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Six Years Old And 1000 Finds

Six-year-old Sophie Quay-Clark  (GC handle: Sophie World) will soon have more finds than kjwx and Cumbyrocks put together. Here, her mother Hannah Quay writes of her eldest child’s geocaching journey.

“I’m not walking five miles for seven caches,” declared my six-year-old.

“But you’ve walked five miles before – in fact, you’ve walked further,” I replied.

“There were 30 caches on that five-mile loop, not seven. Can’t we do the Verwood Adventure series (GC24EA0)? It has 14 caches on it and I can ride my bike,” she retorted.

Sophie began caching in March 2010, a few weeks after she turned five. Our first cache expedition was inspired by an article we’d read in a free parenting magazine that she had brought home from school. We looked up the geocaches near our home of Berkshire in Southern England, discovered our cellphones had an in-built GPS, found some swag and off we set. As a family, we were hooked after our first find.

At the start of 2011, Sophie asked if she could have her own GC.com account. I set one up for her and she started logging her finds. One day, at an event cache, she met one of Britain’s top cachers who suggested to her that mummy could back-log all of her previous finds.

After a week of being hassled to do this, I gave in and spent many hours going through my older finds to log the caches Sophie had accompanied us to.  She had just under 900 finds then and saw a new number looming -the big 1000!

We cached a lot over a few weekends – I don’t normally let Sophie cache during the week as she tires easily from school – and she reached that magical number on a local series. We gave her an ammo can to celebrate and the aforementioned top cacher presented her with a rosette that now has pride of place on our mantle piece.

Sophie has talked a lot about having a caching weekend away at Chiltern Hills to walk the Chiltern Hundred series (from GC1EB13). Unfortunately for her, I wasn’t up for 22 miles (35 kilometres) so that has been put on hold.

I am often asked if she writes her own logs and cache pages. The answer if yes, though she generally dictates to me what she wants to say. A recent example for GC2YBOH Choc 22 – Raspberry Cream states: “I went caching with Mummy and Little QC today. I found a lot of caches by myself. I got 24 caches today. I had fun running round the series and talking about Harry Potter! TFTC”

Her am-can quickly became a celebratory cache, which she called “My 1000th cache find cache” – or more formerly GC2VP5W Woody Walk:  My 1000th Cache Find Cache. This brought the number of hides Sophie has placed to nine.

She has a short series of six caches over 1.5 miles (2.4km), all named after a favourite dinosaur – starting from GC27WGZ Dino 1.  She has also set two puzzle caches – including GC2WV3N Theo’s ChooChoo Cache – both of which she designed and wrote herself; she is very proud of these.

Sophie’s next goal is to join the ranks of Britain’s top 1000 cachers, so she’s busy checking the rankings on CacherStats each week to see where she is placed. She also has a new cache series in mind, plus another puzzle based on her current interest, Harry Potter.

*Sophie currently has 1092 finds – after scoring five out of nine FTFs on a geo-outing earlier today – and is ranked at No 1276 among Britain’s cachers. You can read about more of her geo-adventures on mum Hannah’s blog Geocaching Mama. Hannah’s GC handle is The QCs, of which Sophie is the Big QC and her younger brother Little QC.

7 comments

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  1. Clan Riffster on Facebook

    Seems kind of inconsistent to glorify someone based solely on the number of caches they’ve found, on a website called “It’s not about the numbers”. 😉

  2. Peter Raymond Walker on Facebook

    I think another i word more accurately describes this situation – inclusive! Just because it’s not about the numbers for us doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the numbers from time to time…just not too often 😉

  3. Peter Raymond Walker on Facebook

    Plus Sophie is just too cute not to share her milestone!

  4. Clan Riffster on Facebook

    Gotta agree with that!

  5. Aranea

    WAY TO GO GIRL!
    High 5 to you!!!!!!!! 🙂

  6. Cathryn

    Well done Sophie!

  7. angie (moonbeams_7)

    Well done sophie 🙂 I talk to your mum via social media 🙂 Let’s see how my 7 year old does with her own caching you can be her inspiration 🙂

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