“Ahhh Man! I don’t believe this!” “Way devious where did she come up with this.” “Crazy, just crazy!” “Sadistic!” “Demented”, “Totally over the edge,” were just a few of the comments over heard in the field as team members traveled the Central Peninsula Saturday, smart phone or GPS in hand. The global positioning device only brought the geo-cachers within a ten foot radius of the cache location. Then it was up to the eye, hand or imagination to discover where or what the cache was in order to get the next coordinate for the 6th Annual Challenger Learning Center of Alaska (CLCA) Geo-Cache Rally. And even after the cache was discovered that didn’t mean the hunt was over. The obvious water jug at the Sterling Senior Center had been filled with 100 film canisters only one of which held the prize. “We’re the Challenger Learning Center, so it had to be challenging,” said Daughn Carpenter, otherwise known as the Geo-Genius Guru of the CLCA who makes up and stashes all the caches. “The teams come back year after so I must be doing something right and I confess to being devious,” she said.

Heather & Heather donated the bright green t-shirts for this year’s Geo-Cache Rally and competed in the hunt for the first time, “My 19-year-old daughter took us out last night and showed us how geo-caching works so we had a little heads up but not much and then the water jug with the canisters that didn’t want to come out, we turned we jiggled we got a stick and finally found it. At the end of the day I think we came in dead last just under the bell, but we found them all, so we’re proud and will be back next year,” said Heather. Pamela and Brook, entrepreneurs of the new Everything Bagels in Soldotna entered a team for the first time this year but had previous experience, “We competed on the Kenai Chamber of Commerce team last year and did not place at all, so this year Matt and Brook and I came back as an Everything Bagels team with our co-owners and decided we were going to ‘Crush It.’ And I think 2nd place is crushing it and means that next year we’re going to have to come back and take 1st place. We actually had a planning meeting last night to prepare and coordinate our strategy we’re going to win it next year,” said an enthusiastic Pamela. In keeping with their mission of STEM education and building team work the CLCA presented yet another challenge for the returning geo-cache teams. That of building the highest tower from a given amount of 3×5 cards that could remain standing after a set amount of time supporting a toy animal at the top. Team Everything Bagels won that challenge, but confessed their tower would never have held up a bagel. “We totally support the mission of problem solving and team work that the CLCA brings to our community, this event was very bonding for us,” added Pamela.

The first place winners this year and repeat Geo-Cache competitors was the team from Central Peninsula Hospital (CPH) who claimed the 1st Place prize of a round trip to Denali on the Alaska Railroad with meals and lodging included. “Between me and my husband we have over 1,000 finds all over the world,” said team leader Tamara of CPH, “This is our first time to win and we credit moving from last to first place to organization. My husband put everything into the computer and downloaded it so we could figure out which ones were the next to go to so it’s all about organization that makes the difference, just like in real life. We started out in Nikiski and made our way all the way back the out to Sterling then to Kasilof. We had a great time,” she said. “I’m already thinking about next year! I’m running out of spots after six years, but I have a huge topo map that everything on it so I’ll be finding holes in it for next year as my deviousness continues,” said Daughn. To learn more about activities at the CLCA visit their website at


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