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ExploreWV Newsletter

Fall 2010

ExploreWV LAUNCHES WV GEOCOIN CHALLENGE The first official geocaching organization came to the state of West Virginia this fall in the form of ExploreWV GeoChallenge. A partnership between the WV Department of Education and the Arts, the WV Division of Tourism, and the WV Division of Culture and History, the enthusiast group will be home to various geocaching challenges and events in the Mountain State. The inaugural ExploreWV challenge is the WV Geocoin Challenge, which consists of 30 geocaches hidden throughout the state in four categories: museums, historical markers, tourism hot spots, and a capstone cache at the West Virginia State Museum. “We really wanted to give geocachers a taste of everything West Virginia has to offer,” said Cabinet Secretary Kay Goodwin of the WV Department of Education and the Arts. Two launch events took place to celebrate the kick-off of the geocoin challenge. The first was in Charleston on September th th 18 and the second at Coopers Rock State Forest near Morgantown on September 25 . The events attracted nearly 500 people with highlights including the geocaching mascot Signal the Frog, door prizes donated by the WV Department of Education and the Arts, and free ExploreWV giveaway bags to everyone who registered. The first 250 people to complete the WV Geocoin Challenge will receive a limited-edition geocoin. Due to the overwhelming geographical terrain of West Virginia, only 16 caches are required to complete the challenge. Those who complete all 30 caches will receive an additional prize courtesy of ExploreWV. For more information on ExploreWV and the WV Geocoin Challenge, visit our website at



Here is the list of the WV Geocoin Challenge winners as of November 1, 2010. So far, we have awarded 41 geocoins and four people have completed the entire challenge by finding all 30 geocaches (noted with a *). Congratulations to all winners and good luck to those still participating! Thomas Lebeda* Kevin Williams Brett Kirby James Turner Jr. Joe Browning Roger Beal Tayte Alford Benjamin Tyson Shelia Armfield Mark Blatchford Marlene & Mike Colebank Catherine Webb David Bock Bryan Wysocki Elizabeth Rodriguez Travis Burris Christina Poulter Paul Smith Bryan Peterman* Michael Seubert Mike & Jamie Dearian

Tom Fought Johnny Evans* Mark Porembka Marjorie McDiarmid Chuck McCaffery* Tom Bowers Christina Matlick Raymond & Christy Conway David & April Shaver Robert Smith William Martin Tony Schirtzinger Jeff Carder Danny Rinaldi Larry Bee Steve Corfman Philip Smith Russell Turner Kit & Becky Cobb Edward & Dana Gray

© FALL 2010 * WV Department of Education and the Arts * 1900 Kanawha Blvd E. * Building 5, Room 205 * Charleston, WV 25305 Phone: (304) 558-2440 * Fax: (304) 558-1311

ExploreWV Newsletter

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The first winner of the inaugural ExploreWV challenge, the West Virginia Geocoin Challenge, was from an unexpected place – New Jersey. On September 23, 2010, seasoned geocacher and New Jersey resident Thomas Lebeda (pictured above with ExploreWV Program Director Robin Taylor) claimed his prize for completing all 30 caches in the challenge less than a week after the opening kick-off event in Charleston. Lebeda drove to Charleston for the ExploreWV event and spent nearly a week traveling the Mountain State in search of challenge caches. “The caches were good and very educational. I was also able to see a lot of great places,” said Lebeda. Although Lebeda said he is a fan of geocaching in general, he does note that his favorite type of geocache is rare. “Earth caches are my favorite. They take you somewhere beautiful,” expressed Lebeda. In addition to completing the ExploreWV Geocoin Challenge, Lebeda has also completed the Black Walnut trail and the Coal Heritage trail. In total, he estimates he has discovered over 100 caches in West Virginia. Currently, there are nearly 400 geocachers in thirteen states (including Maryland, Florida, Connecticut, and South Dakota) registered with ExploreWV.

In the upcoming months, the main library branches in each West Virginia county will receive a Geocaching Kit courtesy of ExploreWV and the WV Department of Education and the Arts. Fifty-five kits will be distributed across the state and each kit will contain a Geomate Jr. GPS device and the geocaching and letterboxing guidebook, It’s a Treasure Hunt! Geocaching and Letterboxing. “Our goal is to make geocaching accessible to everyone without families having to make a financial commitment,” explained Robin Taylor, ExploreWV Program Director. The geo-kits will be available for checking out similar to current book systems in libraries. Each Geomate Jr. will be preloaded with area caches so that users may start geocaching the second they leave the library. In addition to placing geo-kits in libraries, ExploreWV is also donating 60 geo kits to teachers throughout the state th th to help promote geocaching in 4 and 8 grade West Virginia History classes. This is in collaboration with the WV Division of Culture and History. “Geocaching is fun and educational and is perfect to incorporate into an interactive history lesson,” noted Taylor. Future plans include having at least one geo-kit in every public library in West Virginia and involving geocaching in all schools across the state.

For updates, photos, and information, find us on Facebook:



ExploreWV would like to say THANK YOU to the following people, businesses, and state agencies:

WV Department of Education and the Arts WV Division of Tourism WV Division of Culture and History WV State Parks The WV State Museum Shop Ice Mountain Preserve Harpers Ferry National Historic Park Fenton Art Glass Geocache Placement Sites ExploreWV Volunteers Challenge Participants

Visit us on USERNAME: ExploreWV If you have any questions, comments, or would like more information on Geocaching in West Virginia, please contact: Robin Taylor at Sara Price at ExploreWV GeoChallenge is a partnership between the WV Department of Education and the Arts, WV Division of Tourism, and the WV Division of Culture and History.

© FALL 2010 * WV Department of Education and the Arts * 1900 Kanawha Blvd E. * Building 5, Room 205 * Charleston, WV 25305 Phone: (304) 558-2440 * Fax: (304) 558-1311

ExploreWV Newsletter - Fall 2010  

The Fall 2010 e-newsletter for West Virginia's new geocaching group, ExploreWV.

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