Word on the street is, Mega-Events are the best thing since sliced bread
These geocaching parties of 500+ people offer more than a meet-and-greet of other geocachers—though that’s bound to happen too. Mega-Events are more like a celebration of all facets of the hobby we love. Often centered around a theme (ahem, *Pirates*), Mega-Events happen all over the world and are a must for every geocacher. Find one near you.
Not sure if Mega-Events are your thing?
Geocaching HQ’er Chris (Rock Chalk) discusses his experiences at four Mega-Events this past year, and you can be sure that no two Mega-Events are alike.
By Chris Ronan
I’ve had the good fortune (and the necessary vacation time) to attend four Mega-Events in 2014. I’ve found Mega-Events to be much like any geocaching event in that they reflect the personality and geocaching style of the host community. However, they’re larger than typical events, as an event must have 500+ attendees to achieve Mega-Event status.
At this time last year, I had no idea what a Mega-Event was about, or whether I’d enjoy attending. Perhaps my experiences might be useful as you peruse the list of upcoming Mega-Events around the world.
S*W*A*G’s Yuma Mega #11
Held in Yuma, AZ, this was my first Mega-Event. I lived in Kansas at the time, so this was a wonderful mid-winter break from Midwestern winter. It was my first experience with Lab Caches, which took me on a great tour through the area. There’s a great variety of caching around Yuma—from power trails such as the Arizona Star Geo-Art and the S*W*A*G Geo-Art to higher-terrain hiking and climbing caches.
Unlike the Yuma Mega-Event, MOGA is held in a different place each year. The 2014 version took place in Athens, OH in late March. The perfect time for a road trip from Kansas! MOGA was where I experienced my first and only geocaching competition. The organizers took a different approach to Lab Caches, but they were just as enjoyable as what I’d seen in Yuma. The area offered a wonderful variety of geocaches. MOGA 2015 will be held in Jackson, MO, less than two hours from St. Louis.
Geowoodstock XII was held just 30 minutes from St. Louis, in the historic river town of St. Charles, MO. The immediate area is more urban than Yuma or Athens, which meant yet another different style of caching. Fittingly, the Lab Caches focused on the area’s amazing history. Speaking of history, GeoWoodstock XIII is to be held in Boonsboro, MD. I could talk for days about all the great caching in that area, but definitely don’t miss the Wherigo at Antietam National Battlefield. It’s one of my favorite caches ever!
Shortly after joining the staff of Geocaching HQ, I took a weekend to enjoy my first international Mega-Event in Duncan, British Columbia. 3IEE was a complete departure from my previous three Mega-Events, as it focused on EarthCaches. I’m no geology genius, but I walked away feeling like even I might be able to construct an enjoyable EarthCache, thanks to the many educational opportunities at the event. The Lab Caches introduced me to the beautiful Cowichan Valley. And, of course, I nabbed my first Canada caches, which were very cool!
I’ve had the chance to meet geocachers from around the world and enjoy very different geocaching experiences in some neat places. In fact, I’ve already booked another vacation to sunny Arizona for S*W*A*G Yuma Mega Event #12 on February 8, 2015. See you there!