Seeing the term ‘geocaching’ may make you scratch your head a little if you aren’t familiar with the term. The best way to think of it is a treasure hunt. Participants in geocaching use a GPS (global positioning system) receiver to navigate to areas where something has been buried in a container. These buried items are not traditional treasures so much as mementos, trinkets, or some small item that can then either be kept or re-buried somewhere else for the next geocacher. The ‘what’ being buried can vary, depending on who is doing that burying but the where must be in spaces where it is legal and allowable and not on private property. There are areas where this is permissible and that is one of the many reasons people join one of the geocaching groups that exist. The point of it all is to recapture the adventure and excitement of youth and to put your navigational and problem-solving skills to the test. Over the past several years geocaching has started to really take off and Flint & Genesee has hosted several large hunts in recent years.

Michigan hosts the Michigan Geocaching Organization (MiGO), one of the oldest recognized geocaching organizations in the nation. MiGO promotes the sport of geocaching in the state and offers information on geocaching, memberships, and general rules to follow, and allows you to become part of a community that supports and promotes events and get-togethers across the state. Flint & Genesee is lucky enough to have its own geocaching team called the Auto City Cachers that mentor people who may be interested in geocaching. The group also puts on an annual event in the Genesee County Parks to bring everyone together for one big searching event locally. The group has also placed several things to find around the area to foster local interest.

In Genesee County, there are dozens of geocaches that have been hidden and are waiting to be discovered. Using coordinates to each site, participants search for the buried caches in the hopes of discovering what they hold. In the past, events have been held at the Cummings Center where over a hundred caches were buried and participants from all age groups were invited to safely search for each cache, with a commemorative coin offered along with door prizes

With the growth of geocaching, it has added another exciting pursuit for the adventurous and another reason to get outside to explore the area during the year. Just as fun is leaving behind treasures for the next person to discover, knowing how much fun they have in the hunt. Geocaching has a strong community spirit, with an eye on safe and responsible geocaching, and organizations like MiGO and Auto City Cachers can put you in the role of treasure hunter knowing that this time there really is something beneath the ‘X’ on the map.

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