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Topic: New BSA Geocaching Merit Badge, (preliminary)< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
DudleyGrunt Offline
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    Posted: Mar. 15 2010,6:37 am QUOTE

I can't fully authenticate the requirements, but the following was posted on the Maryland Geocaching Society forums from someone that claims to have seen them, though they have not been publically released, yet.  

I like that the requirements cover first aid, Leave No Trace, using the GPSr, how the GPS system works, UTM, but am disappoined that three of the requirments are specific to Groundspeak.

Quote
1. Do the Following:
a. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while participating in geocaching activities and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.
b. Discuss first aid and prevention for the types of injuries or illnesses that could occur while participating in geocaching activities, including cuts, scrapes, snakebites, insect stings, exposure to poisonous plants, heat and cold reactions (sunburn, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, hypothermia) and dehydration,
c. Discuss how to properly plan an activity that uses GPS, including using the buddy system, sharing your plan with others, and considering the weather, route and proper attire.

2. Discuss the following with your counselor:
a. Why you should never bury a cache.
b. How to use proper geocaching etiquette when hiding or seeking a cache, and how to properly hide a geocache.
c. The principles of Leave No Trace as they apply to geocaching.

3. Explain the following terms used in geocaching: waypoint, log, cache, accuracy, difficulty and terrain ratings, attributes, trackables. Choose five additional terms to explain to your counselor.

4. Explain how the Global Positioning System (GPS) works. Then, using Scouting's Teaching EDGE, demonstrate the use of a GPS unit to your counselor. Include marking and editing a waypoint, changing field functions, and changing the coordinate system in the unit.

5. Do the following:
a. Show that you know how to use a map and compass and explain why this is important for geocaching.
b. Explain the similarities and differences between GPS navigation and standard map reading skills and describe the benefits of each.
c. Explain the UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator) system and how it differs from the latitude/longitude used for public geocaches.
d. Show how to plot a UTM waypoint on a map. Compare the accuracy to that found with a GPS unit.

6. Describe the four steps to finding your first cache to your counselor. Then mark and edit a waypoint.

7. With your parent's permission, go to www.geocaching.com. Type in your Zip code to locate public geocaches in your area. Print out information about three of those geocaches and share this with your counselor.

8. Do one of the following:
a. If a Cache to Eagle series exists in your Council, visit at least three of the 12 locations. Describe the projects that each cache you visit highlights, and explain how the Cache to Eagle program helps share our Scouting Service with the public.
b. Create a Scouting-related travel bug that promotes one of the values of Scouting. "Release" your travel bug into a public geocache, and, with your parent's permission, monitor its progress at www.geocaching.com for 30 days. Keep a log, and share this with your counselor at the end of the 30-day period.
c. Set up and hide a public geocache, following all the www.geocaching.com guidelines. With your parent's permission, follow the logs online for 30 days and share them with your counselor.
d. Explain what Cache in Trash Oout (CITO) means, and describe how you have practiced CITO at public geocaches or at a CITO event. Then, either create CITO containers to leave at public caches, or host a CITO event for your unit or for the public.

9. Plan a geohunt for a youth group such as your troop or a neighboring pack, at school, or your place or worship. Chose a theme, set up a course with at least four waypoints, teach the players how to use a GPS unit, and play the game. Tell your counselor about your experience, and share the materials you used and developed for this event.


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Dave - Happy Trails!
"We never seek things for themselves—what we seek is the very seeking of things."
- Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

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KFL Offline
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    Posted: Mar. 15 2010,7:24 am QUOTE

Quote (DudleyGrunt @ Mar. 15 2010,7:37 am)
I like that the requirements cover first aid, Leave No Trace, using the GPSr, how the GPS system works, UTM, but am disappoined that three of the requirments are specific to Groundspeak.

Maybe you can try to contact them and suggest to add a little note that there are also other geocaching sites. I could imagine changing the text to "visit one of the sites mentioned below" and then listing some sites later. Although, teracaching would probably not fit because of the issues getting into it.
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DudleyGrunt Offline
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    Posted: Mar. 15 2010,7:50 am QUOTE

The MB should be publihsed in the next month or so.  I'm sure it's too late to change it now, but they tweek this stuff all the time, so I'll see how I can submit suggestions.

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Dave - Happy Trails!
"We never seek things for themselves—what we seek is the very seeking of things."
- Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

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DudleyGrunt Offline
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    Posted: Mar. 15 2010,9:18 am QUOTE

Via BSA's Twitter account, I did get the name of the volunteer for their geocahing program, Get in hte Game - Mary Stevens at [EMAIL=bsagetinthegame@gmail.com.]bsagetinthegame@gmail.com.[/EMAIL]  So far, I've gotten an automatic response from her about Get in the Game, but haven't gotten a specific reply to my question, yet.  It has only been 45 minutes since I e-mailed her.

I understand that Get in the Game is a program in which BSA is working directly with Groundspeak, but I feel that the merit badge should be "non-partisan".

Please remember she is a volunteer and may not even be the final person for the merit badge, itself.


Edited by DudleyGrunt on Mar. 15 2010,9:18 am

--------------
Dave - Happy Trails!
"We never seek things for themselves—what we seek is the very seeking of things."
- Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

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3 replies since Mar. 15 2010,6:37 am < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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