Hello OGA Members!
Happy spring! It is hard to imagine that it is only March (as I write this) but the temperatures feel like June some days down here in southwestern Ontario. I hope you are all enjoying the above average temperatures where ever you are in Ontario and are getting out there to do some caching!
April would be a great time to do owner maintenance on your geocache hides. And while you are doing that, it would be a good idea to just look at your containers and make sure they are hidden in an appropriate location and are in good shape with dry logbooks and clean inside with good family-friendly swag. Also, please check to make sure that there is identifying information on the containers so that any muggles that happen upon your hide can see that it is a geocache, not a threat. Being able to see inside the container is sometimes a good thing. Including an explanation sheet about what the container is and how to contact you with any questions is another good suggestion. Do not attach any unnecessary wires, cables, etc to the container. This also draws concern to the container and could create a situation similar to the recent incident in Port Stanley, Ontario.
This incident is unfortunately not unique and just few weeks prior to Port Stanley a similar situation happened in Disneyland, California. It is up to us, as geocache owners to hide it well so that muggles do not happen upon them, but we are also responsible for making sure they do not raise concern such as this. Place, or check on, your hide with this in mind.
One more piece of information on this topic. I would like you to know that the OGA does not just ignore situations such as this. We do try to be proactive on various topics, such as creating relationships with Ontario’s conservation areas and assisting with geocaching policies. Unfortunately though, at times, we have to be reactive to situations such as the geocache scare in Port Stanley. There has been correspondence exchanged with the OPP and with other police departments in the area. We hope that this will help in creating a positive relationship with the authorities. There is a lot of work for the OGA to do but we are working on it.
And if we all work together at being proactive, helping to educate the new folks and making sure we play within the Groundspeak guidelines, our favourite activity will just get better.
Happy caching everyone! I hope to see you at a geocache!