Fun on the Rocks

One of the main benefits of a new social media fad is sharing real time with friends and family while painting rocks that will be hidden for others to find. Adventures related to finding rocks are then posted on special Facebook pages. Pictured seated from left are Alanna Marshall, Giannah Martin, Kendel Anderson, Aleah Marshall, Dasia Witherspoon and Nicole Petrachi. Standing is Julie Winter.

In the 1950s, people needed a Hula Hoop to be cool. 1960s? Bounce a Superball over a house. In 1975, it was the Pet Rock. By the 80s, Transformers were turning heads and in the 90s, the American Girl Doll store in New York City had people lined up down the block to get in.

Now, a new craze has taken hold among people of all ages in cities like St. Petersburg and Gulfport – using rocks.

Rocks again?

Yes, but this time with a twist.

High-tech social media is now involved to record and share finds along with high-touch craft time to paint and label rocks that will be placed in public areas for people to discover.

It’s all about sharing fun with others, whether it’s on Facebook, at a rock decorating party or hunting for hidden treasure.

When members of the Marshall family of St. Petersburg finish a rock, they affix a pre-printed paper label on the underside that gives the people who find it suggestions on what to do next: “Take a pic of me and post on Facebook at St. Pete Rocks. Then rehide me. I like to travel.” Some people relocate found rocks or keep them as works of art.

“My two daughters have been doing this for about five months every couple of days,” said Amanda Marshall. “I found out about it because I had a friend that tagged me on Facebook. I joined St. Pete Rocks when there were about 1,000 members and now there’s over 15,000. I got my family involved right away.”

About 40 to 50 rocks that come packaged in bulk bags labeled “Large Caribbean Beach Pebbles” can be bought for about $12.50 a bag from local building supply or home improvement stores. For best results, rinse the rocks with water and allow them to dry before painting, said Marshall.

At a recent backyard painting party in St. Petersburg, six kids, ranging in age from 2 to 8 years old, and three adults dedicated about two hours to making custom rocks with paint brushes, markers and pre-printed labels that included identifying information and suggested instructions: “Take a pic of me and post on Facebook at St. Pete Rocks. Then rehide me. I like to travel.”

When rocks are found, some people relocate them or keep favorites as works of art.

After the paint dried at the party, everyone regrouped along Shore Boulevard S. in Gulfport to hide their creations in bushes, at the bases of palm trees and even on the seat of a custom golf cart.

“I like to get surprised when I find a rock,” said Alanna Marshall.

Kendel Anderson demonstrates how to hide a rock just a little so it’s easy for others to find.

What is the most special rock she has seen so far?

“A big blue rock that had dots all over it because it was really pretty,” she said. Her parents and younger sister found it.

What are some tips for hiding a rock?

“You have to make it not too hard to find,” said Kendel Anderson. “You mostly want to make it easy for people to see it. I like short grassy spots.”

What does she like most about finding rocks?

“I collect them,” she said. “Then, when I go to hide the ones I’ve made, I can hide the ones I have collected too.”

What does she like most about the rock craze?

“When people find them you can say, ‘Hey! They found my rock!’” she said. “It’s really exciting.”

For more, visit facebook.com/groups/StPeteRocks. For Gulfport Rocks, visit facebook.com/groups/1724764691107124. Search for other rock logging Facebook pages by using the name of whatever city you desire.

 

 

Don't be shy. Tell us what you think.