Sunday, January 11, 2009

It's all about fun....Pirate and buried treasure fun!

Today I hosted my first Asperger's Support Group Meetup. We were originally scheduled for the 22 of December, but rain washed that fun away. We nearly got rained out today. Here is a section of what I wrote to describe the meetup:
"Brandon (11 yrs old) would like to invite out anyone 8 to 16 yrs old to join him on a treasure hunt. He has a map to hidden treasure and he needs a few helpful pirates to track it down.

If you have a pirate that is interested in helping please respond here and maybe have your pirate call Brandon to let him know too.

What you will need to bring is appropriate clothing for the weather and a small dollar store trinket to exchange in the "Cache". You may also want to bring some snacks and drinks in a small backpack.

If you have a handheld GPS unit that would be great as maybe we can split into two groups or some of the pirates can share the GPS duties.

What we will be doing is a Geocache (see We will meet at Chesapeake City Park for some play first and then head over to the Chesapeake Arboretum to find the treasure. We are given the GPS coordinates by the web site, but the coordinates only get us to within 30-90 ft or so of the hidden treasure. We have to look for it from there. In order to get something out of the treasure box, you have to put something in.

Chesapeake Arboretum is a very nice little park just off of Oak Grove road, across the street from Chesapeake General Hospital. It has a nice stream running through it with bridges at various points It is a beautiful spot and is always a lot of fun for a hike or a pirate adventure."

The turnout was great! We had 19 parents and kids show up even though it had been raining earlier and the temperature dropped 20 degrees between 10am and 1pm when the event started. We met at one park to give the kids some play time first.

After the fun at the Fun Forest (really when the parents were frozen through) we made our way over to the Chesapeake Arboretum for the treasure hunt ( Some of our Pirates even had eye patches and hats!

The geocache was a multi-cache, meaning the first stage had the coordinates for the second stage. We passed it twice before finding it! Everyone was really excited and came running.

It took a couple of minutes to round up the GPS units and figure out how to get them all reprogrammed for the new coordinates. The kids were really anxious to get going. The parents were all a bit frozen as the temperature kept dropping.

Finding the actual cache took some work, and we were consistently on all the wrong trails to get there. It also took some team work on the part of the kids as this thing was deep in a hole in a tree. The hole was five feet off the ground. Brandon actually found the cache as he initially climbed up into the tree to look directly in the hole. You can see how they worked together here:

I thought one of them was going to break an arm or worse really. We finally got the cache out though. The treasure was theirs! We had Vanessa write in the log while I had the kids backup and look through the box one at a time. The rule was they had to add something before they could take something. Some scavenged what some of the others put in. :-)

When all the kids were done, we resealed the cache, put it back, and trekked back to the cars. The kids had a fantastic time. It was amazing to watch them work together, run about, and just be kids. The were very well behaved overall too.



I think the parents are all going to have pnenomia this week though. I really need to start wearing a hat when I go out into cold like this. I was hypothermic when we finally left. I had to take a long hot shower to get warm when I got home. Maybe Steve can recommend a good hat. I did actually just turn 40.


  1. Wow!! Now that's a meetup!! How fun is that?!? Well, except for the cold weather.

    Take your vitamin C!!

  2. I was waiting on the edge of my seat for this Geocaching post! Okay, I think I get it now. (Did I spell it right?)

    I'm in awe of you and "T." She hosted her first Meet Up group for single parents, and you've hosted a Asperger's Support Group Meetup. Wow.

    I have a hat suggestion for you...

  3. HA...I'm all about the hat these days. I don't care how stupid you look, you won't get sick. :)

  4. T,
    Taking all kinds of things these days.

    Maybe I need to start a meetup group for Non-standard parental bloggers?

    I'm just really getting to where I wear long pants and a jacket! The hat is coming quickly though. Shaving the head a year and a half ago was the first hat head to worry about. SMS has some great hat suggestions to offer!

  5. I have been following your posts for quite a while - and you have some awesome ideas! thanks!


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