Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
December 2022
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Mega Event

Australia’s first ever geocaching Mega event (a gathering of more than 500 geocachers) was held over the Easter break. Thus it was that 700 or so cachers (folks who use million-dollar satellites to find plastic lunchboxes in the bush!) descended on the NSW country city of Wagga Wagga for four days of camping and treasure-hunting. My brother and my oldest nephew had flown across from Tassie and we made the long drive north to join in the fun.

There were some organised competitions, including a nicely themed search for pirate treasure that concluded with a treasure chest containing chopped up brass house numbers (pieces of 8!!) and a sort of car rally that took us around the surrounding area, including to a couple of hills overlooking the city and to the lovely botanical gardens. There were also plenty of local regular caches to find, although we got so caught up in the other activities that we did not actually do very many of these. There were campfires at night and on one of the evenings there was a fantastic fireworks display (one of the geocachers is a professional pyrotechnician).

There was an Easter Egg hunt involving over 1000 eggs and over 100 kids and a little less than 100 seconds (the eggs were neither hidden nor did they require GPS coordinates!). What was particularly enjoyable about the weekend was the friendliness and good behaviour of the people in attendance. It was nice to catch up with some people I already knew and to meet others who were just names I’ve seen on logs or on the forums or who I’d never heard of before. Cachers come from all walks of life, with a range of ages, and there were lots of family groups. At the end of the event there was virtually no cleaning up to do because people had been tidy all along.

It was particularly enjoyable to spend time with my brother and nephew, and we had some good teamwork happening with my brother navigating (aided, at times, by Melissa (the voice in his car sat-nav) and at other times by his hand-held GPS (which picks routes depending on which way the car is facing, which occasionally means it will pick a long and circuitous route to find its way to a destination a mere 100m behind you!)), with my nephew as record-keeper, and with me as driver. There were the usual “you had to be there” amusing moments, and we ate far too much … and I only got part-way through reviewing a paper (which was good in that this means I was having a bit of a break, and bad in that it really needed to get done).

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