“Benjamin’s Bugs” geocaching is our family’s endeavor to remember our son, Ben, through
meaningful and fun family outdoor activities. Ben had an adventurous spirit,
and an incredible energy, drive and enthusiasm for pursuing outdoor activities. We
could offer any idea of something new to do outside, and he would shout, “Yeah, let’s DO that!” He liked to follow up our outings with a trip to the library, to check out books on
topics that had grabbed his interest; we chuckle as we remember the time he insisted we check out every book on the shelf
pertaining to mosquitoes (there are more than you might think!). Though bugs
were one of his favorites, no topic was too trivial; he wanted to know EVERYTHING.
also loved to travel. He visited the UK with us when he was 8 months old,
and liked to tell us, “Let’s go there again when I’m old enough to remember.” He also was fascinated by Australia,
in part because of his infatuation with the Irwin family (eg. the Crocodile Hunter), and in part because so many interesting
animals are found there; we told him we would take him there one day.
we lost Ben, our lives came to an abrupt halt. Aside from feeling that our hearts had been shattered, we were disoriented,
totally perplexed by the question of what to do to fill the painfully empty free time we suddenly had. Being
at home felt difficult, too lonely, too quiet, so we went hiking day after day. Time on the trail was spent sharing
favorite memories of Ben, and brainstorming ways we might positively honor
his memory as a family.
fun and purely frivolous idea we stumbled upon was to keep our busy Ben traveling, vicariously of course, through inanimate
objects transfered from person to person, all in the adventurous spirit of enjoying the outdoors, as Ben so loved to do.
Through the sport of Geocaching, which is essentially a worldwide treasure-hunting game, one can do just this -- select an
inanimate object, attach a trackable dogtag to it (the Travel Bug), give it a mission, and watch it go. Tracking of
formal geocaching Travel Bugs is accomplished via Groundspeak's website at www.geocaching.com.
family goal is to put a limited number of trackable Travel Bugs into geocache circulation with Ben’s picture and
message attached to them, in the hope that one or more will travel to the UK
or Australia. We will also attempt to circulate some “Intrepid Insects,” “Rambling
Reptiles,” and “Adventuresome Amphibians,” less formal bugs of our own with nonspecific travel plans;
we just hope they will keep adventuring along, seeing new sights and exploring unfamiliar venues. We hope people will help us track these through this website or via e-mail.
love to have anyone’s help in keeping Ben’s spirit vicariously adventuring through these Travel Bugs and other
critters. If you are already a Geocacher, and you find one of "Benjamin's
Bugs," please just keep it moving. If you haven't geocached but think it sounds
like a fun way to get your family outdoors to explore new territory, check out www.geocaching.com to learn how to get started.