By BAYLI HELMICK, The Inter-Mountain
PARSONS, W.Va. (AP) — Tucker County children, adults and seniors are spreading joy through the new community activity of painting, hiding and finding rocks as part of the Tucker County Rocks! program by the Tucker County Family Resource Center.
The idea behind painting, hiding and finding the rocks is to bring the community together, be active and get outside to explore Tucker County.
Angie Davis, director of the Allegheny Highlands Parents as Teachers, explained the idea came to her from a recent trip to Greenbrier County, discovering the Greenbrier County Rocks! group and bringing the idea back to Tucker County.
The Tucker County Family Resource Center then took the idea to the Allegheny Highlands Parents as Teachers.
Davis commented on the significance of creating the rocks with family members like grandparents and children, leaving something behind to spread joy to others.
"The rocks that they paint are passed on," Davis explained. "They're a gift to the community, like a keepsake."
The kick-off event for Tucker County Rocks!, on June 3 partnered with Parsons Bike and Hike to introduce the community to the idea. Davis said the game has taken off over the past few weeks.
Now community members of all ages are finding, hiding and painting rocks throughout Tucker County and posting to the Tucker County Rocks! Facebook page.
Local groups and programs, including summer school programs, 4-H members and local libraries, are now joining the game, painting and hiding rocks.
Local businesses such Daxie Dave's and Mountain Mama's Shaved Ice are also painting and hiding rocks, some offering discounts and free items if the rocks are returned.
Everyone is encouraged to join together with family members and friends to create and paint their own rocks to hide and spread joy to others in the community.
Rocks can be painted with a kid-friendly design or encouraging and positive artwork with any kind of acrylic paint, including a reference to Tucker County Rocks! on the back of the rock or in the artwork. Rocks should then be covered with a clear sealant before hiding.
Players can post pictures of the painted rocks to the Tucker County Rocks! Facebook page before hiding, giving an optional hint of where the rocks have been placed.
When a player finds a rock they are encouraged to post a picture of the rock to the page. Players can either keep the rock and paint and re-hide another one, or re-hide the rock for someone else to find.
Rocks can be hid anywhere in the world, with families taking the rocks on summer trips and vacations to hide them in different states and countries.
Players are reminded that it is illegal to take rocks from National Wildlife Refuge areas and state parks, and that they should not take rocks from landscaping.
Rocks are not to be hidden on private or business property without permission and should be out of reach from lawnmowers.
Because of the amount of children playing the game, rocks should be a size that is not a choking hazard, and the rock artwork should be rated PG.