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BOTD 5/12/17 "To Cache a Thief?" An Adric Production

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David M. Katz

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Marshall
TO CACHE A THIEF?
An Adric Production

You live in southern New Mexico near a wide expanse of BLM* land with many hiking trails in the nearby mountains and desert.  Your 12 year old son, Daniel, is a good boy and you seldom need to spank him, but sometimes it happens.  Geocaching is a popular sport where you live and Daniel enjoys looking for geocaches with his handheld GPS unit while hiking by himself in the BLM.

DANIEL - 12
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It's Saturday afternoon and Daniel has just returned home.  He draped his backpack over a dining room chair and headed off to shower and change clothes.  While he was gone you decided to help him out by emptying the water out of his CamelBak.

When you open his backpack you see this strange cylindrical object:
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When Daniel returns you ask him about the object, "I found this in your backpack when I opened it to empty the water.  What is it?"

Scenario #1:

Daniel:  "That's a neat geocache container I found in the desert.  To open it you have to twist the top and slide it in and out to follow the maze.  You can't see the whole maze so you have to remember where you've been.  I thought it was cool so I brought it home."

You:  "Well you know you're supposed to leave cache containers where you found them.  Why did you bring it home?"

Daniel:  "I just wanted to keep it.  The cache owner printed it on his 3D printer so he can just print another one to replace it.  He won't know who took it."

You:  "Isn't that stealing?"

Daniel:  "It was just lying out in the desert under some rocks.  Anyone could have found it and taken it and they wouldn't even know they were supposed to leave it where it was.  That happens to geocaches sometimes - a muggle finds them by accident and they go missing.  That wouldn't be stealing if you just find something in the desert and take it home."

Scenario #2:

Daniel:  "That's a neat cache container I found in the desert.  I twisted the top and slid it in and out until I managed to open it and sign the log sheet.  The website says to follow the maze in reverse to put it back the way you found it, but I couldn't get it all the way back the way it was.  I figured I'd take it home to finish getting it back together and then take it back where I found it tomorrow.  The last time someone logged this cache was a week ago so it probably won't be missed."


Two different answers from Daniel, probably calling for two different responses from you.  How would you respond in each of these two cases?


*Bureau of Land Management


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David M. Katz

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Marshall
1-

"Daniel, you are not a muggle. You knew you were not supposed to take it. To take something that you are not entitled to without permission just because you want it is the basic definition of stealing."

'Nuff said. Daniel gets a spanking according to our standard procedure and implement. He can return the container to it's rightful home tomorrow."

2-

Reasonable answer, especially for a 12 yo. He can solve the puzzle and return the container tomorrow.


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StevieWeeks

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Trailboss
Stevie is so stupid... he doesn't have a clue what is happening here at all...

Jack

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Admin
I have to agree with David, with the caveat that I will spank him for violating the rules, just like if I'd caught him cheating in a game, not like I'd caught him stealing. I can kind of understand his logic in taking it, but the fact that he volunteered that 'no one would know who took it' tells me he knew he shouldn't have.

The second one, we'll talk about the correct response, but I only see this as a rapid return situation, not one for punishment.


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squarecutter

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Sherrif
StevieWeeks wrote:Stevie is so stupid... he doesn't have a clue what is happening here at all...


In which he in the same boat as Squarecutter

Jack

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squarecutter wrote:
StevieWeeks wrote:Stevie is so stupid... he doesn't have a clue what is happening here at all...


In which he in the same boat as Squarecutter

Geocaching is a sport in which people give directions to things or hide objects. Directions are posted, and you track them down. Sometimes it's just a tube, and you sign a piece of paper to show you were there. Other times, it's something particular and you take pictures of it. I think part of the idea is to get people out and moving, partly to help people learn to navigate the outside, and partly to see how much OCD really exists in the world.


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18Smacked

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Cowboy
For these two scenarios, I will have to go along with Jack, who basically sides with Dave.

I will not claim any special knowledge of geocaching; just the basics. I leave the real expertise here to the skills of Adric.

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Adric

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Cowboy
If you aren't familiar with the sport of geocaching, check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geocaching.  It has become a very popular and kid-friendly sport.

There are millions of geocaches hidden all over the world by the people who enjoy the sport of hiding and seeking them.  They are found by means of their latitude and longitude and the Global Positioning System (GPS).  There are apps for smartphones that will show them on an interactive map and lead you to them.  Accuracy of location is typically around 10 to 20 feet.

Typically they are rather small containers containing a logbook or logsheet in which you enter your unique geocaching name.  Every geocache has its own website that lists everyone who has ever logged a visit to that cache.  Most containers are ordinary, but some, like the one described here, are "puzzle caches" because in order to be able to find and sign the log you must first solve some kind of puzzle.  In this case the puzzle is figuring out how to open the cache container.  Geocaches are typically hidden well enough or remotely enough that they will not be found by accident, but sometimes muggles, either human or animal, will discover them and carry them away.  Such caches are said to have been muggled.  In our area, the most common muggle is the packrat because they have a strong preference for shiny artificial objects over naturally occurring ones, and they use them to decorate the interiors of their homes.

Much more could be said about this subject, but this is probably enough for now.  BTW, the definition of a muggle is "a person who is not conversant with a particular activity or skill."

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db105

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Trailboss
Dave and Jack's response works for me. One thing that worries me, though, is that for response 1 I'm not sure Daniel is aware he was doing something wrong. Yes, he did say "He won't know who took it", which suggests he knew it was wrong, but kids sometimes are not good at thinking things through. Perhaps it's better to look at it like Jack: he was "cheating" at a game and spoiling it for other players.

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Kat

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Editor Extraordinaire
I'll join the others also.

Kat

ivor

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Marshall
Like Stevie & Square I haven't got any idea of what this is all about.

However, I think DB has it right in terms of 12 year old kid think.

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Jack

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Admin
Adric wrote: In our area, the most common muggle is the packrat because they have a strong preference for shiny artificial objects over naturally occurring ones, and they use them to decorate the interiors of their homes.

That must be a feral packrat. In our area, packrat's tend to raid flea markets, then hand their finds on the walls of their homes. Not that I'm mentioning my mom by name or anything...


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kalico

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Sherrif
I'm in agreement with the general consensus





Hugs kal

MemoryMan

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Sherrif
Sadly I'm getting too creaky to participate any more but I'm with the consensus.

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David M. Katz

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Marshall
Jack wrote:
Adric wrote: In our area, the most common muggle is the packrat because they have a strong preference for shiny artificial objects over naturally occurring ones, and they use them to decorate the interiors of their homes.

That must be a feral packrat.  In our area, packrat's tend to raid flea markets, then hand their finds on the walls of their homes.  Not that I'm mentioning my mom by name or anything...

Jack,

There is a Tennessee version of that same rat here, although it is actually native to Kentucky. It is my mother-in-law (ex.)


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