July 31 Program: Geocaching – A Historical Treasure Hunt

A sample small geocache, containing a pencil, a logbook for finders to sign, batteries and toys, and a "travel bug"

The Canaan Historical Society will present an introduction to the family-friendly sport of geocaching, with a local-history focus, on Saturday, July 31 at 2 pm. The event is free and open to all.

Geocachers hide waterproof containers of various sizes in places accessible to the public, note the latitude and longitude with a GPS (global positioning system) unit, and post the locations online. Using the posted coordinates, other players attempt to track down the hidden caches. The containers may be smaller than a fingertip or larger than a five-gallon bucket, easy to locate or challenging enough to stump all but the most determined hunters. They may contain an assortment of trinkets for swapping; “travel bugs” that may be tracked online as they move to caches across the country or around the world; or, in the case of “micro-caches,” nothing more than a log for finders to sign. As of the date this was written, there were 303 caches hidden within a ten-mile radius of zip code 12029 (Canaan, NY), and 538 within a ten-mile radius of zip code 01201 (Pittsfield, MA).

Christopher D. Parker will be the afternoon’s geocaching guide. Mr. Parker has been ‘caching since 2006, and for the past five years has organized an annual Easter egg hunt held at different locations in or near Columbia County. He has participated in ‘caching events with the New York Capital Region Geocachers, Western Massachusetts Geocachers, and CapNY Geocachers.

Those planning to attend Saturday’s program may wish to visit www.geocaching.com and explore the site beforehand. Bring your GPS receiver, if you have one, and be familiar with its basic functions. Mr. Parker will provide handouts, but to conserve paper he would appreciate having a rough idea of how many people plan to attend; please let us know using contact information for the Society, listed below. Experienced ‘cachers as well as those new to the sport are invited to attend.

Mr. Parker’s presentation begins at 2 pm. Admission is free, and light refreshments will be served following the program. The Canaan Historical Society Meeting House museum, located at 13 Warner Crossing Road in Canaan, NY, is open from 1 to 4 pm Saturdays during July and August. Call 518-781-4605 (answering machine, checked early every morning), e-mail CanaanNYHS@gmail.com or visit canaannyhs.wordpress.com for additional information.

For information on upcoming programs, click the “Programs” link, under “Categories” at right above.

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