Who would have thought a global game of hide and seek would inspire a group of Girl Scouts to do something amazing for their community? Almost everyone has heard of geocaching, but not everyone understands what it is. It's basically a game where players use a global positioning system (GPS) and other navigational techniques to find containers of hidden treasures. There are literally millions of geocaches hidden all over the world just waiting for people to find them! And now, geocachers in Pasco County, Florida have a new reason to go in search of the hidden treasure boxes.
It all started with a simple idea from a group of Girl Scout Juniors. Meet Gianna S., Kayla F., Jana S., Emily W., and Zoe Q., also known as the Bronze 5. The 4th and 5th graders come from two separate troops within Girl Scouts of West Central Florida. They joined forces last year to begin working on their Girl Scout Bronze Award. The Bronze Award is a leadership adventure, and the highest honor a Girl Scout Junior can achieve. It takes hours of dedication and planning to brainstorm ideas and come up with a sustainable community service project that will continue even after the girls are finished with it.
For their project, the girls wanted to figure out a way to help local organizations that rely on donations and volunteers in order to provide services to the community. They discussed causes that inspired them and narrowed their list down to 10 organizations within Pasco County dedicated to helping men, women, children, and animals. The girls then found out the top five needs of each organization and developed their project in a way that will allow for donations and volunteers to continue indefinitely!
That's where geocaching comes in. The girls studied the rules and guidelines on where and how to hide a cache, then went to work looking for the perfect location. They also choose five trackables to place inside the cache. Trackables are sort of like game pieces that can be taken to other cache locations. Each has a unique code associated with it. Players input that code into a global database to log its movements. Some trackables travel hundreds of thousands of miles! But the Bronze 5 has requested those who find their trackables to only move them to other locations within Pasco County. Each of their five trackables is associated with two of the organizations the girls chose to help. When people find one and log it, they will read the inspiring story about their Bronze Award project, as well as information about the two organizations. The girls hope the geocachers will be inspired to help and possibly make a donation or volunteer their time to the organizations associated with the trackables.
You may be wondering which organizations will benefit if this project is a success. Well, what fun would it be just to tell you? The girls have put a lot of effort into their project, now it's your turn to take some action and go in search of their hidden treasure. Here's a hint: it's somewhere in Pasco County. Now go play! Someone may have already found it and started moving the trackables. See if you can find all five! You never know who you'll end up helping.
Congratulations to the Bronze 5 for earning the prestigious Girl Scout Bronze Award! Today's girls, tomorrow's leaders - taking action to make the world a better place.
This story was submitted by Keleigh Quigley, Girl Scout volunteer. We love to hear about all the awesome things our girls are doing throughout West Central Florida. Share your stories and photos with us at our online submission page. Who knows, you could be featured on the Girl Scout blog or social media.