Clayton tourism officials launch holiday caching game

Avast me mateys! There are keys to booty to be found in little treasure boxes spread out across Clayton County.

Clayton County Convention and Visitors Bureau officials rolled out a new geocaching promotion this past weekend, just for the holidays –– and $350 worth of treasure is up for plundering.

People who participate in the promotion, a competition entitled “Cache for Cash,” have until Dec. 14 to find special tickets in select caches hidden throughout the county, according to Rebekah Cline, a spokesperson for the county’s tourism group.

Geocaching operates like a high-tech treasure hunt, where people can channel their inner pirates by using hand-held Global Positioning System devices, and sets of coordinates, to find cache boxes that have been hidden across the community. It’s a little bit more modern than simply relying on a map, and the phrase “X marks the spot!”

“Geocaching is a great family activity for people to participate in this holiday season,” Cline said. “It is also a wonderful opportunity to introduce people to the places we have to visit here in Clayton County.”

The “Cache for Cash” promotion coincides with the addition of three new cache box sites to the Clayton County geocaching route, the tourism bureau’s spokesperson explained. She said the route takes participants from one tourism site, to the next. She added that there are now 12 cache box sites, and six of them have tickets for the “Cache for Cash” promotion.

“We really want to get more people to participate in our geocaching efforts, because it is a great family activity, and because it is a great way for kids to get out of the house, and participate in an outdoors activity,” Cline said. She added that it is a free activity for families.

Cline explained that the tickets serve as entries in a drawing on Dec. 15, for a prize pack, and they have to be returned to the Road to Tara Museum, located at 104 North Main St., in Jonesboro, by Dec. 14, at 5 p.m.

The booty up for grabs, she said, includes $100 in cash, a one-night stay at the Clarion Hotel on Old Dixie Highway, at Interstate 75, admission for four to Stately Oaks Plantation, and a family four pack that includes tickets to the Road to Tara Museum and the Southern Belles and Whistles Historic Bus Tour.

“People can use the cash as a little bit of extra holiday spending money,” Cline said. She later added, however, that “You have to be 18, and up [in age] to participate in ‘Cache for Cash.’ Sometimes, the father might decide to do geocaching in his name, while the mother also signs up in her own name, so they make a little competition out of it, and that’s fine.

“But, since part of the prize is a one-night stay in a hotel, that might be a little inappropriate for a child to win [because they would be too young to check into the room themselves].”

Cline also said there is an incentive for people to visit all 12 cache box sites on the route — it improves their odds of winning the treasure. “The more [cache boxes with ‘Cache for Cash’ tickets] they go to, the more entries they have for the drawing,” she said.

Go online, to www.claytoncountycaches.com, or call (770) 478-4800, for more information on the Clayton County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau’s “Cache for Cash” promotion, and coordinates for the geocaching game.

Now, avast ye scalawags. Unfurl the skull and crossbones and begin looking for those tickets!