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November 22, 2013 10:50 PM CST

2013 Winter Newsletter

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Author: NL_Admin. 420 Reads
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2014 Winter Newsletter


Letter from the President


Hello WGA!

The first snow has fallen! Looks like it's time to break out the heavy gear for winter caching.

I have always been impressed with the variety of events that Wisconsin geocachers host. Since the last WGA Newsletter, there have been 35 different events where geocachers can meet up with their ilk and do a bit of socializing. Remember to thank those that take the time to organize these fun gatherings.

Speaking of gatherings, the WGA GeoPicnic was held in September. The facilities were perfect for an "up North" event. Our thanks to everyone that played a part in it, especially the baby snapping turtles!

October saw a small but dedicated group of cachers cleaning up our 2 mile stretch of Adopt-A Highway near Brillion. It still only took about 90 minutes for a job well done.

Your WGA Board of Directors has already unanimously chosen Mirror Lake State Park for the next Campout. It will be held on May 9-11, 2014 near Wisconsin Dells. With the centralized location and lack of caches in the park, this looks to be another WGA event to put on your calendar!

We are also finalizing the details on the WGA Chili Feed. This is one of the hardest events to pin down, since Wisconsin weather can be questionable in mid-winter. Watch the WGA website for more info.

It will soon be time to open the nominations for the WGA Board of Directors. This is your chance, as a member in good standing, to have a positive influence in the direction the association is moving. Why not give some time back to the group?

In closing, I have really enjoyed my 2 year term on the WGA Board but will not be seeking another term. I am extremely confident that the current Directors, along with newly elected ones, will continue to move this group forward while making decisions in the best interest of its members. It has also been my privilege to serve as your President the last 2 years and I appreciate the support that you've shown me, as well as my esteemed peers on the Board. I look forward to seeing many of you in the years ahead.

Happy Caching!

Jim Bliefnick, President



2013 Fall Picnic

In September the WGA hosted our 11th annual WGA Geo-Picnic at Governor Thompson State Park.  The northeastern part of the state was showcased at this event and it did not disappoint!  The park was beautiful and the leaves were starting to turn colors.  Wisconsin’s newest State Park is full of hiking trails and brand new facilities for the geocachers to enjoy.  A big thanks to Sweetlife for hiding new geocaches for the picnic.  One of those new caches was part of the official WGA State Parks Series and it had quite a few visitors throughout the weekend. 

Once everyone came back there was geo-chatting and sharing tales from the trails.  The geocachers gathered for a potluck lunch around the facility to recharge for more caching.  In the afternoon most went off to explore the park a little further but those of us who stayed back at the park shelter had a most excellent surprise.  A whole nest full of snapping turtles began to hatch!   Geocachers do tend to be nature lovers so this turned out to be a big hit.  There turned out to be just under 50 baby turtles that crawled out of that hole and thanks to the junior Labrats they all made it safely to shore where they’ll spend the rest of the winter.


In the afternoon the Picnic attendees gathered for the traditional announcements, acknowledgements, raffle prizes and to hear the standings of the Picnic-to-Picnic WGA Travel Bug race.  Those that stuck around afterwards were treated to some burgers and brats donated by Stewzoo.  They were delicious and everyone enjoyed the additional opportunity for chatting while eating their dinner.  Thank you Stewzoo for providing our dinner! 

Some of the picnic attendees stayed the weekend in the campground.  Governor Thompson State Park provided some excellent camping facilities as well.  Many gathered around the campfire at the pre-campout event.

Thank you to all who made the drive to attend.  It’s always a treat to get to spend time with other geocachers from around our great state of Wisconsin.  We hope to see you at our upcoming events.  Watch the website for announcements and event page listings.





5th annual WGA Bonfire and Chili Feed


Back by popular demand we’ll be hosting our 5th annual WGA Bonfire and Chili Feed at Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in Green Bay.  This location was so popular last year that we’ve decided to bring you all here again.  Mark your calendars as the event is scheduled for February 22nd, 2014 so watch for the cache page to publish soon with more information.  Come inside after your day of caching to warm up with a hot bowl of chili, a warm beverage and lots of other tasty treats.  But of course we geocachers love to be outside so we’ll be providing the traditional bonfire for your outdoor geo-chatting. 

The Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary is a fantastic location for us to gather!  There’s plenty of room for geocachers to gather and socialize.  The outside is beautiful with plenty of walking trails and, best of all, plenty of geocaches!  Don’t forget to check out the local wildlife, last year’s highlight was feeding the many, many ducks that gathered around.  And if you are still looking for something to do you can explore the environmental education center. 

This will also be your opportunity to get to know your new WGA Board of Directors.  The elections will be concluded 2 weeks before the event and so your new Board members will be there and ready to serve you some chili, stoke the fire or just shake your hand.  We look forward to seeing you there!




WGA Board of Directors Election


We’re closing in on our next round of elections for the WGA’s Board of Directors.  We would like to offer up a huge thank you to our 5 Board of Directors who are at the end of their 2-year terms:  James Bliefnick/JimandLinda, Brian Kling/Team Black-Cat, Lisa Daniels/Curly Girls, Rob England/Averith and Peter Quella/ labrat_wr.  Some of them will be running for re-election, some will not.  So this means that there is an opportunity for more WGA members to serve on the Board of Directors at the beginning of the next year.  Is this something that you are interested in?  Can you volunteer your time and talents for the geocachers of Wisconsin?  If so, consider running for the WGA Board of Directors.  Voting will begin the beginning of February and will be open for 2 weeks. 

Get to know your 2013 WGA Board of Directors


WGA State Park Series update



It's been a busy last two months with this fun new series of geocaches. Since our last newsletter in September, we have had 26 new state parks cache publish bringing the total to 35 of the 45 planned and have had 491 finds logged.


So far, 27 Trail Bosses have stepped forward, giving their time and efforts to bring to get these caches out there for you all to enjoy. We have even have the privilege to place a cache in a state park that has previously been off limits due to the archiological significance. Working with the WDNR, we have now placed a cache in Azatlan State Park.


We still need 3 more Trail Bosses to finish up the series. Straight Lake, Council Grounds and Nelson Dewey are in need of someone to take them in and place a cache there.

Are you interested in taking this on? If so, contact or visit the WGA forum for the full info and sign up.






Winter Geocaching


"There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing." -- Sir Rannulph Fiennes


I have had this quoted to me many times since I became a geocacher.  I have had people from other parts of the country tell me that their GPS hibernates for the winter but here in Wisconsin we’re made of tougher stuff.  I’ve been geocaching many times in the winter, as have many of you.  Every season of the year present its own challenges for geocaching but there’s no reason we can’t go out and enjoy this excellent hobby all year long.  So bundle up Wisconsin geocachers and get ready for that white stuff, it has already fallen in parts of the state.  Don’t forget to check those attributes on the cache page unless you’re planning on bringing a shovel along.  And speaking as someone who had a mild case of hyperthermia earlier this year, I’d like to advise you to be careful when walking on ice and watch for partially frozen water.  If you’re unfamiliar with an area and whether or not it would be accessible or safe to visit during the winter try contacting the cache owner or some other local geocachers who may be able to give you some advice.  Stay warm, stay safe, and enjoy the beauty of fresh snow out on the trails!




Travel Bug Race


The WGA's first TB Race took the checkered flag at Governor Thompson State Park, at the beginning of the WGA GeoPicnic. Of the 47 racers, those in attendance received a TB Race key chain for their participation. The top 5 racers were:

First Place- "Bad Robot", owned by beccaday, with 21,557 miles! They received a 1st place key chain, a Wisconsin State Park sticker, and the privelage of having their accomplishment permanently etched on the WGA Hauler. Congratulations on a close finish with;

Second place - Lord Cadogan with his "C6 Corvette" racer, logging 18,242 miles.

Third place - Sweetlife with "Knot gonna stop til the 2013 WGA Picnic", with 15,992 miles.

Fourth place - JimandLinda with "The Key to Winning the WGA TB Race" with 15,879 miles and 9 countries visited.

Fifth place - Cynlen's "Racing Cache Bash Coin" with 8033 miles.

At 3 PM, the starting gun was fired for the WGA Travel Bug Race II, with several more cache teams vying for the 2014 title. You can watch the action on the WGA website. Good luck to all the TB racers!


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