SAVE THE DATE! NoVAGO Fall Picnic & Silent Auction

SAVE THE DATE! NoVAGO Fall Picnic & Silent Auction

Northern Virginia Geocaching Organization invites you to join our fall picnic. In addition to eating burgers, hot dogs, and potluck sides, there will lots of opportunities to meet nice folks and trade geocaching stories. This is also the time for our annual silent auction.

Where: Claude Moore Park – Pavilion 2, 21668 Heritage Farm Lane, Sterling, Virginia

When: Saturday, October 22, 2022, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Silent Auction: 12 -2:00 pm (payment and removal of items no later than 2:30pm, please)

Please RSVP on the Event Page.

Annual NoVAGO Silent Auction

The silent auction is NoVAGO’s primary fundraiser event of the year. We ask member to bring items to contribute to the auction by the start of the auction at noon (12pm). Please be generous with your items.

Don’t have anything to donate? Consider donating your time or expertise. In the past, we’ve had members donate solutions to a puzzle cache (one of their own, of course,) help creating a Wherigo type cache, custom carved letterbox stamp, and other great experiences. Be creative!

If you would like to donate items or experiences, but can’t attend the event, message @pfenix through Geocaching or @Patricia Chow through Facebook and she will coordinate with you to pick up your items and bring them to the event on your behalf.

This is a community celebration event!


Spotlight Cache: Book Nook

#ReadABookDay (September 6)

Need at book for Read a Book Day? There are many great book themed caches hidden around Northern Virginia. Today we are spotlighting Book Nook (GC68AD1) hidden inside a Little Free Library on a neighborhood street in Fairfax. When I visited this area in 2020, I remember passing at least three other Little Free Libraries on the way to this one. What makes this one special is that it has lots of books AND a fun hidden geocache. The hiding location might take a bit of looking because access is hidden so well, but for those that persevere will find a regular sized geocache filled with kid-friendly SWAG items. At time of publish, this cache has earned 85 favorite points. Well done and thanks to the cache owner, DPV1972 for the hide.

Winner of 2015 NoVAGO Best Traditional. Congratulations!

Spotlight Cache: If You Want To Run With The Big Dogs… Greyhound

#NationalDogDay (August 26)

Its the dog days of summer and no better time to celebrate #NationalDogDay. Today we’re spotlighting a challenging multi-cache hidden in Clifton, Virginia. If You Want To Run With The Big Dogs… Greyhound (GC123T7) was hidden by BBQ back in 2007. Not only will finders get a well deserved block filled in on their D/T grid – this is a 3.5/4.5 – but they will also get to add their name to the log book of Northern Virginia’s elite.

Here’s what some of its finders have said about it:

“I’m still in shock after this cache and hoping to find the right number of beers to make the pain go away.”

“We walked a total of 8.19 miles.”

“Guess some people are just gluttons for punishment …”

“This one seemed a lot easier on paper!”

“I started out early and refreshed. However, the bluebells distracted me. I ended up taking lots of pictures.”

“Super fun cache and a lot of fun.”

Winner of 2007 NoVAGO “Best Hike” category. Congratulations!

New Locationless Geocache Available August 17, 2022

New Locationless Geocache Available August 17, 2022

What is the coolest place that you never knew about but found because of geocaching? If there is a special place near you that you discovered in the search of a geocache, its time to share your find with the rest of the geocaching community world wide.

August 17, 2022 through December 31, 2023, you can log this unique cache icon (GC9FAVE) by uploading a selfie at your favorite place along with a description of where it is and why you love it. Remember no spoilers if there is a geocache hidden there.

Check out this Geocaching HQ article for more info:

2022 Annual Series Kicks Off – School Starting Soon

NoVAGO Kicks off 2022 Annual Series with Two Events

Students Start Registering for Classes

NoVAGO University is this year’s theme for our friendly, team oriented, geocaching games. Teams started forming as early as 9:30am on Sunday, August 14th at a kick-off event in Sterling, VA. A second event was held later in the day in Lorton.

Geocachers who attended the events were asked if they wanted to join one of three Greek houses to make college life a bit more fun for the next several months. Choices were PAF, DNF, and GPS. Some noted that there wasn’t a team FTF, which would have been their first choice. While others felt that that DNF might stand for ‘Driver, Navigator, and Finder’ which sounds like a great choice, too.

NoVAGO-U Kick-off, Sterling. Photo by effstop

House DNF. Photo by Red KnightAdditional team mates will be added by the registration office after the events. Those who couldn’t attend will still get to play. If you are new to NoVAGO and would like to make some geocaching friendships, you should seriously consider participating in the NoVAGO-U series. Late registrations are accepted, so don’t feel bad asking to join after August 14th. Head to the event links [HERE] and message the hosts. Don’t worry. It’s all for fun.

At the event, a short briefing was given out to players about how the grading scale will work. Hint: you better not be a slacker or your team might just get an ‘F’ on their report card.

Download an informational flyer (.pdf) on the NoVAGO-U Series here: NoVAGO U HowItWorks

For more on this series go the parent page:

Spotlight Cache: Catnip Scramble

#InternationalCatDay (August 8)

Today we’re celebrating #InternationalCatDay by spotlighting this fun Letterbox Hybrid cache in Annandale. Catnip Scramble (GC8471C) was placed by CWillyPngn in 2019. In this fun walk through the park, geocachers will follow Jiji the black cat as he makes his way down trails, through tunnels, and even does a little waypoint projecting before finally getting to a regular sized container. Fans of Studio Ghibli films will immediately recognize this furry companion from the movie Kiki’s Delivery Service.

Winner of 2019 NoVAGO Best Kids Cache AND Best Letterbox Hybrid. Congratulations!


Northern Virginia Geocaching Organizing Announces its 2022 Fall Series: NoVAGO-University

Join a team! Find geocaches!

Compete in fun contests to earn points for your team.

Members might remember our club’s Survivor series, or our more recent pandemic boredom busting Olympics. The newest games are a college themed challenges, where members compete to earn point for their Greek house (toga’s may or may not be optional.)

Two Kick-off Events, August 14, 2022

9:30-10:30 AM – Sterling (GC9THP1)   &   12:30-1:30 PM – Lorton (GC9WD00)

The kick-off events will be an opportunity to meet potential team mates and pledge together on a first-come-first-serve basis for one of three houses. It’s also a great time to ask questions. Attendance is not required to participate. You may contact ZippyFinn or Serrabou if you would like to be added to a team at any time through November.

If you are new to NoVAGO and would like to make some geocaching friendships, you should seriously consider participating in the NoVAGO-U series. Late registrations are accepted, so don’t feel bad asking to join after August 14th. Head to the event links above and message the hosts.

Download an informational flyer (.pdf) on the NoVAGO-U Series here: NoVAGO U HowItWorks

For more on this series go the parent page:

Finding a Geocache on Memorial Day – or any day

Memorial Day is holiday to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. While observing Memorial Day, you might want to consider visiting one of these geocaches in Northern Virginia.

You will be following part of the Marine Corp Museum’s Semper Fidelis Memorial Trail – about 3/4 mile of walking – visiting statues and memorials along the way.

This Werigo geocache by robbitandpaul was a 2015 NoVAGO Cache Award Winner!

National Museum of the Marine Corps, Quantico. The trail is open from 9 to 9 and the museum is open 9 to 6.

One of several caches at the place of highest honor, Arlington National Cemetery, this walk should take you under an hour and will take you to two different locations.

This virtual by Bigcall has been on the map since 2002.

Arlington National Cemetery

One of several caches at the place of highest honor, Arlington National Cemetery, this walk will take you to a few stops where you will probably want your camera. There is a bit of walking involved and you will need to make at least three stops before completing it.

This virtual by jandzl has been on the map since 2002.

Arlington National Cemetery

One of several caches at the place of highest honor, Arlington National Cemetery, this virtual will take you to one well known group of unknowns. And you’ll know when you get there, exactly what it is.

This virtual by thekayakpack has been on the map since 2003.

Arlington National Cemetery

A good Memorial Day cache for kids, this geocache is easy to find and is a great introduction to the Remembrance Poppy or Buddy Poppy. Bonus, there is a playground across the street!

This traditional geocache by Moka_Dog was published in 2020.

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 1177, Leesburg

Did you know that there is a national cemetery near old town Winchester? This is the final resting place of more than 5,500 veterans of the Shenandoah Valley. Many of those buried here were Union soldiers during the American Civil War. There are fifteen monuments in the cemetery, but to figure out this puzzle, you’ll only need to visit one of them.

This mystery type geocache was placed by wallmeister22601 in coordination with the Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center in 2014.

Winchester National Cemetery

For something a bit out the usual, try completing this virtual memorializing soldiers of the Revolutionary War. The answer is hidden in a small church yard in old town Alexandria.

This virtual geocache by TheDartBoardGang was published in 2003.

Old Town Alexandria

Adventure Labs for Memorial Day

Arlington National Cemetery Notables

Arlington National Cemetery Notables II

Air Force Memorial

National Museum of the United States Army (Part 1) with BONUS cache

National Museum of the United States Army (Part 2) with BONUS cache

For more inspiration…

Geocaching Connects Son to Father Lost in World War II

NoVAGO’s 2022 Spring Picnic

The 2022 spring picnic was held this last weekend on May Day (May 1st) at Mason District Park in Annandale. In addition to the event being a Community Celebration Event (extended due to the pandemic) it also gave attendees the Blue Switch Day souvenir.

  • DePhogration and hzoi getting the charcoal hot.

There was lots of excitement leading up to the day of the event. Some of the reasons our members were looking forward to the picnic:

  • It’s close to home!
  • Can’t wait to catch up with my caching buddies.
  • Finally an event that’s NOT on a Saturday.
  • To see if the weather might be even more incredible than the 2021 spring picnic (thankfully, it wasn’t.)
  • Lot’s of food to eat (including tacos!)
  • Feeling less anxious about COVID compared to last year. 
  • First event with NoVAGO. (We had a couple new members join us. Welcome!)
  • Did I win an award? (We announced awards for NoVAGO’s 2021 Best Caches)

DePhogration was our Pit Master once again. Hzoi stepped up for an emergency shopping trip to replace the weird, flame resistant charcoal that wouldn’t light. Once that was done, DePhogration soon had burgers and hot dogs sizzling on the three hot grills. The team effort continued when Effstop showed us his skills with a spatula and kept those burgers from burning. Thanks for the getting the main attractions on the table, guys!

As usual, the crowd rolled in and out during the event. Over 50 geocachers logged the event. Most of the group signed the log book and dutifully picked up their icebreaker challenge sheet. An hour or so went by as folks tried to figure out who’d had a ‘stick in the eye’ or ‘cached with a crying child.’ Eventually, someone cracked the code and the party migrated into the park to get the coveted group FTF. Eventually, they came back for another round of food. The 50/50 raffle bucket came around. The pot was $176 thank to our generous members. This helps offset expenses like burgers and buns, but also things like website fees. MrPsyduck was the winner and he graciously gave his half back to the organization. Thanks MrPsyduck! Award winners were announced and a few general announcement were spoken. We had a moment of silence for our caching friend, tmustang1, who  passed away a few months ago.

The weather wasn’t looking great, but the rain held off just long enough for the event to conclude. For most of us, the usual post-event caching in the park would have to wait for another day. A few intrepid souls braved the downpour and went for those geocaches anyway.

NoVAGO Spring 2022 Picnic Group Photo