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What's Up Magazine

Choose Your Own Event-ure

Jun 01, 2011 10:19PM ● By Anonymous

I’m one of very few of my friends who still has what I call a “stupid phone,” which is the opposite of a smart phone. It has a camera and texting, but it doesn’t have a keyboard, apps, or any of those other newfangled features the youngsters are using these days. However, just today, after having the device for almost a year, I noticed a little button that says GPS. So all those times I’ve gotten lost in Baltimore and D.C., I could have just pressed it. Oh well.

My point? Yes, I have one. My point is if you have a GPS, or a phone that happens to have one, you can participate in a new event in Annapolis. This one is a little different from the ones I usually write about since it doesn’t have a specific date and time. You carve out a date and time that’s convenient for your family, and you can bring the kids geocacheing.

If you haven’t heard, geocacheing involves using your GPS to find specific coordinates on the globe. Once you get to the spot they correspond to – hopefully, you do; there are sometimes clues – you’ll find a container usually with a book and sometimes another item in it. This activity isn’t new, but it’s not always designed for kids. Sometimes it takes you through some rough terrain. The Ranger Rick program at Truxton Park in Annapolis is designed to be family friendly . “Ranger Rick’s Geocache Trails is our way of combining ‘screen time with green time’ in a fun, interactive way that encourages learning about nature and wildlife,” according to Meri-Margaret Deoudes, Vice President of Corporate Relations and Special Events for the National Wildlife Federation.

Each geocache has a kid-friendly clue card, a stamp you can use to prove you found each piece, and a notebook for signing your name. To get started, go to and register for free. Then, pack your family, your GPS, any items you want to trade, and your camera and head to the park. Note that this program does not have to be just for kids, but it’s smart to take part only during daylight hours.