Thursday, March 27, 2014

An open appeal to Texas Geocachers

I first joined the Texas Geocaching Association (TXGA) when USMorrows started it and to be honest, never saw much benefit one way or another from the association.  Heck, I knew a number of the Board members for a long time before I even knew they were associated with TXGA.  The subject was never brought up and I believe that is commonplace.  Over the last two or three years I've heard the same thing repeated that there is no benefit to joining the TXGA.  After attending the Challenge, I say there definitely is; it just needs more exposure and more contributing members.

Back 15 years ago, I started the TX4X4 Cyber Club, the first organized 4X4 Internet-based club in Texas.  It grew to about 800 members with 14 chapters before I turned it over to a new President and stepped out of it.  It was hugely popular and we held events all across the state and into Arkansas and Oklahoma.

The reason I stepped out was I was burned out.

What burned me out was the constant complaining by the people who contributed the least.  Yup.  I found that those with the least invested created the most trouble.  I see that to a certain extent in the TXGA.  People with incredible skills sit on the sidelines and take sarcastic potshots, when they could contribute their talents into making the association extremely efficient and successful.

As the new SETX Rep, I am expected to be proactive in working with local, county, and state government officials in educating them and the public about the benefits of geocaching.  How hard can this be?  Why are policemen all across the country still ignorant about the game if we are doing this?  The truth is… we aren't doing a good enough job.

So, what's the immediate fix for this?  I plan to hold a Geocaching 101 class for Instructors in the Baytown Nature Center sometime in July (tentative) and working with the educational branch of the TXGA, it is my vision to create local hotspots across SETX to spread the word.  It's like the old question of how do you cut down an entire forest.  You cut down one tree at a time, so if one bold TXGA person in Cinco Ranch, Vidor, League City, or Tomball makes it their mission to meet with their mayor and set up a program similar to what HC, Juleed, and I have done in Baytown, we can begin this educational process.

Look what one non-geocaching lady has done in Brenham:  

Baby steps.  What I am talking about is a planned, systematic strategy to bring credibility to geocaching and geocachers.  Look at any group across this country that is successful and you will see a simple plan they implemented to bring that success.  Its achievable if we work it.

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