Portage County is Being Rocked!

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Where to hide and find rocks?

The best places to hide and find rocks are outside. Parks, playgrounds, and beaches with trails, picnic tables, and benches make good hiding spots. Sidewalks or out of the way spots outside of public businesses, libraries, schools, nature centers, etc. are also good options. There is a list on the pinned posts of places that do not allow rocks to be hidden at their locations.

The best stories are from people who unexpectedly find a painted rock, or as some like to say, when the rock finds them. Many people find painted rocks at just the right time when they need something to help make them smile, or the picture on it has some special meaning to them. Nancy’s “Inspirational Thursday” posts allow members to share their special stories.

Sometimes, painters give clues as to where they hid their rocks so that others can actively search for them, like a scavenger hunt. They’ll wish other members, “Happy Hunting!”

Several painted rocks have been travelling around the world. People will take them and re-hide them while they’re on vacation. Nancy has posted an album of some of the places the rocks have traveled internationally.

Hashtags are an optional way for people to track the locations of their rocks. The painter will come up with a unique name that they’ll use on all of their rocks, for example: #smithsrocks. Sometimes people use their first name, last name, nickname, initials, name of a pet, or something more creative. The hashtag can be searched through the site and Google to make sure it isn’t already taken. They add the hashtag to the back of the rock and hope that the finder will tag them in the post, so they can easily search for it to see if their rocks have been found.

Why join?

This growing trend of painting and sharing rocks has given friends, couples, and families a new way to connect. Parents are especially happy to have the kids interested, so they’re away from electronics while painting, and getting exercise while outside walking around trying to find hidden rocks.

People are throwing painting parties or having rock painting at kids’ birthday parties. Clubs and classrooms are participating. Nancy has posted instructions for craft tables, festivals, and group painting. People are also giving rock painting supply gift baskets (paints, paintbrushes, rocks, Mod Podge, sealant) as gifts to get others involved. Painting has been very therapeutic for members who use it as an escape from the stresses of daily life.

Some very special events have been arranged by the admin for members to paint rocks to be delivered to children in a local hospital. The hospital has a procedure for donations and they don’t allow rocks to be hid in the hospital for safety reasons, but they accept the rocks and distribute them to the kids. A truly amazing way to spread some happiness!

Nancy shares information on local events in her “It’s Almost the Weekend Wednesday” posts and encourages members to “share some kindness the Northeast Ohio Rocks! way.” Her “Meme Monday” posts bring humor and wit to the group with images that capture the fun spirit of the rock painting community.

Local businesses have been hosting rock painting events. In the “files” folder there are instructions on how to host an event and how to host a hide and seek event. Candlelight Winery, in Garrettsville, hosted an event in March and this month is “Happiness Rocks – April Wine and Art Night.” For a small fee, they supply five rocks (sizes may vary), paint and supplies, basic instructions, and a glass of wine or beer.

Reservations and prepayment are required. They use #CandlelightWineryRocks to identify rocks painted at their events.

Another amazing benefit of people coming together is the monthly memorial event posted by the admin. A story of the person in memory is shared with a picture of the designated memorial rock. “Rock Stars” are requested to paint their rocks exactly as shown in the picture, which is something meaningful to the person in memory. A hashtag is provided for all memorial rocks for that month. The rocks are required to be labeled and hid. Participants can post pictures to the Event wall, and if interested in creating a memorial rock for someone, they’ll need to contact the admin for approval through private message. What a great tribute in honor of a loved one!

Portage County, be on the lookout for these little treasures, and if you find one, please join in on the fun! Re-hide the rocks to share the joy with others. As Nancy is known to say, “Kindness ROCKS! Sharing ROCKS! You ROCK! Northeast Ohio Rocks!”

“How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time.” ~ Morgan Freeman

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