Geocaching creates jobs in North Thompson

At present, 18 activated geocached boxes waiting to be found within the immense trail system of the North Thompson Valley

Geocaching is a treasure hunting game

Geocaching is a treasure hunting game

A provincially sponsored Job Creation Program is currently being embarked upon to promote Barriere and the surrounding region.

In partnership with this venture; Lower North Thompson Community Forests, Barriere Chamber of Commerce, Thompson Okanagan Tourism, and the Thompson Nicola Film Commission.

The main directive behind this initiative is the worldwide concept of geocaching.

Geocaching is a treasure hunting game, where you use a Global Positioning System (GPS) to hide and seek containers with other participants in the activity.  There are various types of the GPS, which include a cell phone equipped with GPS.

There are over five million members in the geocaching community around the globe, and 1,913,022 active geocaches, and these numbers are constantly being increased.  To better understand how it all works, the website address is www.geocaching.com.

The benefits of bringing the geocaching program into the North Thompson are numerous.  A statement made by the Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust (SIDIT) sums it up: “The Geo Tourism program injects incremental revenue into the regional economy, promotes educational opportunities, encourages health through exercise, provides opportunities for environmentally friendly tourism, and furthers economic diversification and new business prospects.  It also develops regional resources to support sustainable year-round tourism and jobs, and preserves the area’s heritage through education, and increases business revenues.”

According to the traveler’s posts on the geocaching site, there have been numerous visitors to the area from all over the world, their comments being of a positive nature and their experience while geocaching in the region was thoroughly enjoyed.

It is our intent to welcome them back and to help them to discover more of the region.  The geocaching community will share their adventures with others, what they have seen, and the services and accommodations offered in the their travels while participating in the treasure hunts.  Barriere and surrounding region will benefit directly from this type of exposure.

A huge part in the Job Creation Program presently being undertaken, is the work underway upon the local trail systems of Skull Mountain and the Seven Sisters Mountain Range.  Extensions are being made to key existing trails, while adding new ones to the list.  This project will add accessibility and further enhance the appeal of the locations.

Within some of these trails, geocache boxes have been placed (the majority), but there are others outside of these locations.  There are at present, 18 activated geocached boxes waiting to be found; the number of placements will increase as time goes on.

To help provide information concerning the trail systems, and to add a visual image through professional photographs that have been taken, there is a Facebook page that has been set up, which can be found at: www.facebook.com/LowerNorthThmpsonGeocache

You can also access the trail systems and a wealth of information concerning the North Thompson region at this website address: www.norththompson.ca.

The guide is also available in print form and is available at Barriere Employment Service Centre (WorkBC) from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To coincide with the episodes of the popular series, Mantracker, that was filmed in the Skull Mountain/Seven Sisters Range and aired this year on the OLN Network, there has been numerous geocache boxes placed upon the trail locations that highlight certain segments of the two episodes.  With a fan base of approximately 53 million views of the show, this amount of attention to our area, has, and will continue to be beneficial.  Look for the Mantracker series of geocache placements on the geocaching site under the profile name of Trail Seekers2.

The intent is to eventually have a website up and running in the near future; this will aide in the further development of the geocaching program.  We will advise the public and business sector as to when this will be operational.

For further information regarding the Geocaching Program in our area, contact either Carson Stone or Connie Falk at the Barriere Employment Service Centre at 250-672-0036 or by email: stone4info@gmail.com.