It is a true pleasure to introduce Sean in our January 1, 2014 Member Spotlight! We had the pleasure of getting to know Sean and his family this year and they are wonderful! When preparing this spotlight, I had to laugh at one of the pictures which brought back great memories. It is GCGKVC, Ixchel's Altar in Mexico. Mark and I found this cache back in 2012 and when we went to take a picture, the guide informed us that the Alter is the Goddess of fertility
Say Hello to Sean! Caching Name: Seanchim
Real Name: Sean Paul
Interview Date: 10-07-131. How did you become involved in geocaching? When did you start?
Several years ago, I came across an article online somewhere which was describing this new way of getting outdoors. I looked deeper into it and found that you needed to buy a GPS, then do all this figuring out on paper followed by walking around hunting for some unknown “thing” which was hidden. At that point in my life, it seemed interesting enough to give it a shot but with everything else I had going on, it inevitably fell to the wayside, forgotten.
Then in January of this year, a friend in my line of work started talking about it with me, suggesting that I would love it. We probably had a dozen broken conversations before he took me to a cache that was nearby where we were working. It was in that moment of finding it that I was hooked…. line, sinker, and all. The fact that I could do it from my cell phone made it extremely attractive coupled with my love for “finding things.” I downloaded a free app but couldn’t get it to work, then figured that I had to make an official Geocaching.com login for the free one to work. So on February 3, 2013 I created my official profile, then 7 days later I upgraded to a premium account. 2. How did you choose your caching name?
It’s a long story about how my caching name started but here is the abbreviated version. There used to be a cartoon on TV called speed racer. Speed had a little brother named Spridle, who had a monkey named Chim Chim. Once upon a time, long, long ago I had a co-worker who started calling me Chim Chim, which soon spread to all my co-workers calling me by that name. While out with some personal friends at a club having a good time, we bumped into the originator of my nickname who loudly yelled it out to my personal friends surprise. He explained his reasoning behind it and they thought it was totally appropriate for me so it stuck.
Since I refuse to totally grow up, but understand that you have to develop some small amount of sophistication in life, I dropped a “Chim” and added a “Sean” and made it my online persona. Juvenilistically sophisticated….. and yes, I know that is not a real word but it’s my story.3. How many caches have you found so far?
As of this writing, 7964. What brand/type of GPS do you use?
I use a Garmin 4505. What programs/software or hardware (PDA/laptop/phone) do you use to make caching easier?
I primarily use my Galaxy S4 phone with C:GEO most of the time, but I also use the Geocaching app from time to time. 6. What type of cache do you prefer seeking – traditional, multi, puzzle, virtual?
I guess I prefer to find traditional caches but have been making an attempt recently to push myself to do more of the other types so I can round out my experience and my statistics a bit. I just hate when I come across a cache that requires some advanced math skills or a degree in cryptology to figure it out. To each their own, but there will be some caches that I will never get because of a mental or physical limitation. I’m ok with that though.7. Which caches were the most challenging – physically/mentally? Why?
I was fortunate to be able to attend the Block Party in Seattle this year. On that Sunday I had planned to do “Geocache” which is simply “GCD,” in addition to completing the Going Ape event nearby. I had done all of my research before I left Baltimore so I knew where it was and what I thought I was getting myself into, going after GCD. I can tell you that I was wholly unprepared for the journey up to it both physically and mentally. It is a fact that almost everyone who started that day made it to the top, but there were a few that didn’t. The couple that hosted the climb is able to make it up and down in an hour and 17 minutes, but they will tell you straight out that by no means that should make it sound easy. It took me an hour and 36 minutes to climb up and about 25 minutes to get back down. GCD serves as a very personal reminder of what I can accomplish if I really put my mind to something. I heartily encourage anyone who makes the trip out to Seattle to make the climb. It is scenic, majestic, challenging, rewarding, and memorable.8. Do you have a favorite or favorites among the Maryland caches that you’ve found?
(Feel free to list a favorite for each type of cache) Do you have a favorite in a nearby state?
I have so many favorite caches for different reasons. I will give a shout out to a particular set of caches put out by The Harford County Geocaching Posse in the Cedar Lane Regional Park in Harford County. My wife and I really enjoyed doing that group of caches because they were all so different from one another, yet in one concentrated area. I am also a real big fan of cemetery caches as long as they are done respectfully. There is so much peace and serenity, not to mention so much free artwork to explore. Every tombstone patiently waits to tell someone passing by, who it represents.
As far as other states, I just did “The Key is the Key” by WV Tim on the way home from the MGS Fall Picnic. I met him at the Summer picnic and he said to me then that sooner or later he’d be hearing from me when I made it to WV and sure enough he was right. Tim (and 72Whalers as well) are who I aspire to emulate when I start hiding caches.9. What’s the most unusual thing that you’ve ever found in a cache?
A cigarette that had been there for like two years. There was a story behind it which made it that much more interesting. 10. What are your current caching goals? Is there a certain cache that you can’t wait to do?
My current goal is to break 1000 finds before my 1 yr anniversary. I could’ve never imagined that it would be possible, but I should have no problems reaching my goal. Believe me when I tell you that I am not about the numbers, they are just a way of keeping track of how much fun I am having.
I would also like to start branching out and doing more out of state events and caching.11. How many caches have you placed? Do you have a current hiding goal?
I have not placed any caches yet. I have so many ideas and so many locations where I want to put them but I am limited on time. My biggest issue is just me being me. I want to put out some caches that someone remembers so to that end, until I can sit down and really work on it, I will refrain from putting out caches just to put them out. It will come when it is time.12. What advice would you give someone that wants to place a cache?
What steps do YOU take when placing a cache?
Don’t get me wrong here, there is a place for all the different caches we come across, but my suggestion is to put some thought into what you are creating. Do something to make it distinctive, unique, or different. I just did a GRC that was a plastic rat. It is not likely that I will forget that one and for those of you who are familiar with Western MD, you know exactly which one I am talking about because it stood out in your mind as well. Anything can be done with a little flair.13. How often do you go caching?
This is an easy one……. NOT ENOUGH. I cache when the opportunity presents itself.14. What advice would you give a beginning geocacher?
I would, and have told them, to have fun above all else. Don’t make it about the numbers unless that is what really drives you. Don’t cache yourself out of your home area. Sure there is an eventuality that it may come to pass, but if you can be cognizant of it, you’ll always have a cache nearby to go grab when the itch hits you. I also encourage attending events and meeting new people as a way of surrounding oneself with like minded people. 15. Have you completed CAM in the past? What was your favorite aspect?
I haven’t done CAM yet but I have every intention of being all in for 2014.16. Do you collect geocoins? Of the ones that you’ve collected, which is your favorite?
I love collecting Geocoins and Pathtags. They are all my favorites.17. What type of gear do you carry with you on your caching trips? What’s in your geopack?
Man, I’ve got all sorts of stuff in my geobags. I never know what I might need or want to show someone so I just carry everything. lol 18. What is your most memorable caching experience?
I would say my trip to the 2013 Block Party is my most memorable experience on so many levels. I learned so much, pushed myself so hard, and almost literally cached around the clock for 4 days.19. What is your best caching story?
That can be found here: GC2ZDKY - Independence Day Hydrocache20. What do you like about geocaching? What keeps you going?
I like all the amazing things I get to see and experience while geocaching. I am always seeing new things I would’ve never seen had I not started this sport and that’s what keeps me going. The most recent examples of this are the Washington Geotrail Kickoff event and the Fall Picnic. On the Geotrail, I was able to visit places that I simply never would have known existed. At the Fall Picnic, I would’ve never gotten to see that cemetery nestled back in the woods, or had a chance to have such great conversations with all the other cachers that attended. My wife and I flew into Ft Lauderdale and drove down to Key West over the course of a week and we found so many places to see while stopping to get a cache that we would’ve certainly just driven by. We also met some really nice cachers from Kentucky and a retired cacher who lives there but was born in Maryland. In Seattle, I met so many awesome people from all over the world and was able to see so many sights off the beaten path.21. Besides geocaching, what other things do you like to do?
I am a Cubmaster in my local scout pack and I really enjoy the challenge of keeping on top of helping those boys grow and learn new skills. I intend on introducing Geocaching to them. The troop is already aware of it and I have volunteered to be a geocaching merit badge councilor for the boyscouts which should prove to be pretty rewarding. I love to travel. I spent many years driving a truck around the country in the past and have more recently started to travel on vacations. I can happily say that some of the vacations now are focused on places where there are geocaching events happening.22. What question did you expect us to ask but didn’t. What is the answer?
I thought you would ask what, if anything I didn’t like about Geocaching.
The answer to that is nothing. I like it all and besides, why ruin so much of a good time with even a drop of negativity.
In closing, I want to point out that although this interview was about me, a large part of my caching experiences are owed to my wife, Morticia86 and my Son, The little Cacher. I also want to thank BCProspector for pushing me into getting started and 72Whalers for some early conversations and some very cool caches. A big thanks goes out to Dudley Grunt who just seems to be everywhere and whom has inspired my son on more than one occasion. More thanks go out to Wizard, Suzanne, and SFCHAZ for being great people who would go out of their way to help a fellow cacher.
I’d like to give an official thanks to all of the officers and dedicated volunteers who put in countless hours making sure the rest of us have a great time and finally, thanks to all of the cachers I’ve met at events and shared stories with. Events wouldn’t be so much fun if y’all didn’t show up.Happy Caching,