A post came up on FB about where the next Maritime Mega geocaching event would be held. I responded with a long winded FB comment which I ultimately decided not to post. Here’s what I wrote:
I’ve been to all four MM events, and was on the organizing committee for two of them. The discussion going on here has happened after every one of those events. Here’s my unique view.
After MM1 and MM2, there were a pile of people all excited about the mega and wanting to start work on the next one. Within a couple of months, the interest died and once that happened, the people who were really capable and interested stepped up and started the real work. I’m not trying to be insulting to anyone, but this is just how it is. A lot of people get so excited about the mega that they just want to keep that excitement going by starting to plan the next one. What they don’t realize is how much actual work is involved. Not to sound like an ass, but a lot of people are eager to help until the time actually comes where things need to get done and when that time comes, a lot of those eager people all of a sudden have jobs, kids, and other things that take priority. It can be VERY difficult to find the right kind of people to form a committee for a mega and actually make the event happen. I don’t think people really realize how big of a responsibility it becomes for those who take the bull by the horns and start down that path. I have seen with my own eyes people who thought they could make it happen just because they wanted to and ended up bailing. Several of these failed startups happened right after MM1 and it wasn’t until all of the dust settled that the folks in Fredericton got the right kinds of people together to make MM2 happen.
Unless you were part of the organizing committee for a mega, you have no idea how much actual work is involved and how much actual time out of your schedule it takes to make successful megas happen. It really does consume a large part of your life. When you are not working or going to school, you are thinking about mega stuff. It’s not a matter of simply wash, rinse, dry, and repeat each time a mega happens. Every mega is unique and requires its own way of doing things that was different from the previous one. When Cache Up NB did M3, I worked on mega stuff every day for almost two years. I thought about and worked on mega stuff at home, at work, and even on the road when I was traveling. My wife was responsible for sponsorship stuff and she was constantly working on mega related things. For most of us on the committee, mega work spilled into every part of our life so when it comes time to plan a new one, I cannot stress how important it is to make sure the right kind of people work on it. After M3, Cache Up NB got a few requests from people for information about doing a mega and based on who they were, we knew whether or not they were the right kind of people. I mean, we got an email from someone who assumed a mega could be done by a single person. When Kevin & Leona reached out to us, we knew them from previous events and knew of their dedication so it was a no brainer to pass the torch to them. It’s not like hosting a dinner event or a contest event. Anyone can do those. Megas are a completely different kind of animal and require a lot more dedication.
As for location, I would love to see the mega in PEI. Me and Rev Slippery had a lengthy discussion with a well known cacher from PEI during M3 about trying to get it in PEI. We even offered Cache Up NB as a partner to do all of the website work. This person was VERY interested in doing a mega there but told us it was unlikely to happen because of the types of cachers over there. Apparently meetings have been held over there about trying to make a mega happen but it ultimately failed because of the types of people trying to make it happen. It sounded very much like what happened during the first meetings about MM2 which also died because of the people involved. So again, it’s not necessarily about not having people who are interested in having a mega. It’s about having the right kinds of people involved that can actually make it happen. Maybe the situation is different in PEI now, but regardless, it’s still all about finding the right people.
And to a lesser degree about location, I completely disagree with the idea of having it in Bridgewater again and that’s for two reasons. I like originality. I like it when people do things differently so to bring the mega back to Bridgewater after having it in only three other places seems very unoriginal to me. Yes, it would be a nice nod in 2020, but for me, I’d rather see the mega happen somewhere else in the Maritimes that hasn’t had a mega yet. The second reason why I’m not a fan of Bridgewater is the fact that really, there’s nothing there. Fredericton, Moncton, and now Truro all had a ton of caches and things to do in the region for people going to the mega. Bridgewater had virtually nothing there. Sure, Canada’s first cache is not far from there, but beyond that, it wasn’t exactly a thriving area for geocaching. The location for a mega needs to be thoroughly considered as you want to maximize the amount of people that will come.