Several Boy Scouts are hiking down a trail. All of the sudden you see the group veer off the path into the woods. What is wrong? Is someone in trouble? Did the Scouts see an opportunity to live out their “be prepared” motto by helping a local hiker?
You notice that several of the scouts are looking down at a handheld device. Your first thought is what has the world come to that the scouts in God’s playground can’t spend an afternoon away from their Nintendo DS. You quickly realize it is not a Nintendo, rather a GPS receiver. And they are not helping someone, they are geocaching!
This week is National Boy Scout Week. For a Boy Scout all you need for a successful trip is good food, fire, and camping. Add geocaching, and you have a recipe for an amazing time. The Boy Scouts have done much to support and contribute to geocaching. As a matter of fact, geocaching is the only sanctioned electronic activity that scout’s participate in. In a world where young people are fixated on IPods and smart phones, geocaching is a great way to direct those high-tech interests for scouts.
Geocaching has become so popular that the Boy Scouts have created a merit badge for the high tech activity. The young man must meet certain requirements to receive the badge. One of the possible requirements is to find several of the “Cache of Eagle” series caches. There is one such series hidden in the southern Twin Cities metro.
The “Cache to Eagle” caches series in the southern metro is called “Northern Star -Chief Black Dog Cache to Eagle” hidden by local geocacher billionsincache. (Richard Billion) Richard has lead many scouting groups in caching adventures. He also has taught the geocaching merit badge class to help scouts earn their geocaching badge.
One of the greatest features of the “Northern Star -Chief Black Dog Cache to Eagle” series is that it gives all cachers a glimpse of the great work scouts have done for the community. Each cerate site features details about a scouting project. Those projects range from the building of a prayer labyrinth to helping maintain and support a local food shelf. It should also be noted that if one finds all the Chief Black Dog series they are eligible to receive a “Cache to Eagle” patch.
Since the scouts have given so much to the community, it would be wonderful for the caching community to give back to the scouts by volunteering to help teach geocaching classes. If interested email your local scouting group for details.