Over the past couple of weekends, the British Columbia Geocaching Association (BCGA) held several meet and greets around the province to welcome, and educate, the newer members of the sport.
MrTJ and myself attended the event in Coquitlam as these events draw not just the new folks, but the long time cachers as well. It's always a good time catching up with the friends you have made through the sport, as well as meeting the new members just coming on board.
The BCGA did a good job of gearing this to the new members as most of the day's events centered around ideas like; how to use your GPSr, what are the different types of caches, what does a cache look like, etc. Plus, there were 10 caches hidden around the area where cachers of all skill level could get some practice on different hides, especially the ones that encouraged you to "think outside the box".
Plenty of people attended the event, but as most of them were outside either looking for the caches or on a learning walk-about with a BCGA member, the first impression was of a poor turnout. Not so....everyone was outside having fun! As it should be....
There were also door prizes to give away, as well as an opportunity to sign up for a membership in the BCGA. Being a member adds your voice to other cacher's voices as we deal with various levels of government on issues that affect our sport.
The laughs for the day came when two keep-away TBs showed up; a keep-away TB is travel bug that's specific mission is to be kept away from another cacher. In this case, the two TBs were required to stay away from the cachers known as "Best Red" and "The Tulameen Turtles".
Best Red's TB is a huge Panda Bear that she had chosen as a door prize at a Christmas event. Unfortunately for her, the Panda Bear was quickly absconded and made a keep-away TB of which she has only had fleeting glimpses since.
Today she got within arms length of her bear, but the poor panda was sternly protected by the current TB holder, and Best Red never had a chance to hold her baby... :)
The other keep-away TB is called RainForest Rudy; Rudy is a small cuddly bear reminiscent of a Paddington Bear. Rudy is outfitted for a safari, sporting appropriate safari clothes, hat, and a tag-along green tree frog that sits on his head.
Rudy was in my posession for a few weeks, and he had the good fortune of spending a day of caching with myself, MrTJ and Bowser98, three brothers whom enjoy a good day's worth of caching. I took along my camcorder and made Rudy the star of the day; his face was in every cache hunt I recorded; of course, I had to tell Kris (Mrs Tulameen Turtle) all about the video!
I don't know how well that went over, as I never heard from her....hmmmm....
Come time for Geocaching 101, it was also time for Rudy to move on and stay with another friend. The cacher known as Scruffster thought he would love to adopt Rudy and carry on the tradition of keeping Rudy away from The Tulameen Turtles.
Well, where I was subtle in the way I went about pointing out the fact that I had Rainforest Rudy and Mrs. TT did not, Scruffster had all the savoir faire of a backwoods hillbilly. A couple of times Scruffster waved Rudy in Mrs. TTs face, and twice Scruffster was forced to run for the hills to avoid a whupping.
By the end of the event Scruffster still had Rainforest Rudy in his posession, locked safely in his car. Rudy went home with Scruffster, and, since then, a mini-Scruffster has been added to Rudy's entourage.
You can view the video of the event by clicking in the centre of the image below: