Nov 23, 2011

Family Geocaching at Church?

Have you heard about Geocaching? Thousands of families are participating across the world.

Geocaching is an outdoor sporting activity in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called "geocaches" or "caches", anywhere in the world. 

A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook where the geocacher enters the date they found it and signs it with their established code name. Larger containers such as plastic storage containers (tupperware or similar) or ammunition boxes can also contain items for trading, usually toys or trinkets of little value. Geocaching is often described as a "game of high-tech hide and seek", sharing many aspects with benchmarking, rigpointing, orienteering, treasure-hunting, letterboxing, and waymarking.

Geocaches are currently placed in over 100 countries around the world and on all seven continents, including Antarctica.After 10 years of activity there are over 1,532,000 active geocaches published on various websites. There are over 5 million geocachers worldwide.

Here's a video that explains more about it.

The popularity of this activity among families has really got me thinking.
  • So...what had geocaching at church?
  • What if on a weekend, you hid several family discipleship tools in the geocaches at your church? (devotion books, music CD's, tickets to a family music concert, etc.) 
  • Sent out clues to families via email, text, or Facebook? 
  • Invited families to come look for the geocaches before or after the service?  
  • Tied the geocaches into what you are teaching that month?  
  •  Included a family discussion question from your lesson inside the geocache?

I think this is something families might get excited about. I think it might encourage some families to be more faithful in their attendance. I think it could have some kids dragging their parents to church. I think it could spark some family Bible discussions and discipleship. I think it could help parents have faith talks with their kids. I think I'm going to try it. I'll need to work out the logistics, but I think it has the potential to make an impact.

What do you think? Have you heard of anyone trying this at church? Do you think it would work? Any ideas on how you'd do it?  Would enjoy hearing your feedback in the comment section below.

Posted by Dale Hudson


I love the idea of geocaching and want to try it so bad. Just need the gps device.

I also love this idea and think we could make it work here. You could even have them around the community with clues that lead to the next ending at church. maybe culminating with an outdoor event/cookout/worship.

If you use offsite caches, include something about a need in the area and have the family pray for it right there.

Thanks for sharing!

I am an avid geocacher and also a children's pastor. We created a club at camp this past summer for geocaching. I have been looking to do something like this, but have yet to try it. What is nice is that most smartphones support geocaching. If you have a smartphone that uses GPS (maps and such), you can geocache. Cgeo is a good app for android users and has a good app for iphone users. Something we will definitely try in the spring.

This is a fantastic idea that could lead to a week long adventure / scavenger hunt leading to a lesson. Wonder if RFID could be integrated somehow as well??

This is a great idea, my family just started geocaching also and mentioned this to our pastor who loved the idea.

I didn't have specifics, but your ideas are brilliant.

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