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March 22, 2012 - 2:35pm

GCC offers geocaching classes for high-tech treasure hunting

posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, GCC, geocaching.

Press release:

Old-fashioned treasure hunting goes high-tech with geocaching! Adventure seekers of all ages are welcome to test their skills, learn how to use high-tech tools to search for clues, and enjoy the outdoors while on a treasure hunt with Genesee Community College's Geocaching Program.

Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunt using hand-held GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of latitude and longitude coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache container hidden at that location. Containers store items such as a log book, and usually a surprise or two to make the challenge more exciting.

GCC is offering two beginner classes for those looking to start this stimulating hobby, and an advanced class for those who've already experienced the thrill of the hunt.

Geocaching 101 will be offered from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 14, and again from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15.

The half-day introductory program will start with a brief overview of what geocaching is and how it works, and then participants will use GPS units to find a geocache hidden on the grounds of the Batavia campus. Participants should wear clothing and footwear suitable for a walk in the woods.

Registration for these introductory classes can be done online: http://www.genesee.edu/best/courses/getCourseInfo/?CourseID=575. Each class is $15 and includes the use of a GPS unit (or you can bring your own!).

Advanced "cachers" can register for the 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. class on Saturday, July 14, by visiting this website: http://www.genesee.edu/best/courses/getCourseInfo/?CourseID=576. The cost for the advanced class is $18.

Experienced cachers who register for the advanced class will learn about management tools, queries, the relatives of geocaching and then take part in a field trip to a local park to hunt for various types of caches. They will be joined by other veteran geocachers, including Elizabeth Downie, from GCC's Math, Science and Career Education division, who teaches the geocaching classes.

Downie, who uses the ID 'authorized users', and other veterans -- Sabrefan7, ElbaPatch, HFJohn and BarbershopDru -- will share their secrets and caching insights with participants. Well-known local cacher GadgetCHC, who has logged more than 16,000 finds, will also be attending the field trip!

"Geocaching is more than just running into the woods to find a container," Downie said. "Geocaching involves knowledge, skill, planning, research, challenges and persistence. You need to employ your brain and five senses while searching and you have to be respectful of your surroundings."

The classes are among those offered through The BEST Center's Leisure Learning Program. For further information or to register, call The BEST Center at 345-6868 or visit: www.bestcenter.org.

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