Hunt on this weekend: Geocache event set

Published 2:00am Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Treasure hunting has entered the digital age, and an event in Brewton this weekend will capitalize on the trend of “geocaching.”
Starting Friday, the Burnt Corn Geocache Poker Run will invite participants to search Brewton for hidden “treasures” using GPS coordinates.
The three-day event will kick off with a chance to learn the rules and regulations at a meeting at Brewton City Hall at 7 p.m. To play the game, all you need is a GPS device or smartphone with GPS — and strong curiosity.
Brewton Program Manger Connie Baggett has been helping to organize the event that stands to bring new people to the community.
“We are attending to the final details and are ready to deploy our caches this week,” Baggett said. “We have about 50 people already pre-registered for the event and we’re looking for a good turnout. Their are groups from around the region that are excited about this event and we even have an international listing on a geocaching Web site that is giving Brewton more exposure.”
Geocaching has been gaining popularity in recent years. It began, Baggett said, as a way to test the latest satellite GPS technology, and has evolved into a game that has participants — and hidden treasures — worldwide.
During this weekend’s event, participants will search for caches hidden in the park. Each cache will hold a hidden treasure — collectible “coins” printed with Brewton’s logo.
Those interested in learning more about geocaching can go to the geocaching.com Web site, and can also download the geocaching app on a smartphone.
Saturday will kick off with a specially priced breakfast at Oak’s Cafe at 8 a.m., and then the main event begins at 9:30 a.m. at Burnt Corn/Jennings Park downtown. Buses will transport participants to the location for the geocaching hunt, which will take place in the new part of Burnt Corn Park, across the creek from Jennings Park.
The day will be spent searching for the items that are hidden with George’s Barbecue at $7 per plate served at 2 p.m. at the end of the hunt. Awards will be announced at the park at  6 p.m. The third day will be used to do clean-up work in Burnt Corn Creek Park. Participants will help clean up the park areas used for the hunt.
“When we have an event like this one, it is an opportunity to give back to the community,” said Johnny Watson, local organizer. “‘Cache in and trash out’ is a way to do our part.”
Geocaching is a treasure hunt of sorts and players use their ability with GPS to trace the “treasures” that have been distributed around in an area.
None of the sites will be in dangerous locations and they will be family friendly making it a family event, involving the whole family.
Watson said nothing is disturbed when the treasures are hidden.
“If you take a treasure, you have to leave something else in its place,” Watson said. “No holes are dug or anything done that might hurt the environment.”
To make Saturday’s hunt more exciting, each hidden cache will contain playing cards sealed in envelopes. At the end of the hunt, the player with the best cards win prizes.
“I’me very proud of the work Johnny has done preparing for this event,” Baggett said. “He has worked tirelessly gathering prizes and getting the whole thing planned. There is an event like this in Texas that has been going on for 10 years and they have not ever had the level of prizes that we’ll have for this first event.”
If anyone is interested in getting involved with this new type of game, there is a website that can answer questions, www.geocaching.com.
For more particular information, contact Baggett at 809-7177, or contact Watson at johnnywatson@me.com.

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