Earning a Badge
The Girl Scouts of America offers a special badge that Girl Scouts can earn by completing a geocaching Interest Project. This badge is called the Hi Tech Hide & Seek badge and can be purchased from the official Girl Scout Shop once the Girl Scouts in your troop have completed the project.
In order to earn these badges, the Girl Scouts must perform certain tasks. Each girl must: select and perform one required activity from the list provided; perform one "Learn," one "Do" and one "Share"; design and perform a unique activity; and write a reflection upon completion of these tasks
There is one activity that must be performed in order for Girl Scouts to earn a geocaching badge. Depending on the cache for which the Girl Scouts in your troop will be hunting, they will need either a map or a GPS device. A handheld GPS unit will be most helpful, especially if latitude and longitude are involved. If no one in your group has access to one and you cannot find one to borrow, check your local camping supply stores. Many of these retailers rent the devices on a daily basis at a reasonable cost.
Each girl should design and make her own rubber stamp for this project. Along with an inkpad (which all the girls participating in this Interest Project can share), the stamp will act as proof that each scout in the group visited the cache. Most geocaches include a logbook that geocachers can sign or stamp.
Girl Scouts hoping to earn this badge must also select one "Learn" activity from four options presented. The "Learn" options are:
- Create a presentation about "Letterboxing," which is a forerunner of geocaching that has been practiced for over a century in Great Britain. The presentation can be a slideshow, booklet, diorama or anything the Girl Scouts in your group create. This presentation must cover the basics of letterboxing and incorporate creativity.
- Virtual letterboxes and caches exist on the Internet. Girl Scouts can find a virtual letterbox and solve the clues presented to reach the cache. Girl Scouts who select this "Learn" should log their results for this activity.
- Create a presentation about geocaching, including its rules, terminology and required equipment.
- Learn about what GPS is, how it works and the presidential directive given regarding geocaching and other GPS activities in 1996. Learn about latitude and longitude and how waypoints are created and used. Visit a GPS retailer and ask for information on various models to compare them.
Along with the required activity and one "Learn" activity, Girl Scouts hoping to earn the High-Tech Hide & Seek badge must also select one "Do" activity from four options presented. The "Do" options are:
- Participate in a geocaching outing. Stamp the caches logbook with your personal stamp
- Create your own cache and write clues and coordinates so that others can find it. Give this information to people you know, or post it on the Internet at a geocaching website. Maintain the cache for at least four months.
- Purchase and activate a "Travel Bug." Learn how they work, place yours in a cache and track it for at least four months.
- Interview someone who works in a field that uses GPS technology. This could be an emergency service provider (such as a fire fighter or police officer), a land surveyor, an archaeologist or anyone else who benefits from GPS technology.
Along with the required activity, one "Learn" activity and one "Do" activity, scouts must also select one "Share" activity from four options presented. The "Share" options are:
- Organize a geocaching event. This event can be for other Girl Scouts working on getting this badge or for others not involved in Girl Scouts.
- Create a virtual cache for someone physically unable to participate in physical geocaching. Have a particular organization or family in mind. Help them participate in the online hunt.
- Create and organize a letterboxing event. Provide the group with instructions and maps.
- Follow Girl Scouts of America guidelines and create an earthcache to teach others in your area about a local natural treasure.
For either the geocaching event or letterboxing event, bring bags with you and pick up trash along the way.
Scouts should also create their own activities (one each) and write a journal "Reflection." Learn more about Girl Scouts of America Interest Projects, including tips for adult advisors, at the official Girl Scouts of America website. Then, get ready for a fun experience and a new Girl Scout badge!
Photo Credit: sxc.hu/juliaf
References and Resources
Girl Scout Shop: Hi-Tech Hide & Seek Badge
Geocaching Shop: Travel Bugs
Girl Scout Website: Studio 2B
Girl Reading: sxc.hu/2daydesign
Muddy Shoes: sxc.hu/tome213
Linked Hands: sxc.hu/juliaf