Editor’s Note: Geocaching HQ holds an all company meeting once a month. The 80 folks from HQ; engineers, designers, IT pros, community managers, the volunteer support team, all the way through to the creators of Geocaching.com Jeremy Irish and Bryan Roth, discuss all things geocaching. The meeting changes each month. But there’s one constant.
Every meeting starts with a community story. The story showcases the best of the geocaching world, inspiring and connecting HQ even further to the lifestyle we help power and support.
If you have a story you think we should read in the next Geocaching HQ meeting, tell us about it in comments below!
This month’s story comes from the robust geocaching community in France. And was read by Carly.
Geocacher Jacques, aka username “jajatitine”, was bored one day and decided to spend his afternoon -like any reasonable person would- geocaching. As he explored his local neighborhood in Angers, France, he searched for a nearby geocache Le Nôtre à Angers placed in a bed of shrubs. While rummaging around, the wedding ring, which had lived on his finger for the last 38 years, fell into the brush. He headed home without his wedding ring and without finding the geocache.
Fast forward a few months later, another geocacher named Laurent or “mr_mulot”, decided to hunt for the same geocache. After searching through bushes for 45 minutes, he stumbled across a gold wedding ring hidden beneath a pile of dead leaves. The ring was engraved with two names -Martine and Jacques- and a wedding date. He never found the geocache he had set out to find, but he had a new challenge. Laurent made it his mission to locate the owner of the wedding ring before the couple’s upcoming 40th anniversary. He had less than two years to succeed.
A Few Days Later
Social media by itself is a powerful and viral tool. If you post an update on your Facebook page, chances are a number of people will see it and may even share it. Now, combine Facebook viral nature and a robust geocaching community, and your message will be unstoppable.
Laurent didn’t know this when he initially created the Facebook post. He had already contacted every geocacher who had logged the geocache and didn’t think his odds were good. However, the facebook post, which contained a picture of the ring and a note that it was found by a geocache, was shared to the local geocaching facebook group and voilà, the internet blew up.
Happily Ever After
Geocachers shared the post with family and friends and asked them to share the post as well. 130,000 shares and a few days later, the post found it’s way to the computer screen of Jacques’ daughter Stephanie. She was one of many who had contacted Laurent inquiring about the ring, but she knew a detail no one else did; the name of geocache where the ring was lost. Stephanie surprised her father one evening with Laurent and the ring, and the rest is history.
“This story was a wonderful human adventure, and was marked by all those values that we cherish and like in geocaching…” said Laurent.
What started out as a two year mission for Laurent, turned into a few days with the help of social media, a determined geocacher, and an amazing geocaching community.
A special thanks to Jacques for sharing his story.