PHELPS - Take a scavenger hunt. Give it a 21st century twist, and you get Geocaching.
"Geocaching is a very inexpensive opportunity for the people in town to get together with their families and do something else without having the computer screens always in front of the kids," says Arlyne Becker, Phound It in Phelps co-coordinator."
Arlyne and her husband recently organized a free Geocaching event in Phelps.
Treasure hunters take a list of coordinates and use their GPS's to find containers like this called Geocaches.
"They have little trinkets and stuff in there that you can trade," Becker says.
Once you find a Geocache, you take a trinket out, and put one in.
That way the Geocache remains full for others.
"It's fun to do that because I really like finding things," says 6-year-old Abraham Meinka.
Abraham and his dad, Kevin, play this never-ending game in Wisconsin and their home state of Michigan.
"I like to get him out into a wild area to have him experience nature. I think he has a good time finding things and looking for them," Kevin says.
Geocaching isn't just a fun, inexpensive way to get the family outdoors.
It also helps them find some of their new favorite places.
"You get out into these parks and wild areas that you would not know about except for you're there geocaching and some of them, you know, we now regular because they're just such interesting, neat places," Kevin Meinka says.
The 21st century scavenger hunt started in 2000 in Oregon.
Since then, it's expanded worldwide.
Now there are more than 2 million Geoecaches located around the world.
Arlyne lives in West Bend now but decided to organize the event in her hometown to show people what Phelps has to offer.
"The people that have come in here, a lot of them have been, 'We've heard about it. We don't know what it is. We're from Chicago. You know, get us going on this. And what a perfect opportunity for them all to get to try it," Becker says.
Those geocachers can now put Phelps on the worldwide geocaching map.
ST. GERMAIN - We all love our favorite sports teams. But what would happen if you had to dress up in your rival's gear? That's exactly what happened to Bears fan, Jerry Healy.
He's the janitor at St. Germain Elementary School. Healy challenged the students to raise over $700 for charity. If they did he'd wear the green and gold.
“Mr Healy you're unbelievable thank you for doing this,” says Jerry Healy, St. Germain Elementary School Janitor. “One kid said, "all this is disgusting Mr. Healy,” and another little kid who's a diehard Packers fan came up he came up and he's got an orange and blue pair of pants on and goes I'm a bears fan, today you're a packer fan, and that was pretty cool he's in second grade.”
As you can see the students surpassed the goal. The money went to pennies for patients. It’s an organization that supports people diagnosed with leukemia. The challenge brought the whole school together.
“Well I think they rose to the occasion they understood they're helping others in an easy but fun way. They came together as a class, as a whole school and just had a lot of fun with it,” says Jeff Waltz, a third grade teacher at St. Germain Elementary School.
This wasn't the first time Jerry got to dress up as a Packers fan. He did the same thing a few years ago when students accomplished a reading goal.
VILAS COUNTY - More people today use maps on their phones when traveling, but some people still like those paper maps.
The Vilas County GIS just made 15 maps of the area. They give people the option to download and print them at home. A map of Boulder Junction even won an award at the 27th annual Wisconsin land Information Association conference in Middleton.
“There was a lot of interest in creating a portable, easy to use map atlas that responders, town crew, delivery entities, could take out in the field with them and find any address point any road name any water body,” says Rebecca Nordine, Vilas County GIS Specialist. “Something that they could bring out along out in the field with them.”
The atlases will give people an easier way of looking up addresses across Vilas County.
“We do offer up online mapping and that's great but if you get into an area where there's no cell phone or no internet service you'll need something a map or paper map to fall back on,” says Nordine.
Each atlas will be updated at the beginning of the year.
To download a copy of the atlases for FREE you can visit: http://vcgis.co.vilas.wi.us/vcom/.
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