To reinforce again some important information from a previous blog post, I have decided to discuss here management of caches.
Any Educaching lesson will require preparation, just as any lesson you would teach in your classroom. You will have to prepare educaches, hide them, mark waypoints, keep track of equipment, and so on. Start slowly and work your way up to more difficult types of hunts. Make maps of your schoolyard and where your great hiding spots are, along with their waypoints, and keep them! The more experience you have with your GPS unit and with hiding educaches, the more comfortable you will become and the easier and less time-consuming the preparation process will be. Noted below is a small list of preliminary work you should only need to do one time.
It is necessary to:
1. Discuss caching with your principal and obtain permission.
2. Take a copy of a map outside with your GPS receiver. For your map, sketch the layout of your school campus, including buildings, fields, playgrounds, trees, shrubs, signs, and other pertinent landmarks. This could also be a printout of a satellite image overhead of your schoolyard area.
3. Mark or highlight the areas that would make the best hiding spots for items. Pretend you are hosting an Easter Egg hunt. Where would the best spots be for your students? You want the items to be hidden, but you don’t want them impossible to find. Never bury something. Rather, conceal it with mulch, stones, etc. to “camouflage” it from view.
Here are a few ideas of some good hiding spots:
Trees – especially in the knots, holes, or forks where branches spread out, but do not make them climb for it.
Shrubs – at the base or nearby...maybe you can use a little mulch to help camouflage something at the base of a shrub
Buildings – Anywhere along the perimeter of your school building would be an appropriate place. Landmarks – School signs, playgrounds, flagpoles or other “significant” spots on your school campus
Once you have a map of your schoolyard with good hiding spots in mind, you will be ready to begin one of the Try This First! activities in the Educaching manual. These will be offered in subsequent blog posts.