Quote Originally Posted by brdad
Would it be any different if we appoint one or two people in our group to represent us as cachers for a particular land trust? And another one or two in another area that may need to be represented? Can't issues be discussed here as easily as they could at meetings, so that anyone interested can voice their thoughts and ideas? Does our word mean any more if we are an organization than if we are member of geocachingmaine.org speaking as a group?
The short answer is yes, in my opinion. An association or organization is structured and organization and structure is important in defining commitment. For example, if you were looking for answers to lets say the benefits of CPR in post cardiacarrest victims, would you seek your answers from a forum of loosely group parties that have little to no vested interest or would you goto the AHA (American Heart Association) that has proven its commitment.
These forum offer great information but lack a unified voice. We all have an idea of what geocaching should be but how do we pursue one agenda when several will be presented. We don't speak with one voice and as a result their has already been some folks that have splintered off and formed there own organization. When new cachers come along and see forums versus organization, especially one with the name MGA, I believe they will first look to the MGA for answers. This will further weaken these forums in the long run.

You asked me a question now let me pose one. How would organizing these forums hurt them or change them? Would it be so detrimental to have many voices internally but speak out publicly with one voice?

We can debate this back and forth all day long. I don't disagree with the folks here but what I'm afraid of is that when it comes time for policy that effect geocaching in the state of Maine, this group of folk will not have a voice. It will be hard to go to a policy/lawmaker and say, "we at the forums decided....", whereas the MGA will be able to say, "We have x number of vested members who have decided this is the course of action......" I understand that anything like that is a big if, but what if. I don't know which state it is but I'm under the understanding that geocaching is banned on all public property there. Who were the opposing parties to that law. Was there an organized group opposed to that legislation? I don't know the answers. On the other hand I don't see how organizing would be dangerous to these forums. We all donate and we all abide by rules set forth in the user agreement. The only thing lacking is the structure of an official organization/association.

Cache On!!!!