April 13, 2024

Geocachers Drawn to Park

The  Naval Aviation Centennial geocaching event may prove the most lasting remnant of the commemorative year that launched a branding and marketing campaign for Lexington Park, more prominently observed on hundreds of banners throughout the Bay District.

Geocaching is like a scavenger hunt using a Global Positioning System device or a GPS-enabled mobile phone to find hidden “caches,” usually plastic containers that contain unique objects or are placed near interesting landmarks.

The Centennial caches lead searchers across a history of Lexington Park displaying its connection to the beginning of naval aviation. The history and the visit to Lexington Park are winning rave reviews among the geocachers.

The hunt was launched in October and already half of the 200 commemorative coins awarded upon trail completion have been won, reported Terry Doughty, the geocacher who  pitched the idea to the Lexington Park Business and Community Association when planning events to commemorate the 2011 centennial year.

The coins are issued by Helen and Ken Newell, owners of the Grapevine Antiques and Collectibles on Tulagi Place in Lexington Park. “They are so impressed by the coins and they are so impressed with the geocaching trail,” Ms. Newell reported to the association this month.

The banners, scheduled for dismantling in the near future, were also a hit, and association members discouraged chairman Mark Pinekenstein from rushing SMECO into removing them. Once they are removed, sponsors will have the opportunity to reclaim their banners. If not all banners are claimed, the remaining will be sold with proceeds going to the association.

And perhaps the geocaching trail will not be ended at all. “There hasn’t been one person who hasn’t been extraordinary,” Ms. Newell said. “All people with this hobby are grand.”