Geocaching Fun

on September 23, 2012 in Activity, Advancement

A few years ago the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 spent a month introducing themselves to the world of geocaching. One parent came to the meetings and showed the Scouts how it was done, and worked with them to find two geocaches located nearby our meeting place. This month, the troop once again visited that monthly theme, but this time brought in a merit badge councilor to help them earn one of the newest merit badges of the Boy Scouts of America (introduced in 2010). For many of the Scouts, this was a new experience and they enjoyed their first hunt during the meeting.

Yesterday, the troop held an outing to work on the merit badge requirements and find the half dozen or so caches in Melrose. Unfortunately, only one Scout showed up for the activity. Sports seemed to be the reason most of the others did not attend, although we discovered one Scout forgot about it and planned something else. Well, the one Scout, the scoutmaster, and the assistant scoutmaster went around town looking for the hidden treasures and found most of them. And they learned a few things. And the Boy Scout and the leaders and a good time.

The Scout and his father, the scoutmaster, stopped by my house when they had finished their searches. Scoutmaster Jim had a few questions about scoutmastering and the Scout was excited to share his day’s experiences. In fact, I got caught up in his enthusiasm and before you knew it we were planning to create our own cache in town. I found an old 35mm film canister. We put a paper in it for a log and a red 68 numeral patch to represent our troop. We named it “Scout By Numbers” and found a great place for it near the river in town. Then we posted it to to let others know about it. We are hoping that other Boy Scouts hunt for our cache and trade their troop number patch for ours.

The Scout was so exited about creating a new cache that I believe he will be creating one or two of his own. I just wish the others boys in the troop would have participated in the outing so they could have had the fun that geocaching offers.

Has your troop done any geocaching? Have any of your boys earned the merit badge?

2 Responses to “Geocaching Fun”

  1. Will says:

    Steve, I was not a scout growing up am interested in my son becoming a cub scout. Infact I went so far as to order his uniform and attend one session with the cub scouts. Since then I’ve been lambasted with emails saying its my duty to have my son go sell popcorn and attend ‘blitzes’ and sit in front of Lowes bugging people to sell popcorn.

    I’m not comfortable with my son doing this. I’m perfectly comfortable paying for campouts. But the scout master tells me that the dues for a scout are $650 a year. I think this is a rediclously high fee – $60 a month when we only meet twice and what looks like two camp outs a year.

    So a few questions – Are the scouts just some ploy to sell popcorn? Can my son be a scout without pressure to attend these popcorn selling events? I’m very turned off by the organization at this time. I had visions of my son learning how to tie knots, pitch tents, build camp fires, and numerous other outdoor activities. So far the only words of wisdom told my son are that it’s his duty to sell popcorn (this was right after we spent $110 on a uniform.

  2. stevejb68 says:

    Hi Will,
    Many councils do sell popcorn as a yearly fundraiser, so it is not unusual for a pack or troop to participate. I am unhappy to hear that the pack seems to be using strong arm tactics to have your son participate. It would turn me off also.
    The $650 dues per year seem very high to me. What exactly does this fee include? Our troop has a low $25 yearly due. The boys pay for the outings they attend and may use their individual accounts (earned from our fundraisers) to help pay for those outings.
    I would see if there is another pack in your area to join. You may have to call your council for that information. Cub Scouting is a great program for your family. I hope this one pack does not turn you off from the program.

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