MiGO's goal is to promote the sport of geocaching, an appreciation of the outdoors, and good environmental stewardship, through cooperative efforts with Michigan geocachers and land management officials.
With the rapidly growing popularity of geocaching, and the ever tightening restrictions being placed on our public lands nationwide, we recognize that the establishment of a cooperative relationship with our local and state park managers will be beneficial to the long term success of our sport. In order to facilitate such an endeavor, we feel that it is necessary to establish an organization which acts as a central source of information and a resource for volunteer expertise on the subject of Geocaching. That's where MiGO comes in.
The primary purpose of MiGO is to serve its members by supporting and promoting geocaching in the state of Michigan. We want to share our interest in using modern technology (GPS and the internet) to encourage and foster an appreciation of the outdoors, and to promote good stewardship of the land and environment that we all enjoy.
How do we meet these goals?
First, as a forum for communication and interaction, we welcome your input and involvement. If you have questions you'd like answered, events you'd like advertised, or ideas or information you'd like to share, please feel free to contact us. While we are excited about planning and participating in occasional state-wide events, we realize that Michigan Geocachers are spread across a wide enough area to make it difficult to plan activities which are convenient for everyone to participate in. For this reason, we encourage local groups and individuals to plan and organize events in their own areas, and we will be happy to help in whatever way possible.
Also, in order to maintain the confidence of land management authorities, and to alleviate any myths or concerns about our activity, it is important to understand and agree upon a few basic concepts and guidelines for geocaching in Michigan. The following links provide recommendations for hiding and seeking caches.
Geocaching is an activity that has an appeal for a diverse group of participants, individuals and families, young and old, athletic and physically challenged, technological buffs and nature lovers, people from all walks of life. The activity can be done almost anywhere in the world, and requires a relatively small initial investment. The goal of MiGO is to ensure that we will all be able to continue to enjoy this activity in our state for many years to come.
In early 2002 a handful of Michigan Geocachers started talking about forming a club to encourage the growth of the activity of Geocaching and to work with land managers in our state.
On April 11, 2002 - MiGO was formed. A yahoo group was established to enable everyone to get online and talk about where to take the new group. With no real leadership structure at the start, it was agreed there would be a first picnic to discuss the new group and who would step up and lead the steering group.
On April 27, 2002 in Grand Woods Park in Lansing, Michigan the first group of MiGO cachers converged for an afternoon of caching fun. Rusty had secured the pavillion and set up a closest to the pin. Everyone brought sweets to share and there was a great showcase of travel bugs and new cache ideas. It was a lot of fun and the day ended with a meeting to discuss the formalization of MiGO. The group in attendance indicated their approval for trippy1976, Rusty, and Zuckerruebensirup to act as a steering group to file the paperwork and create the initial bylaws for the group.
After the event, a lot of discussion focused on next steps. Consensus on a domain name was arrived at, trippy1976 got the domain name (mi-geocaching.org), Rusty threw out an initial MiGO logo (which stands as the basis for our official logo to this day), and trippy1976 built out an initial site based on the logo. On June 6, 2002 the new site was launched. You can see the first ever web site at the internet archive site. Click here! At that time, the group relied completely on the Yahoo Group mailing list for communication and the web site was primarily used to display guidelines and other documents.
In late 2003 plans for the first annual MiGO Winter Social were announced.
Leading up to Winter Social 2003, the Steering Group filed official incorporation paperwork for MiGO on the 27th of January, 2003 and as of February 25, 2003 MiGO became a Michigan Nonprofit Corporation - the first step in our official organization.
Also leading up to the Winter Social, the Steering Group decided to enlarge from 3 to 5 people. Everyone participating in the project were invited to volunteer their name and then everyone was asked to vote for two people from the ranks of the willing.
February 22, 2003 was the First MiGO Winter Social. The purpose of this event was to give everyone an update on the organization of MiGO, a chance to have some caching fun in the snow, and to enjoy each other's company. At this first Winter Social, about 75 people attended and enjoyed a spaghetti dinner cooked by the steering group and a geocaching poker run. The prizes were really cool, the food was passable, and the fun was unforgettable! At the end of the event we gave a brief update on the evolving club and announced the results of the election to add two new members to the steering group. Effective that day, Sandrich and umc were added to the ranks of the Steering Group. The Winter Social became our annual membership meeting the following year.
MiGO filed for its 501(c)(7) status as a Tax Exempt Nonprofit entity in May of 2004 and received its determination in June of the same year.
Since its inception in 2002 by a ragtag group of Geocachers on a mailing list and at a picnic - MiGO has taken membership from over 1300 Geocachers and maintains an active membership database of over 500 Geocachers. MiGO has grown to be recognized as the "go to" club in the state for land managers. As MiGO grows we look forward to expanding our relationship with other organizations and land management groups around the state to advance the sport of Geocaching and improve the benefits of being a member to all our members. We invite you to join the club and become part of the MiGO family today!