Early, early this morning PBS aired a program about "geocaching". The story followed a group of adults, searching for hidden boxes across the US. I first read about this in a Family Fun magazine article about "Letter Boxing". This is a very fun scavenger hunt to take your family on. To date we have only successfully found one box. Mostly because it is local, easy to find and fun to check on the progress, who else has visited and from how far away.
To create your own letter box you need a plastic waterproof box, a rubber stamp, inkpad, notebook, pen and ziplock bags. The stamp is usually a symbol that represents the name of your box. Our favorite is the Frog Prince, with a beautiful, large green frog stamp.
You create a story about your box and hide it. You post clues, directions, compass readings or gps navigation readings to your box online. Then visitors can sign your notebook, indicating where they are from, and stamp their own notebook with your stamp.
There are boxes hidden all over the world. It does seem that "geocaching" is more adult/competition oriented and "letterboxing" more kid-friendly. (Strictly my opinion, from the PBS story, the adults had some kind of point system going, a few were struggling with an "addiction to the hunt!")
Here's the simple home school group project idea: Create letterboxes for your city or church. You can include stories of historical sites or patron saints. Hide the boxes to make a "walking tour" of your area. Bring a map with clues to your town's visitor information center, or parish office. Simple and Fun! I hope one of our home school groups can do this soon!