Within a day, the cache had been found and within a month, new caches were being buried around the world which began a new global sensation. In fact, when I checked for caches near me, the app located over 12,000 in a 10-mile radius of my home!
We arrived at a favorite local open-space park and my wife plotted out several caches with our newly-acquired Geotracker app. We've been hiking for quite some time, and had done so in this very park before. But having a cache to find, like buried treasure added quite a bit of fun, not to mention good orienteering practice to the hike. They're not so well hidden or camouflaged as to preclude discovery, after all, the idea is to find them. I found it to be entertaining and engaging and it added an element of adventure and discovery to the hike that my nine year old enjoyed as well.
The main idea is to discover the cache and what items previous cache hunters have placed in the container and log your find either on the log provided in the cache or on the Geocache app. Usually, the items are just plastic trinkets – nothing of real value which you can trade out for something else in the cache. Our daughter brought along a collection of trinkets she’s collected over the years so it was fun for her to trade for things she found interesting.
I find it refreshing that in a world filled with lies and obfuscation, the honor system still works. And, as usual, it got me thinking. Why is this so attractive to so many? I believe because it is such a solid allegory of life itself. Bear with me for a moment…
So you find the courage to start a journey with some information but by no means all of the information that you'll need. As you make note of waypoints along the path, you don’t know if the marked treasure, once found, will be worthy of the effort. But of course, as in life, finding the treasure isn't the correct measure. It's the journey, the adventure you enjoyed along the way that made it all worthwhile. The cache is a reminder that someone else has made the journey before you, for their own reasons. When you leave of a bit of treasure of your own, you acknowledge that another someone will come after you and that you’ve both participated in a great adventure that opened your eyes to something new.
Can you apply this lesson in your business relationships? Can you understand that the greatest value is often in the striving? That good work can be its own reward? That being proud of a job well done creates a lasting intrinsic value for those who share in it above that of simply a job well paid?
Seek a way to express this in your business, I suspect the rewards will be more gratifying than you, or your accountant, might imagine.
Here are some tips for a first-time Geocacher:
- Purchase a handheld GPS system or do what we did and download the Geotracker app to your smart phone. We upgraded to the premium version for $10 which gave us added features and hints on cache locations.
- Look up a location on the app and plot out which to find first. The app will give details on how difficult the cache is to find, the terrain you’ll likely encounter and the size of the cache you’re looking for.
- When you locate the cache, take something and leave something and be sure to sign the log inside the cache and also on the app. If the cache was missing or hard to find, you can leave a note for the cache owner on the Geotracker app.
- Have fun and enjoy the journey!