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THE NATIONAL GEOCACHING AWARDS

The 2016 Geolympix Mega is playing host to the first National Geocaching Awards, celebrating the best of British and Irish Geocaches, Geocachers and Geocaching! It's hoped that the Awards will become an annual feature of the caching calendar, being held at various (Mega? Giga?) events across Britain and Ireland in future years. Older info below the awards categories, lower down the page.

01.04.16 - NOMINATIONS CLOSE AT NOON ON SUNDAY, APRIL 24th 2016!

31.01.16 - Announcing the National Geocaching Awards categories

Firstly, thank you to everyone who suggested categories for the British and Irish National Geocaching Awards. The following list, which we're asking you to nominate cachers, caches, organisations, etc. against, has been created from your ideas, with a few tweaks from the Geolympix team.

We received several suggestions for names for the awards being given at the NGA's, but we decided on The Golden Smilies as it seems to fit awards designed to reflect the best in British and Irish Caching, Cachers and Caches!

A note on geography: Ireland includes the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland plus Irish islands off the mainland (the same way Groundspeak categorises Ireland). Britain includes England, Wales, Scotland, the off-islands of Scotland, England and Wales (Including Shetland, Flat Holm, IoW, Scillies, etc.) and the non-UK islands of Britain, including the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands of Guernsey, Jersey, Sark, Herm and Alderney, plus their off-islands. Basically the NGAs cover anything east of Rockall, west of Ness Point, Lowestoft, south of Out Stack, Shetland and north of The Minkies, CIs - that isn't France. The NGAs exclude other British or Irish territories, such as Gibraltar, Bermuda and the Falklands. A 'British or Irish Cacher' would be someone living the majority of their time in Britain or Ireland, even if they're Dutch. Voting will be limited to them too.

Also note: Best means, most innovative, most enjoyable, coolest location, concept and/or container, cleverest, the one that made you smile widest… You know, Best!

You don't need to nominate for every category, or make multiple nominations for the categories where that's an option. Nor do you need to have found the caches or attended the events you nominate, although that may make more sense. The choice is yours! You can also nominate yourself or your caches, but don't try to unfairly skew the awards; we will be looking for attempts!

A condition of listing an event such as the Geolympix - which is hosting the NGAs- on Groundspeak's site is that alternative cache listing sites cannot be promoted. Therefore only Geocaching.com-listed caches are eligible for the National Geocaching Awards.

AWARDS CATEGORIES

Caches:

1) Best Cache (must have been live at the end 2015. For archived caches, see 'Gone but not Forgotten', below.)

2) Best New Cache (as above, but published in 2015.)

3) Best Cache Listing (most beautiful, clever, funny, helpful or educational cache page.)

4) Best Night Cache (specifically designed to be done at night.)

5) Best Non-Physical Cache (includes Virtuals, Webcams, Labs and Earthcaches, excludes Events - see below)

6) Best Event (includes all British and Irish Megas, CITOs & regular events - inc flashmobs - but be clear which incarnation of recurring events you mean please!)

7) The Gone But Not Forgotten Award for Best Archived Cache (can only be won by a cache once. Must have been archived in 2015 or before.)

8) Best Extreme Cache (can only be won by a cache once. Doesn't need to be a 5/5, but should be 'extreme'!)

Cache Series:

9) Best Individual Series (could be ring/s, power trail, cluster or just a collection of caches on a theme, owned by one cacher or caching account or a small number in a 'geographically discrete series' such as a multi-owner ring.)

10) Best National Series (themed caches - often numbered - set by multiple hiders across a wide -national- area.)

Support:

11) Most Helpful Landowner/Organisation (who's been a great support to British and Irish caching? They don't need to cache or place caches themselves.)

12) Most Helpful Reviewer (They give a lot of time and effort to make caching in Britain and Ireland possible, but who's gone above and beyond the call of duty? Must have been a reviewer at some point in or before 2015 to be eligible)

13) Best Supplier of Caching Goods (must be based in Britain or Ireland)

14) Best Caching Social-Mediaist (includes British/Irish geocaching blogs, vlogs, podcasts, twitter accounts, YouTube channels, Facebook groups/pages)

15) Best Caching Resource (could be international, includes stats websites, books, magazines, hints 'n' tips sites, vlogs, podcasts etc)

Others:

16) Best Online Cache Log (funniest, most inspiring, or pack of lies. DNF, Found, Notes- all log types included)

17) Best Log Photo (must relate to the cache it's added to. Includes Webcam log pics.)

18) Funniest Cache Name (can only be won by a cache once)

19) Most Memorable Trackable (owned by a British or Irish cacher. Can be memorable for being an interesting item, having a cool mission, etc etc.)

20) Best New Coin (released in 2015)

Cachers:

21) Geocacher/s of the Year (could be the most dedicated cache owner, keenest cache maintainer, most inspiring or creative cache owner, most helpful event host, most committed -or should be- cacher who went the extra mile and more… Basically this could be called 'Services to Geocaching')

22) Newbie of the Year (must have begun caching in 2015)

23) Young Cacher of the Year (Junior cacher who's added something to the game. Must have been under 18 at some point in 2015. So born after 1/1/1996)

24) Achievement Award (either a Lifetime Achievement award, or for someone who's Overcome Adversity in the pursuit of Tupperware. Basically, an impressive, inspirational cacher.)

Please also nominate for the Hall of Fame - Cachers who contributed to the British/Irish game but are who are sadly no longer with us. This won't be voted on (that would be inappropriate) but the Geolympix team will make a joint decision based on nominations.

Next stage: Nominations!
In order to make short-lists of finalists in each category, we're now asking for your nominations. You can suggest a maximum of three people/caches/whatever in some categories, and one in others.

The best way to do that is copy the text below, replace the [bits in boxes] with info, and email it to geocachingawards@gmail.com (Please don't use this account for questions - it's not being monitored until late April!)

Nomination FAQs - Yes, you can nominate yourself or your caches/series/business, but unless some other people do too, you're unlikely to make the shortlist!

We'll award one point to third nominations, two to second and three to each main nomination on categories inviting you to pick three, and then add them up to see which cachers/caches/etc. are most deserving of joining the Finalists for each category.

There's two (or more) of you who use the caching account and you'd both/all like to vote? No problem. Duplicate names will only be an issue if it's clearly an attempt to skew nomination results unfairly. A team of six all nominating themselves as Cacher/s of the Year would only be counted once, for example.

What then?
Once we have sort-lists of finalists, in May and June we'll invite cachers to vote on them via a secure, cheat-blocking polling website (such as SurveyMonkey).

In the meantime, please Copy, Paste, Edit and Send the below to geocachingawards@gmail.com:


Nominations by [your geocaching name]
Caches:

1) Best Cache (must have been live at the end 2015. For archived caches, see 'Gone but not Forgotten', below.)
[Nomination 1: Name - GC number
Nomination 2: Name - GC number
Nomination 3: Name - GC number ]

2) Best New Cache (as above, but published in 2015.)
[Nomination: Name - GC number]

3) Best Cache Listing (most beautiful, clever, funny, helpful or educational cache page.)
[Nomination: Name - GC number]

4) Best Night Cache (specifically designed to be done at night.)
[Nomination: Name - GC number]

5) Best Non-Physical Cache (includes Virtuals, Webcams, Labs and Earthcaches, excludes Events - see below)
[Nomination: Name - GC number]

6) Best Event (includes all British and Irish Megas, CITOs & regular events - inc flashmobs - but be clear which incarnation of recurring events you mean please!)
[Nomination 1: Name - GC number
Nomination 2: Name - GC number
Nomination 3: Name - GC number ]

7) The Gone But Not Forgotten Award for Best Archived Cache (can only be won by a cache once. Must have been archived in 2015 or before.)
[Nomination: Name - GC number]

8) Best Extreme Cache (can only be won by a cache once)
[Nomination: Name - GC number]

Cache Series:

9) Best Individual Series (could be ring/s, power trail, cluster or just a collection of caches on a theme, owned by one cacher or caching account, or small group if a 'geographically discrete series' such as a multi-owner loop.)
[Nomination 1: Series Name - GC number for one of them
Nomination 2: Series Name - GC number for one of them
Nomination 3: Series Name - GC number for one of them ]

10) Best National Series (themed caches - often numbered - set by multiple hiders across a wide -national- area.)
[Nomination 1: Series Name
Nomination 2: Series Name
Nomination 3: Series Name ]

Support:

11) Most Helpful Landowner/Organisation (who's been a great support to British and Irish caching? They don't need to cache or place caches themselves.)
[Nomination: ]

12) Most Helpful Reviewer (They give a lot of time and effort to make caching in Britain and Ireland possible, but who's gone above and beyond the call of duty? Must have been a reviewer at some point in or before 2015 to be eligible.)
[Nomination: Reviewing Account Name]

13) Best Supplier of Caching Goods (must be based in Britain or Ireland)
[Nomination: Name - URL]

14) Best Caching Social Mediaist (includes British/Irish geocaching blogs, vlogs, podcasts, twitter accounts, YouTube channels, Facebook groups/pages)
[Nomination 1: Name - URL
Nomination 2: Name - URL
Nomination 3: Name - URL ]

15) Best Caching Resource (could be international, includes stats websites, books, magazines, hints 'n' tips sites, vlogs, podcasts etc)
[Nomination 1: Name - URL
Nomination 2: Name - URL
Nomination 3: Name - URL ]

Others:

16) Best Online Cache Log (funniest, most inspiring, or pack of lies. DNF, Found, Notes- all log types included)
[Nomination: Log URL]

17) Best Log Photo (must relate to the cache it's added to. Includes Webcam log pics.)
[Nomination: Log URL]

18) Funniest Cache Name (can only be won by a cache once)
[Nomination: Name - GC number]

19) Most Memorable Trackable (owned by a British or Irish cacher. Can be memorable for being an interesting item, having a cool mission, etc etc.)
[Nomination: Name - Ref code (not tracking number!)]

20) Best New Coin (released in 2015)
[Nomination: Name/version]

Cachers:

21) Geocacher/s of the Year (could be the most dedicated cache owner, keenest cache maintainer, most inspiring or creative cache owner, most helpful event host, most committed -or should be- cacher who went the extra mile and more… Basically this could be called 'Services to Geocaching')
[Nomination: Caching Name and reason]

22) Newbie of the Year (must have begun caching in 2015)
[Nomination: Caching Name and reason]

23) Young Cacher of the Year (Junior cacher who's added something to the game. Must have been under 18 at some point in 2015. So born after 1/1/1997)
[Nomination: Caching Name and reason]

24) Achievement Award (either a Lifetime Achievement award, or for someone who's Overcome Adversity in the pursuit of Tupperware. Basically, an impressive cacher)
[Nomination: Caching Name and reason]

Please also nominate for the Hall of Fame - Cachers who contributed to the British/Irish game but are who are sadly no longer with us. This won't be voted on (that would be inappropriate) but the Geolympix team will make a joint decision based on nominations.
[Nomination: Caching Name and reason]


Thanks again for getting involved. The more cachers who respond to this call for nominations, the more the NGAs will truly reflect the opinions of British and Irish cachers. We want them to be meaningful and relevant, and that needs your help.

Other, older info below:

The Plan

Phases of the NGAs:

  • Public Consultation to Gather Awards Categories. This phase is now over. Thank you to those who suggested categories. - Between August 2015 and the end of January 2016 the cachers of Britain (including the CIs and IoM) and Ireland are being asked to suggest awards categories. You can do that via Twitter/GeocacheAwards or Facebook/Groups/GeocachingAwards.

    There is also a thread of suggestions on the Geolympix2016 Facebook group. All proposals will be discussed by the Geolympix organising team, and the best picked by the group.

  • Announcement of Awards Categories was made on January 31st 2016. (expected to be 20-25) covering all aspects of British and Irish caching. At the end of January 2016 the list of categories will be announced, reflecting a broad selection of caching aspects that mean something important to cachers. The focus will be on Best, rather than Most. Who has set the most caches is a question of stats, not opinion! While some NGAs may be given on the basis of stats (most Favorited cache?), the majority will not.
  • Request for Nominations - is ongoing! - With the various awards categories public, we'll ask for cachers to suggest products/companies/caches/people to be in the running for each category. You can nominate yourself or your own caches/series/whatever. We'll collect those suggestions, tot them up and turn them into shortlist finalists. Perhaps 4-5 nominees per award category. Maybe more for some, fewer for others.
  • Nominees Shortlisted - Once collated, the finalists will be announced. This should happen at the end of April 2016.
  • Final Voting - Using an IP-checking polling website (to protect from multiple votes), the peer-nominated finalists will go head-to-head until the end of June. This'll give us enough time to get the awards engraved with the winners' details before...
  • Awards Night! - The big reveal at the 2016 Geolympix in Ashridge, Herts, on Sunday July 31st 2016. No public or private announcements beforehand: the winners will hear they've won along with everyone else.
  • If Successful... - If the event proves to be a success, it's hoped it'll be run annually at other Megas/Gigas in Britain or Ireland. As to who might host it, we're open to offers!
Information

Where: Alongside the Geolympix at Ashridge Estate, Berkhamsted, Herts, UK.

When: From 5pm on Sunday July 31st 2016 (Sunday to avoid Piratemania, and the weekend before the North Wales Mega).

What: A 'proper' awards event to celebrate all that's great about British and Irish caching. The caches which amazed. The cachers who went the extra mile. The organisations which make caching a pleasure. The companies that really deliver.

How: Attending the first National Geocaching Awards will be free and easy. Held alongside the second Geolympix, it'll be an glittering night (afternoon/evening) of glamour (relatively) and glitz! Well, the awards will be shiny anyway :)

Why: After 16 years, Geocaching has truly come of age and it's the right time to reflect that with awards to highlight the best and most impressive examples of cachers, caches and caching stuff generally!

Who: To be in the running for an award or awards, first you need to be nominated. You can nominate yourself, your business, your caches, but we're looking for a good spread of examples for every category, so don't expect to be a finalist without a few more nominations... Nominations will open once the awards categories have been announced. Good luck! If you'd just like to attend the awards to enjoy the atmosphere, you'll be very welcome.

The first National Geocaching Awards are being brought to you by the Geolympix Team: Simply Paul* (est. 2003), metal-bijou* (est. 2007), Happy_Hunter_HP20 (est. 2012), Haforn* (est. 2010), Alibags (est. 2004) and drsolly* (est. 2006)
*Returning from the 2012 Geolympix Team.

The Awards

No final decision for the name of the awards or how they'll look has been made yet, but it seems likely they'll be trackable (winners will want to show them off!), engraved with the winner's name, and may be called The Golden Smilies as that seems a popular choice. Unless you have a better suggestion? We're very open to ideas! Update! The Golden Smilies were selected by the organising team from suggestions made. Thank you again to those who took the time to offer names.

This page will be updated with information as the process (left) is gone through. Your input at every stage isn't just helpful in making the awards a success, it's vital that they reflect the opinions of as many British and Irish cachers as possible. We want them to be fun, yet meaningful, credible and fair.

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