Want to get some exercise, hunt for treasure, and raise diabetes awareness at the same time? Play the “Unite for Diabetes Travel Bug Challenge.” It’s a geocaching game with a high purpose, and all you need to play is a Global Positioning System unit (GPS) and a sense of adventure.
Geocaching is treasure hunting with a modern twist: One person hides something, called the cache, in a clever place and then lists the cache’s latitude and longitude on the geocaching website, geocaching.com. Aspiring finders then upload those coordinates into their GPS and attempt to track their way to the cache.
Travel bug geocaching is a little different because the cache itself, the Travel Bug, is carried from cache to cache by its finders until it finally reaches its ultimate destination. The Travel Bug is just a little Unite for Diabetes pin attached to a metal tag bearing a number that can be tracked online. 20,000 Unite For Diabetes Travel Bugs have been issued, sponsored by the International Diabetes Federation and Merck. Each one is dedicated to a specific city and the people with diabetes who live there. The goal for each Travel Bug is to make it to its special city and then circulate throughout that city’s geocaches, spreading diabetes awareness all along the way.
How can you participate? Visit unite.Geocaching.com. There’s a Travel Bug headed for Russia that’s currently in Texas, and one headed for Nigeria that’s in Virginia. Maybe there’s one near you.