Joined: 20 May 2007
|Posted: Jan 10, 2014 2:08 pm Post subject: A note from your friendly reviewer
I figured I would drop by as I wanted to give a little clarification into a guideline problem that I noticed is popping up more and more as the city becomes more saturated with caches.
One thing I have noticed about Winnipeg is that quite often a city park will have a school backing on to it. Often these parks are not very large and usually contain a stand of trees that, under normal conditions, would be perfect for a cache placement.
The section of the guidelines regarding areas not suitable for cache placement includes schools, which reviewers generally consider as educational institutions below the level of college or university. This was added to the guidelines due to an increasing problem with cachers searching near schools being stopped and questioned by the authorities. As we all know there is a certain level of awareness in todays society regarding any activity that appears to be out of the normal. As people become more concerned about this a level of paranoia becomes evident.
So to help this situation I will explain how I judge a caches proximity to a school and what I will and won't allow.
There are 3 basic things I try and judge when reviewing a cache placed near a school.
!. Is it on or near school property. I will not allow a cache on school property but something near school property depends on # 2 and 3. Unfortunately when looking at what is school property the maps don't always show it accurately so I prefer to err on the side of caution.
2. If the cache in near school property is it in an area where the kids might be hanging out or playing during school hours? This is where the problem with some parks becomes an issue as there are times when the kids will be wandering thru the trees or hiding out there to avoid others.
3. Is the cache within line of sight of the school. If a teacher or student can see the cache site from the school then they can see a cacher looking for it and possibly consider that cacher to be involved in illicit activity.
When I look at a cache I consider those 3 points along with the usual guidelines regarding cache placement. If the park is large enough and the cache at the opposite end it may be that while a person at the school can see the cache site in the distance it is easier to justify publication than if it is a small park with a cache hidden in a stand of trees close to the school where the kids would play hide and seek.
Each situation is unique and I look at each one on it's own merits. There used to be a time when permission could be obtained for a cache placement on school grounds but due to problems with communicating that permission it is not considered viable any more.
So I hope that will provide a bit of clarification on how I review a cache in relation to the guidelines on restricted areas, schools in particular. As always, if anyone has any question feel free to contact me thru my profile and I'll do my best to answer them.