Story and photos by Shaylyn Struna
You don’t have to be a pirate to go treasure hunting.
On Saturday, May 21, Casey Sims, a counselor at CCC, will be hosting a geocaching event. This event has been 18 months in the making. Bringing together different departments at the college, this project has been very elaborate.
“It’s a high-tech treasure hunt played worldwide with millions of people, and millions of hidden caches,” said Sims. A cache is some sort of container hidden with items inside.
Sims first had the idea of a geocaching event about a year and a half ago. He first had to apply for a mini grant. The CCC Foundation really liked the idea of a geocaching event.
Vicki Smith, the Interim Executive Director of the Foundation, said, “The Foundation really likes to see a lot of partnerships within the college. It’s a way to really include the community to get community members on campus.”
There will be three caches at the Oregon City campus and one cache each at the Harmony and Wilsonville campus. Sims will be set up in Gregory Forum at the OC campus at 11 a.m. on the day of the event to hand out passports.
After you have the passport, you will use the app, called Geocaching, to find the GPS coordinates, or you can look online at geocaching.com. The app is free and available to Android and Apple users. You will follow the coordinates to get to the general area, and then be given clues to find the cache.
Once the cache is found, you will find a piece of metal with a word on it. You put in under the paper in your passport and rub a pencil over it to etch the code onto your paper. Lori Hall, the public information officer at CCC, had the idea to use the rubbing instead of a code to discourage cheating in the game. She’s also had experience with geocaching.
“So we had one, we put a little statue with it and said it likes being near water. People had brought it to waterfalls in Oregon. And then all of a sudden it ended up in Germany, it went to Saudi Arabia, it went to Egypt, it went all over the world,” said Hall.
The caches will be preloaded with trinkets. It is suggested to bring your own treasures to leave for other to find.
The first 200 people to find and log all five caches will get a coin that’s being manufactured for this project. The prize for finding the three caches at the OC campus is a free T-shirt.
Charles Lettenmaier is in the manufacturing department and was recruited by Sims to produce the coins. John Phelps, a welding instructor here at Clackamas, was asked to help make the caches.
Kevin Anspach from creative services has been involved in the design of this project. He created the custom event logo. Many other people from CCC have been involved in the creation of this event.
The geocaching event will run through summer and finish sometime in the fall. If by chance, you happen to fall in love with the game, don’t worry. There are plenty of local caches waiting to be found.
“Anyone can hide a cache and log it into the system, as long as it meets their [the geocaching app] requirements,” said Hall. “A lot of the time, you’re gonna see something cool that you’ve never seen, some of the caches aren’t actually a box, it’s a view or a unique location you might not normally see.”
Sims is really proud of the work that has been done and hopes to impress and fill the community with all the fun that this project will bring. Sims said, “I’m so full of gratitude, it inspired me to try to do something different and go beyond.”