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On The Cards: An A-to-Z Of Geocaching

If geocache trading card creator Shane Holmes doesn’t know his ABCs yet, he will do by the time he’s finished with his latest card designs.

Since holding a Facebook contest to pick a new trading card theme, the American (GC handle: GeoLobo) has begun work on a series detailing the geocaching alphabet – common terms from A for APE all the way to Z for … well, you get the idea.

To finance his Terminology A-Z series, he has turned to fundraising website Kickstarter again – as he did with his second set of Geocaching History Cards earlier this year.

That venture was hugely successful, raising US$230 more than its US$1500 goal with the help of donations from Groundspeak’s Bryan Roth, lackey Raine Lightner, My Geek Odyssey‘s Bruce Nelson and INATN.

This time round, Holmes is seeking US$800 to cover the design and printing costs of five A-Z cards. And with 41 days left until the appeal’s December 29th cutoff, his pledge total is already US$335.

“The project is designed around starting with a small funding goal in mind, with the hopes of reaching stretch goals to fund additional cards. This series will consist of a minimum of fivetrading cards related to terminology used in geocaching around the word (terms such as Muggle, Swag, Geosense, Nano, Bushwack etc),” he says.

If his tally hits US$1600, Holmes is promising five extra A-Z cards, making 10 in total. Should he raise US$2400, five new Geocaching History Cards will also be created; honouring the first International Earthcache Day, first International Earthcache Mega Event (GC33E6X), the first annual Geolympix, the inaugural virtual and webcam caches.

But for now, he’s busy “trying to find really great words to use”,  such as ‘Muggle’. “I am always looking for suggestions and feedback. Someone just yesterday asked me to do a Spoiler card, however, I like Swag better for the letter ‘S’.”

Other possibilities include acronymns such as FTF, BYOB, TFTC.

As with his previous two history sets, the New York State geocacher has commissioned an artist named Katerina from the Russian capital of Moscow to design his imagery. “This series will have a different artform, though, as you might already be able to tell from the first examples.”

Eventually, Holmes is hoping for a complete set of 26 cards – “one for each letter in the alphabet” – but his current focus is the five examples with which he will reward his Kickstarter supporters. So far, he has finished proofs of Swag, Muggle and Geo-Sense.

Once his fundraiser is over, Holmes must consider whether to have duplicate letter cards to cover other popular geo-lexicon terms. “There are some really great terms out there that start with the same letter, such as (Swag and Spoiler or Geocoin, GPS, GeoJunk, GeoSense). I am not against creating more than one card for each alphabet. Because some letters may be hard to find a word for (at least a great word), I may opt to not do those letters and maybe do less than 26 cards but do more than one card for a letter.”

He expects to have his first 10 cards completed by the New Year (January 2013). The whole set will eventually be sold on his new Geocaching Trading Cards website, donated to geo-events as prizes or  placed in geocaches.

Ever the trading enthusiast, Holmes adds: “Of course, if you want any of the cards sooner, I would be happy to make trades for any cards I do not already have. If you don’t own a personal trading card, please visit our website or Facebook page to learn how to get one and become involved in the trading community. It’s easier and cheaper than you think. There are more than 300 personal trading cards in circulation already!”

*For more information about Shane Holmes’ Geocaching Trading Cards: Terminology A-Z series or to keep up with its progress, check out his Facebook page, Geocaching Trading Cards website or Kickstarter fundraiser.

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