Here’s an interesting blog post from thebitchycacher — some good things to think about here as we all work together to keep our sport active and healthy for the future: Geocaching — what if it all ended tomorrow?
A recent Global TV report serves as a good warning to geocachers regarding placing caches or parking on First Nations lands —
As the number of caches submitted in BC continues to increase and outpace the ability of the current review team members to keep up, especially during the busy summer months, another new volunteer reviewer for BC has recently been appointed by Groundspeak. Please make our new reviewer Finn Tully feel welcome, and please be patient while our new reviewer becomes familiar with the BC caching community and local caching regions, permit requirements, and other local concerns.
Wizard of Ooze
I was asked today what the biggest problems are that reviewers see when they are reviewing a new cache for publishing.
Here are the main issues that come to mind — all easy fixes that will get your caches published more quickly if they are double-checked before you submit them for review!
1. Read the guidelines! Don’t rely on what you think you remember when you read them years ago, or assume that because you’ve seen a similar cache hide it must be OK. Cachers are required to read the guidelines before submitting a cache (it’s the last step when you submit a new cache — those two checkboxes at the bottom of the page). The guidelines are frequently updated, and an old cache may not be something that would be published today. The current guidelines are what we have to work from.
2. Mistakes on entering coordinates. Probably 25% of the caches we receive for review have bad coordinates. They have typographical errors, the cache owner thought the waypoint on their GPS was the right one when it wasn’t, they didn’t wait for their GPS to settle down, or they are using a smart phone which can easily be off by 20 or more metres. 99% of these errors would be caught before the cache was submitted by clicking one of the map links on the cache page and viewing the satellite map of where your entered coords were pointing to. It takes a lot of extra reviewer time and delays getting caches published when we have to send them back for such a simple mistake.
3. Cache owners not reading reviewer notes. We see a large percentage of caches being resubmitted after they were disabled by a reviewer with some problem — too close to another cache, school, railroad, etc., or bad coordinates, for example — with no changes and no response. People apparently think they forgot to submit their cache when they see it back in their unpublished cache inventory and submit it again without looking to see if there’s a reviewer note on the page. It’s frustrating for the reviewers to have to disable caches multiple times only to see them back in the queue hours later with no changes.
4. Cache owners emailing with a question about their cache without providing a link to the cache page or the GC number. Someone writes and says “Hi, my Walk in the Park cache hasn’t been published yet. What’s the problem?” Well, there are probably 10,000 caches with that name. We can’t begin to help someone unless we have a link or GC number to look at.
5. Lack of patience. During the summer, we publish thousands of caches in BC. We try to do the best we can, but we are volunteers who also have family responsibilities, holidays, jobs, and other things to do along with reviewing your cache. If you submit your cache with problems, it will take longer to deal with than one that has no issues and can just be published. More complicated caches can take longer to review.
6. Lack of useful information on the cache page. Reviewers LOVE reviewer notes with an explanation about the cache — what the container is, where it was placed, any special considerations that will help us understand things, how your puzzle is solved. When we have to guess, it usually means that we will need to disable your cache to ask for more information, which results in more delays in getting your cache published. All reviewer notes are deleted when the cache is published, so don’t be afraid to include spoilers!
Taking a few minutes to double check your new cache will really help to get it reviewed quickly and most likely published quickly, too!
A new volunteer reviewer for BC caches has been appointed by Groundspeak and has started work today. Please make our new reviewer saltchuk feel welcome, and please be patient while our new reviewer becomes familiar with the BC caching community and local caching regions, permit requirements, and other local concerns.
Wizard of Ooze
I am sorry to report that one of our BC Volunteer Reviewer team, Scootch, has made the decision to step down from reviewer duties after two years as a reviewer for BC.
The decision is effective immediately, and Scootch will no longer be responding to emails as of today. Any outstanding caches in the review queue that Scootch had been working on will be transferred to myself or the other reviewer, Cachin’ Cricket.
It is my understanding that Groundspeak will be bringing in a new reviewer for BC in the next few days, although we don’t know the details of the new reviewer’s identity or background.
Please be patient while we go through this transition as the new reviewer gets up to speed on local regulations, areas requiring permits (or off limits) for geocaching, and regions of BC.
Please express your gratitude for Scootch’s time serving the cachers of BC as a reviewer. Scootch was an active reviewer and will be missed on the BC Review team.
Wizard of Ooze , Volunteer Reviewer
A great new update has been implemented for the geocaching.com guidelines. This new update combines all of the most important aspects of the guidelines for hiding a geocache all in one convenient location, rather than having the guidelines spread around in several different spots.
This should make it easy to see at a glance whether your cache meets the current guidelines for location, container, cache type, and other important factors to keep in mind before submitting your new cache for review.
Be sure to bookmark this new page for easy reference: New Geocaching Guideline Page
Check out this great new video from Groundspeak for a peek behind the scenes, to see what reviewers and other volunteers do to keep geocachers busy and happy!
Need to dust off the winter cobwebs and get back in shape for some serious geocaching this spring? Here’s a great way to get in shape and have fun too!
In case you were wondering, today
April Fool’s Day!