Special to the Coaster
On April 13th and 14th, Cory Foster from the Coast of Bays Corporation partnered with Chris Tuck from the Provincial Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation to host three “Introduction to Geocaching” workshops.
St. Jacques – Coomb’s Cove, Hermitage and Harbour Breton were the locations chosen for this series of workshops. They welcomed a combined workshop participant total of 32 people who had come out to learn all about geocaching. Of the participants, the facilitators got a special treat at the Hr. Breton workshop when Principal Terry Baker and 12 of his students from the grade 3 Geocaching Club from St. Joseph’s Elementary showed up to take part.
The purpose of the workshops was to introduce the residents of the Coast of Bays region to geocaching, a new and exciting experience typically described as modern day treasure hunting using a Global Positioning System, otherwise known as a GPS.
Basically, someone takes a container, fills it with trinkets and toys, hides it somewhere and places the coordinates online at www.geocaching.com where others will then take the coordinates and put them into their GPS and go and find the hidden treasure.
Geocaching is becoming quite popular and with just over five million people worldwide who geocache, these people are known as geocachers and it’s creating quite the buzz. Geocaching is becoming a new hobby for people but it is also becoming a new way to expand the vacationing
Geocaches are hidden all over the world and people who geocache don’t just do it at home; they do it almost everywhere they go. Some people actually plan vacations around geocaches or they geocache while on vacation, and for these reasons, the Coast of Bays Corporation is trying to expand the number of geocaches in our region to help attract more people.
At present, there are 23 geocaches hidden in the Coast of Bays region in places such as Rencontre East, Coomb’s Cove, Hermitage, Gaultois, Conne River, Pool’s Cove, and Milltown Head Bay D’Espoir. As well, geocaches are quite often hidden far away from any community and in our region, we have several near the Mi’kmaq Discovery Centre, as well as on route 360.
Now this might seem like a lot, but to put it into perspective, the Town of Gander has more than 150 geocaches just within its town boundaries while Grand Falls-Windsor has 57 geocaches within town boundaries. Therefore, our goal is to greatly increase the number of geocaches in the Coast of Bays so that tourist who geocache while on vacation, could look at the Coast of Bays region and decide to come here simply because we have a lot of geocaches for them to come and find.
Beyond getting more people involved in geocaching and simply getting more geocaches placed in the region, the Coast of Bays Corporation would also like to promote placing geocaches in areas of significance for tourists. This could mean placing geocaches near heritage sites, museums, walking trails, lighthouses, beaches, town halls (where they can get local tourism information), and any other area that you feel tourist would love to come and see, maybe even your favorite secret fishing hole.
By strategically placing your geocache, you not only put an invisible welcome sign for people to come and see your places of significance, but you also increase the potential for visitation to the Coast of Bays which will in-turn help to improve our economy and create new jobs.
If you would like to get involved in geocaching, call Cory Foster at the Coast of Bays Corporation at (709)538-3552 ext. 3.