Thursday, October 29, 2015

Numbers? YES! Numbers Of Friends!

Oh, what a cast of characters!

I've been caching steadily for the last 4 years, and some of the most amazing (and fun) people I know are geocachers. You are really missing out if you don't attend events or join the group caching and get to know this collection of like-minded weirdos!

I love that we come from all walks of life. The tech support guy with his high-end sedan talking caches with the dispatcher from the East side. That girl in the corner? She owns chickens. This cute young couple met while group caching at an event as well as the old couple sitting behind this keyboard. Him? He was homeless once, and he recently hosted an event at his new house.  Her? She's on her way to becoming a crazy cat lady. He carries a sock monkey. She carries around a trackable toilet seat. Automatic friends.  Equals.  A Team.

[Source: SCOOK & CITOCacher]
Now, I'm not saying every group around the world is as fabulous as the Michigan geocachers, but you must make your own magic. Below is the advice from our friends spanning from Windsor to Kalamazoo and Detroit to Birch Run for attending your first event(s).

  • Join your local Facebook group.  It's OK to lurk at first to understand the personality of the group. When you are ready, participate in posts so they get to know you. Then, when you attend your first event, they will recognize your name and have an instant rapport when you introduce yourself. (scrapcat)
  • Don't take things too seriously. We are a diverse group of personalities, and you have to find your fit. Oh, and bring cookies. We like cookies. (TaGeez) 

Depends on the type of event. Sound advice from Commander Overlord:
  • If it's a mega don't really plan on meeting or talking to anybody besides who you came with. Most people have an agenda to grab as many caches or discover TB's or attend a schedule activity. 
  • CITO's you may get paired with someone and learn their name but it's hard work carting that spare tire out of the woods. 
  • Go to a regular local event and don't be afraid to introduce yourself. 
  • Cachers have a common bond where ever they are. I just recently went to Baltimore and and attended a local event. I didn't know anybody there. But after an hour of talking I couldn't say the same. Just introduce yourself and have a good time. (Commander Overlord)

  • Attend with someone like GLC... By the end of the event, she will have introduced you (and herself in some cases) to everyone! In other words, if you are a wallflower, find an outgoing person. I suck at attending events alone.  (JAKKofHearts) 
  • Before the event, contact the organizer and say they are new and would appreciate meeting some people who could answer some questions. Recommend that they bring a list of questions, both general and specific. This may include how to work their GPS, enter coordinates, maps etc. A good event host will try and match them with someone or a group of people who can help answer their questions and provide some advice. (Skyecat)
[SOURCE: Prong]
  • Sign in your attendance upon arrival. Mingle with everyone.. As a rule cachers are a very friendly bunch. Ask questions, share stories and have a great time Some events have agenda's to go by and some are very informal. (Grey Falcons)

But, above all, JUST GO!
  • Go prepared to talk to people. Cachers are a friendly bunch, but in my experience at events, they stick to their already established groups until you reach out. Just be prepared to introduce yourself and say hello. That's all it takes to make friends and learn from those more experienced than yourself. (Unlikely Family)
  • My fiance and I did our first picnic this year at lake Erie metropark. Our next door neighbors were the ones who put the picnic together. "Carnval". We are not the talkative type but with the cover all bingo game we played made you talk to people and learn there names. We met a lot of great people and put faces to the caches they placed. (Allthingsparacord550)
  • Go......and dont be afraid to talk to the people there. ;) (RayQix)
  • Don't be afraid to meet new people. I wasn't went I went to 275 the first time. (necthana)
  • The first Meet & Greet we went to....well we felt really out of place. It felt very Cliquey to us. We didn't know anyone and thankfully one person took it upon themselves to say "hi" because we would have been very discouraged. So I would suggest making it a point to introduce yourself to at least one or two people. Arrive "on-time" - not early cause you may not know where to find the group - and not late because it may get over crowded and you will end up sitting off to the side. (LynnGeoGin)
  • Don't be afraid to introduce yourself, and never be afraid to mention that you are either new to caching or new to events. There are plenty of experienced cachers who love to welcome new people! A great sure-fire conversation starter is to ask a question like, "What is your favorite cache you've found?" Before you know it, you can sit back and listen to some great stories as cachers get VERY excited talking about their adventures. Which brings up my final thought this morning; events are a fantastic place to listen to others talk. You can learn SO much from the experience of others, and I have picked up many hints about those pesky DNFs along the way! Happy caching! (TinaAlmighty)
  • The best advice I can give is: JUST GO!!! My husband and I were skeptical and went anyway and had a very good time. It was great to talk with other cachers who understood our new obsession, lol.(jocie1976)
  • I was hesitant to attend my first cache event. I'm outgoing and social but really shy and reserved until I feel comfortable. I wasn't sure if I would know anyone or how I would be accepted and on top of that I wasn't a very experienced cacher at all so I was worried about etiquette. All I can say is just go. Make up your mind and go. The geocaching community is very welcoming and there is nothing to worry about. The people are friendly and inviting and lots of experienced cachers to answer questions. My only other piece of advice... Get there early as I realised that you get entered into a draw for geo-swag and you won't want to miss out on that. (Parkapoo)
  • If you're there to meet other cachers, don't be afraid to start conversations and ask questions. Most cachers are very friendly people! Do some research about caches in the area, too - you may make a new caching friend and end up going caching with them! (RedhedMary)
  • Go, be prepared to meet like minded people who may become some of your best friends,and have fun! Always read ALL of the information on the event cache page for information on what to expect and any requirements.(Ron & Lois)
Always worth repeating

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