Ramblings from the Core – Feb 2017

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How is your winter going? Let us know.

What’s been happening

The online shop opened on January 7. On that day we had snow & sleet in Raleigh. The city is paralyzed when it snows. Milk and bread can’t be found in any store, which is fine with me because as anyone should know, beer and ice cream are the proper snow/ice storm food groups. The local TV stations air nothing but news most of the day, including their news vehicles driving around showing you how bad the roads are, and making sure we see all the people whose cars have slid off the road or had accidents. Over and over and over again. After 15 minutes I watched other channels. So it was a good day for me to sit on the couch all day monitoring. Try not to picture that in your head. There were a few minor issues, but we hope most of you didn’t even notice. I cracked open a beer at about 7pm and turned my laptop off.
Remember to let us know if you have any questions. There shouldn’t be anything mysterious about this.
Check out our FAQ page too. As we receive questions that we feel others may have at some point, we try to add it to the page.

It looks as if the train ride is a popular item. We’ve already sold out the first car of 58 people and have added another 58 seats which is selling. We do not know at this time for sure whether we will be adding a 3rd car. The train sales will cut off in mid-April, earlier than the rest of the store.
Two pieces of information we need to pass along about the train ride,

  1. The train is exempt from ADA regulations.
  2. Purchase of the ticket includes admission to the train museum next to the depot in Bryson City if you would like to tour that after the train ride.

We’ll have more details on the lunch for riders who choose that option as we get closer to May.

If anyone needs to contact us about a specific order they have placed, please include the order # when you contact us so we can quickly find it and respond to your question or request. And once again, review your order in the cart and at checkout to make certain you want what you’re about to pay for. Seems obvious, but we all have those moments when we’re in a hurry or just don’t make the connection between what we’re looking at and what we meant to do.

Pathtag designs have been submitted. They will have a GWXV back on them. The event pathtag will have the logo on it and is included with all paid registrations. This tag is not sold individually in our online shop, but extras may be available at the event for purchase from our store on Saturday. There will also be a set of 5 pathtags with variations of the event coin inserts featured. This set is available now in the online shop and extras will be available at the main event on Saturday. We may add Pathtag art when we have it finalized. Remember that everything now on sale is for pickup at GeoWoodstock XV only.
Our physical store at the event is only open on Saturday. It will not be at the Friday event in Asheville, but you will be able to pick up your registration packet and all pre-purchased items at both Friday and Saturday’s events.

Volunteers

Lots of you are signing up to volunteer – ❤ Thank you so much for that! ❤ Without your help, we’d never be able to do a good job with this. The event is still over 3 months in the future, and we know plans change for people sometimes. If you find yourself unable to fulfill the volunteer position(s) you signed up for, please let us know. Our shop started out with the number of volunteers we think we need for each time slot. If you have to bow out, we will need to update the available number of volunteer positions still available so someone else will be able to select it and fill the position. Using the contact at geowoodstock.info email is probably the best way to do this. Please include the order # so we can remove that item from your order.

Sometime soon, we’ll post a list of openings to make it a bit easier for you to see what we still need people to sign up for.

The Signal positions, both Signal and Signal’s Handler, were initially filled very quickly. Talk about a popular item! Judi of the mnloon team is our volunteer coordinator! She has made contact with the Signal and Signal handler volunteers to make certain they meet Groundspeak’s requirements for each position. It turns out a few people wouldn’t have fit in the suit which has fairly restrictive height requirements. So as of this writing, we still have 2 open time slots for Signal! The time slots are 12-1 and 1-2 on Saturday. If you want to “be the frog” AND can meet the requirements listed on the sign-up page, it’s not too late.
Everybody loves Signal and we can’t wait to see that lovable frog in May.

Photo

When the group photo is about to be taken at the Saturday Mega, we will pause all other activities so volunteers can make their way to the photo, smile for the camera and then return to their areas.

Why we did this again

After hosting GW V, which we think was a big success based on the comments of hundreds of others, and of course our own egos 😉 , most of us didn’t think we’d ever want to do it again. Don’t get me wrong, it was a lot of fun interacting with so many people during the planning and at the events. We got to meet many great folks online and in person. It was also extremely rewarding to be at the main event in 2007 and see the looks on the faces of so many people enjoying themselves, socializing, looking over the vendors offerings and having a good time. At one point during the afternoon, when it was obvious that things were going very well and would continue to do so, the thought popped into my head “hey, we actually pulled this off!”. It was kind of a shock to me. Especially after all the work and worries that led up to it. And that’s why we didn’t think we’d want to do it again. It is a LOT of work, and there is a lot of pressure we place on ourselves because we want so much for the event, and the entire week, to be fun for everyone. But as with most things, time passes and we tend to remember the good things. The hard work becomes more of a warm and fuzzy memory. In the spring of 2014 we began talking about hosting again and targeted 2017. We liked the 10 years later symmetry I guess. In the next 2 years we decided on a venue after much searching and several “away” weekends because Asheville/Waynesville is several hours away from most of us. Then we submitted our bid to the GeoWoodstock Committee and last spring received the good news, which we had to then hold inside for over 2 months until Denver. That was probably the hardest part of all!

Sometimes, I think we’re a little unbalanced. Or, if you prefer, freaking crazy, to jump into this again. The event is larger than it was in 2007, there have been some amazing GeoWoodstock events since then and more than anything, we don’t want to let you all down. So we won’t. We’ve got some outstanding people working on every aspect of the event. And now that we’re getting closer, more and more people will become involved as activity increases on many fronts. The devil is in the details and we’re at that point now. Details, not devils. Planning has progressed to where we’re thinking about every hour of every day the entire week leading up to GWXV. I think in June, if asked, I’ll say we’ll never do this again. So, see you in 2027? At the beach next time!

Caught in the headlights

Penguincacher hates penguins. Say that to her when you see her. Ann is a founding member of the Geocaching Hampton Roads (GCHR) group in Virginia. For many years she was one of the primary organizers of their annual picnic event that became a Mega a few years ago. Unfortunately, that event slipped from Mega in 2016 when stormy weather kept a lot of people away. We’re sure it will regain its Mega status and is in a new location this year. Check it out! Fun group of people. 15th Annual Geocaching Hampton Roads Picnic GC6WW8C.

At one of the earlier GCHR Picnics, a few years before it became Mega, I picked up a travel bug and took it with me. Over a year later, I found it in my car. I couldn’t even remember where or when I had picked it up and had to look it up online to see that its last known position was in the GCHR event I had taken it from. Oops. So I added a log to the TB with an apologetic explanation. Almost immediately I get an email from Ann saying “So you are ^$%#@7& that had that bug”! Evidently, she had endured a lot of harassment from the TB owner when it went month after month without being retrieved from the event. She had even placed a watch on the travel bug in question so she’d know right away if anyone ever logged it. I rarely pick up trackables of any type now. PSA-You don’t want Ann angry with you.

Sadly for Virginia and GCHR, but great news for us, Ann moved to Durham, NC in 2015. She became involved with NCGO activities and was a natural fit to add to our advanced planning efforts to host a 2nd GeoWoodstock. Actually, we didn’t give her a choice in the matter. She’s a great friend to all of us and has been for a lot of years. Ann is working with vendors/sponsors for GW XV. She and Blinky7 (Cindy) are putting together the calendar that you can purchase in our online shop. They have contacted all of the previous GeoWoodstock hosts for pictures. They are also mining the photos posted to the event pages of the prior GW events. If you have any photos of a previous GW that you think are calendar worthy, contact Ann or Cindy.
Ann has a yellow jeep – a real one! If you can’t get behind that, I just don’t know how we can continue our friendship. She’ll be giving free rides in it to wherever you want during the event and you can get your picture taken in a yellow jeep. Ok, I may have made that last part up.

North Carolina tidbits

On the same day as GeoWoodstock, downtown Waynesville will have their annual Block Party from 7-10pm. The main street is blocked off and you can stroll around. Most restaurants are open, but expect big crowds. There is food and snacks for sale on the sidewalks, and lots of live music. According to the information online, no pets are allowed (although I could swear I saw some last year). Also, parking will be challenging unless you get there early. How convenient that GeoWoodstock ends at 5pm, giving you plenty of time to get there, park and find a good place to sit. Bring chairs to sit in the street and enjoy the music or take a break after dancing.

That’s all for this month – Next month we’ll give more details about all the other events we’re planning during the week. We also might have more information on activities during GeoWoodstock and the Friday event. Hints – big tanks full of wonderful stuff, folkart, salvage. The days are getting longer, have a great February!

114 more days, panic sets in

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