Geocaching: Today’s Hidden Treasure

geocaching_000Even if you have never had a desire to become a pirate, who can pass up hunting for buried treasure?  But what in the world is “geocaching”?  According to www.geocaching.com, it is “a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices.”

Participants can go online to various sites, pull up GPS coordinates within range of their area, or wherever they might be visiting, track those coordinates with a hand-held GPS, or phone app, then search the area for a hidden container.

Containers may be any size, from a tiny capsule housing a rolled up log, to very large boxes or drums holding any number of items.  No doubt you will be amazed at how many geocache treasures are hidden within just a few miles of your home.

The primary rule of thumb in geocaching (pronounced “geo-cashing”) is that if you take an item, you leave an item; so when you go, be prepared and take small, inexpensive items that you can leave for someone else to find.  But don’t forget to sign the log, so that there is a record of your visit.  Oh, another rule of thumb:  Cache in-Trash out.  Take a trash bag with you and leave the area cleaner than you found it.

And once you have discovered your hidden treasure, go online and share your experience with the ever-growing geocache community.

For more details and info, including all the latest geocache lingo, check out Madcacher.  Heritage Family members who participate in campouts will have an opportunity to go geocaching at State parks and other locations, so learn all you can, because there may be prizes involved!

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Have you shaken your family tree?

familytreeI love genealogy!  Trying to find out where I came from, and learning more about those who came before me, is like a treasure hunt.

When my Aunt Doris began searching for our ancestors back in the 70’s, it was an extremely time-consuming and often costly endeavor.  Looking up records in courthouse offices all over the country was something that took years and required traveling to places across the nation, in some cases.

Thanks to the beauty of modern technology, though, the Internet has simplified this process many times over.  Not only are genealogy websites available where you can build your family tree, you can also tie in to others’ quests and share information with them.

Discovering all of our Civil War ancestors made learning the history of that time period come alive for my youngest son.  He now has a Confederate cap with the names of the men in our family who fought in the war between the states written inside, and though most fought on the side of the south, some were fighting for the north.  That fact brought home the truth of the “brother against brother” saying that we all have heard about that time period.  My family has a true example of that, as brothers from Tennessee ended up fighting on opposite sides after one traveled to Indiana prior to the start of the war.

After discovering our Civil War ancestors, it was not long before we traveled all the way back to the American Revolution – and beyond.  It was heartwarming to discover the names of men who fought to build this nation, and of whom we are direct descendents.  Fortunately, many of their stories have been passed down and we can learn more than just their names and the dates upon which they were born and died.  And while we will never know all about them, we know that they chose to stand up to the greatest military in the world at that time, in order to build a great, new nation.

Learning about your past can add so much richness to your life today.  You might be surprised what you’ll find when you shake the family tree.

What have we lost?

It is easy to let old methods and ways of doing things fall by the wayside as new technology vintage-kitchenmakes each task easier and less time-consuming, but in leaving the old ways behind, have we lost something?

Could it be that there was value in spending an entire day in the kitchen with various family members and friends of all ages, while maybe canning bushels of peaches picked fresh from the farm?

Is there a chance that working side by side with your children every day and teaching them a skill, while also instilling in them the morals and values that you learned from your parents, was important?

And what about the concept of taking care of ourselves and those we love, planning and preparing for the future and sharing our lives with like-minded people who believe the same?

I think we have lost many things as we have rushed into the current century, leaving behind so much of value while looking for a faster, more immediate solution.  Obviously, we have lost time.  Things used to take time – you couldn’t get a meal prepared in 10 minutes or run out to pick it up from the local Mexican restaurant.  Time spent doing things that were necessary for life was also time spent with other people.  We don’t really need others so much anymore, we just rush past them as we run from one task to the next, barely even noticing people, much less smelling the roses along the path.

Maybe we can’t go back in time and live a slower lifestyle – and maybe we shouldn’t.  There are many advantages to living in the world today.  But if we could reclaim some of those skills our grandparents knew, keep them alive and pass them along to those in future generations, maybe we could get just a taste of the better parts of yesteryear – and should the need ever arise, we could use those skills to provide for our own families, as well.

Learning is always good, and taking time with others to discover something new or share with them what we have learned is a great way to slow time down, even just for a moment, to remember who we are and where we came from.  Come discover with us.

Are you part of a heritage family?

july-4th-american-flag-children-drum1A Heritage Family loves God, loves their country, loves their family, and has a strong desire to pass along to their posterity the values and skills that many feel have been lost in today’s world.  This desire generally includes learning to protect themselves and those they love, and there can be many ways to achieve that goal.  It may also require parents to learn new skills along with their children, and it definitely means ensuring that future generations know the truth about our history and understand how important this country is to us all.  But to whatever level they seek to be involved, heritage families are patriots.

If you cherish the values and principles that this country was founded on; if you are willing to learn, and to help those you love to learn, as well; and if you want to spend time with other individuals and families working toward the same goals, then come join us – we will make the process fun.

Visit our Heritage Family page at www.facebook.com/HeritageFamily.  Our website is under construction and we hope to have it published soon.  Contact us to find out how to join Heritage Family, or how to start a Heritage Family colony (chapter) in your area.

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