Does geocaching need a mentor program?

If you have been around geocaching for a while you have no doubt heard the idea of a mentor program tossed out. This discussion usually comes about after a new cacher comes on the scene and makes a few mistakes. Nowadays with more and more people being introduced to geocaching through the intro app on their smartphones this seems to come up more frequently. It’s understandable. No, it really is. Does the intro app tell you not to hide near schools? Does the intro app tell you that your log should be waterproof? Even if it does, who reads instructions on a game for the phone?

I know that when we started we made mistakes, a bunch of mistakes and we had people to talk to. We got advice in the field and at events. Eventually, we were lucky enough to have older more experienced cachers take us under their wing and give us good advice. Did that stop us from making mistakes and make us perfect cachers? Of course not.

So, how can we improve the learning process for new cachers? Is there any practical way to develop a system or program that would help newbies that were interested? Groundspeak references quick tips for newbies but could more be done? Could groundspeak make some sort of badge system that rewarded new cachers for learning the rules and regs?

What are your thoughts?

What would a mentor program look like?

3 thoughts on “Does geocaching need a mentor program?

  1. I like the idea but I wonder how it could be implemented. Too much “mentoring” could turn people off of the hobby. I’ve always been a fan of Groundspeak not allowing the placement of caches by newbies until they have found a certain amount of caches and/or attended a certain amount of events or otherwise demonstrated a basic knowledge of how to hide a cache (having a parent, sibling or friend who is an “experienced” cacher, whatever that means)

    1. Funny thing is that you have helped us unofficially in this same role. I have no idea how it could be implemented. I would hope it would be some kind of voluntary program. Maybe they could set up a souvenir type program for those that want to help new people. Some kind of badge you could get for your profile page like the EarthCache master program. Just a thought.

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