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Rocks Bring Community Together

By Staff | Jul 5, 2017

Photo Provided Kayla Henthorn submitted this photo of Azlynne Henthorn, with a rock she discovered in Middlebourne, W.Va.

Last summer, area youngsters seemed to be attached to their electronic devices, hunting for Pokemon. This year, rock hunting has become all the rage. It might sound as strange, to some, as “Pokemon,” yet the concept is very simple.

Kids, and fellow adults, are finding rocks, painting them, and then hiding them.

Once another individual finds that rock, he or she usually takes a photo of it, posts the photo on an appropriate Facebook group, and re-hides the rock.

The Wetzel Chronicle reached out to its readers, via our own Facebook page, for their thoughts on this rock game.

“I decided it would be something fun to do OUTDOORS with my 4 year old this summer,” Kayla Ronald Henthorn responded. “I explained how it works and what we do, I even explained how writing something nice in them can make someone happy.”

Photo Provided Jessica Hayhurst submitted this photo of Gavin Cain, Grant Stackpole and Madyson Derby of Pine Grove.

Henthorn added that her daughter chose “Dream Big,” “Love You To The Moon And Back,” and “When You Wish Upon A Star,” as some of her inspirations.

Henthorn said that her daughter and herself started by hiding approximately 20 rocks in the Middlebourne area and creating the Tyler Co Rocks group.

“She gets so excited every time someone posts one that she hid, and she can’t wait to paint and hide some more,” Henthorn said.

“This is pretty cool, and what a way to get the kids outside and give a smile and get a smile,” Dawn Marie Clift Lafferty responded.

Morgan Kathleen Goddard gave a shout-out to her aunt, Dee Farley, who Goddard says “really helped get it going in our area.”

“It’s a great activities for kids to do something during the summer that doesn’t involve being attached to a screen.”

Goddard added, “Some of the rocks travel pretty far, even to Florida!”

Terri Bassett Sivert said she found out about hiding rocks from her niece, who lives in Summersvile.

“I thought how fun this sounded, so she explained to me what we should do. My family could not wait. We painted and hid a few and started the page Shortline rocks (Wetzel County).”

Sivert said she is happy to say the area “is loving it.”

As Sivert said, “Seeing all the kids smiling so big for the pictures and families doing this together is so awesome!”

Many cite the website “thekindnessrocksproject.com” as the very beginnings of the rock hiding, and finding.

A woman named Megan Murphy, wrote that lsoing her parents at a young age “meant losing my advisers, my sounding board, and my role models.”

Murphy said that during stressful times in her life, she would look for “signs” on her morning walk, such as a heart-shaped rock or a piece of sea glass. Murphy would perceive these as “signs” to signify that “things would be o.k.”

Murphy, realizing she might not be the only one looking for a “sign,” began painting and dropping a few rocks at a time. She said she would receive messages from strangers about how much the rock they found meant to them. She said she started a website and social media page to encourage others to join her.

The rest is history, as Murphy’s “Kindness Rocks Project” has reached worldwide-status, reaching Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Ireland, and beyond.

Facebook pages attached to the local trend, are as follows: Shortline rocks (wetzel county), New martinsville rocks Wetzel Co, Paden City Rocks, Tyler Co Rocks, and Sistersville Rocks, Tyler Co.

Happy Rock Hunting!