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Great Field Trip – despite the pollen

April 12, 2014

Gallivanting all over the local area with these fantastic homeschooling families has been a tremendous gift to us. Today, we tried something new to us…letterboxing and geocaching.

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It seems the letterboxing can be quite difficult based on the complexity of the clues and the changes to the terrain between being written and actually found. At any rate, thanks to a combined effort, we were able to find one of the two hidden boxes.

Katie declared this part 1 of the clue…two rocks embedded in the trail (with cousin Julius).

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Mrs. Kramer didn’t give up and was able to help the kids find the actual hidden pouch based on the remaining set of clues. Well done. It was the highlight the experience as it was the only one we successfully found. Yippee!

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Each container is specific to the one who hid it. This one was interesting as it was a ziploc bag sealed in duct tape and a bit “hidden” in how to open it. Creative idea to seal it from the elements as it hides for weeks and months, etc. underneath a rock.

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So when you find the letterbox, it contains a stamp (personal to that find) and a journal. You use the stamp you brought and stamp the journal that will then be put back into it’s original location for another adventurer to find, and you use the stamp included, to stamp your own journal signifying you found it. Of course, the grand idea is to collect stamps from all over the US.

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Today’s was significant to our location…the Indian Seats at Sawnee Mountain Preserve.

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Here’s the stamp Michael & Julius left in the journal that was returned to it’s hiding place. They signed their names and dated it with their location.

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Cool, right? I love that it is educational. I love that it has a hunt & find aspect. I love that someone has taken the time to write out clues that we then have to interpret and execute correctly. I love that it’s a bit of a surprise what you are going to find. I love that it takes us outside, doing something out of our day-to-day norm. I love that we did it together. I think we will be back. In fact, there are a few more to find in this location and we ran out of time for the geocache…more to come I guess as we try our hand at that too.

A picnic was in order after trekking all over the mountain in search of our find. Perfect timing.

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With just a few minutes left in our allotted time, the kid wanted to go explore the fairy houses made by a local Girl Scout troop. Little did we know that they’d be able to build their own with supplies left nearby. Well played. Well played. The kids loved it.

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Michael’s started like this…attaching the top and bottom and filling the inside with cozy moss.

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Then he found a nearby hole, cleaned it out, placed his house inside and gave it a proper roof.

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Katie made a soft place on the inside and left a little token for the fairies. LOVE it. Hers is so neat and precise and rebuilt many times to get it just right.

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It’s been so long since we’ve been to this mountain, but I think we just might have to come back. It’s perfect for the big kids (and Clare would definitely love it). I’ll have to be strategic with Elizabeth though…not a great location for her just yet and then there’s the timing of the impending SUMMER heat. Oh well. It’s not going anywhere I guess.

Thanks mom for keeping the babies today! It was fun to be with the big kids.

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