My 15-year-old brother, Josh, has been geocaching for about a year now, and the activity has changed his relationship with my father.
In case you’re not familiar with the term, geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game. In the game, players use web directions to try to find containers with prizes inside, called geocaches. These “caches” are so prevalent that, at this very moment, there is probably one hidden near you.
This activity has been healthy for Josh. Like many 15-year-old boys, he has an unyielding sense of adventure. He spends a lot of time in fictional worlds of suspense and excitement. Most of the time, these worlds involve video games. The games all include virtual violence, which my mother hates, but reluctantly tolerates. Josh also plays paintball or airsoft just about every weekend with his friends. But in case you didn’t already notice, all of these interests involve guns and none of them include family. It’s pretty easy for a teenager to get caught up in his own life and forget about developing relationships with loved ones.
Geocaching is something (nonviolent) that he does with my dad. Josh loves it because it combines his obsession with technology with his adventurous spirit. My dad loves getting outside and taking on new challengse. But they both love the time that it allows them to spend together (even if they won’t say so outright).
Let me show you what I mean. Take a look at my audio-slideshow of one of their recent “hunts” in the woods of my hometown, Doylestown, PA.