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JL_HSTRE

Hide-n-Seek Painted Rocks: A New Location-Based Game?

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Here in Florida there seems to be a new growing fad or hobby of taking small, fairly smooth rocks about the size of the palm of your hand (or a little smaller), painting some design on them, and hiding them somewhere around town for other people to find. There seem to be some online groups where clues and pictures are posted. From what I've heard the rocks usually aren't hidden very much; sometimes in plain sight. I haven't heard of GPS involvement. A quick Google search turns up some news articles from this summer in other parts of the country.

 

Is this a thing in your area? Do you think this new "game" will stick around? Have/will we start seeing painted rocks as swag in geocaches?

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I've seen a few things like this. A local radiostation hid some CD's a few months ago announcing their hide one at a time with a picture and general location where to find it. There was also an item on TV not long ago about hiding books. People could go out to find them, read them and rehide somewhere else.

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We've heard of this a bit North of us, but luckily not here.

Kinda reminds me of the folks taking selfies at cairns that have sprung up on trails, with no other meaning than "look at me, we were here".

I remember reading once that it was meant to inspire others to find beauty in simple things.

- Guess they thought natural beauty was just too dull...

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The rock painting thing is/was very popular around Western Washington State. I think it started in Port Angeles and Whidbey Island; both heavy tourist areas. Tourists who discovered it there then returned home and started rock painting groups in their own towns. My neighbors kids are big into it. It seems to have slowed down a bit when school started up again in September; but there are still quite a few people who participate. It does not use GPS. The rocks are just left anywhere and the finder has the option of posting that they found it on whatever online group it has marked on it or not. Then they keep the rock or hide it somewhere else. It seems to appeal mostly to kids because it's kinda like finding Easter Eggs.

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I've found 3 of these rocks myself, all while caching. The last one was on my way to a Benchmark at a courthouse in an old town square. It was sitting on top of an electrical box and because of it's bright red, white and blue paint, I noticed it easily.

 

After a quick internet search and coming upon a website dedicated to this hobby in my county I found out a few things. #1. This area has a LOT of activity with this hobby. Some folks post on the webpage where they found a painted rock w/ a picture of it and a few others will post a pic of their new creations with a sentence like "This batch is finished and will be placed around so-and-so city tomorrow". Which leads to #2. There aren't any coordinates published, just certain areas in the county are mentioned so people are aware to be on the lookout when, for examples, at a grocery store or post office, or other public places.

 

Seems like a good thing for artistic people who want to share their capabilities with others. Or, from pictures I've seen, folks who aren't maybe as talented but love to create for various reasons. Could be a good stress reliever or meditation type thing for some. Who knows? I just think it's neat. Problem is, the website they use for my county is a Facebook page and I don't use that site so I probably won't ever "log" (for lack of better word) anything, but do like finding them.

Edited by Mama514

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Just saw your post CascadeHandmade, and that you covered the coordinate/GPS thing already.

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There was a post about this several months ago - thumbs down was the consensus.

 

What did you expect on this forum? :ph34r:

 

I think the idea about the hidden books is great. People who like to read can go find books without knowing which book they are going to find. BTW, around here there are a few "real public" libraries, as in a box fixed to a tree, where people can leave/retrieve book as they please. So hiding them and announcing the hide on a website looks like fun.

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Hey! I'm an avid rock painter! I've been using painted rocks as swag for years, then along came these "painted rock groups" that provided another outlet. Unfortunately as someone mentioned almost all of the rock groups are Facebook based (which is now the only reason I'm on Facebook, cuz I really don't like Facebook). People (adults and kids) of all abilities paint rocks and then place them somewhere for a stranger to find, hopefully bringing a smile and a bit of sunshine to the finders day 🙂 That's the idea anyway. I'm on Whidbey Island, and although the idea didn't get started here, there are some 18,000 members in the "Whidbey Island Rocks" Facebook group and some incredibly talented artists. So, yep, it's like an easter egg hunt for adults and kids alike, a Random Act of Kindness for all. I don't see anything wrong with that. And yes, I still use painted rocks as swag. 🙂🙂 (At least i try to when I can finally find a non-micro cache...grrrrr)

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Sounds like a nice and harmless bit of fun. Might be neat to see a geocaching-painted rock crossover.

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This sounds interesting. When people find the rock and want to engage with the person who left it, how do they know to go to a Facebook page? Do people write the Facebook address on the flip side of the rock?

I've heard of the "World's Biggest Marble Hunt" hide and seek game. Looks amazing because the marbles are made by artists. But I don't know details. How do people know to go to Facebook (or Instagram or Twitter) to log their find?

The other hide and seek games I've heard a little about are Art Hunts. Like the Art Abandonment Movement and the Atlanta Free Art Friday Movement which has spread to other US states. But I don't know the details about how finders interact.

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"Please post pic on Facebook Whidbey Island Rocks. Keep or rehid." This is written on the back of the rocks if possible (a bit harder with smaller rocks). Or #WIR or #whidbeyislandrocks, but those are less often used. I am more active in the nearby Fidalgo Island Rocks which is only 1600 members. In that case, it's really hard to get the word out and people involved. They are both Facebook groups, so you can chat with whoever is it. I love seeing my rocks found and posted-- the finders are usually thrilled. But releasing a painted rock into the world is a bit like a trackable... You hope you 'see' it again but don't get your hopes up!

Edited by happiness2015

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There was a post about this several months ago - thumbs down was the consensus.

 

What did you expect on this forum? :ph34r:

 

I think the idea about the hidden books is great. People who like to read can go find books without knowing which book they are going to find. BTW, around here there are a few "real public" libraries, as in a box fixed to a tree, where people can leave/retrieve book as they please. So hiding them and announcing the hide on a website looks like fun.

 

There's a game? called BookCrossing That's been around for quite a while. I put out several but have never gotten notified that anyone has seen the notification in the flyleaf, or if they haven they've never responded online. It's kinda like travel bugs that way. :rolleyes:

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As Happiness mentioned, the rock group that the artist participates in is painted on the back side of the rock. Here in Western Washington State, there are dozens of different cities/towns that each have their own groups. In addition to Port Angeles and Whidbey Island, there's Des Moines, Tacoma, Sequim, Puyallup, Kirkland, Burien, Edmonds, Redmond, Bellevue, Renton, etc. Most are Facebook; but some also use sites like Twitter to post. My neighbors kids enjoy finding the rocks; but love even more getting to see when someone else has found one of theirs. But it's true what others have said; it's like travel bugs - many of the rocks are found and kept by the finders who never go online to post about it, so the artists/hiders just have to be satisfied that if their rocks disappear without anyone posting about it, somebody else must have found it and enjoyed it enough to keep it - even if you don't know who.

Edit to fix typo

Edited by CascadeHandmade

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I like the idea. The police aren't called out when a suspicious muggle finds one accidentally, and unlike TBs, if you lose one, you're not out $5 or more. :laughing:

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You talking about rocks? Grab some paint and some rocks, and paint 'em yourself. You're just out the cost of paint and brushes. ;)

 

The point is, you don't HAVE to spend $ and have it go down the drain like with TBs.

Edited by TriciaG

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You talking about rocks? Grab some paint and some rocks, and paint 'em yourself. You're just out the cost of paint and brushes. ;)

 

The point is, you don't HAVE to spend $ and have it go down the drain like with TBs.

 

And it's personalized, not made in China.

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I'm not far from Whidbey Island and we have a local painted rock sensation and a Facebook page, Skagit County Rocks. It's fun to find and rehide them. There are many artists who didn't realize that they had this talent until they started painting rocks.

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