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Frequently Asked Questions

What is GONIL – GONIL stands for - Geocachers of Northeastern Illinois - a group of geocachers in the northeastern part of the state dedicated to creating a fun and fulfilling geocaching experience in the Northeastern Illinois area. We accomplish this by creating and maintaining relationships with landowners and Forest Preserve districts, organizing Group caching outings and CITOs, meet and greet events, and promoting our sport to local communities.

How do you define "Northeastern Illinois” - GONIL serves an area comprised of Boone, Cook, DeKalb, Dupage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Will and Winnebago counties. We invite cachers from outside those areas to participate in our forums and to attend our events.

Are there any fees? - Access to the GONIL website and all GONIL events will always be free and open to everyone, but if you'd like to make a donation to GONIL it would be greatly appreciated.

What benefits do I get if I join? - We offer weekly chat sessions where you can "talk live" with other cachers, as well as impromptu chat sessions. We provide the forums where you can read about ideas and information others may have already learned, as well as starting new discussions. We provide a place for you to share your caching experiences (both text and photos).

How do I Register? - Registration is simple. Just visit our registration page and fill out the required information - create a username, enter your email address, create a password. It's that easy.

What do I have to do after I join? - You don't have to do anything after you join. By joining GONIL you get as much benefit as you want to make from it. You can discuss caching ideas, get help solving problems or finding caches, learn about events in your area where you can meet others or help out. This organization works because people like you treat it much like a geocache. If you get something out of it, you put a little back into it.

How do I get more involved in GONIL? – Volunteer to host an event, ask to sit on a committee, attend events/CITOs, and/or become a voting member. These are just a few ways that you can get more involved. Don’t be afraid to bring up ideas and suggestions.

I want to cache with some experienced cachers to get the hang of this. Can I do this? – Cachers are always ready to help out new cachers. All you need to do is post to The Meeting Room that you would like to meet up with other cachers to learn more about caching. You can also come into the chat room any time and ask about getting together with others. There are monthly outings and other impromptu caching outings that you can attend too.

What are the different levels of membership? – GONIL has four levels of membership. These are: Voting Member; Member; Forum Member; and Guest.

  • Voting Member - at least 18 years of age and live within the 12-county region of GONIL (or have applied for a waiver) and have provided the organization with name, verifiable address, phone number, active email address and geocaching alias. Voting membership will need to be renewed each year.
  • Active Member - Each applicant for membership shall be required to register online at the GONIL website, providing the Organization with an active email address and geocaching alias.
  • Forum Member - Registered with and participate in the forums but not interested in and/or eligible for either Active or Voting Membership status in GONIL.
  • Guest - Not registered but has visited our site/forums.

What is geocaching? - Geocaching is an outdoor activity in which the participants use a GPS receiver to hide and seek containers (called "geocaches" or "caches") anywhere in the world. Caches may be any size container that should contain a log sheet and may contain trinkets for trade.

What is usually in a cache? - A cache can come in many forms but the first item should always be the logbook. In its simplest form, a cache can be just a log sheet and nothing else.

Where can I learn more about geocaching? - We have a number of links available here.

I would like to place a GONIL logo on my cache page, where can I get one? - By clicking here you can access all the logos that you can place on your cache page. Please read the information on the top of the page first to comply with the GONIL bylaws.

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