Friday, October 19, 2007

Clover Kids

Our Clover Kids groups descended upon Walker Johnston Park this afternoon. One of the best things I heard was a sincerely happy report of, "I was the first to find it!" In the past, I used identical containers for all the class caches. This time, I used four different kinds of containers.

The worst thing I heard was from my youngest child. "Mom, don't worry. I dropped the blinkie somewhere in this circle." The circle was a tramped down area of long, wet grass, about eight feet in diameter. She and her friends had searched for it earlier. I didn't look very long. She wants to go back with our metal detector.

I saw kids nicely taking turns in holding the gps, being the first in their party to sign the log book, etc. Another sound I heard was the wail of kids who didn't find the container first. That can be common in our family at times. In the first class that I taught in March 2007, I had everyone practice saying "huckle buckle beanstalk." At least one family used it during their hunt that afternoon. I didn't teach huckle buckle beanstalk this time, so I'll explain it here for the families that I met today.

"Huckle Buckle Beanstalk" is a phrase that you can say out loud when you're in a group. Sometimes the people in your group want to "find" the geocache without being the actual finder. Anyone in the party who finds it, finds it for the group. Sometimes everyone wants to find the cache on his/her own. In this case, if you see the geocache, you don't want to give away its location. At this point, you can say nothing and let everyone bumble around for a while longer, or for example, if you are with impatient kids who can't stand not seeing the geocache yet after three minutes already, you can say "Huckle buckle beanstalk" as a way to let them know, "It is here, and you're close." Each person in our party says the phrase as they find it. The cache is usually found within a minute by everyone after the huckle buckle beanstalk announcement. There is some satisfaction in finding it without help.

My family usually doesn't move on to playing "hot and cold," but I suppose that would be the next step if someone really truly can't find the geocache and wants to do it "alone." I used "hot and cold" a couple times today for the micros -- a magnetic key holder and a blinkie.

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