Tips for GS leaders

Remember Letterboxing is suppose to be a SECRET treasure hunt.

Read up on the hobby before presenting it to the girls.

Atlas Quest – this link takes you directly to the “rules” of letterboxing.

Letterboxing NA – this link takes you to their “getting started” section.

One of the most important things to remember about letterboxing is RESPECT.

Respect the environment. Practice Leave No Trace.

Respect other people’s property. This includes people’s land, other people’s boxes/stamps, and books.

Stamps:

As a leader you know your girls, some may be qualified to carve their own stamp others not so much. You may choose to carve their stamps or you may ask them to bring in a small stamp that they feel represents themselves. (a short discussion on why they picked the image they did is always interesting.) Another option is to pick out a stamp as a troop. We had used our troop crest originally. You can find something close to your troop crest in a stamp or carve one yourself. (The more stamps, the longer it takes.)

Remember to clean all stamps before & after stamping in.  Some people are not as respectful and forget to clean after which means if they used a dark color on the stamp you may ruin your yellow or orange ink pad/marker if you don’t cleaning it first.

Logbooks:

It’s your choice as a leader to either have one logbook for the troop or to have individual logbooks for each girl/adult. (The more books the longer it takes.) If you’re in the “wild” it’s more of a concern of time than if you’re in a controlled environment like scout event, camp, or such. Blank 5×7 inch index cards are good starter logbooks for the girls. Punch holes in the side or in the top corner and string the cards together with yarn/twine, zip ties, or a binder ring. Keeping it loose making sure the pages can turn or flip. They can decorate the cover as they see fit.

Finding:

Look on Atlas Quest or Letterboxing.org for clues near you.  Remember to send a trip activity form in for approval if you’re meeting/field tripping outside your normal meeting area & time. (at least 2 weeks prior) Have the girls help you try to figure out the clues.  Some are easier than others.

Remember to review the rules with the girls about respecting the environment and LNT practices. (Similar to GS camping guidelines.)

Another option for finding is to arrive at your meeting place earlier than your meeting and to plant a few close by & write up clues on a white/chalk board.

Planting:

Planting in the “wild” first point is to make sure letterboxes are permitted on the site you’re planing to plant on. Occasionally some land trusts and other areas do not permit letterboxing or geocaching on their land.

Remember to practice LNT and respect the property owners wishes. The only exception to LNT is that you’re leaving a box behind. You need to understand the commitment involved and be prepared to maintain the box you/your troop plants.

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