By tamara Are you familiar with the term geocaching? It’s basically a massive scavenger hunt that can be played locally or even worldwide. The activity was originally called gpsstashing, but some people thought the word ‘stash’ might have a negative connotation. So, the term geocaching was adopted instead. Geocaching is very similar to letterboxing, which was played in the 1800s. Participants would use clues to guide others to hidden treasures. Although modern-day geocaching has been around for more than a decade, it’s really gained in popularity over the last few years thanks to smartphone apps and online games. When you think about it, geocaching is very similar to scholarship hunting. In fact, we found three distinct qualities that both possess. 1. Online Tools Geocachers often rely on GPS devices and online games to lead them to hidden treasure. The same is true for students searching for scholarships. According to Geocaching.com, an estimated 2.5 million geocaches are active around the world, which just happens to be the same number of scholarships available in our database. How’s that for a coincidence? To find those treasures, you’ll need an app or a GPS device to help point you in the right direction. This is where our free, online scholarship search tool comes in handy. Once you complete your online profile, we’ll help you navigate to the right scholarships just for you. We even provide daily clues on Facebook and Twitter to help you find even more free money for college. But remember, scholarships won’t jump up and smack you in the face — you have to use a variety of tools and follow the clues to find them. 2. Various Locations The wonderful thing about geocaching is that you can do it just about anywhere. Games are available locally, within your state, across the country, and even in other parts of the word. Guess what? You can find scholarships in all those locations, too! Check with your high school, college, local businesses and organizations, as well as other area resources to see what may be available to you. Then, expand your search to include state and national organizations/businesses. But remember, just like geocaching, when you venture into larger programs you’ll be competing against more people — all of whom are trying to locate the same prize, or in this case, scholarship. To increase your chances of winning, try to apply for as many local scholarships as possible. 3. Rewards Big & Small Many newcomers to geocashing may feel disappointed after spending considerable time looking for a hidden prize. It’s not uncommon to unearth a small box that is filled with a sentimental trinket or a simple note. Yes, there are cash prizes waiting to be found, but only a few will be lucky enough to walk away with the big rewards. It’s the participants who keep searching who eventually find success. Scholarship hunting is very similar. You may spend hours working on scholarship applications and not receive anything for your efforts, but don’t give up. It may take 10, 20, or even more applications before you see any results and capture your prize. Only a few students will ever win enough to cover all their college expenses, but those little rewards do add up over time. Geocaching Scholarship There is one other type of reward available for those who participate in geocaching — scholarships! Believe it or not, many geocaching organizations and chapters offer college scholarships, such as the Susan Kay Schug Educational Scholarship provided by the Michigan Geocaching Organization. So, do yourself a favor, and check out your local club or group. You never know, it could lead to the ultimate prize — free money for college!