Gyms are closed at the moment, but you want to get some exercise. Maybe you have your kids & other family members home with you. What can you do that will appeal to everyone? How about rock decorating and hiding?
At the beginning of April, my family and I went to Knox State Park just to get out of the house while still able to social distance. As we walked through the woods, we kept seeing rocks that someone had painted messages on such as “peace” and “joy”. My daughter and I were practically racing each other to be the first to find the next one. Who doesn’t like the age-old appeal of a treasure hunt? Plus at the beginning of quarantine, with so many unknowns, finding a rock that said “This too will pass”, felt comforting.
There are many rock hiding groups in WNY, most of them can be found on Facebook or by doing a Google search. Participating is easy: all you need are some flat, smooth rocks, acrylic paint or paint pens, sealer, and paint brushes. Decorate your rock and seal it. You can also write instructions on the bottom of the rock that tells the finder which Facebook group to post a photo to once it's found. Then simply hide it. Popular hiding spots include parks, playgrounds and family-friendly hiking trails (such as Knox Farm).
Some people choose to only decorate and hide rocks, some people choose to only seek the rocks but it’s up to you. Once you find a rock, you can choose to keep it or re-hide it. My daughter found an amazing rock on a cruise ship we were on in 2018. It was hidden in a drawer in the card room. A person had hidden it on a Panama Canal cruise from (L.A. to NYC). My daughter chose to keep it because it was so pretty. That rock had a Facebook group listed on the back and I posted the picture to the group. The person who had decorated it lived in Washington State. Now the rock lives in her bedroom in Western NY.
Rock hide and seekers speak to the joy of spending creative time with family and friends, of giving back and spending time in nature. There is no age limit, anyone can create a rock masterpiece and then go on the hunt to find others. Some groups may even give clues to where they’ve hidden their rocks. Families are able to fit exercise into their life by walking streets, scouring local parks, searching trails and even climbing playground equipment to find a certain rock that was posted with a clue.
Here are some links to local rock community groups in WNY to get you up and moving: