MBGA Annual General Meeting - April 30, 2008
Location: Mountain Equipment Co-op (N49 53.631 W097 08.592)
22 Members registered and present, 2 proxy votes registered.
Meeting called to order at 19:20 CDT.
All present members introduced themselves.
- Josh from Mountain Equipment Co-op gave a short introduction about the newly formed partnership between Mountain Equipment Co-op and the Manitoba Geocaching Association (MBGA). He then presented 4 Garmin E-Trex Legends to the current President of the MBGA, Tim (TurdleEggs). These GPS units will be used by the Association for training purposes.
President’s Report – Tim (TurdleEggs)
Geocaching began in Manitoba in 2001 with the placement of “C1BUA – cache 1n a built up area” on February 5, 2001. 11 more caches followed that year. In 2002, there were 23 caches placed, in 2003, 55 and in 2004 there were 85 caches placed.
Then something happened – the Manitoba Geocaching Association was created. Master Instigator, dani_carriere and skaven gathered a group of enthusiastic cachers together at the MBGA inaugural meeting on March 5, 2005 and shortly after the first MBGA committee was formed. Geocaching took off in Manitoba and 257 caches were placed in 2005. In both 2006 and 2007, almost 800 caches were placed
The MBGA has grown rapidly over its three years of existence and one of its most important roles is to host events. Before events, cachers only knew each other through their log entries as they rarely met on the trail. Social events have proved very popular and the MBGA and its members held over 20 well attended events last year. In addition, there were 6 group caching events which are very popular with new cachers.
Another key role of the MBGA is to educate its members and encourage quality cache hides. The MBGA hosted an excellent cache hiding and software training seminar and ran 2 very successful cache placement contests last year. Also, MBGA volunteer trainers presented introductory geocaching seminars over the year to outside organizations resulting in more Manitoba cachers and subsequently more cache placements. External training is also a revenue opportunity for the MBGA to help pay its expenses.
Caching tends to slow down in the winter, so the MBGA ran a cache finding contest in January and February which proved very successful in getting people out in the cold and snow. Social events throughout the winter kept the enthusiasm going.
Another central role of the MBGA is to create communications channels for Manitoba cachers. The forum has proven very effective for members to exchange information, organize events and play geocaching games. It provides members throughout Manitoba an opportunity to have their ideas heard and participate in MBGA activities. The MBGA now also has a direct e-mail newsletter to help keep members informed of upcoming events. The on-line Chat is very well used and many spontaneous group caching outings begin there. One or more of the MBGA board members are often on the Chat, so it’s also a good way for members to communicate with their board.
The MBGA strives to be a resource for members and a point of contact for anyone wanting to learn more about geocaching in Manitoba. The MBGA does this through its web site and public relations contacts. The web site has evolved into a valuable resource hosting the calendar of events, training documents, online tools, news and media interviews, an image gallery, the very popular Cacher of the Month interview, cacher milestones, the featured cache and meeting minutes. Advertisers on the web site provide much needed revenue for the MBGA and last year Landsharkz signed up along with GPS Central.
As geocaching in Manitoba has grown, there has been a great deal of interest from the media and other organizations. MBGA public relation volunteers were interviewed by the Winnipeg Free Press and Lance newspapers as well as Shaw, CTV and CBC television stations. This coverage helps generate a public awareness of geocaching and encourages new cachers to take part. Some of the other groups the MBGA worked with last year were MAFRI, MMF, MMA, MRTA, SaskCachers, Red River Cachers, Festival du Voyager, CDEM, Geocahceurs Tourisme Riel and Parks Canada.
Finally, the MBGA also makes caching supplies such as ammo boxes, travel bug tags and MBGA logo merchandise readily available to members by selling them at events.
Some of the other accomplishments of the 2007-2008 board were the development of bylaws. The bylaws, related policies and statements serve as a reference for the current and future boards and define a structure, approved by the membership, that establishes the MBGA as an organization eligible for granting opportunities. The MBGA also established NorMan and WestMan reps and its contribution to the Parks Canada Geocaching policy culminated with the release of 2 MBGA caches in Riding Mountain National Park in the summer of 2007. Finally, the MBGA is very pleased to be invited as a Mountain Equipment Co-op Community Partner which, among other things, gives the MBGA access to Mountain Equipment Co-op's space for meetings and club nights. The GPS’s Mountain Equipment Co-op donated will further strengthen the MBGA’s training program.
As some of you may have heard, there was recently a bomb scare by Chapel Lawn that turned out to be a harmless “scavenger hunt device”. With over 500 caches hidden in the City of Winnipeg alone, it’s inevitable that caches will be discovered by the public. The hider can take steps to help identify the container as a geocache by placing a label on the outside. Also, if the cache is discovered and opened, having a “Stash Note” on the inside will increase the odds that the cache remains in play and is not removed. Of course, always ensure you’ve received permission to place a cache on private property, and try to avoid locations where the discovery of a container might raise alarm.
On a closing note, Tim thanked the current board members for the countless hours they volunteered, for their creative ideas, and for the pleasure of being able to work with such a fun group of people this last year. They are dani_carriere, Peter & Gloria, ertyu, junglehair, OHMIC, MHz, 3T’s&aG, bevro, slippery_1, KiteKacher and Dragonfreys.
Over the last three years, the MBGA has had no shortage of volunteers to the board of directors. Tim recognized these past board members for the contributions they made: Master Instigator, skaven, polarbeardigggers, Pink Panther, ava_adore, The-Stuntman, grnbrg and lizardo.
Of course the board did not done it alone, so Tim also extended his appreciation to the many members at large who have helped out over the years.
- Jacques (OHMIC) made a motion to accept the President’s report as. Seconded by Stan (Z’tirnats). Approved.
Treasurer’s Report – Peter (Peter & Gloria)
- Financial Year End report for 2007
Revenue Expenses Net Donations $1,030.00 $250.00 $780.00 Event $198.00 $639.50 ($441.40) Merchandise $687.00 $717.52 ($30.52) Training (External) $339.56 $181.40 $158.16 Web $367.96 $14.29 $353.67 Misc. $2.00 $29.35 ($27.35) Total $2,624.52 $1,832.06 $792.46 Opening Balance January 1, 2007 $537.36 Net Income (Loss) $792.46 Closing Balance December 31, 2007 $1,329.82
- Nick (bevro) motion to accept the Financial Year End report as presented. Seconded by Scott (Lizardo). Approved.
- Peter then presented the 2008 budget for the member’s information as follows:
Revenue Expenses Net Donations $160.00 $0.00 $160.00 Event $500.00 $950.00 ($450.00) Merchandise $400.00 $550.00 ($150.00) Training (External) $350.00 $180.00 $170.00 Web $345.00 $350.00 $5.00 Misc. $0.00 $50.00 ($50.00) Total $1,755.00 $2,080.00 ($325.00) Opening Balance January 1, 2008 $1,329.82 Estimated Net Income (Loss) ($325.00) Estimated Closing Balance December 31, 2008 $1,004.82
- Some discussion about the budget and financial report came up but all questioned were answered by Peter.
Membership Report – Steve (ertyu)
- For the MBGA's 3rd anniversary there were exactly 500 registered members. Today there are 524 members. 475 of which are Manitoba residents. In the past year we have gained 201 new members, 184 of which are Manitoba residents. Generally we have approximately 150 geocachers active on our website at any given time.
- Stan (Z’tirnats) motioned to accept the Membership report as presented. Seconded by Jayson (JayPeg). Approved.
Events Report – Tim (TurdleEggs)
- Tim made reference to the printed calendar of events and a very full summer of events coming soon.
Training Report – Nick (bevro)
- 6 formal training events last year including the following:
- Interlake Wellness Conference – Ashern, May 2007, 6 attendees
- City of Portage la Prairie – May 2007, 2 sessions, 12 attendees
- White Plains Recreational Association(WPRA) – Oct 2007, La Salle, 6 attendees
- WPRA – January 2008, 3 attendees
- WPRA – April 2008, session canceled, no activity
- Other requests:
- St. Vital Sparkes
- Informal Birthday Party session
- Upcoming training session:
- ReFit Centre Wpg – Session booked for May 22 and July 23, 2008
- Also there has been a few GPS specific training by individuals requested.
- Also noted others who have had successful training sessions:
- Stan and Lynne (Z’tirnats) – several training sessions in Churchill
- Chris (prohkor) – many, many training sessions in conjunction with the MAFRA
- Jacques (OHMIC) – many promos via Ducks Unlimited presentations
Bylaws – Tim (TurdleEggs)
- Tim referred everyone to the published draft of the bylaws on the MBGA web site and forums.
- Brian (grnbrg) motioned to adopt the bylaws as published. Seconded by Jayson (JayPeg). No Discussion arising. Approved.
Election of the new Board of Directors – Tim (TurdleEggs)
- Tim listed the nominations received prior to the AGM as follows: Dani (dani_carriere), Paula (MHz), Peter (Peter and Gloria), Sandra (junglehair), Jacques (OHMIC), Tim (TurdleEggs), Steven (ertyu), Georgia (GG56), Jeff (HoggerJeff & the Piglets), Ray (slippery_1) and Carméne (Géocacheurs Tourisme Riel).
- Tim then made a call for nominations from the floor. No nominations from the floor.
- Nominations closed.
- Stan (Z’tirnats) motioned to accept the board as nominated. Seconded by Mary (CacheGranny). Approved.
- Old board is now dissolved.
- No new business was raised.
Notices for the good and welfare of the association
- Both Carméne (Géocacheurs Tourisme Riel) and Jacques (OHMIC) mentioned that they do provide non-MBGA course and GPS adventures to schools or corporate groups.
- Brian (carbellseekers) mentioned how the River East School division as interested in doing some GPS related activities in the school. He will look into it. Charles (burchil) noted that he has already done presentations on geocaching and GPS usage in some of his children’s schools and Paula (MHz) mentioned how 1queenand4jokers has done the same in their areas as well.
- Stan (Z’tirnats) mentioned that Folklarama is very interested in geocaching and to look for something from them this summer.
- Carméne (Géocacheurs Tourisme Riel) reminded everyone of the upcoming event, Défi Saint-Boniface Challenge on May 31, 2008.
- Stan (MuStash) thanked the retired board for all their work in the past year.
Motion to adjourn by Stan (Z’tirnats). Meeting adjourned at 20:10 CDT