New Boy Scout Badge: Geocaching

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The Boy Scouts of America are celebrating their 100th birthday this year with events, an official US postage stamp, a commemorative coin, and of course, the brand new Geocaching Badge.

In case you don’t know what geocaching is (and if you don’t, you should really read this webcomic XKCD), its basically GPS enhanced treasure hunting.  Sites like Geocaching.com maintain a database of caches hidden by the geocaching community.  Pop in your zip code, and the site will deliver unto you a list of the closest caches, identified only by latitude and longitude.  Feed the lat and long into your gps device, and start your search.

The activity combines the best of new technology and the old scouting standby: navigating the outdoors.

The Boy Scouts of America page on geocaching lists a number of ways in which leaders can help their scouts earn the new badge, including hiding BSA themed geocaches, finding already hidden BSA themed geocaches, and combining geocaching with with wilderness cleanup (a project known as Cache In Trash Out).

I know a few adult Eagle Scouts who are going to be pretty jealous when they find out that they missed out on the Geocaching Badge.

(Story via The New York Times.  Picture via XKCD.)


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