Congrats to Nothereeither for this spectacular autumn snapshot taken at Sugarloaf Mountain Pond. We also offer a big thank you to everybody who participated in the 2016’s monthly photo contests and are eagerly looking forward to seeing what photos are to come in 2017!
NoVAGO’s first CITO of 2017 has been published! Come join us for a much needed CITO of Veterans Memorial Park. The park managers agree, and they are excited for our help in rectifying the situation. We will meet at the pavilion near the parking coordinates.
February 18th, 2017
10 am till Noon
Veterans Memorial Park
14300 Veterans Dr.
Woodbridge, VA 22191
We had over 40 geocachers and family join us on a rainy Saturday afternoon for the Annual Thanks event. Appreciation was given for all of the local cachers who worked hard to make 2016 more fun in Northern Virginia, a beautiful cake with DePhogration artwork was served, and the the new NoVAGO Pathtags and Geocoins were met with great enthusiasm.
Thanks again for Being Awesome!
One of the hallmarks of NoVAGO is its events. For a number of years NoVAGO has held 4 quarterly picnics. Last year the addition of 4 seasonal CITOs was made to the NoVAGO calendar. At the first board meeting of the year a decision was made to revamp the event lineup for 2017. This year NoVAGO will hold two major events (Spring and Fall) and four CITOs. The reasons for this decision bear explanation.
When NoVAGO began having quarterly events, geocaching had not yet matured through the use of smart phones and other common devices. NoVAGO was composed of a smaller core group of cachers. Social media which currently links our membership, such as FaceBook, was neither common or readily accessible. Today our membership has multiple venues to link up and share experiences daily.
This change in technology was joined by the growth of regional events over the last five years. When NoVAGO settled on quarterly events, gatherings of regional cachers were much less common. Over the last half decade the NoVAGO region has seen the growth of multiple monthly “meet and greets”. Cachers across the NoVAGO region now have many opportunities to meet up on a regular basis.
Analyzing the last few years of NoVAGO events as compared to those of years past, there was no doubt that attendance has dropped. The factors discussed above may have contributed to this. For this reason, it was decided to focus on two high quality events in 2017. Traditionally, Spring and Fall events have been the most important NoVAGO gatherings. Spring brings the annual cache awards, and celebration of all the fine caches and COs that make geocaching in NoVAGO so enjoyable. Fall is the time for the yearly auction which provides the funding NoVAGO needs to continue operations. Focusing on these two events will hopefully make them more special and encourage members to turn out in higher numbers.
Current plans include holding the Spring event in the April time frame and the Fall event in October. Historically these months have provided the best weather, and good availability for potential venues. With the continued focus on achieving non-profit status, NoVAGO will continue to focus on CITO events in 2017. These events will be seasonal. Over that last few years Groundspeak has offered CITO souvenirs in April and September time frames. For this reason, NoVAGO will hold the Spring and Fall CITOs during those time periods. The Winter CITO will be held in February, and the Summer CITO in July. No dates have been selected as of yet. Plans are currently underway for the Winter CITO.
I look forward to a fun and productive 2017. Hope to see you all at the upcoming events and on the trails.
As we usher in 2017 I wanted to take the opportunity to express some quick thoughts as the new NoVAGO President. At the end of 2013 I was approached by then NoVAGO President rufnredy about running for an officer position in NoVAGO. Although I did not feel up to the challenge, I did agree to become a Director to assist NoVAGO as needed. I did not realize then the ripple effects that decision would have.
For the next three years I would serve as a NoVAGO Director, its PR Officer and finally the Secretary. Last year I agreed to run for President. Battling fierce opposition, I prevailed as the victor. During my time in NoVAGO I have been fortunate to work with a varied and talented group of officers. I see no change in that aspect of the job this year.
My view of the job of NoVAGO President has been informed by watching those I worked with, starting with rufnredy who talked me into volunteering in the first place. As a founding member of NoVAGO, he has always provided perspective won from years of experience. I will continue to rely on his advice. Working with WVKiwi for her two years as president I noted her passion and dedication to growing NoVAGO. Not only did she push NoVAGO forward, but simultaneously was a driving force behind the Geowoodstock XIII held in MD in 2015. Finally, last year I worked with K8Ydd as our leader. Even with her unexpected departure she was able to put together organized agendas and drive our group forward. I am thankful to all these past leaders and hope to continue their good works.
In the coming months I intend to share with the NoVAGO members my vision of where the organization will be going in 2017. I have two simple underlying beliefs that I would like to share right away.
First Geocaching is a game. We all participate in this game for recreation, relaxation and to bring some joy into our lives. NoVAGO is designed to further that experience and bring people together who share the same passion for the game. The foundational strength of NoVAGO is its members. It is all of you who make us a strong collective. Through the year NoVAGO will be reaching out to members to solicit involvement and hopefully gain interest in the next generation of officers waiting in the wings.
Second, communication is critical in all endeavors. I will attempt to foster lines of communication between myself and the NoVAGO membership. To grow requires change, and we hope to grow NoVAGO over the course of the next year. Your input will be solicited in to any changes proposed.
As a short note becomes a rambling missive, enough has been said for now. I hope everyone has an enjoyable start to the New Year, and I look forward to serving as your President.
According to TwoWheelIn’s forum post “Down NoVAGO Memory Lane 2004 – 2013” the Northern Virginia Geocaching Organization was officially established on January 1st, 2007. It was this day that the first elected officers took power and started shaping the organization that we know and love. The first hosted event by these new officers was held in Loudon County and was titled NoVAGO Kickoff and Caching Event and it fell on Saturday January 14th 2007.
It just happens that January 14th also falls on a Saturday in 2017, so hosting our annual Thanks event on the ten year anniversary of our first event is perfect. Please join us at Wegmans Fairfax to thank all of the amazing volunteers who helped make geocaching in Northern Virginia more fun in 2016 and to welcome in the 2017 volunteers.
January 14th, 2017
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Wegmans, 11620 Monument Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030
Not only will we have a Happy Birthday NoVAGO cake, but we will be introducing the new NoVAGO X Geocoin. So if you are interested in owning one they will be available to purchase during the Thanks event.