Bronze Level Pathtag, Medal Challenge Sticker, and Promotion for 50% Off State Park Entry Fees
30 caches found - Silver Level Pathtag and Promotion for 50% Off 1 Night of Camping
50 caches found - Gold Level Pathtag and Promotion for 20% Off State Park Store Purchase (limit 5 items)
80 caches found - Platinum Level Pathtag and Promotion for 1 Free Night of Camping

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/activities/outdoor_recreation/geocache/coordinates.phtml
 
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zuma
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-01-30
Posts: 5559
Location: Eau Claire

PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:29 am Reply with quote Back to top

SC used a different approach than WA to get their State Park Challenge approved, so there is more than one way to do this.

http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC38Y1D_sc-state-park-geocache-challenge-the-finale?guid=8c027e2a-5657-46ce-a528-39d538d539bf

z
 
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zuma
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-01-30
Posts: 5559
Location: Eau Claire

PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:32 am Reply with quote Back to top

Alabama gives away a special geocoin also. And here is how they set up their challenge:

https://www.alapark.com/Geochallenge/

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zuma
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-01-30
Posts: 5559
Location: Eau Claire

PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:38 am Reply with quote Back to top

New York found a third way to do the challenge, and one that I would not advocate, but they did have people stamp a passport at each state park. They also gave away large prizes, with $100 for the FTF. I am not advocating that either, just pointing out that other states have found ways to have a challenge cache published and pointing out that generally decent prizes are involved.

In case my point was missed, the prizes are there not for us veteran geocachers, who I agree dont need them, so much as an incentive to new players in the game.

New York: http://newyorkhistoryblog.org/2013/05/21/saratoga-capital-region-state-sites-hosting-geocache-challenge/

z
 
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zuma
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-01-30
Posts: 5559
Location: Eau Claire

PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:43 am Reply with quote Back to top

Here is an example of one of the state park challenge caches in MN. When you look at, scroll down and notice what kind of cacher is finding it. There are a few veteran cachers sprinkled in, but it is mostly people with less than 200 finds.

http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC3JXYY_william-obrien-state-park-avian-adventure

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zuma
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-01-30
Posts: 5559
Location: Eau Claire

PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:44 am Reply with quote Back to top

Last post, and then I will shut up. Here is how MN did their challenge cache on their first series.

http://coord.info/GC1D48R
 
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JimandLinda
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-08-14
Posts: 5390
Location: Rosendale WI

PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:33 pm Reply with quote Back to top

All nice examples of how geocaching associations can partner with other groups to create an extremely desirable challenge!

Our WGA/DNR union is a bit one-sided, but we have our foot in the door, so hopefully, it will develope into something better.

Thanks for sharing the info, zuma!
 
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sandlanders
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-01-18
Posts: 19308
Location: Adams, WI

PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:53 pm Reply with quote Back to top

May I suggest a WGA SP 101 cache? The cache page could be the repository of all the information on the State Park series and any challenges/prizes/awards, etc., information/requirements. It could be the place where the names of completers of any and all levels could be written, and it could contain a PDF check-off list of all the state parks (with or without the cache numbers and coords) for people to run off for their own use. All of the other WGA SP cache pages could have a link to this cache page where any updated information would need to be added only once instead of several times to hit all the various SP cache pages.

Findable as a regular cache at any time during one's pursuit of the WGA state park caches, perhaps this could be placed close to the entry station/office at Mirror Lake State Park. It is my understanding that the folks there would welcome more geocaches in their park, and with the 2014 campout being held there in May, it might be a starting point for many cachers to discover the WGA and the SP series. Being located in the center of the state and visited frequently by people from all over (it's near the Dells), it could be a way to reach many of the newer cachers.

A cache close to the year-round staffed building might last longer, and the workers could keep the container filled with the Wisconsin SP pamphlets they have for giveaway in the office already, and maybe some hard copies of the SP lists also, if we would provide them. There is currently no cache anywhere near the entry station at Mirror Lake SP, so if this would be something the WGA would like to pursue, it could be placed fairly quickly.

Just throwing out more ideas to keep Birdin's original thread hijacked... Wink

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sandlanders
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-01-18
Posts: 19308
Location: Adams, WI

PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:10 pm Reply with quote Back to top

As for some of my input on prizes/awards...

When I saw the original SP series come out in Minnesota, I was really tempted to head on over there to pick up a coin or two. As you can see by our whopping five finds in that state, we never made that trip, but the lure of a geocoin was there.

I like coins and pathtags... such nice "pretties". I don't mind T-shirts and hats, but I wouldn't wear them much, and they would not be everlasting. If geocoins can be sold routinely for around $10, they must cost less to produce, and if the WGA has the funds, as zuma has mentioned, they could be made up and given away at cost to those who completed whatever is decided upon. Most cachers, new and veteran, like geocoins and pathtags.

I do not know what has been discussed with the DNR or any property managers, but in the links that zuma provided to state park caching programs in other states, it appears that their DNRs or DNR-equivalents took part ownership in the programs, promoting them through flyers and on their websites. There would need to be some kind of information readily available to those who check out any websites or who stop in at any park offices or information boards as to what the WGA SP geocaching program is. Many people, even existing cachers, are used to visiting state parks for other reasons, and if they see some attractive information when they are checking things out, this could get them interested.

An information board could also be a location to have the listed coordinates for the state park cache that is in that park, as Birdin' mentioned in her original post here many, many comments ago.

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sandlanders
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-01-18
Posts: 19308
Location: Adams, WI

PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:19 pm Reply with quote Back to top

One more thing...

Please take into account that many cachers have already found many of the WGA SP caches, so it would not be wise to have something like a stamp/passport program or getting numbers from certain caches as a means to complete a challenge. Those who have already been finding the caches should not have to return to any locations just to complete a challenge put in place after all of the cache publications.

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Team Black-Cat
WGA Webmaster
WGA Webmaster



Joined: 2007-09-13
Posts: 6086
Location: Somewhere in Central WI

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:42 am Reply with quote Back to top

Nice ideas Pat, and yes you may make those suggestions.

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Trekkin and Birdin
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-02-08
Posts: 6032
Location: West Salem WI

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:18 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I like Pat's ideas. My original intent in starting this thread was a simple suggestion to begin partnering with the parks to make the cache series more visible to anyone who might stop at the contact stations.

The thread has morphed into one about how to reward people. As I said, the parks exploration is for us, reward enough. We did two placed by Lostcheq that were in parks we've visited before, but she shared a new part of both that we really enjoyed.

That said......with a disclaimer. We really aren't into self promotion and "look at me." At the risk of doing a facebook-like post of the type that finally drove me from that site......we own a challenge cache that's been out there a couple years now. It isn't directly related to the parks only, but if people pursue the WGA series and go beyond just "grabbing" the WGA caches in each park, they'll be a long way toward qualifying for this one.

http://coord.info/GC3BRE4

Just sayin'.

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