Geocaches, Lab Caches, and satellite events, oh my! Hello everyone, with just over 3 months to go before the big day, the Living Skies 2014 Organizing Committee thought we’d share some information and updates to let you know how things are progressing from the planning front, and give you a little more of an idea of what to expect while you’re here.
Rosthern Winter Festival
Last month, the town of Rosthern held their annual Winter Festival, and some of the Living Skies planning committee members and other volunteers attended with an informational booth about the upcoming Mega Event including some photos contributed from the adventures of SaskTravelBugs. The display had various examples of what geocaches look like, some of the informational pamphlets and posters from geocaching.com. We met with many of the locals, and were amazed how many people were interested in the activity, and that it was coming to Rosthern.
Introducing people to Geocaching with their first geocache finds
Since the Winter Festival was primarily at the Jubilee Sports Centre, the main Mega Event Venue, we confirmed that there will be Wi-Fi available to our vendors, and we are hoping to provide Wi-Fi to event attendees here as well. The audio in the arena was great for announcements and music, so attendees should have no problem hearing and understanding announcements from the main stage.
We also attended an “Introduction to Geocaching” talk at the Rosthern Library, where we answered attendees questions about geocaching, and experienced geocachers shared many of their entertaining experiences geocaching to help give a feel of the many varied aspects of the activity. The librarian was interested enough that we hope that soon they may hide their own geocache for the library.
Yes, it’s true – Living Skies 2014 will have Lab Caches! We are now listed on the official list of upcoming Mega-Events with Lab Caches!
As part of our visit to Rosthern during the winter festival, we were on the lookout for interesting and historical places around town, and a number of us talked with the local businesses to generate interest in participating in this new aspect of geocaching. We think this will be a great addition to the event activities in Rosthern, and it’s a great new way to involve the business community as well.
Unlike the “I heart geocaching” lab caches in February where 1 geocacher could create a lab cache that could only be found by one other individual, lab caches at mega-events can by found as many times as there are geocachers to participate. The only limitation is that there is only a maximum of 10 days to ‘find’ them.
The last day to search for the lab caches will likely be the day of the Mega Event itself, and following that, the location information will no longer be available so people will no longer be able to continue playing. After the Lab Caches are disabled, there will be a 1-2 week ‘Grace Period’ to allow people time to log the caches when they get home.
We will post more information as the availability date of our Lab Cache series gets closer to help you prepare.
Accommodation & Camping Updates
Valley Regional Park: The regional park opened for reservations on March 1st, and as of last week, 12 of the 14 sites that they reserved for Living Skies 2014 attendeees were already booked. Outside of that, there were only another 2 of the total 60 sites available, so this is good news! If you are still looking for a campground, there is field-camping and non-electrical camper parking still availailable at the RJC grounds. Otherwise, Wakaw Lake Regional park has lots of spaces (~300) and booking starts on May 1st.
Rosthern Junior College: As of today, the 60 dorm rooms at the Rosthern Junior College that can be booked via the Living Skies 2014 registration process are currently 47% booked, with 28 out of the 60 rooms filled. All of the electrical camper spots have been booked, but there is still plenty of room for field/tent camping, and non-electrical campers.
During our previous visits we have confirmed and tested the Wi-Fi available for use at the RJC dorms, but coverage may be spotty or unavailable in the rooms themselves, mostly due to the cinderblock walls. Best to head down to the common areas for internet access, and then you can socialize with the other geocachers staying there too when you need to log your caches for the day 😉 Those camping can come to these areas for their Wi-Fi as well. We were actually able to pick up Wi-Fi in the electrified parking spots, so some people might be lucky and be able to connect from there.
Since school was currently in session it was a challenge to find an unoccupied room, but if you’re curious to see what the rooms look like, these two photos show a room for an idea of what to expect.
As of today, our official registration count is 190 people! And so far, we will be hiding at least 30 legacy caches in thanks to the generous support of the geocachers who chose to register at the Bear registration level!
If you haven’t done so yet, register now – There’s only 108 days until the event, and 80 days left to order shirts & geocoins!
We have a number of yet-to-be published satellite events in the works. If you missed them, we have 2 satellite events already published: a classic grain elevator tour at the Hepburn Museum of Wheat on Thursday, July 17th, and a Sunday morning pancake breakfast event. We have created an official events bookmark list so you can see them as they are published.
We still have many great plans for additional satellite events, which will be updated and/or published as more is known including: a hiking event, Batoche National Historic Site, a night cache event (just wait, you’ll love this!), geo-dog event, the geocoin event, a ‘human powered watercraft’ event, CITO and more!
There will be a pre-registration event on Friday evening, which will provide those who attend an early chance to ‘get the paperwork out of the way,’ get your event bag, t-shirts, meal tickets, geocoins, and other swag and socialize with other geocachers at the same time! One of the local Scouts Canada groups will be running the canteen, and will be offering the likes of drinks, hot-dogs, hamburgers, etc. we have some fun games planned, AND…
Geocaching International Film Festival
If didn’t make it to the last Geocaching Block Party in Seattle in 2013, we have been given permission to present the videos from the 2013 Geocaching International Film festival. We will have them up BIG for all to see as part of the pre-registration event. You might be rolling on the floor laughing by the end of it!
So, tell all your friends to log their ‘will attend,’ complete your official registration, and if you think you’d like to help out, contact us via the web form on this site, or volunteer form. Spread the word about the event by adding the event banner to your geocache listings using the ‘spread the word’ link at the top of this site, and if you are from out of town or have travel plans, contact us and we can send you some promotional business cards to place in caches or hand out at events.
Sound off in the comments below!
Happy Caching, and see you in Rosthern, Saskatchewan in July, 2014!
— The Event Planning and Organizing Committee