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Took Nothing Left Nothing, Thanks For The Cache
By Chris Short
Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs appeared in 1954's "Motivation and Personality." In his preliminary study of the human psyche and the demands and desires for self-fulfillment, Maslow compartmentalized needs into five stages: biological/physiological, safety, belonging, esteem and self-actualization. If we start at the beginning of his pyramid by ensuring we have nutrition, shelter, sleep, etc., we are capable of addressing the "higher order" needs. And according to Maslow, destruction of the basic need fulfillment renders humans incapable of addressing their personal growth, status, or reputation. At the most basic explanation, when you can survive physically, you can focus on social order, spheres of influence, personal development and ultimately achieving self-realization.
We determine our self-worth based upon our achievements, status and social connections. Our hobbies and activities are often in direct response to the higher level "needs." And many times we seek altruistic expressions to fulfill a basic desire to support others with the lower "needs." But in this age of hyper-connectivity, our understanding of social connection is skewed by Tweets, Facebook status updates and SMS/text messaging. Thankfully, there are still opportunities to connect our hobbies with our need to be connected beyond sound bites or txt-ese messages: LOL, OMG! TTYL! OK, maybe there are some special terms and phrases that only geocachers understand, but we also talk like ol' fashioned folk.
This past March, geocachers from around the country -- and a few dedicated players from Canada -- gathered at Rend Lake for an event designated as the Midwest Open Geocaching Adventure, or MOGA. It is theoretically the world's largest weekend competition for individuals and teams. The "mega-event" spans three days, but it is far from simply being a marathon of finding geocaches. Maslow's Hierarchy is present at every level and in very distinct examples of the human condition. Imagine a Trekkie -- pardon me, Trekkers -- convention for people who like to find Tupperware in the woods. And it is themed. So imagine a Trekker convention for people who like to find Tupperware. Dressed as pirates.
The global community of geocachers is as diverse as any community. It spans a wide breadth of economic, education and intelligence factors. And it has a vast array of social acceptability and accessibility. There are the party animals, the social butterflies and the wall flowers. And they all dressed up as Captain Jack Sparrow or wenches. But it provides an opportunity for people who share a common bond -- Tupperware hunting -- to gather, share and enjoy community. Geocaching.com provides the sense of stability and order through the definition of the game and its guidelines. The venue ensured food and shelter. And the geocachers participate to establish their own higher needs: Comparing geocache hides? Gloating over numbers? Pride? A sense of learning from others?
MOGA only comes around once a year. In the meantime, local geocachers gather on a regular basis to talk shop, brag a little and enjoy each others' company in a celebration of sociocachephiltis: the love of social caching. Bring your ego, your sense of achievement, and your willingness to grow. We can't guarantee the cake.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 27 July 2011 13:53)
X Marks the Spot
Story by Avantika Khatri
Geocaching at the World Bird Sanctuary
Submitted by Catherine Redfern, World Bird Sanctuary Naturalist/Fundraiser
Did you know you can go geocaching at World Bird Sanctuary?