Once upon a rock
The premise is simple: Gather a few supplies (flat, paintable rocks, acrylic paint, sealer, paint brushes), decorate your rock — getting as creative as you like — and seal it. Write instructions on the bottom of the rock that tell the finder which Facebook group to post a photo to once it’s found. Then, hide. You can also post a photo of the rock on the page after it’s hidden, giving clues as to location. Popular hiding spots include waterfront parks, playgrounds, and family-friendly hiking trails.
Some people will only choose to create and hide, while others will participate in it all; painting, hiding and finding. If you find a rock, you can either re-hide it or keep it. Lots of people choose to keep their first rock and then re-hide the rest.
Art, community, and family time
What’s the appeal? Active members cite the joy of spending creative time with family and friends, of giving back and spending time in nature. And then there’s the age-old appeal of a treasure hunt: Families are walking streets, scouring local parks, searching trails and even climbing playground equipment to find a certain rock that was posted with a clue.
Rock your neighborhood
There are several groups on Facebook that are quite popular on the Space and Treasure Coast of Florida such as Painted Rocks of Central Florida and Brevard Rocks FL. So what do you do if there’s not a rock group near you? The following tips will help you design, organize, and maintain a Facebook “Rocks” group.
– Create a public Facebook page and create and post simple guidelines. Include rules such as no rock hiding in national parks, state parks, private property, cemeteries, etc., along with reminders for respectful interactions between group members on the Facebook page. You can check other groups for examples of guidelines.
– Designate at least two people as administrators for the page. These groups grow quickly, so it helps to have more than one person to manage the needs of the Facebook group.
– Provide some basics about painting rocks. Purchase materials (acrylic paint, sealer, brushes) and paint colorful pictures and messages. Then hide the rock for others to find. When you find a rock of your own, you can either keep it or re-hide it.
Tips for successful painting, hiding, and hunting
1. Always be mindful of the environment and respectful of the community guidelines that already exist.
2. Seal each rock and do not add/attach anything to the rocks, as there is no guarantee that it will stay on and not become liter or swallow hazards for children or wildlife.
3. This is a gifting project. Many Facebook groups remind their members that this is about gifting and not always expecting to find a rock or get recognition when yours is found.
4. Do not hide rocks in national parks or state parks, on private property or on Washington State Ferries.
5. Pinterest and Facebook are great places to find inspiration for colorful creations and creative messages.
6. Rock painting parties. Some groups organize events where members can gather in a social environment and share the experience together.