Annika has been joining me on more geocaching days lately and there is now a noticeable change in the way she views the activity. In the past when Annika joined me geocaching we always had fun but she never really got too involved as she was constantly being distracted by puddles, bugs, leaves, and other things you may find on the trail. When we got to the geocache location I would do most of the looking and would ultimately find it before guiding her towards making the find herself. She was always happy to find it but her favourite part was trading for something new inside the cache. She has now found a new level of excitement for leading me to the geocache location and finding the cache all by herself.
Her outlook on geocaching seemed to all change a couple of weekends ago when the whole family went to a geocaching event based around finding a new series of geocaches. At one particular cache, while I was getting myself organized, we sent Annika ahead towards the location of the hidden geocache. Before we could catch up to her and start looking ourselves she had the cache in hand and her face had a level of excitement we had not yet seen while geocaching. I guess she knew that the other finds were parent assisted and she instantly claimed that this was her first cache that she had ever found by herself. Inside the cache was a badge that said TFTC (Thanks for the Cache) and she decided to take it as her trophy for finding a cache by herself.
In the time since that day Annika is actually asking to go out caching. Before she would ask to go to the park or the beach but now she actually wants to go geocaching. The two of us recently did a 3km – 3 cache walk and she practically ran the whole way while following the GPSr which she held tightly in her little hand. This is the first time she has asked to hold the GPSr and she did very well in leading me right to the location each time. This interest may be due to the fact that she, now five, is maturing and is more capable to enjoy multi-phased activities, but whatever it is, it was a great time spent with my daughter. I really enjoyed seeing her having so much fun with this outdoor activity and I know that she will be joining me on many more caching days going forward. Now I just have to work on the twins.