Geocaching HQ Lackeys attend dozens of Mega and Giga-Events around the world, shaking hands, sharing stories of adventure, and of course, geocaching! Em_adventuring is a Community Volunteer Support Specialist at Geocaching HQ. She recently traveled to Germany to attend the Giga-Event, Project Glück Auf 2022 (GC7G1GA) alongside Martemous, and Rock Chalk. Here’s her summary of the Giga-Event.
After years of planning, Project Glück Auf 2022 finally took place in Essen, Germany, on September 17, 2022. For the third Giga-Event of 2022, the location was the incredible Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex. This UNESCO World Heritage Site offered an in-depth look at the coal mining history of the region, a theme that was woven throughout the Giga-Event. Although the Ruhr area of Germany was once an industrial powerhouse of coal and steel, it has reinvented itself by turning many of its former industrial sites into museums and parks.
Photo by Banditje.
The Event truly embraced this coal mining theme. The Event’s mascot was Anton die Grubenameise, a hardworking “pit ant” who works as a coal miner. The passionate organizing team, led by Skullbook, all dressed in coal miner gear complete with hard hats. The logbook for the Giga-Event was a life-sized mining lantern, and the logbook for the CITO on Sunday was a life-sized miner doll. A series of creative Mystery Caches published for the Event also delighted us with their ingenuity and the dedication to the theme.
The event weekend included a Community Celebration Event, where we enjoyed our first look at the site and spent a couple of hours speaking with geocachers from all over the world. The official welcome Event, buzzing with positive energy and excitement, was held at a historic mining site where attendees received a coal miner’s time card they could punch.
Photo by Jaku x.
The Giga-Event itself featured tours of the amazing museum, mining-themed Adventures published throughout the weekend, activities for all ages, food, and even a lively musical performance! Signal the Frog® was his usual active and animated self, dancing and happily posing for photos with cachers.
Cachers explored the sprawling Event site as they wandered above on elevated walkways and on the ground through a maze of old industrial buildings and relics from its past.
Martemous, Rock Chalk, and I particularly enjoyed engaging in conversations with the cachers we were fortunate to meet at the Event.
It was evident the organizing team put their hearts into this Giga-Event. We learned a lot about this region of Germany and treasured the inspiring and meaningful interactions with cachers. A huge thank you to the organizing team for all of their hard work—we will never forget our fantastic experience at Project Glück Auf 2022!