I know it doesn’t seem life changing, but something as simple as painting rocks has lead to a revolution of kindness in cities across the country.
No one is quite sure of where the Rocks! movement started, but one of the largest and most active groups is right here in the small Pacific Northwest City I call home. Vancouver Rocks! is a group of over 30,000 people who paint, hide, and find rocks so they can share joy and kindness.
Rocks vary from the very ornate to some as simple as having stickers placed on them. While some rocks are a little more adult than others, the vast majority depict messages of hope and love. Painters decorate the rocks as they wish then hide for others to find, placing clues onto the group’s Facebook page if they wish. Those who find rocks can post a photo if they want, then they hang on to the rock for a while and re-hide it when they’re ready.
You can read all about the Vancouver Rocks movement here
Would you like to paint rocks to spread messages of hope? Here are some great tips to get started:
1. Look on Facebook for a local group. Look for city name Rocks as the group name. If you don’t see a group consider starting one.
2. Find rocks! Rocks are easy to find once you start looking. We’ve found the best rocks at the ocean and lake beaches. If you are having trouble finding rocks you can buy rocks. ALWAYS get your rocks legally, do not remove rocks from government land, someone’s yard, or business landscaping.
3. Decorate! My family enjoys painting rocks with acrylic craft paint, the key is to put down a good base coat of paint or Modge Podge first and allow it to dry completely. From there you can use paint, paint pens, Sharpies, stickers…whatever you want! Finish up by putting a very light coat of clear spray paint, clear nail polish, or outdoor Modge Podge. (Note that if you use markers the clear spray paint and nail polish will make it run, so stick to Modge Podge!)
PRO TIP: Don’t forget to write the name of your group on the back of the rock with a marker! If you own a business you can drum up business by painting a rock that can be used as a coupon!
4. Hide your rocks! Where you hide rocks is up to you, just be sure not to trespass. I’ve seen rocks hidden at the library branches, community center, playgrounds, outside the grocery store, the hospital, the zoo, the craft store, and the coffee shop. Always ask for permission before placing a rock in a business and don’t put rocks where they could damage lawn equipment. Some people like to put clues to where their rocks are hidden and some don’t, do what feels right to you.
5. Find rocks! Once you start rocking you’ll notice that you’re looking for rocks everywhere you go, both painted and unpainted. A lot of people enjoying sharing photos of the rocks they find, but it’s not required. If you decide to share be sure to use a hashtag, such as #VancouverRocks, on social media. It’s up to you if you want to keep the rock or re-hide it, though replacing and re-hiding is always encouraged.