Mittwoch, August 02, 2006

#3: Geocaching

Prepared Speech

C&L Project #3 (Get to the Point): Geocaching

Mr. Toastmaster of the evening,
fellow toastmasters and honoured guests.

Introduction

I am sorry that I have to say that, but I assume that most of you are "muggles". Muggle is a term you might know from "Harry Potter" novels. There "muggles" are ordinary people who don't know about magic. In my case "muggles" are people who don't know anything about Geocaching.

But don't worry, I will change that.

Main

Geocaching is a game. It's an entertaining adventure game that makes use of the internet and GPS units. [Show the unit and pass it around]

You all know GPS? A GPS unit is an electronic device that can determine your approximate location on the planet using satellite signals. Car navigation systems use this to guide you and your car from point A to point B.

So what is Geocaching about?

The basic idea is simple. Some people hide things and other people try to find those things. Those how hide a cache, record the coordinates with their GPS unit and publish these coordinates on the internet. Others take the coordinates from the internet and try to find the cache. You see with Geocaching you are the search engine.

Btw, it is spelled C A C H E and not cash like money.

You might ask "What's the deal? I have the coordinates so I know where the cache is. Seems pretty easy."

Yeah, it seems easy. But I tell you it's one thing to know where an item is and it's a totally different story to actually get there and find it.

Most caches are hidden somewhere in the great outdoors. E.g. in trees with holes, crevices {krewises} or large roots.

Other caches are hidden in the centre of cities right next to were all those muggles live. They might be hidden in telephone booths, under bridges or behind statues.

Believe me when I tell you that it is adventurous and very much fun to walk cross-country following only the arrow on your GPS unit. You have to know that, the unit only knows how close the site is as the crow flies. So you may be only 10 meters from the cache, but there may be a river in the way, or a near-vertical climb involving 3 km of switchbacks - you get the picture.

In my opinion the best thing about Geocaching is that you see places that you might not have visited otherwise. These are often beautiful spots and sometimes even magical places with an interesting history.

You might be surprised to hear that there are hidden more than 500 caches in the Munich area. And new caches are placed every day.

Btw, it's a free fun. Everybody how has a GPS unit can join in. Seekers don't have to pay. Hiders don't get money for it. And many seeker start hiding their own caches sooner or later. - Like I did recently.

So what is that cache thing? How does it look like?

A cache can come in many shapes and sizes. It can be very small like a plastic film can [show size with fingers], mid-sized like a Tupperware container [show with hands] or large like suitcase [show with arms].

A cache always contains a logbook. Some caches are too small to contain anything else. [Show little white can].

The logbook contains information from the founder of the cache and notes from the cache's visitors.

Larger caches will contain the logbook and any number of more or less valuable items. [Take out the larger cache and pass it around]. These items turn the cache into a true treasure hunt. You never know what the founder or other visitors of the cache may have left there for you to enjoy.

Items in a cache like that could be anything that fits in. Key tags, little cars, games, ...

Especially kids and teenagers have fun with not only seeking the cache but also enjoying the surprise of what the cache might contain.

But remember, if you take something, its only fair for you to leave something in return. So we always take a bag of stuff for trading with us.

Finish

Okay, to summarise: I told you what the game is about, what caches are and why it is so much fun.

What does that mean for you?

Most important, you are insiders now. You are not "muggles" anymore.

And if you are looking for a new hobby or thinking about ways how to lure {lur} your kids outside, consider buying a GPS unit and start Geocaching.

Mr. Toastmaster

Feedback
  • Things to improve: Explain difficult words (e.g. Muggles), speak freely you don't need notes anymore, TMI (too much information)
Objective feedback
  • Time: 7:08

Things to share
  • To apologise is weak. Thanking is stronger. (E.g. in the beginning)

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