Today we are going to talk about organising a flashmob for geocaching
Several weeks ago we were surfing the net looking at geocoins, when we saw an interestingly shaped coin. It was a WWFM -IX geocoin. At that stage those letters meant nothing to us but it had a link beside the coin so, being the inquisitive animal I am, we went and looked where it went. Wow, pretty cool, all this information about previous flashmobs for geocaching! This particular coin was for the upcoming global flash on 9th June. That wasn’t far away! Was anyone organising one in our area? We looked through the information in front of us, and then did a search on geocaching but couldn’t find anything for Christchurch. We did see one for Cromwell, Napier and Auckland but nothing for our city. How do you go about organising a flashmob? We had no idea as we had never taken part in any kind of flash mob let alone a geocaching one! What to do? We turned to our good friend “google”.
We watched a few youtube videos and looked at a few pages on geocaching.com, so we gained a few ideas but nothing really fell into place. We decided to go for a drive around the city to look at various sites for the flash (ok, so we did find some caches too, I mean why waste a good trip around town without some rewards).
We looked for areas that could hold a crowd, but still be where the public would notice us. The idea was to get geocaching noticed! We thought about indoor malls. We visited a couple and looked at pubs around them for an after-flash event so we could relive our flashing with others. We were gutted to note that there seems no space for people to gather in a crowd, where we would not interfere with passersby, or that we could talk over the piped music or mall noise. We extended our search to outside areas. We looked at several well-known places like the Art Centre, and the Pier, so the flash would have a Christchurch theme. Other things had to be taken into consideration. Where would people park, was there public transport, was there a place for flashers to go before and after the event, was there toilet facilities nearby…. so many things to think about, my antlers hurt! One of the last places we visited was the RE:Start Mall, but there in the middle was a nice big space in front of a REINDEER… a BiG reindeer, I was impressed! So was my owner. Yay we had our ground zero. With co-ordinates in hand we now had to organise the rest.
We checked geocaching.com to see if anyone else had organised a flash for 9 June but they hadn’t. We had checked with a facebook group to see if there had been one in the past but hadn’t heard back anything so we put the co-ordinates in and claimed the spot!
Now we were onto the tricky bit. What do you actually DO in a flash? The time constraints limited a lot of things because a flash has to be totally completed within a 15 minute time frame. Did we want to dance, to sing, or something else? What was something “kiwi” we could do? The answer was soon upon us when we realised New Zealand was playing Ireland at rugby that day… GO the ALL BLACKS!!!
As most of you realise, we like to carry a theme right through with our caches. How would we introduce rugby into our flash, while keeping geocaching as the main theme? Luckily for us it is winter, so it didn’t take long to settle on All Black beanies, because most of us wear a hat over winter while caching anyway. How do we introduce beans into the title… hmm… that took a wee bit more thinking before we managed to play with the words and get Be’n there, Be’n seen. Ok, GZ sorted, titled sorted…. theme sorted…. now what?
We went back to look at the flashmob geocoin for inspiration, and ordered one for us and an extra one to give away plus a couple of trackables. For good measure we had a cheek, and asked if they would include an extra one for us to give away. Woohoo they obliged! We had our prize pool so now we had better get the webpage on geocaching. com organised or we would be flashing on our own!
When we had been at the mall we had walked around and got the co-ordinates for the local parking areas and how much they cost. So we set up the page and broke things up into minutes. We didn’t want to run out of time for the group photo, but we wanted to give people enough time to sign the logs so everyone was in the prize draws. We decided 7 minutes would give most people a chance to get it done, and allowed a few minutes for drawing and giving the prizes. Then a couple of minutes more for the photo.
Things were falling into place nicely. The page was written up and then published, phew! Now we could sit back and see if people were actually interested in coming!
Yay, our first “will attend” log, and we were off.
A couple of days before the flash our city suffered one of the heaviest snow dumps it has had. We don’t normally get snow so, although it was fun, it also stopped most things in the city. Would it affect the flash? We could only cross our paws and antlers and hope not.
In the meantime we made log slips on the computer, bagged the jellybeans for the meal, and made sure the other prizes were ready. Happily the day of the flash dawned sunny.
A quick check on things and it was off for the flash. How many would turn up? We had organised a photographer, but he had to be dragged out of bed to record the event.
The air was a little crisp, and the snow still lay around in places but the street itself was free from snow and ice. We walked over the GZ and I was placed between the antlers of my big cozzie. Woo, now I know what I’m missing being so tiny! The view from up there was great! As my owner put on her beanie I could see these people coming from all directions and they were putting on their BEANIES… YAY the flash was ON! People were coming from the left, from the right, from behind… I heard there were people from Otago, Ashburton and Greymouth.
I think I was lookig really swish in my red and black rugby shirt! Those beanies were looking great, especially the pink spotted one worn by Chessmad!
My owner burbled on for a bit and then everyone was chatting and enjoying the flash. Riddlers76 updated us that he had organised a previous TWO flashes in Christchurch. That was pretty cool to know – One by the Chalice in the square and the last one on the Pier. I watched as logs were signed, beans scoffed – hmm, where’s MINE??
Then it was onto the prize draw. Time was ticking past fast. The children attending the flash drew the prizes and names were taken. I’d say there were some happy cachers amongst them! Those coins were cool. Then it was on to the group photo – got to have that recorded for posterity, I mean how often will it be that I am the centre of attention of 46 people??
Sadly it seemed that we had only just started before I was being pulled down from my awesome perch – it seemed it was over in a flash! As the coin said, we came, we cached, we Flashed!