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Read Thread: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain

Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968705 by Oberon_Kenobi
Nov 25, 2018 4:49pm
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Please don't dump on the new person. We were all new once

Excuse me, I am not "dumping" on the new person by making the very valid point that a new boxer of only four months cannot really give anyone else a true impression of letterboxing because a boxer of only four months has not yet the experience to have developed a true impression of the entire world of letterboxing.

Do not make me out to be the bad guy because I chose to make a valid point. Thus making yourself the good guy.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968708 by MissMoon
Nov 25, 2018 5:33pm
Board
Please don't dump on the new person. We were all new once

Excuse me, I am not "dumping" on the new person by making the very valid point that a new boxer of only four months cannot really give anyone else a true impression of letterboxing because a boxer of only four months has not yet the experience to have developed a true impression of the entire world of letterboxing.

Okay, they cannot give "a true impression of the entire world of letterboxing." However, they can give a closer idea of what new letterboxer sees about letterboxing.

Do not make me out to be the bad guy because I chose to make a valid point. Thus making yourself the good guy.

I'm not trying to make you out to be the "bad guy". I am attempting to defend the point of the "new guy" who is trying to bring in new boxers.

The original poster (NandJ) was relating what was discussed with one of her friends. From this discussion NandJ came up with the (proposed) solution of planting more drive-bys in lamp posts. I'm saying that, despite the consensus of not liking lamp post boxes, do what you want.

However, there have been some people who have offered to carve stamps to plant. I have also suggested that there are places to plant that aren't parking lots but are also not far from parking. Though in wild places there are fewer distinct landmarks making it more difficult to plant where you can make simple clues for beginners.

I'm sorry that I said something that caused you to think I was making you into the "bad guy". I certainly didn't mean to do so. I'm certain that somewhere in these forums I've sometimes "dumped on the new guy", but in general I'm for treating the "new guy" with "kid gloves" so as to not scare them off, and in treating neologisms with "scare quotes". ;-)
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968708 by MissMoon
Nov 25, 2018 5:55pm
Board
So i’ve Read though this thread with interest and dismay. Among all the posters , including Miss Moon, I’m the been boxing the longest. Not as active as I was in the beginning but still hanging in there. I have seen this same thread again and again. New boxer, excited about this wonderful hobby, wants to share it with the world. Good for them, I love it too and want more people to enjoy it also. But most people just don’t get it. The best way to get someone interested is to take them on a cool trail, with interesting clues and a good carve at the end. A commercial stamp in a lamp post is not what we are about.
What are we about? Art, nature and life long friendship, and for the love of god hiking.15 years ago I met a crazy lady in the woods who became one of my closest friends. She dragged me and her motley crew on many letterboxing adventures. I was at her side when she died. That’s what this is all about.
We need to evolve into something greater not diminish our selves to appeal to the lowest common denominator.
Long rant and I’ve had a glass or two of wine. In the old days of the big list we would joke about putting on our asbestos underwear to prepare for the flame war, well I’m putting mine on now.
MizScarlet #164. My number would be lower but I thought AQ was just a flash in the pan.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968679 by NandJ
Nov 25, 2018 6:06pm
Board
I have discovered that the base of many commercial lighting polls have a plastic box that covers the bolts where the light is bolted to the concrete base. That box just lifts up - and is a great place to hide a small urban letterbox.

Unfortunately, wasps like to nest in those light-pole boxes, as well as in guardrails (another popular urban hide location). If you plant 20-30 of these boxes in light-pole boxes, chances are pretty good that someone will encounter a nest at some point. New letterboxers who get attacked by angry wasps are probably going to be a little turned off by the hobby.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968679 by NandJ
Nov 25, 2018 6:52pm
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When my best friend first told me about Letterboxing, I thought it a ridiculous idea... that was until we went on a family va action together and tagged along on her hunt for a letterbox! Sometimes folks don’t get it. I didn't until I actually went.

Maybe offer to take potential Letterboxer out hunting?

I’m also a big supporter of the idea of “quality vs, quantity “ when it comes to planting letterboxes...

Lisa
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968679 by NandJ
Nov 25, 2018 7:00pm
Board
What about a slightly different approach?

Could you invite this person along for a small letterboxing adventure? Sometimes it can be hard to adequately describe letterboxing in words.

If she doesn’t want to do heavy hiking, you can take her on a short easy walk or quick road trip. You could take her to one of the letterboxes that you thought was exciting and interesting. That has the added bonus of knowing the box was recently found, too. Go through the logbook together and show her all the different types of signature stamps. There’s usually a wide range of artistic talent, and they’re all able to enjoy letterboxing all the same.

Worst case scenario: she’s still not interested and letterboxing just isn’t her thing. But hopefully you still got to spend some quality time together.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968713 by Rocklun
Nov 25, 2018 7:33pm
Board
Unfortunately, wasps like to nest in those light-pole boxes, as well as in guardrails (another popular urban hide location). [...] New letterboxers who get attacked by angry wasps are probably going to be a little turned off by the hobby.

Good point. As a geocacher, I've found my share of wasp nests while searching for caches. I've, fortunately, only been stung once seeking under a lamp post.

I've never seen a wasp nest in a guard rail, though that doesn't mean that it doesn't happen. As much as I've been in the mountains in northern Utah, I've only ever once seen a rattlesnake in the wild. Other geocachers are surprised that I've only seen one.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968711 by Mizscarlet
Nov 25, 2018 7:53pm
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In the old days of the big list we would joke about putting on our asbestos underwear to prepare for the flame war, well I’m putting mine on now.

I keep mine at hand at all times just to be safe.

But most people just don’t get it. The best way to get someone interested is to take them on a cool trail, with interesting clues and a good carve at the end.

That is an excellent point that I don't think anyone has made. Letterboxing is a activity that is singularly difficult to explain. In order to really begin to "get it" is to do it. And even then most will not get it. And so what? It's a very unique activity, not for the masses. It has a special quality about it that simply does not and will not appeal to huge numbers of people. I don't see that as a problem.

A commercial stamp in a lamp post is not what we are about.

I agree that they are not what we are about but I have no problem with boxes in lamp posts. Not everyone can hike. Not everyone wants to hike. I think there is room for hikes and drive-bys. That's a discussion that has been repeated ad infinitum as I know you know...the old not all boxes are for all boxers discussion. But I think it is true. I'd rather see people go for lamp post boxes than not box at all because they can't or don't hike. I'll go for a lamp post box if it sounds halfway interesting because I like the stealth aspect of it. But don't just stick the box behind a mall garbage can for no freaking reason. But I digress.

We need to evolve into something greater not diminish our selves to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

Well said #164. :) Judy would be proud.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargainI
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968685 by NandJ
Nov 25, 2018 7:53pm
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I think that things that are hard to begin are hard to begin.

This assumes that most letterboxes are hard, they aren't. The things required to do them just doesn't appeal to your friend. It sounds like to me (based on your description of your conversation) that your friend just isn't interested and is looking for a way to politely bow out. Nothing wrong with that, letterboxing isn't for everyone.

If your friend isn't interested in carving or hiking (at least a little), all of the lamp post hides in the world will not convert her to letterboxing. As has been pointed out why risk alienating a large group of potential LB'ers trying to please one?

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the occasional skirt hide but there needs to be something special about it. A unique carve, a unique spot, a unique set of clues. I ask you this in all seriousness: if you plant a string of 25 skirt hides with coordinates, whats the appeal? As mentioned upthread if that would be something she might enjoy, introduce her to Munzee. It's exactly what they already do.

Maude: Spoon feeding adults just doesn't make sense to me.

And that's really the thing. I've tried to introduce several Geocachers to letterboxing. These are people that already hike and follow instructions to Tupperware in the woods. But so far I haven't converted anyone. People either 'get it' or they don't.

Finally, please don't view this as a pile-on. I'm glad you've joined us and I hope you stay. I also appreciate your enthusiasm and desire to bring converts in. You just have to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater!

:)
DZ
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968679 by NandJ
Nov 25, 2018 8:23pm
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It's like a video game - sort of. The first few levels are really easy to get through and level-up. It keeps the player interested.

Actually no, it's not anything like a video game. It's about as far from a video game as one can get. And personally if I was given the "experience" of finding 30 boxes under lamp posts as an example of letterboxing I'd run away as fast as I could and find another hobby.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968717 by Nature Hikers
Nov 25, 2018 8:26pm
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You could take her to one of the letterboxes that you thought was exciting and interesting.

And that brings us back to the new boxer trying to introduce people to boxing. This original poster......to whom I assume you are responding.....has only found six boxes and they were all drive-bys. Not that there is anything wrong with that.....lest I be accused of dumping......we all had just six boxes in our logbooks once. But that's not a lot to choose from. More experience means more boxes to choose from if she wants to take someone boxing.

So perhaps before she plants ....30 was it?.......lamp post boxes, she could get some more experience under her belt finding all kinds of boxes.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968723 by MissMoon
Nov 25, 2018 9:20pm
Board
...lest I be accused of dumping...

Okay, I used too strong of a term there.

I think that we've generated a lot of constructive ideas here.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968679 by NandJ
Nov 25, 2018 11:39pm
Board
So I have decided to do a series of boxes with small commercial stamps in easy drive by locations -- I have discovered that the base of many commercial lighting polls have a plastic box that covers the bolts where the light is bolted to the concrete base.

I can't help but laugh a bit. I hope the resounding dislike of this idea doesn't discourage your otherwise noble intentions.

But as others have said, if there's absolutely nothing to inspire people in the boxes they find, all the drive-by lamppost boxes in the world aren't going to excite new members.

Hand-carved stamps are nice, but custom-made stamps can be pretty cool. Store-bought stamps, as a general rule, don't interest me too much--but that's not to say they can't be made to work. Picking out random, cheap stamps isn't the way to make them work, though.

Drive-by boxes can provide real benefits too. Some people's health may limit them to drive-by boxes, or they can be used to break up an otherwise long drive.

I understand what you're trying to do--design a box for "everyone"--but a box designed for everyone is a box designed for no one.

I got hooked on letterboxing when the first boxes I found inspired me. The stamp was intricate, the hike was gorgeous and it hit all my buttons! I didn't know if I could ever carve so well, but I wanted to try. As many others have already said, if my first finds were a bunch of store-bought stamps hidden under lampposts with no thought or imagination put into them, I'd have thought, "This is stupid. I have better things to do."

You want to bring more people in the hobby, but remember: a bad experience can drive people away--the complete opposite of your goal.

I'm not trying to elitist (even if I am a founding member of the Elitist Club!), but if you have friends who think store-bought stamps aren't acceptable, prove them wrong by planting a store-bought stamp that can inspire people. Plant a lampshade-box that does inspire people. Prove to people that you can make a genuinely interesting letterbox despite the stigma associated with certain aspects of the hobby.

-- Ryan, still proud of carving the world's crappiest stamp =)
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968711 by Mizscarlet
Nov 25, 2018 11:40pm
Board
MizScarlet #164. My number would be lower but I thought AQ was just a flash in the pan.

*flash!* =)

-- Ryan
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968719 by Oberon_Kenobi
Nov 26, 2018 3:58am
Board
I've never seen a wasp nest in a guard rail, though that doesn't mean that it doesn't happen

Maybe it isn't as common in Utah, but here in New England, I've encountered wasps/bees in guardrails on multiple occasions.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968733 by Rocklun
Nov 26, 2018 6:41am
Board
It must be a regional thing. Haven’t encountered wasps/bees in guardrails or under lamp skirts here in SoCal.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968691 by PiggyJaunt
Nov 26, 2018 7:14am
Board
I guess I feel like if someone told me no three times about something, especially three big noes that, be they misperceptions or not, will diminish their enjoyment of boxing, I'd just let it go.

This. Some people have a hard time giving an outright "no", this sounds like someone trying to nicely say "no". If explaining Letterboxing doesn't spark any curiosity, then they aren't interested.

GremLandS
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968684 by NandJ
Nov 26, 2018 7:30am
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I think there is no question that there are some in letterboxing who are elitists - and elite things are, well, elite. Perhaps Geocaching has a greater following than letterboxing because they aren't elite. No one says you have to find the stamps that aren't handcarved - or look for boxes that don't require you to climb Mount Kilamanjaro - but I do think it would be easier to get people interested in the hobby and the craft if they had an easier entry point.

I suppose where one lives must make a difference. In my area, there are MANY boxes that are good for an easy entry point. Granted, several of those are mine. In fact, all my boxes are either urban or drive-bys. I'm not a hiker (or even much of a walker these days), so I suppose I'm not in the group you consider the "elite". So, I plant boxes that I would like to find, the kind of boxes I found when I first started. If it's an easy find, make it an interesting place to find it. If the place isn't as interesting, make it a challenge to find. If you want to make some easier boxes to try to attract new people, by all means, do so. But I suggest you make something about them intriguing enough to keep people interested in continuing.

GremLandS
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968733 by Rocklun
Nov 26, 2018 8:05am
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I've encountered wasps/bees in guardrails on multiple occasions.

About a third of the time there seems to be a nest, old empty one, or a geocache.

Btw, we all randomly check guard rails at interesting locations right?
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968709 by Oberon_Kenobi
Nov 26, 2018 9:26am
Board
...neologisms with "scare quotes".

What the heck are "scare quotes"
then I Googled it
The Chicago Manual of Style says: Quotation marks are often used to alert readers that a term is used in a nonstandard (or slang), ironic, or other special sense. Nicknamed scare quotes, they imply, “This is not my term” or “This is not how the term is usually applied.”Jan 28, 2013

Can I go home now? I've learned something new.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968713 by Rocklun
Nov 26, 2018 9:29am
Board
I'm generally wary of light poles because where there's a light pole, there might be a camera, where's there's a camera, there might be someone watching who just might wonder what's going on.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968696 by MissMoon
Nov 26, 2018 11:02am
Board
Just for the sake of the conversation - I have been boxing for close to 20 years. I just didn't come to AQ until this summer. Really, no need to be snarky. It was just a simple thought.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968708 by MissMoon
Nov 26, 2018 11:06am
Board
i think the original post was a off season proxy for one of wassa's april fools jokes and you were all taken in by it
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968750 by NandJ
Nov 26, 2018 1:33pm
Board
Below is my initial response
https://www.atlasquest.com/boards/message.php?msgId=968707

Now that you've revealed that you have been boxing for almost 20 years your original post is pure troll or a gag. 30 commercial stamp light post boxes in parking lots? Fess up! There are not many 20-year boxers in circulation!

:)
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968750 by NandJ
Nov 26, 2018 1:53pm
Board
Really, no need to be snarky.

It's not being snarky to express the opinion that I don't feel it's necessary or a good idea to dummy down boxing in order to entice not particularly interested people into doing it. It's not snarky to point out that your impression of all boxes being buried deep in the woods is incorrect. It's not snarky to point out that there are tons of easy boxes for people to find.

And one would wonder why, if you've been boxing for 20 years as you say, you didn't point that out in your original post???? If it's true it would have given a totally different impression of your intent. It would not change my opinion and probably not the opinions of several others *about* the idea of planting the 30 easy boxes to entice people into boxing. But a 20 year boxer offering an idea like that is quite different than a newbie offering it up. Not better, just different.

I find it interesting that after these 20 years you have all of a sudden decided to plant three boxes and ask where to buy stamps. And if you've been around for 20 years you should *know* there are lots of easy boxes and be able to communicate this to potential boxers.

Your response to Kelsung......
Are you depressed because people new to the hobby maybe don't see it the same way you do? - isn't that true of nearly any hobby?

Since you say you haven't been able to entice anyone into boxing it gives the impression that you are new.

Geocaching has a greater following than letterboxing because they aren't elite.

Ok, they have a greater following....so what? And I think that boxing for 20 years.....if it's true ......and not joining AQ and the rest of the messy crowd is a lot more elitist than any of us ever could be.

Like someone just said while I was typing this......troll or gag. Pick one.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968679 by NandJ
Nov 26, 2018 2:22pm
Board
I’m predicting the much-maligned newbie smackdown, as most of us have had this very lament and postulated to the boards all kinds of ways to improve the hobby. You are in very good company.

This is the first time I’ve seen someone post every, single letterboxers’ pet peeves all in one fool-proof solution -- except maybe suggesting people shout “Rah-rah” while conspicuously and badly rehiding the box with a ten-foot pile of – oh, wait. We’re in the parking lot. Nevermind.

I’ll be as gentle as I can. It’s easy to defend those who prefer/need short hikes over long, don’t particularly care about the artistry of the boxes, (i.e. store-bought stamps and lamp skirts in parking lots), aren’t interested in planting or carving (it’s always been fine to box and not plant a blessed thing – come find my boxes!), cannot tolerate disappointment (box might be missing), and cannot or will not invest any time pursuing hobby, and probably don’t much like walking at all. Any of those are pretty fine, but what you have when you have all of them? Someone who just gave you the, “I can’t go out with you on Saturday because I’m washing my hair.”

Do you really want this? I try to plant something I myself would like to find. Am I supposed to stop handcarving stamps, seeking out suitable/interesting/pretty or at least safe places to plant, start buying stamps and planting places where retrieval is effortless and guaranteed – essentially going backward skill-wise -- to accommodate people who need a simpler form of letterboxing?

We have to further dumb down a hobby that at its basic level is essentially reading while walking? Do YOU want to go letterboxing with those folks? I guess every shampoo bottle has its lid.

I would say that the dearth of letterboxers is perhaps already related to the unlathered mass’ antipathy toward sweat equity. I’d say there’s room for all kinds for sure, but why work so hard swaying the uninterested? Let them lather, rinse, repeat.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968740 by dingus dufus
Nov 26, 2018 3:26pm
Board
Btw, we all randomly check guard rails at interesting locations right?

Oh, man. That was you? Sorry about the puddle.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968766 by Wry Me
Nov 26, 2018 3:37pm
Board
Oh, man. That was you? Sorry about the puddle.

By “puddle”, you mean ‘brown spot’?
Heathen!
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968758 by MissMoon
Nov 26, 2018 7:11pm
Board
I hung out at letterboxing.org for a really long time - until I found it got way out of date, and I took about a five year hiatus while my mom was declining due to dementia. I mean, really, I have no reason to lie about that or any of it. I used a different name on letterboxing.org - changed it when I came here because I started hunting with a friend and it seemed appropriate to include him.

It wasn't your disagreement that I thought was snarky - it was the insistence that I am obviously ignorant and ill-informed because I have only used THIS website for 4 months. There is a whole wide world out there - way broader than a single website and the opinions of a handful of people.

You seem super defensive of your right to be cranky. Not sure why. If you want to be cranky, then knock yourself out.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968738 by Gremlands
Nov 26, 2018 7:18pm
Board
If it's an easy find, make it an interesting place to find it. If the place isn't as interesting, make it a challenge to find.

I can do that, but I don't think that the local boxers would appreciate me planting in thorny bushes and trees, up in a tree, or even on a cliff. I've done all of these for geocachers in my area, but I don't think that local letterboxers would appreciate that type of challenge.

I plant for my boxes to be found, but I will try for more challenging locations. Maybe I'll even do some gadget boxes.