6 steps to organize a Cache In Trash Out® (CITO) event

Save the Earth while geocaching? Yes please! We call it CITO (Cache In Trash Out®).

In 2017, geocachers around the globe will gather together during the weeks of April 22-30 and September 23– October 1 to pick up trash, remove invasive species, repair trails and more—plus earn a pretty sweet new souvenir. If you’ve never hosted a CITO before and you don’t know where to begin, read on! Here are 6 steps to get you started.

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1. Choose a location and a date

Since your CITO event will result in an improvement to a public space, pick an area that’s important to you and/or that needs special attention. Make sure you have permission to host the CITO from the local land manager. If you are unsure about which location is best, call a local park manager or geocaching organization. They can provide assistance and support in selecting the best location.

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2. Pick an activity

At it’s very basic, a CITO event should involve geocachers taking part in an activity that produces an environmental improvement to a park or another cache-friendly place. CITO activities have ranged from trash pickups, to tree plantings, to invasive species removals, to trail maintenance. Need inspiration and direction? Talk to the land manager to find out where volunteers are most needed. See if there are any local environmental organizations already doing volunteer work, with whom you can partner. Call your city’s Parks and Recreation department to find out if any city volunteer initiatives are planned.

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3. Fill out the cache submission form

Your CITO event will need to be submitted online at least two weeks before the date of the event. Give yourself a bit more time than that to square away any details.

  • Type & Location: Select Cache In, Trash Out as the event type, and enter the coordinates where your event will take place.
  • Waypoints (Optional): Is there parking near your event? A trailhead you need to find to get to the right spot? Let folks know.
  • Description & Summary: Where is the event, what time does it start and end, and what will folks be doing? Is any special type of clothing or gear required? Will there be activities suitable for young children, or do you have to be a spring chicken to partake? Will there be a lunch break? Any safety concerns? The more details you can supply, the better.

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4. Wait for the event to be published.

Once you’ve reviewed and submitted your event listing, your local Reviewer will likely publish the event or request changes to it within a week. If you don’t hear from your Reviewer, check to make sure the event listing is actually submitted and enabled. Check to see if the Reviewer has posted any Reviewer notes in the cache logs section. Once you’ve made any necessary changes, review and submit the listing once more. Feel free to ask your Reviewer for advice if you’re struggling with the event listing.

5. Once the event is published, let people know about it!

Is there a local geocaching organization you can reach out to, to let them know about your CITO? Maybe there are even some non-geocacher volunteer organizations you could recruit…the more the merrier!

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 6. On the day of the event…

  • Show up early.
  • Watch the cache page and your e-mail for last minute questions.
  • See to it that every person knows what the activity is, and how to do it.
  • Agree on a time and location to meet up and debrief at the close of the event.
  • After the event is over, keep the event listed long enough to allow people to log the event. Then write a thank you note, and archive it. Voila!

That’s all, folks! Remember: the CITO 2017 souvenir will be available for events during the weeks of April 22-30 and September 23-October 1, so if you’re planning to host an event that weekend make sure you submit the cache listing at least two weeks in advance, preferably more.

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