Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Letterboxing at the library and Sylvester

Hi all I was just browsing through the Public Libraries cover to cover program and it looks like they are doing a program on Letterboxing on June 12 from 6:30-8. Anyone have more info- is it someone from the mid-mo crew doing it?? hmmmm-

Within the next week or so Mr. Sylvester will be re-placed, he was heroically saved by OMGB (thanks for dropping him off!!) and I need to find a new home for him- see, sometimes wishes do come true- a fresh stock of magical pebbles will be enclosed!

16 comments:

Grace to You said...

I would love to hear the story of the heroic save!

ahistory said...

WOW, my kids loved that box and it is so good to hear he was saved. I'm sure there is a good story there that I would love to hear someday.

I called the library many months ago to ask about planting a box there and they told me that they had already been contacted by someone else recently so I let it go. No one has yet to divulge their plan. I wonder if this is an activity the library cooked up on its own (they are a good and creative bunch) or if there is some secret letterboxer among us.

Lnd-Crzr said...

Haven't heard anything about it. Though I too have touched base with mu lcal library about a hiding a box and they're all excitedabout it. They (Fulton Libray folk) asked if I would do a program on it and I explained how it was a semi-secretive hobby and that was that. Curious.

Lnd-Crzr

McMonkey Mom said...

I am VERY much looking forward to sitting on the strawberry colored rock!

nugglebugs said...

We too are excited to hear that Sylvester will be returning...We've been keeping our eye on the LBNA site for his return. As far as the library goes, glad you mentioned it; we might try to go.

Fox-fyr said...

I contacted the library several months ago about planting a box there (and spoke to two different staff) but I was told I needed to speak with the director (which I haven't found time to do). I don't know anyone else who has contacted them. I wish I could go to the program. I am teaching dance at that time.
--Fox-fyr

Jenny J said...

My husband works at the library and brought the newsletter home yesterday. The theme of the summer reading program is Get A Clue. Little sparks immediately started firing in my head. Then I saw the letterboxing session. I asked husband who teaches these sessions, he said the library staff whose job it is to hold these activities. I said I wasn't aware of any librarians in our local group so how would they get their information. He said "They're librarians! They have a wealth of information at their fingertips." I muttered something about hoping they emphasized good letterbox etiquette. To which he snorted "What etiquette - you letterboxers litter the forest with tupperware! I can't take a walk in the woods without stepping in plastic!" Sigh... sometimes it's not easy being married to a muggle.

The session is aimed at folks 12 years and older. I'll be interested in hearing from any of you who attend. I'd go but have a Celtic music class at the same time (not Foxfyr's dancing but concertina.)

Good 'Boxing!

OneMeanGreenBean said...

I picked up a copy of Cover to Cover just yesterday and meant to post something about this also. For sometime now, one of my best and dearest friends who is a library aid (soon to be a full fledged librarian) has been asking me questions about letterboxing. She is very curious and thinks it is a fantastic hobby. A few months ago she asked me if I would help her setup a "letterbox-type" hunt in the library for a children's program she wanted to develop. I told her I would be glad to in exchange for rights to plant a real live letterbox in the library, and with the caveat that she didn't mention the LBNA website to the kiddos explicitely.
She thought those were both great ideas and when the event got a little closer she was going to ask me for more help.

Flash forward to yesterday...I didn't hear anything from her about the program until I picked up the issue and gave her a call. She told me that the "Get a Clue" theme is a national event and similiar newsletters with similiar activities were scheduled throughout the nation at every member library. Appearantly, letterboxing is quite the buzz among librarians!!! She said that since she had originally expressed an interest in the program, she is now in charge of it! She plans to talk about treasure hunts and letterboxing and then have several "treasures" hidden throughout the library for the kids to search out...they won't necessarily be letterboxes, but pretty much the same concept. She asked me to help out with the class, and I gladly volunteered. Someone will have to preach proper rehideation! When I made an ugly face about using the actual word "letterboxing" and publicising the website, she said that kids all over already use the word and know about the website. She said she has many a jr. high schooler and even some of the younger kids talking about so her argument is, "what else would I call it?".

So, thats what I know. I would ask for other folk to help out with this program also, or at least to attend but I don't know yet what my buddy has in store and it is her program. If anyone does have questions about it, I would suggest calling or visiting the children's desk which is where most of this programming originates. I know my friend will be sensitive to our concerns about tons of publicity (since I've beaten her about the head with them..."Ok, Steph, I know...jeesh" is usually what I hear), but I also know that letterboxing is simply becoming more popular. And why woudln't it? After all, it is the most fantastical hobby on earth!

And one last thing...for those of you that have kids, I whole-heartedly recommend taking them to one of these great library programs put on by the children's area staff. They do really neat fun stuff all the time and I only ever get to see the pictures. The folks that work there are insightful, knowledgeable, and committed to making sure kids have fun and maybe even learn something. Cool place to check out for sure...

OneMeanGreenBean said...

I got so wrapped up in library stuff, I forgot about Sylvester! Here's the story..one beautiful day in late March (yes, late March...I have a confession to make early on here, I rescued this fellow quite a long time ago and he's been on my kitchen table since. Sorry I didn't get him back sooner!) Anyway...one beautiful day in late March, I went out to Stephen's Park to run the track around the lake. When I got there, I decided I didn't really feel like exercising so much so I decided to take a leisurely stroll through the park and check on all of the letterboxes. The closest box was the missing Sylvester. I had first searched for the box with the group from the fall gathering and we were disheartened to find it missing. I thought I would go back and check around the area it was supposed to be just in case. As I walked off the path around the lake still a good distance from where Sylvester should be, I noticed a large tree off on my right. For some reason, I walked toward this tree (here is where you imagine little heavenly voices singing "ahhhh" in your head and a ray of light from above shining magically down on this one tree. As I got closer, I noticed something stuck between its forked branches at about head height. Still closer and I noticed it was a camoflouge box. Even though I was out looking for letterboxes, it didn't immediately hit me...I just thought, what the heck is that? I pulled the box down and was astounded to find Sylvester in perfect condition, though just a touch off course (at least 100 feet if not more, and a little higher than he was supposed to be)! The last entry in the logbook was dated 12/26/2006 (well after we searched for him at the fall gathering) in which Kathleen of KC wrote: "I found this one without a GPS. I really need to get one of those". Thanks Kathleen.

ahistory said...

Oh Lordy, geocachers. Don't you just love them. I wonder what cache she was trying to find.
Great story and I'm glad Sylvester was treed and found in great shape.

Fox-fyr said...

One of the greatest factors that impact social change is popular media. With TV shows like the Great American Race (a clue-solving competition in which the TV contestants race all over the world solving puzzle and compete in events to win a grand prize), movies like National Treasure (a treasure hunt that mixes incredible fiction with the well-known American icon of the Declaration of independence), best-selling books like Michael Staedler's The Treasure Trove (a REAL treasure hunt with two million dollars of actual prizes), and the increasing popularity and media exposure of both geocaching and letterboxing, there was no way we were going to be able to keep letterboxing quiet for much longer. Especially not with the plethora of boxes we have in mid-Missouri.

Why just today, someone at Art in the Park (who found out about letterboxing from someone who works at the Columbia library), asked me what I knew about letterboxing (I guess with such a unique and often-in-print last name like mine that is also so similar to my trail name it's hard for me to keep a low profile).

And I might as well confess now...
I've been approached recently by the someone from the local Girl Scout Council (they contacted me because I work for Rock Bridge State Park and not because they knew of my connections with letterboxing), and asked if the park would provide them a class on Letterboxing 101, in part so that they could fulfill requirements for a Girl Scout interest project (similar to a Girl Scout badge).

I agreed, in part because they specifically wanted instruction on letterbox etiquette and tips for not negatively impacting the environment. I also agreed that since they were going to be doing it anyway, better they heard it from one of us rather than from who knows where. I will be hold one class for them in October and another next March (one for teens, one for younger kids). As part of the class I will hide some boxes in temporarily locations in Rock Bridge State Park. We will go over Lb terminology, etiquette, proper rehideation (with photographic examples of "improper rehideation", how to box in a group, how to write clues and plant their own boxes, and a little bit on stamp carving.

I have a link (it's on my work computer) to the Girl Scout requirements if anyone is interested.

Perhaps now is a good time for us to be proactive. Lnd-Crzr mentioned sometime ago about setting up a "My First Letterbox" box. Maybe we could set up a series of those around mid-Missouri and encourage newcomers to hit those first. Some boxes I've hit in Wisconsin contain little leaflets for finder to take that list some basic letterbox etiquette. And I think if anyone's going to be teaching classes, it ought to be us.
I'd like to hear your comments.
--Fox-fyr

Fox-fyr said...

I just checked with the library. I was thinking of skipping out on my dance class and listening in on the prgram but the the class is for ages 12-18 only (though its advertised as 12 and up). Anyone have a 12-year old I can borrow?

I did get the name and e-mail address of the person teaching the class and think I'll send her a note.

McMonkey Mom said...

I have a 13 year old that may attend the program to give us a report. (I knew he'd be good for something one of these days!) I think this may be one of those times where this Mom may hang around to see what happens instead of just dropping off and picking up. We'll let you know.

McMonkey Mom said...

UPDATE: AJMonkeyMan will be attending the event at the library. I, however have to work that evening and will not be attending. He might need a chaperone, ;) :) . nudge, nudge! (Fox Fyr? OMGB?) Here's your chance! He is willing to post a full report though so I guess we will test his essay skills!

Fox-fyr said...

I would be happy to chaperone. Would you want me to pick him up and drop him off or will you be dropping him off at the library?
If it's the latter, I will meet you at the coffee-shop area at the entrance. Is he already registered?
--Fox-fyr

AJMonkeyMan said...

I will be attending the Library Letterboxing event and will be happy to right a full report on the event for those of you who cant attend for whatever reasons!!
UU