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GEOCACHING MERIT BADGE

SCOUTMASTER BUCKY CLASS PREPARATION PAGE

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GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS

 

Please arrive with ample time prior to the start time of your class for registration.  Remember there will be others checking in as well and depending on the size of the class and the event the class is being held in conjunction with that registration may take a little time.
 

You should bring a blue card filled out properly for this class. (Scoutmaster Bucky Online participants - you should have forwarded your Blue card to Scoutmaster Bucky prior to the class via email or postal mail Scoutmaster Bucky - 5724 Aldrich Avenue South  Minneapolis, Minnesota  55419.) If you are not familiar with how to fill out a blue card, you should familiarize yourself with Scoutmaster Bucky's "How To Fill Out A Blue Card" document. Click here for Scoutmaster Bucky's "How To Fill Out A Blue Card".  Remember it is a Scout's responsibility to take care of their own blue card from beginning to end.


Your Scout Uniform is required to be worn for attending this Merit Badge session.   If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Brian Reiners; Scoutmaster Bucky via email or on the phone at 612-483-0665.

Reviewing the merit badge pamphlet PRIOR to attending and doing preparation work will insure that Scouts get the most out of these class opportunities. The merit badge pamphlet is a wealth of information that can make earning a merit badge a lot easier. It contains many of the answers and solutions needed or can at least provide directions as to where one can find the answers.  It is NOT acceptable to come unprepared to a Scoutmaster Bucky event.

You can (and should) use the Scoutmaster Bucky Geocaching Merit Badge Workbook to help get a head start and organize your preparation work. You can download the Scoutmaster Bucky Geocaching Merit Badge Workbook by clicking here.  If this link is not working please check the internet for other merit badge workbook options.

It should be noted that this merit badge class is not meant for those who just want to come and see what they can get done. It is possible to complete this merit badge by being properly prepared and having done the preparation work prior to the class. Preparation is a MUST.

 

 

GEOCACHING MERIT BADGE SPECIFICS

 

Things to remember to bring for this Merit Badge Class:

1. Merit Badge Blue Card properly filled out and signed off by your Scoutmaster

2. Geocaching Merit Badge Pamphlet

3. Scout Uniform

4. Weather appropriate clothing for the time of year and location of the class for outdoor participation

5. A GPS Geocaching unit (if you have one)

6. Supporting documentation or project work pertinent to this merit badge which may also include a Merit Badge Workbook for reference with notes

7. A positive Scouting focus and attitude

Following is an outline of the class to help you prepare.  Note that Scouts will be signed off only on those requirements that the Merit Badge Counselor determines meets the requirements; no more no less  This Merit Badge should not be expected to be earned without preparation and work

 

IT MUST BE NOTED THAT SOME REQUIREMENTS MAY TAKE PLACE OUTDOORS AND SCOUTS SHOULD ATTEND WITH OUTDOOR GEAR APPROPRIATE FOR THE TIME OF YEAR AND FORECASTED WEATHER CONDITIONS. PLEASE ALSO NOTE ANY SPECIAL ITEMS NEEDED FOR USE SPECIFIC TO THIS MERIT BADGE THAT SCOUTS SHOULD HAVE FOR THE CLASS.

 

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, snakebite, insect stings, tick bites, exposure to poisonous plants, heat and cold reactions (sunburn, heatstroke, 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

Scouts should review this requirement and its components and be prepared to discuss, demonstrate, explain, and show as necessary their first aid knowledge and proficiency as it applies to this merit badge. It is highly recommended for Scouts to utilize the merit badge pamphlet to review the first aid and hazards common to geocaching as well as how the buddy system and weather applies to geocaching. This requirement will be discussed in the class and only Scouts positively and actively participating in the discussion will have an opportunity to complete this requirement.

 

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, post, maintain, and dismantle a geocache

c. The principles of Leave No Trace as they apply to geocaching

While this requirement will be covered in the class, Scouts should review their merit badge pamphlet and come with an understanding for discussion in the class.  It is highly recommended to utilize a Merit Badge Workbook to organize your notes for reference during the class discussion.

 

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

Scouts should come to the class knowledgeable of these terms and be prepared to share their definitions. These terms will be discussed in the class.

 

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

While this requirement will be covered in the class, Scouts should come to the class havinf reviewed the merit badge pamphlet and be prepared to explain through their research and the counselors instruction how GPS works.  Scouts will be required to demonstrate with the EDGE method to satisfy this requirement during the class.

 

5. Do the following:

a. Show 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 system 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

This requirement will be covered in the class, however Scouts should review the merit badge pamphlet to ensure completion of this requirement during the class.  Unprepared Scouts may find it difficult to complete this requirement in the class without reviewing the merit badge pamphlet ahead of time.  Scouts may find it useful to utilize a Merit Badge Workbook to make notes for use during the class.

 

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

This requirement can easily be found in the merit badge pamphlet and Scouts should be prepared for discussion on each part of this requirement in the class.  Some Scouts may find it helpful to utilize a Merit Badge Workbook to organize their notes and findings for easier reference during the class and to better ensure completion of this requirement in the class.

 

To fulfill this requirement (requirement 7), you will need to set up a free user account with www.Geocaching.com. Before doing so, ask your parent for permission and help.

7. With your parent’s permission, go to www.Geocaching.com. Type in your zip code to locate public geocaches in your area. Share with your counselor the posted information about three of those geocaches. Then, pick one of the three and find the cache.

Scouts will need to set up their free geocaching account prior to the class in order to have an opportunity to complete this requirement at the class.  After setting up and account, Scouts will need to prepare for completion of this requirement by researching and gathering information as stated in the requirement.  Time will be allotted in the class for sharing each Scouts findings.  Only Scouts coming to the class having done the preparation work will have an opportunity to complete this requirement.

 

8. Do ONE of the following:

a. If a Cache to Eagle® series exists in your council, visit at least three of the locations in the series. 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 the guidelines in the Geocaching merit badge pamphlet. Before doing so, share with your counselor a six-month maintenance plan for the geocache where you are personally responsible for the first three months. After setting up the geocache, with your parent’s permission, follow the logs online for 30 days and share them with your counselor

d. Explain what Cache In Trash Out (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

This requirement will be completed in the class.  The option done will be at the discretion of the counselor.

 

9. Plan a geohunt for a youth group such as your troop or a neighboring pack, at school, or your place of worship. Choose 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

If time permits, this requirement will be worked on during the class. Scouts may find they have one requirement to finish after the class but every effort will be made to make significant progress on this requirement as time and resources permit during the class.

 

this page last reviewed and updated - December 2015