How does one become a geocaching reviewer? Indeed, to become a reviewer is one of the most sought after positions in the geocaching community…
… However, as much as there is interest in becoming one, there is even more mystery on how a person actually becomes a reviewer.
This article provides as much insight as possible about this topic!
What do you need to become a geocaching reviewer?
Groundspeak has made it near impossible to know actually what it is about a player that makes them qualified to be a reviewer. Here is an overview for general qualities Groundspeak looks for in potential candidates:
- high level of geocaching experience
- positive reputation within the community
- strong communication skills
- good understanding of caching guidelines
Although the geocaching community behind the scenes is made up of volunteers, there is still a strict screening process to select the right people to help keep the game running smoothly. It’s not as simple as requesting to be a reviewer.
In fact, it’s more like they’ll reach out to you before you reach out to them.
This type of secret society within the game is mysterious and intriguing. Only those worthy are called upon. As the game expands into new territories with more players out searching or new caches being added, then the demand for reviewers increases.
These special players ensure new caches follow the guidelines and make them public. Additionally, they are able to help players with their questions.
Someone who is active in the community, has tons of finds under his belt, and is knowledgeable of the rules will make for an excellent candidate. Keep in mind, the reviewer position is given to those that Groundspeak feels will be the best candidate.
Asking to become one does not automatically disqualify you from the position. Instead, being an excellent asset to the community will help with recognition. If you are suitable, you’ll be picked. Don’t let this discourage you.
What do geocaching reviewers actually do?
As the name suggests, these volunteers help approve and publish geocaches. At the basic level, this is the main responsibility of a reviewer. They are the people who go out and verify new caches follow the guidelines, and if so, approve them for publication.
If the cache in question does meet certain criteria, then the reviewer reaches out to the cache owner for additional questions and helps them rectify any problems.
Without reviewers, there would be no geocaching.
Since reviewers are definitely considered “hands on” in the field, especially through coordinated events, they are just as helpful online as well. Answering questions through submitted emails, participating in forums, and sometimes maintaining social media pages are also responsibilities taken up by reviewers.
Reviewers are not the be all and end all of geocaching.
They are an integral part of the game by being in between for players and the game itself. Whether they verify a cache or answer a post on a forum, reviewers are heavily involved in the game.
At this point, it should come to no surprise that a ton of time is dedicated to the game by a reviewer. Which for some, is ideal since it brings new challenges to the game.
Reviewers Demand and Structure …
The number of reviewers in a particular area depends solely on demand. The players in one city will vary greatly compared to another. The number of caches in an area also influences demand for more reviewers.
Since this exclusive club is by invite only, you will most likely be contacted by a reviewer in your area offering you a local reviewer position. Simply put, you’ll have an area close to you to monitor. From here, you can expand to larger parts of your city.
During this learning phase, you’ll have a mentor teaching you. Above them is another reviewer with a higher status. The power structure is similar to that of a pyramid. However, there is not one single leader, but rather multiple leaders.
Do geocaching reviewers earn any money?
By definition geocaching reviewers are volunteers. This means their services are free. However, that does not mean a crafty reviewer could not make money from the hobby.
By thinking outside the box a reviewer could think of some stuff geocaching related to sell to other players. Some simple ideas include:
During events they could sell supplies such as pens, logbooks, and any other useful items a player may need while out hunting.
Setting up a booth for selling these items during events will prove valuable to players that need those last minute supplies.
Pros & Cons of becoming a reviewer (Should you aim for it?)
Ultimately, it is not up to you on whether or not you become a reviewer. It is up to other reviewers to determine whether or not you are a qualified candidate.
But for the sake of argument, let’s say you received that coveted email detailing how you are the perfect person in your neighborhood for an upcoming local reviewer position.
Should you even consider the option?
On one hand, you get to participate in the game from a new perspective. From player to ref. You would then gain a small amount of power and influence over other players.
On the other hand, you have new responsibilities that you should be able to fulfill properly. For some, this does not sound appealing.
Do you think you have the communication skills to deal with other players regarding a cache you just denied? Are you able to talk to them in a calming way to prevent them from having a meltdown. Because things like this happen.
What about the constant attempts from players trying to reach you about questions that are easily answerable by simply going to the official website?
Yes, you are out in the field finding caches to verify they qualify for publication, but you are also communicating with players on a consistent basis.
Final Thoughts …
For me, playing the game brings enough satisfaction. For others, they want more out of the game. And, there is no other better way than playing from the other side. Plus, these people do not shy away from conversations regarding the game. In fact, some only want to ever talk about geocaching.
Being a reviewer is a unique way to participate in the game from a different perspective, and after 1,000 cache finds you might want that new perspective.
I would say the added responsibilities, and constant communication from others would break me away from the immersion of the game. So, personally I think I would decline the offer to become a reviewer…
…But that’s me. You might just want that new challenge!