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Don't miss the GPS Word Search!

posted Aug 13, 2013, 7:02 PM by Webmaster Pack 1545   [ updated Sep 25, 2015, 6:54 PM ]

What: Cub Scout Pack 1545 GPS Word Search

When: Thursday, August 15, 7:00 – 8:00 pm

Where: RVES school yard

Here’s how the GPS Word Search will work. We’ll place signs showing a single word on or near “landmarks” located on the RVES property. We’ll give you a set of GPS coordinates and hints to follow. Find the landmark at each coordinate on the route and write down the word on the object’s sign to discover a phrase or message. It’s kind of like a high tech scavenger hunt.

Coordinates will be provided as a combination of latitude (the east-west bands that run around the globe) and longitude (the north-south bands). You can plug the latitude and longitude into a GPS (Global Positioning System) enabled device and use the device to locate the object. This is easier than it sounds, if you have a smart phone with a map app (an iPhone or Android), then you have everything that you need to participate. (Of course if you have a dedicated handheld GPS device then that will work too.)

I won’t go into much of the technical nitty gritty, but latitude and longitude will be provided in both degrees, minutes, seconds format and in decimal degrees format so that you’ll have whichever your device needs. (If you’re using a smart phone then you’ll most likely use the decimal degree format.) For example, a coordinate on your route sheet might look like this:

Degrees, Minutes, Seconds Format
Latitude, Longitude

Decimal Degrees Format

Latitude, Longitude


38°46'5.47"N, 77°13'48.62"W

38.768186, -77.230172

This is a diamond in the rough.

If you’re using an iPhone, you could go to the map app and type the decimal degrees latitude and longitude (including the comma) into the search box, and would get a result similar to this one from google maps. From that you would know to go to the lower ball field and look for a sign.

All landmarks will be on the school property, you won’t need to go past the sidewalk or fences. You may need to cross the parking lot, so please watch out for cars.

Because this activity involves technology, there will be glitches. One that we’ve already discovered is that the Google Map App on the iPhone doesn’t work for this. Instead of showing you the landmark, it shows you the house at the nearest street address. But the Apple Map App on the iPhone works fine. There will be other glitches; we’ll deal with them as they arise.

If your Scout finds this activity intriguing, then they may be interested in checking out the Geography and Map and Compass belt loops.