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Meet the Geeks

In 2013 I attended an event in downtown Kansas City hosted by some self proclaimed "Math Geeks". They were in town for an event where AP Math teachers graded tests taken by students from all over the country. The teachers, themselves from all over the nation, arrived by the hundreds staying in hotels all over the downtown area. Seeing as how this was the first time to the City of Fountains for many of them Kevin (capintmath) decided to host an event. This was my first time meeting him and George (Travel48) both of whom have since become good friends.

Where it all started, on a midday in 2013

We all hit it off quite well and I offered to help with logistics when they returned next year. I don't know what happened in 2014 though (don't see an event in either of our names) but by 2015 I was hosting the annual Meet the Geeks event kicking it off with "Probability of an Event – Meet the Math Geeks". There were only 19 Attended logs but the group photo proves there were many more there than that. As Kevin had convinced a lot of his AP reader friends to join in and learn about geocaching.

javthrowr is almost always kind enough to be our photographer (front row, far right)

Seeing the potential to spread the good word of geocaching the following year we upped our game in Meet the Geeks: Fountains of Knowledge building on the theme and placing a dozen or so new caches. We took the opportunity to break into small groups paring the muggles with experienced cachers and walking them around to the various new cache types in the area. I placed an intercache, a field puzzle, a traditional, a multi, and a letterbox among others. Most of these fit the fountain theme but my favorite from that batch is Voyage that follows a scale model of the solar system and is still in play running down Baltimore street.

It is REALLY hard to hear instructions over a loud fountain as we learned

By 2017 the city had finished the light rain expansion that ran from downtown to Union Station and gave us inspiration for Meet the Geeks: Riding the Rails! As the name implies this focused on locations along the rail or with train themes. I posted the nearest terminal location for each so that if they wanted to visit them on their own time they knew where to get off and on. I even added an intercache that ran the length of Grand which runs parallel to the rail. Although that version had to be archived it has since been reborn in a new location and highlights another of my passions, the study of flags.

We really leaned into the math them after that only placing a single cache that had multiple stops. The 2018 Meet the Geeks: Mathmagical Land saw our numbers really swell. We had plenty of new faces and revisited some of the existing caches but most folks opted to tackle Kevin's epic cacheventure. I spent several days hunting down cool spots within walking distance and he used his mathmagical knowledge to test their skills. In keeping with my love of oddball logs we all signed a DVD copy of the Donald Duck movie with the same name.

2019 was the biggest and (as of now) last of these events with Meet the Geeks: The Kansas City Mob Tour. I pulled out all the stops and spent more than a hundred hours digging into the seedy past of Kansas City to uncover dozens of locations related to organized crime in the area (57 and counting actually). Ever the showmen we had props and handouts explaining points of interests, geocaching FAQs and even had QR codes to the free caching apps for iOS and Android.

Covid has put a hold to the AP reading and consequently the events. Additionally Kevin is now retired and might not be invited back when they start up so the future of Meet the Geeks is up in the air. Whatever happens we've had a lot of amazing memories and introduced several new people to the wonderful hobby of geocaching. As Kevin is connected to many of them through his math teacher network he's seen others sign up, go premium and even begin to hide caches in their home areas. As a result we are the direct cause of bringing caching to new parts of America far and wide. This is the greatest payment I could hope for and with any luck they will host events and the cycle will continue. Hopefully we will see all our friends at an event in June of 2022 but either way just remember folks, "We all use math every day"!


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