Meet the 2014 NoVAGO Officers

Showcasing some of your fellow cachers!

Meet the 2014 NoVAGO Officers

Postby schwandt » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:15 pm

Hello, folks.

Over the next few days, I will be posting profiles of the 2014 NoVAGO officers.

President - wvkiwi
Vice-President - Chase Clan 2.3
Secretary - derektiffany
Treasurer - kanukgirl
Public Relations - schwandt

We will follow up with profiles of the 2014 NoVAGO directors.
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schwandt

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Re: Meet the 2014 NoVAGO Officers

Postby schwandt » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:35 pm

President

kiwi.jpg
wvkwi - 2014 NoVAGO President
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What is your geocaching name? WVKiwi

What is your real name? Becky Stephenson

What do you do for a living? Middle school teacher

What is the origin of your caching name?
Mine developed from two places close to my heart: West Virginia where I was born and raised and then New Zealand which I've visited several times and absolutely loved. Before caching I had used 'nzkiwi' as a username in a few places, but since I figured that would make for a confusing caching name as I'm not from there (even if I would love to live there!), I decided to switch out the NZ with WV which was true at the time. Of course, when I moved to Virginia two years ago, I got many questions about whether I'd change it to VAKiwi, but thankfully based on location it still works - e.g. Western Virginia Kiwi. :wink:

When did you start geocaching and what was the first cache that you found? How did you find it?

I found my first cache on June 19, 2007, so a little over 6 years ago now. It was a virtual in Bermuda - Anchors Away (GC4B61). It was found by probably one of the hardest methods possible - i.e. a search with no clue that gps's had a helpful arrow to point you in the right direction. I wandered around trying to get the latitude and longitude to go in the right direction to match what was on the cache printout I had and finally discovered the spot. Certainly wasn't the easiest way to navigate but it was how I found my first 5 caches.

What was the first event you ever attended?
December - A Very Cheesey Christmas II (GC17EJG), an event in Hagerstown, Maryland hosted by LPYankeefan

What is your favorite type of cache hide?
Probably one that takes me to an interesting location and provides me with a little bit of a challenge/adventure.

What's your favorite geocache?
My least favorite question because there's so many that rank high on my favorite list!

Favorite based on physical cache: Athena's Curse (GC175HV) - a sadly now archived night cache that was simply amazing. It had some of the most unique and creative stages I've ever seen - including a zip line! Six hours of hiking in the woods, solving puzzles and completing challenges with great friends made for a terrific cache.

Favorite based on location: Penguin Post Office (GCG66W) - a milestone cache that I will likely never be able to equal. It was at a British post office in Port Lockroy, Antarctica.

How many caches have you found? 5302

If money was no object, where would you like to go geocaching? New Zealand! And then Brazil to get the last remaining APE cache.

Why did you agree to run for NoVAGO office?
I was approached by several people who said they'd like to see me run and I decided continuing to give back to NoVAGO was something I was willing to do.

What do you think NoVAGO's top priorities are for the future?
(1) Facilitating ways to connect our caching community and our different subregions - whether that is through conversations online and the forums, events, caching day trips or anything else that helps cachers be able to connect socially with other cachers, and
(2) Developing good working relationships with regional parks and land managers so the hobby we all enjoy can continue to flourish.
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schwandt

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Re: Meet the 2014 NoVAGO Officers

Postby schwandt » Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:40 pm

Vice-President

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Chase Clan 2.3 celebrating 4000th find


What is your geocaching name? Chase Clan 2.3

What is your real name? Brian Chase, along with Amy, Hannah, Owen, and Garrett

What do you do for a living? Military Trainer (Second career, retired from Marine Corps)

What is the origin of your caching name?
Originally my wife started us on geocaching while I was deployed to Kuwait. She started the account as “forensicmama” because she has an Anthropology degree and is interested in becoming a forensic anthropologist. After I got back from deployment, I became the main geocacher in the family but we kept the name for several years, until we decided that Chase Clan 2.3 (our last name is Chase, 2 adults and 3 kids=2.3) would be a better fit for the family.

When did you start geocaching and what was the first cache that you found? How did you find it?
My wife started geocaching in July 2006 in New Hampshire with Pierce Island Cache (GCJDV4) but our first family cache was Children’s Memorial Forest Park (GCVPHV) in Okinawa in November of 2006.

What was the first event you ever attended?
Our first event was WWFM III @ Shureimon (ShuriJo Castle) (GC1928P) in Okinawa in May 2008. That is also the castle that has been on our profile page since then.

What is your favorite type of cache hide?
I think it’s a toss up between Letterbox Hybrids and Multis, but I enjoy almost every cache to some degree.

What's your favorite geocache?

Our favorite geocache is Dr. Who (GCW6EM) by Goblindust in Portland, Oregon. You can see by the number of favorite points a lot of other people like it as well. Amazing work and really fun for the whole family.

How many caches have you found? As of 5 January 2014 we have found 4,278.

If money was no object, where would you like to go geocaching?
I think New Zealand is one of the places we have wanted to see and geocache in.

Why did you agree to run for NoVAGO office?
My longtime friend reedkickball asked me if I would be interested in running. I hadn’t really ever been active in NoVAGO before and now that we are back here permanently I thought it was a good time to jump in with both feet. I really enjoy geocaching and have had the opportunity to cache in several states and countries but fondly thought about my caching in this area and want to give back to the community.

What do you think NoVAGO's top priorities are for the future?
We have a few things in the work but our top priority should be as ambassadors in geocaching in our area and creating as many long lasting relationships with both people and government agencies to ensure geocaching keeps its good name in the area and that we can expand responsibly.

Anything else you would care to share?

You may have noticed that we have cached in several states and countries, part of which is that I am originally from Portland, Oregon and my wife is from Granby, Massachusetts.

While the family comes along sometimes, the majority of the time it is just me and Ramona, our 2 year old, red, golden retriever. Ramona and the whole family have made good cover to grab some caches that would have been a lot more difficult without them.
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schwandt

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Re: Meet the 2014 NoVAGO Officers

Postby schwandt » Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:20 pm

Secretary

DerekTiffany.jpg
DerekTiffany in the wild


What is your geocaching name? derektiffany

What is your real name? Derek Tiffany

What do you do for a living? Develop productized software

What is the origin of your caching name?
Given the similarity between the first two answers I will leave the mechanics as a D0 puzzle for the reader. My parents may have more insight on the origins. I believe the name Derek was trending when I was born. The Tiffany surname goes back to medieval England at which point there are a few different theories on its adoption and usage.

When did you start geocaching and what was the first cache that you found? How did you find it?
The first geocache I found was Den 5 Tiger Cache (GC26KGR) in May of 2011. It's in Lakeside Park, a Fairfax County park around Lake Royal in Burke. I had an opportunity to focus on developing mobile applications, and in the process downloaded and looked at several smartphone applications which I considered "uniquely mobile." The geocaching app was one of them. The first 150 or so caches I found were via smart phone.

What was the first event you ever attended?
WWFM VIII - National Harbor (GC2TH91) in June of 2011. It was a fun "Pirate Themed" flash mob. Shortly thereafter, in July of 2011, I attended the NoVAGO Summer event (GC2XJT2) at Prince William Forest (and pre-event camping the night before). I had a great deal of fun at the event and started participating more in NoVAGO largely because of it. Shortly after this event, I also attended my first NoVAGO Puzzle Workshop (GC35AAR) by two000miler and Third Tuesday Beer and Burgers (GC2KVY2) by bernsa which have become two other longstanding and well attended NoVAGO events.

What is your favorite type of cache hide?
A unique and interesting location with a unique and interesting hide with a unique and interesting cache page by a cache owner who has put time, effort, and thought into the cache.

What's your favorite geocache?
The one I am currently working on trying to find. I have a lot of favorite memories which include a geocache (or two). I use the "favorites" feature of the geocaching.com web site and have been known to write some lengthy logs.

How many caches have you found? 1600(ish).

If money was no object, where would you like to go geocaching?
The easy answer would be the International Space Station. Another answer could include the Himalayas, Scandinavia, New Zealand, or any geographically interesting area which I have not been to before. However, at this point I'd like to visit these locations primarily for reasons unrelated to geocaching. Perhaps a true answer would be the Swiss Alps as having visited once prior to geocaching, I'd enjoy revisiting with the specific purpose of caching.

Why did you agree to run for NoVAGO office?
I mentioned to some fellow members that I felt it was beneficial and good for the organization to have multiple people running for officer positions. They asked if I was running...

What do you think NoVAGO's top priorities are for the future?
I believe that NoVAGO's strongest asset is its members, and I feel that the primary priority is to enable members to best contribute to NoVAGO as they desire. Specifically, I feel that it is important to start utilizing committees or workgroups or other mechanisms wherein a group of NoVAGO members can work towards a specific goal, activity, or interest.

Anything else you would care to share?
I am looking forward to the upcoming year, and would like to thank all members who have (and will) contribute to NoVAGO's continued success.
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schwandt

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Re: Meet the 2014 NoVAGO Officers

Postby schwandt » Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:05 pm

Treasurer

kanukgirl.jpg
Kanuk girl showing off her signature red
kanukgirl.jpg (28.08 KiB) Viewed 278 times


What is your geocaching name? KanukGirl

What is your real name? Christiane Mitchell

What is the origin of your caching name?
Because of my name, many people ask whether I’m Canadian… well, indeed I am!! As far back as 1835, one of the first uses of "Canuck" — in the form of "Kanuk" — specifically referred to any Dutch or French Canadians (which I am – from Montreal). Then, in 1974, a Montrealer founded a company named “Kanuk” which specializes in the production of winter coats, parkas and jackets. You’ll often see me sporting my trademark red spring or winter Kanuk jackets. So of course, as a way to tie-in with my roots and my favorite outdoor-wear, it seemed fitting to create the name “KanukGirl” as my geocaching handle!

When did you start geocaching and what was the first cache that you found? How did you find it?
I learned about Geocaching as far back as 2003 when we were living in California. It’s a shame I didn’t catch the “bug” back then because there is some cool caching on the west coast. It wasn’t until April 2008, on and for my birthday, that I joined when I received a GPS and finally adopted this new hobby.

My first full year of geocaching was my most intense, filled with FTF races, a thirst for lots of smilies on the map and a dedication to add to the fun by placing my own caches (GeoAerobics Class - Limited Spaces JOIN NOW! (GC1GTER), my first placed cache is still alive and well!).

The first traditional cache I ever found was called Sage’s Stash 1 (dog cache) (GC18Y7G) (now archived) near my home in May 2008 with my husband and kids in tow. I remember being very excited (and not very stealthy!) to find it and suddenly my new best friend, who would come with me everywhere I went, was my Garmin60CSx.

What was the first event you ever attended?
The first event cache I ever attended was a WWFM (Flash Mob) located in Centerville back in November 2008. I remember being thrilled to meet so many local geocachers face-to-face finally, especially after seeing many of their names in logs. I never realized it would become such a social experience and I never fathomed at the time how my circle of friends would grow from all the wonderful people I’ve met playing this “game”.

What is your favorite geocache?
My all time favorite caches are the ones where I have to get my feet wet! I’ll always remember the first kayak-involving FTF I did…Mytheria (GCZ54T) remains my favorite cache ever! (Thanks Moose!)

Five years later, I still very much enjoy geocaching, however I’ve greatly slowed the pace (still hovering around 700 finds total). Being part of NoVAGO’s Officer team (as Treasurer) certainly keeps me involved in the community and I am often seen at events.

More recently, through my involvement with Girl Scouts, I’ve helped create a geocaching program within the Nation’s Capital Council by setting-up a permanent geocaching circuit in one of the local Girl Scout camps. I’ve also offered my support by training many leaders and teaching over 500 girls – geocaching safeties, etiquette, GPS use, etc! I've also co-organized 2 annual Girl Scout letterbox-hikes attracting a whopping 550 treasure seekers! It has been wonderful being able to combine these 2 hobbies; Girl Scouting & Geocaching!

I am pleased to, once again, be part of a great team who are dedicated to supporting the Northern Virginia geocaching community. I look
forward to meeting all the new faces of 2014 as well as reminiscing with the more experienced folks and “old” friends.
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schwandt

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Re: Meet the 2014 NoVAGO Officers

Postby schwandt » Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:28 pm

Public Relations Officer

schwandt.jpg
schwandt - bowling for caches
schwandt.jpg (41.29 KiB) Viewed 259 times


What is your geocaching name? schwandt

What is your real name? Michael (I think you can figure out the last name.) :D

What do you do for a living? Operations Research Analyst, currently for the government

What is the origin of your caching name?
When I signed up for the site, I didn’t realize that my login name was going to be my caching name. I had used my last name to login – and, as it turned out, to cache. The name is of German origin and refers to fields and meadows, which, as it turns out, works well for a cacher.

When did you start geocaching and what was the first cache that you found? How did you find it?
I started caching in October, 2009 and made my first find, Da Fair (GC1569H) while visiting in the Arlington area. A friend and I tried to find Duck Trial (GC3197) in the District of Columbia first, but it was away from ground zero and I didn’t understand much about GPS accuracy then. So, we tried a cache nearer her home and made the find (much more accurate).

What was the first event you ever attended?
I attended the 10 Years! Herndon, VA event (GCXN66) in May, 2010. I actually attended twice since I mistakenly went the day before. Less than four years later, I have 99 more events, plus three CITO events, and I have hosted eight events - on both coasts. I enjoy getting together with cachers! :)

What is your favorite type of cache hide?
I really appreciate Earthcaches for the knowledge and scenery that usually accompany them. I also really enjoy puzzle and mystery caches. Well-crafted multi-caches get my attention – especially when cycling is part of the journey. So, I don’t have one favorite type of cache. In the past couple of years, I have also enjoyed hiking around the area. There are so many great caches all around here!

What's your favorite geocache?
My favorite cache so far has been the Mega Multi-Cache Cycling Fandango (GC2W5G8) – given the cycling, no surprise there.

How many caches have you found?
I went over 3,000 last week with a visit to APS #21 - Arlington Park Series Grand Finale (GC27E4A).

If money was no object, where would you like to go geocaching?
I would enjoy going to Europe, buying an unlimited rail pass, loading my bicycle and caching across the continent. Minus the rail pass and changing to an island, I would like to the same thing in Bermuda.

Why did you agree to run for NoVAGO office?
I enjoyed serving as the Vice-President last year and feel that I can contribute as the Public Relations Officer this year. Hopefully, I am right. :D

What do you think NoVAGO's top priorities are for the future?
I think NoVAGO has two focus areas – social and policy. Socially, NoVAGO can offer events and resources that bring cachers together, building relationships. Policy-wise, NoVAGO offers a critical mass for interacting with land managers that provide access to caching opportunities as part of their public offerings.

Anything else you would care to share?
Like last year, I am looking forward to serving the NoVA cachers this coming year, meeting people, and having caching fun.
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schwandt

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Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:37 pm

Re: Meet the 2014 NoVAGO Officers

Postby awesnap » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:52 am

Nice write ups! It looks like NoVAGO is in great hands!
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awesnap

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