Ramblings from the Core – Jan 2017

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Happy New Year! Time to change the diet and try to lose some of the holiday pounds that have been added. Speaking of myself of course, your mileage may vary. I promise not to lip-sync in 2017, but that means if I sing along to ANYTHING, you will need some good ear plugs. And air guitar is still on the table.
As I predicted last time, December didn’t see a lot of activity, but we do have a lot of information for you in this update. Remember, if you have any questions about anything you read here, or anything else, please let us know either by posting on our Facebook Group, Twitter or send an email to contact at geowoodstock dot info. We like the online posts best because others may have the same questions and it gets the word out better if everyone can see the Q&A. But if you have a private question, just send the email and we’ll get right on it.
Ok, this update is longer than usual, so grab your favorite beverage, sit down, put your feet up and read on. Extra points for staying awake. There will be a quiz.

Registration and the online store

We plan to open registration very soon, probably on Saturday, January 7, and there are a few things we want to make certain you all are aware of before you dive in.

  • First, as has been the case for many years, we will have a few levels of registration including the free registration. It is very important that everyone who plans to attend register for the event on the website, even if you don’t want one of the paid registration levels. ‘Will attend’ logs on the event page are not reliable for total numbers and we use the website registration to estimate the total number of attendees. That number drives many other things that we are planning for.
    If you don’t want one of the paid levels, simply choose the free registration level (also called the Grandfather Mountain level) and check out with that. You may still purchase other items ala carte. Be sure to add a registration for every person in your family/clan/whatever.
    If you select the free registration and nothing else, it might look as if you’re going to be sent to PayPal to make a payment, but you won’t be unless you have added something else to your shopping cart that isn’t free. So please do register if you plan to attend, whether it be for the free level or one of the paid levels.
  • Second, don’t forget to order meal tickets for your family members, and for yourself if you don’t purchase a registration level that includes the meal. Restaurant choices in the immediate area are limited. You have to travel a few miles to reach town where better restaurants are available. There are some fast food and strip mall options not too far away, and more a couple exits down the highway, but nothing within easy walking distance. You could face long lines on a holiday weekend at many places, but not at GWXV!
  • Next, as part of every registration, we will ask you 5 questions.
    1. Geocaching Name – this is the name that we will print on your name badge and must be answered. We’ll print it large enough to be seen without everyone invading your personal space to squint at your chest. Provide your own witty responses to that.
    2. Where are you from? – This will also print on your name badge, but is not required.
    3. How many GeoWoodstocks, including XV, have you attended? – This may print on your name badge if we have room, but is not required.
    4. Did you attend GW V in Raleigh? – We will use this to determine if you are a repeat offender of NC GeoWoodstocks! We’ll draw a name for a repeat offender prize. This is not required input.
    5. Enter raffle for an UPGRADE to the VIP registration level? – We think this is cool! It is a raffle for an upgrade to a VIP registration and all the perks that come with it. If you answer yes to this question, $1 will be added to your total. After registration closes in the spring, we will randomly select one person who entered the raffle and that person will win the upgrade to VIP for no additional charge. Entering the raffle is only possible as part of a registration (free or paid).
  • Only #1 above, your geocaching name, is required and you can enter something other than your name if you are trying to hide. Just remember that this is what people will see, including kids, and those that don’t already know you will call you this. All other fields can be left blank.

There is no rush, take your time and choose the option that makes the most sense for you. Ask questions if you have any. The prices will go up on April 1, so if you are not sure whether you can attend yet, or if you can’t decide at which level to register, you have almost 3 months to decide. There are other items in the store that can be purchased including the event coin, Pathtag sets, meal tickets, a first ever history of GeoWoodstock calendar, event shirts and shirts for tie dying at the event. Prices of all items will go up on April 1 and we plan to leave the store open as long as possible. We will make announcements as needed on the event page and social media.

For a simple list of what is included with each registration level, see our Registration Levels page.

The Coins

We have said that we are going to keep the GeoWoodstock traditions that have been established over time, but there is one that we will set aside for XV. Often, the event geocoin design is kept under wraps and people buy without seeing what they are getting. We are going to reveal our coin design because we think you need to see it to fully appreciate what you are buying. We could try to describe it, but in this case, a picture really is worth a thousand words.

So here it is. This is the main event coin, showing the daytime insert. Keep reading to learn more about the coin and inserts. Additional images of the inserts and coin will be available in the store.
3D coin exploded view
This is the 3D exploded view – artwork by Christian Mackey/AURA Design Group. Final design may differ slightly.

Each coin is made up of a base coin (middle) that comes with 2 inserts (1 shown at top) to form the complete coin (bottom). Only one insert can be placed in the coin at a time so you’ll have to store the other, or both if you choose to keep/display all three items separately. The inserts are sun catcher style inserts that have colored, translucent fill between metal ribs that allow light to pass through.

All base coins we produce for the event will be of the same design. The different coin versions are created by using different plating on the base coin and on the inserts.

The inserts are of 2 designs that represent the Asheville skyline. One is a daytime design and the other is a nighttime design. Each of the insert designs will come with different plating depending on the base coin version they are paired with. The insert plating does not always match the base coin plating that it comes with. Table 1 below shows the combinations.

The volunteer coin is NOT sold online nor will they be available for sale at the event. The Super Limited Edition (SLE) is only available as part of a VIP registration or a Coin Collector 3-pack purchase. The 3-pack will NOT be available for sale at the event, only online in advance. And in case you’re wondering, we had used up our quota of imagination for December when we named the SLE coin.

Coin Version Plating Daytime Snap In Plating Nightime Snap In Plating
Primary Event Coin Shiny Gold Shiny Gold Shiny Silver
Limited Edition Coin Antique Gold Antique Silver Shiny Silver
Only available as part of VIP registration and Coin Collector 3-pack
Super Limited Edition Coin Black Nickel Black Nickel Black Nickel
Not available online or for purchase at the event
Volunteer Coin Shiny Silver Shiny Gold Shiny Silver

Table 1 – Coins
A version of the coin design will also become the official logo for the event and be on the event t-shirts and other printed and online material.

Volunteers

Another item found in the store is volunteer sign up. There are separate “products” for volunteering on Friday and Saturday. So first, choose the item that corresponds to the date you want to volunteer. One Friday volunteer item is for help setting up in Waynesville for the main event, and we need a bunch for that. All other Friday options are in Asheville at the Friday event. Once you select the day, you will see options for what area (e.g., setup, registration, etc.) and time you would like to help. Each area and time combination is treated as a separate item in your cart. If you would like to volunteer for more areas or times at the same area, just add another volunteer item to your cart with the area/time desired. Most volunteer slots are for 2 hours shifts.
We need a lot of help to pull this off, so please consider signing up for one or more slots. Volunteering is often a good way to meet other geocachers because most positions require working with, or helping others.

There is also a 3rd item in the store to volunteer for either being Signal for an hour or being Signal’s Handler for an hour. Each role is very important and Groundspeak has a list of rules/requirements that MUST be followed. If you have any interest in being Signal, you must read the full text of the item to see if you even qualify for the role. There are many restrictions including age, height/weight, behavior, etc.
Selecting these items places them in your cart even though they are free, the system will still send you to the checkout page. If there is nothing that costs money in your cart, you will not be forwarded to PayPal, but we need for you to complete the step so that your volunteer selections will be captured.
Judi, mnloon is her geocaching name, is our volunteer coordinator. You can expect follow-up contact from her at some point, but it will not be until we get closer to the event unless you volunteer for Signal or Signal’s Handler in which case you can expect a faster follow-up. You can contact Judi if you have questions, or post on our Facebook Group so all can see and benefit from the answer(s).

Where is the next (2018) GeoWoodstock?

We don’t know yet! If you think your organization could put together a great event, you can consider submitting a proposal to host a future GeoWoodstock. There is a lot of time and planning required just to get to the proposal stage, but if you think you have what it takes, go for it! Proposals to host the 2018 event are due by March 15, 2017. See http://www.geowoodstock.org for more information. Even if you can’t get a proposal together by March, if you think you have the perfect location, the means, the commitment and desire to do it, think about submitting a proposal for a future year.

Caught in the headlights

Today we pull the covers off Core Team members Motrin Man and Blinky7. I am covering these two geocachers together because they are a couple. They do most things together and come as a pair. We are happy about that because they make a great team. Motrin Man (Fred) and Blinky7 (Cindy) are very active in the local geocaching community. They have hosted many events and hidden some very fun and creative caches. Fred likes to craft gadgets and unusual cache containers, often out of miscellaneous construction items that he finds or that his company discards. They have contributed so much time and materials to NCGO it would be difficult to list or quantify.

Naturally, they volunteered to help with GWXV. They are working to make sure we have the needed equipment for the main event, plan the parking and other important tasks. They have been working with local officials, including the fairgrounds staff, to arrange for local Waynesville groups to help with certain items and receive some benefits. For example, we are trying to arrange for local groups to run concessions (not the main meal), parking and perhaps other items. By involving the local community, The locals are that much more willing to have us in town and work with us. Cindy covets likes geocoins a lot and they have completed many coin trails for the reward at the end.
If you ever go camping, they are people to mooch off, hook up with. I should know, I do it all the time. You want to be near them because, and I mean this, Fred brings everything you could possible need or want, including I think, the kitchen sink. They do use a tent, but this is about as close to pure glamping that you can get when it comes to food, equipment, tools or anything else. Meals at their campsite are a treat and the beer cooler is always full. They even have a multi-function porta potty! We felt having them in charge of making sure we have all the equipment we need would be a good idea for all of us. We think you’ll agree.

North Carolina odds and ends

If you like to find odd things along the way, Roadside America is a good tool to look for some oddities along your travel route. Some of these things are silly or perhaps not worth the time, but others can be quite enjoyable, funny or just cool. Here is the North Carolina list. There is a link to show the attractions on a map. From there you can check out other states you might be traveling through on your way to/from GWXV. Atlas Obscura is another source for this.
There are often geocaches hidden near these objects to bring geocachers in to see them. A find and photo op in one!
Speaking of odd things, every state has towns with names that seem strange. You see the signs as you’re driving down the highways and byways. Here is a short list of some weird sounding names you might see as you travel through North Carolina. Check out your own state, you might find one or two you didn’t know about.

That’s all for this month – have a great January and stay warm! If you’re in the southern hemisphere, can I stay with you for a couple months?

146 more days

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