A new rock movement has come to Arkansas City — one that has residents painting and hiding rocks in public areas.
The Facebook group #620rocks was started by Britini Church.
“I just loved the idea. I’ve always liked to collect rocks,” she said.
“I have eight kiddos, as well, and knew they would have a lot of fun. I was hoping it could be a fun activity for our community, too, to bring all the kids together.”
At least 100 rocks have been hidden in and around the Ark City area so far.
How to rock out
“First, you look for rocks … (and) paint/decorate them,” Church said.
The rocks can be painted with any design, although the administrators of the Facebook group request that the content remains “G” rated, because many children have joined in the hunt for the rocks.
From words of encouragement to cartoon characters and emojis, there are plenty of hand-designed rocks to be found.
The group asks that anyone who designs a rock label it with the tag “#620rocks.”
“We encourage people to also take a picture and post clues about where their rocks are hidden,” Church said.
“We also ask, if you decide to keep any, to post a picture so others know which ones you’re keeping.”
Once the rocks are found, the finder can choose to re-hide them.
“When hiding rocks, please place in plain sight. Rocks should catch your eye as you’re walking by,” Church said.
Growing the group
The Facebook page recently added an additional administrator, Cheryl Boyce.
“Years ago, I made plaster (of) Paris magnets and sold them at craft shows,” Boyce said.
“I stopped and hadn’t been able to pull out the paints for almost 12 years.”
Boyce was directed to the #620rocks group by her daughter.
“I knew it was time to un-box my paints and collect some rocks,” she said.
“This project is perfect for all skill levels, whether it be a toddler who might brush a few strokes on a rock to someone with much more artistic abilities.”
Some of the rocks can be viewed on the Facebook page.
“Cheryl Boyce is who has really done a lot with the group,” Church said. “She’s started ‘daily words’ ideas and she had a painting party a while back.”
“People of all ages are enjoying this as if it were an ongoing Easter egg hunt,” Boyce said.
Since the rocks are hidden in public places, there is no risk of accidentally picking up someone else’s property, and since the rocks are nonperishable, they can be in the rotation indefinitely.
“I enjoy hearing how a rock touches someone,” Boyce said.
“Maybe they have found a word that inspires or encourages them. Perhaps they have found their favorite character or something they collect.”
There have been many stories — some of children finding their favorite cartoon character, others of adults finding inspiration.
“Recently, a man in our community found a rainbow outside the post office,” Boyce said.
“He has had some health issues. To him, the rainbow rock was a sign of hope.”