The Sicamous Geotour launched on July 30, 2022. (Explore Sicamous image)

The Sicamous Geotour launched on July 30, 2022. (Explore Sicamous image)

Sicamous taps into global geocaching community ‘millions of people strong’

Launched July 30, local Geotour has attracted geocachers from out of province, out of country

Carly Procyshyn is looking to build and grow Sicamous’ cachet in the global geocaching community.

On July 30, Procyshyn, tourism and economic development coordinator with the District of Sicamous Development Corporation, launched the Sicamous Geotour, with 15 caches placed throughout the community. The response was immediate, with avid geocachers keen to complete the geotour passport and secure one of 200 geocaching coins made specifically for the Sicamous tour.

“To complete the tour, in the 15 caches I’ve placed at points of interest and really unique locations around Sicamous, there’s a code word inside, so people can download the passport on the Explore Sicamous website or they can come to the visitor centre during their working hours and pick one up, and they record the code words,” explained Procyshyn. “They send that (completed) passport back in and the passport is what allows me to capture their mailing address so that I send them a collectible geocoin, which is also a distinguishing feature about a geotour.”

As of Aug. 18, Procyshyn had received 80 completed passports, while 863 cache finds had been logged using the recommended Geocaching app, which is used to help locate the individual caches.

“In my tour I have one that looks like a bird house, I have one that looks like a fake sprinkler, I have one that’s a flower pot where you have to pull up fake flowers and underneath is where the cache is buried,” said Procyshyn. “It’s not just the traditional army camo can or Rubbermaid container. Some of them are – and it’s sort of given me some ideas of what people like and don’t like and it will allow me to grow this tour.”

Procyshyn already has plans to launch another 15 to 20 caches, or possibly more, next year, sometime before the May long weekend.

An important aspect of the Sicamous Geotour is that it is being promoted globally through Geocaching HQ in Seattle. Procyshyn said the local tour has already seen good traction from out-of-province and out-of-country participants.

“It’s family friendly, it’s easy for all ages, and the geocache community is millions of people strong – that’s their vacation, they will travel to places where they can get these very unique geocaches,” said Procyshyn.

“Travel bugs” included in some of the geocaches have made their way out into the world. Procyshyn said one is on the way to Morocco.

“They’re little dog tags with a code on them,” Procyshyn explained. “I created a little mission for each of them. Some of the travel bugs I said, this travel bug’s mission is to get outside of the province… All eight travel bugs have been collected… one is in Surrey, one is on the Island and one is out east somewhere. So these geocachers take them and they log in and say I’ve picked it up and log in again and say I’ve put it in this cache, so it just moves around. So you can track the journey of a travel bug.”

For the next batch of caches, Procyshyn will have created a new geocaching coin, so even if you collected the first coin (and/or the “first find” wooden coins that were in the caches on their initial release), there’ll be a new incentive to explore Sicamous.

“The coin is what people go for,” said Procyshyn. “It’s a big thing for them. People collect them from tours all over the world.”

The Sicamous Geotour initiative is funded through the Municipal and Regional District Tax, a two per cent tax levied on guests staying at local hotels, motels, and other designated accommodations. Revenue from the tax goes towards supporting and expanding tourism programs, projects and marketing for Sicamous.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 17, Procyshyn will be hosting a geocaching event at Sicamous’ Beach Park. It will be an opportunity to learn more about geocaching and the Geotour, participate in a virtual scavenger hunt and win some prizes.

To download a Sicamous Geotour passport, and for more information, visit exploresicamous.ca.


lachlan@saobserver.net
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