Geocaching for Tweens

July 30th, 2013
The author and her geocaching tweens.

The chances are that even if you have never heard of geocaching, your tweens will have.

Geocaching is a fascinating, fun phenomenon that is growing in popularity. A free, real-world outdoor treasure hunt, geocaching is played by using a smartphone or GPS to locate hidden containers called geocaches. With over two million treasures hidden around the world, geocaching is an ideal activity on which to embark with your tweens, who may then be encouraged to make and hide a geocache of their own! Begin by learning about geocaching, try it with your tweens, and then follow the tried and tested activities below.

Hide Your Own Geocache

We are constantly bombarded with ideas about how to attract people to our churches. Having a geocache hidden on your church grounds is an ideal way to do this!

Begin by brainstorming with your tweens about what could be inside your geocache and where it might be hidden. (Tweens are creative and will love the opportunity to be involved from the outset).

Since you will be attracting people on to your church grounds, use the opportunity to witness by placing a Bible verse inside the geocache that people could take, or an invitation to your Sunday school or youth group.

Once you have decided on your geocache and where it will be located, you will need to place a ‘log sheet’ inside. (So that people can record their visit.) Free, printable log sheets are available from TechBlazer.

When your geocache is ready and hidden, make sure it is registered on the Official Geocaching Website.

Don’t forget to check your geocache periodically to see if the log sheet needs replacing.

How Our Tweens Did It

Since geocaching is simply a treasure hunt, and we wanted to place a Bible verse in our geocache, our tweens began by searching for Bible references to treasure. We chose Matthew 6:19: Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.

We each made and decorated a simple concrete stepping stone (10 stones in all), and embedded a small empty tin into each stone. We then separated the Bible verse into 10 parts, and placed one section in each of the tins. A stepping stone containing a larger tin was host to the geocaching log sheet. In this way, our geocache became more than one hidden cache—it became a ten part puzzle for visitors to solve.

Finally, we placed the stones around our church gardens, and achieved two goals: they look pretty, and they attract people to our premises.

Bible Geocaching! (A fun follow up activity)

In Bible geocaching, teams of tweens race through the 4 Gospels to discover 6 words that will make up a sentence about treasure. When the correct sentence is found, and matched with a hidden one, they may then hunt for real treasure! The 'coordinates' used for the 6 words are taken from the New Revised Standard Version. If you do not have these Bibles, you must change the 'coordinates' listed below, according to the translation you are using, so that the activity will work.


Take 4 envelopes & number them 1-4.

Write out the following sentences on strips of paper, including the #:

 1. God's treasure is peace and love.

 2. Your treasure is found in heaven.

 3. Choose treasure of faith and peace.

 4. Good treasure is easy to find.

Place each sentence in its corresponding envelope, seal and hide in 4 different places in your facility.

Take 4 sheets of paper, number them 1-4 and write on the top of each:

'Bible Geocaching Coordinates.'

Write the following coordinates on each sheet:

On Sheet 1: Matthew 27: 43: 19 / Matthew 6: 21: 4 / Mark 12: 27: 2 / John 20: 21: 6 / Luke 12: 31: 6 / John 21: 17: 14.

On Sheet 2: Matthew 9: 2: 28 / Matthew 6: 21: 4 / Mark 12: 27: 2 / Luke 7: 10: 12 / John 12: 44: 7 / Matthew 16: 19: 11.

On Sheet 3: Matthew 8: 3: 12 / Matthew 6: 21: 4 / Matthew 6: 22: 6 / Mark 11: 22: 5 / Luke 12: 31: 6 / John 20: 21: 6.

On Sheet 4: Matthew 7: 17: 5 / Matthew 6: 21: 4 / Luke 12: 23: 3 / Matthew 7: 13: 15 / John 20: 27: 4 / Mark 11: 2: 20

Now hide 'treasure' in the room where you will meet, like candy or plastic coins with Bible verses on them.


Put the tweens in to 4 teams. Number them 1-4.

Say: Welcome to Bible Geocaching! Your mission is to hunt through the 4 Gospels to find 6 words that will make up a sentence about treasure. To find the words, I will give each team 3 'Bible coordinates'. (Show them a 'Bible Geocaching Coordinates' sheet. Point to the numbers.) The first number tells you the chapter. The second number tells you the verse. The third number tells you how many words to count along in that verse. (Demonstrate this.) Once you have found the word, write it down on your sheet. When you think your sentence is complete, we will check it. If it's correct, you will be sent to hunt for an envelope that has the same number as your team. When all teams have returned with their envelopes we will open them. If the sentence inside matches the one you wrote down, you may hunt for treasure right here in this room! Questions? Go!

Make sure each team has NRSV Bibles (or whatever version you are using), pens & their 'Bible Geocaching Coordinates' sheet.

Send each team to different areas to work on finding their words. (Try to have one adult per team to ensure success! Give the adult a copy of the sentence.)

When teams have written their sentence down, check it & then give them a 'clue' about where their envelope is hidden.

When all teams have returned, open the envelopes. If the sentence inside matches the one they wrote down, they may hunt for treasure. Let the team that returned first hunt first.

Finish by discussing what Jesus said about true treasure in Matthew 6:19.

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