Puk (9) and Olle (6) have been getting worse in recent weeks. “Mommy, I am lethargic”, is a seasoned concept in our home. When one of my children says this, I know: they cannot be cranked anymore. Not even for a game of Wii or a repeat of it All of Holland Bakt Kids.
Friend Nienke saved us from the lingering boredom. During the umpteenth walk in the woods, she said, “Shall we geocache?” “Geowatte?” I replied. “Treasure hunt!” And before I could say anything, Nienke had switched on the app and we walked towards a hill via the navigation on the screen of her mobile. “Here it is somewhere, boys”, said Nienke. “Go!”
After digging through the leaves for a while, the children found a tree trunk that had been sawn open. It turned out that there was an old film tube hidden inside – containing a booklet in which you could write your name. I was stunned. Why didn’t I know this existed? Why did I only discover this now? Why had this amazing thing passed my nose all this time?
Once at home, I ducked behind the laptop. I wanted to know EVERYTHING about this. I learned that there are hints and background information to the treasures, and whether they are kid-friendly or not. But that’s not all: geocaches appear to be all over the world. There are premium accounts with mysterious assignments, for which you sometimes even need a diving suit. OMG !!! I hadn’t been this excited in ages.
After the well-known bear treasure hunt, the city and forest bingo (one-only-one), we have now found the pastime that we can still enjoy for a while. We look in forests, along train tracks and in parks. We note our names in the booklets and log our found treasures in the app. We get to know other geocachers, who explain us the tricks of the trade and use wooden coins (woodies) as a souvenir.
Digging for treasure, we scurry towards the light at the end of the tunnel. The Indiana Jones in me has never been happier.
PS. Also geocaching? Click here for an explanation and rules of the game, so that you know how to tidy up the treasure for the next treasure hunter. Happy hunting!
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