Joined: Aug 03, 2012
Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:53 am
West Bend’s $1,000 Cache Ba$h celebrates fifth anniversary
Midwest’s largest geocaching event adds caches, activities to schedule
August 3, 2012 (West Bend, WI)—Five years ago, this picturesque community had a secret. Hidden in trees, stashed in buildings and scattered throughout the surrounding countryside, hundreds of hidden treasures awaited discovery.
Today, the secret is out. Way out.
Beginning August 10, geocachers from across the country (and the world) will take part in the fifth annual West Bend $1,000 Cache Ba$h, the Midwest’s largest geocaching event. But geocaching—an outdoor treasure hunt where participants use handheld GPS units to uncover hidden items, or caches—wasn’t always so big in West Bend.
“When we took a look at all the opportunities we have for geocachers here, we started to realize just how unique West Bend was in the geocaching community,” said Craig Farrell, Executive Director of the West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce.
Organized five years ago by a coalition started by the Chamber of Commerce, the Cache Ba$h attracts thousands of GPS wielding cachers each August. Thanks in part to the efforts of geocaching royalty who call West Bend home, by 2007, West Bend’s parks, streets and buildings were riddled with more than 500 caches.
“It was an underground thing, in a lot of ways,” said Farrell. “Cachers in our community had created something wonderful, something really unique in the Midwest, but most people would have never known about it.”
All that changed five years ago, when the chamber decided to showcase the city’s wealth of caches in an event. The Cache Ba$h was born.
Showcasing a secret: the 2012 Cache Ba$h
The Cache Ba$h brings together serious geocachers and families for a weekend of high tech hide-and-seek. Competitors come for great prizes, including cash awards totaling $1,000, and to talk about geocaching’s latest tactics and technologies. Others make their way to West Bend for the friendly community, the challenge of some of the more hard-to-find caches and the array of family-centered activities.
Cache Ba$h organizers work hard each year to keep the Ba$h entertaining for cachers of all ages. Highlights in 2012 include:
· $1,000 in cash and many other prizes
· 60 new caches placed throughout West Bend, bringing the city’s total to more than 850 in a 10-mile radius
· Family-centered activities, including free swim passes to an area park, a puzzle-solving class, the creative cache contest and children’s concert featuring The Travel Bugs’ Steve Weeks
· Social events including a post-Ba$h party and pancake breakfast
· Custom fifth anniversary geocoins—a trackable coin (each has an individual serial number) engraved with images of West Bend
As of early June, the 2012 event is on pace to set new attendance records, surpassing the 600 teams who participated in 2011. The event draws geocachers from across the Midwest and the world: in its first four years, the Cache Ba$h has had registrants from as far off as Denmark, England, Bulgaria, South Africa and Germany.
The 2012 West Bend $1,000 Cache Ba$h is sponsored by some of the biggest names in geocaching. GPS industry leader Garmin and the geocaching websites OpenCaching and Geocaching.com are this year’s premier sponsors. The Wisconsin Geocaching Association and GPS-manufacturer Magellan are gold sponsors.
For more information on the 2012 event, visit the Cache Ba$h website http://westbendgeocaching.com.