"Treasure" hunting strengthens the bonds between Inverness Games and sister Games in USA

A brand new global craze is heading to Bught Park in Inverness in time for the Tulloch Inverness Highland Games on July 21-22. Caber tossing meet Indiana Jones meets the high tech twenty first century as GeoCaching (pronounced GEO-cashing) fever heads to the Highlands.

Armed with nothing more than a hand-held Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver and a desire for adventure people of all ages around the world are becoming amateur treasure hunters as they set out to find hidden stashes.

The term GeoCaching was first coined by Matt Stum on the "GPS Stash Hunt" internet mailing list in May 2000 as GPS enthusiasts on internet newsgroups came up with ideas about how the technology could be used.

Treasures or "caches" are hidden just about anywhere; on hiking trails, city parks and suburban shopping centres around the world. Clues to the location of these treasures including GPS coordinates are then posted on internet websites.

The treasures may be a small trinket such as a pin or "GeoCoin" (a coin made specifically for GeoCaching) or it may simply be a log on which the finder signers their name. For most GeoCachers it’s not the treasure but the thrill of the hunt that has them addicted.

The Triad Highland Games basted in Greensboro North Carolina USA has minted several Special Edition GeoCoins in honor of its twinning with the Tulloch Inverness Highland Games in Scotland and a number of these coins have been hidden in GeoCaches around the USA.  Several of these coins will be hidden around the Highlands with a possibility of several being placed around Bught Park and Ness Islands in time for this year's Games. Each coin is stamped with a unique serial number which will enable people to go online and track its journey around the world.

As GeoCachers find the coins they will log the location of the find on the internet before they place the coin into a new cache location. The mission of these coins is to travel to Scottish Highland Games and festivals across the globe promoting the links between the Inverness and Triad Games.

The Triad Highland Games which is held on the first weekend of May has been twinned with the City of Inverness Highland Games in Scotland since 1999 and Inverness Games Secretary Gerry Reynolds and Triad Highland Games founders Ann and Junny Jackson have been working closely together to exchange ideas and suggestions and bridge the distance between North Carolina and Scotland.

The Special Edition coins show the Triad Highland Games logo on the front side with a special message in Gaelic greeting the finder with "One Hundred Thousand Welcomes". On the reverse both the St. Andrews and Lion Rampant flags of Scotland are depicted along with the message "Help Me Home".

Information on GeoCaching and GeoCoin tracking may be found online at "www.geocaching.com". Simply enter Triad Highland Games into the ‘trackable by name’ field to follow the journey of the Triad Highland Games Special Edition coin around the world.

Additional information on Triad Highland Games may be found online at "www.triadhighlandgames.org".

For further information contact Gerry Reynolds on 01463 724262 (email: gerry.reynolds@highland.gov.uk).

29 Jun 2007