This week, Geocaching HQ announced a new feature called Friend League. The feature goes along with The Lost Treasure of Mary Hyde, which is the ‘theme’ of the summer souvenir cycle that runs from 15th July to 13th August. I’ve seen some confusion over how to earn the summer souvenirs, so thought I would do a quick post trying to decipher what you have to do to ensure you earn the coveted virtual souvenirs!
The Theme be Pirates! Arrrr!!
Geocachers are basically pirates but with less plundering and pillaging, so piracy is unsurprisingly a recurring theme – one of the UK’s annual mega events is Piratemania, in fact! Last year’s souvenir theme had a sort of international spy vibe, with puzzles to solve to figure out the tasks needed to earn your souvenirs.
Attend an Event on 15th or 16th July
It all kicks off this weekend, when you need to attend an event to earn the first of six possible souvenirs. The idea is to meet other geocachers and add members to your Friend League, which will be important for the next souvenir. The easiest way to find nearby events is to use the filter function to choose ‘event’ as the cache type and limit your search to a specific state/province/country. Once the results are returned, sort by ‘event date’.
Note: You still have the chance to earn the other souvenirs, even if you don’t attend an event this weekend!
Add to your Friend League
Up until now, having ‘friends’ on geocaching.com didn’t really seem to serve any function, so many people didn’t have any. You now need to rally your geocaching troops and start adding your mates to build up your Friend League.
In the new dashboard, go to the ‘Friends’ section of the left-hand column and click ‘View friends’. This will show you the friends you already have and has a tab where you can add new friends by username. In the old dashboard, the top menu has a ‘Your Friends’ section, which will bring you to the exact same landing page.
Make sure your profile is accepting friend requests, by checking the ‘preferences’ section in ‘settings’. You need to uncheck the box that says block friend requests from other geocachers.
Note: You don’t have to add any friends to earn the souvenir. You can simply earn 30 gold coins all by yourself (for example, by finding 6 caches in the week) and still earn the souvenir!
Teamwork makes the Dream Work
From 17th to 23rd July, your Friend League will help you earn your next souvenir. You and your team need to collect at least 30 ‘gold coins’, of which at least 5 need to be earned by you as an individual. You can earn gold coins as follows during this week:
One cache find = 5 points (gold coins) [lab caches don’t count!]
Attend any event = 10 points
Find a cache with 10 or more favourite points = 10 points
Note: You must log your finds no later than the Tuesday of the following week to earn the souvenir. This might be troublesome for cachers who are way behind in logging, I know. For example, to earn the souvenir for the week 17th – 23rd July, you must log your find no later than Tuesday, 25th July.
The following three weeks will have various other tasks, all involving your Friend League (unless you choose to collect the required gold coins on your own), so NOW is the time to build up your league! Geocaching HQ have given some cryptic clues as to what the subsequent tasks will involve:
- July 24 – 30 – Don’t be afraid to take the lead, to earn the next map piece you already have everything that you need.
- July 31 – August 6 – When you work with a crew, earning the third map piece becomes easier to do.
- August 7 – 13 – Challenge yourself to earn the last piece, or else the search for lost treasure will never cease.
I’m interested to hear what you think the requirements might be for those souvenirs! Every Monday at 5 am PDT (Pacific Daylight Time), 1pm BST (British Summer Time) the Friend League is reset and the gold coin counter goes back to zero. Then the fun begins again for the next souvenir!
Complete the Map
It seems that the souvenirs will be ‘lost’ map pieces that need to be earned and, perhaps, fit together. By finding all map pieces, you have the chance to earn the sixth and final souvenir, the treasure chest:
Collect all four pieces for a chance to earn the coveted treasure chest souvenir!
So there you have it! Simple, right? What you need to do right now is search for an event this weekend to earn your first souvenir, and start adding to your Friend League. You can add me too but I can’t promise to be earning hundreds of gold coins, as I have a busy non-geocaching week ahead.
What do you think about the summer souvenirs this year? Let me know in the comments!
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