One community group in the Poconos has taken treasure hunting to a new level. Hidden around town – on courthouse steps, outside of stores, on sidewalks and even in the woods – are “Kindness Rocks.” These colorful, hand-painted stones are part of a national movement that combines scavenger hunting with the drive to make people happier. The idea is that finding one of these rocks emblazoned with a child’s drawing or an upbeat saying like, “Don’t ever dull your sparkle!” will lift your spirits.
Inspired by a personal meeting with Oprah Winfrey, Massachusetts resident Megan Murphy started Kindness Rocks to help others. She painted inspirational rocks and left them on the shore for travelers and locals to find. Instructions to post a picture of their found rock on social media with #KindnessRocks were included with each rock. The paper also directed finders to re-hide the rocks, and later paint some of their own to add to the project.
It was a simple gesture, but the rocks and the joy that came from finding one spread as fast as 2000’s “Pay It Forward” movement. Other cities began posting the Kindness Rocks hashtag, and national craft chain Michael’s even got in on the action. Today, more than 2,000 people follow or participate in the Pocono Mountains “Kindness Rocks” social media page. Local business host rock painting parties, and several news outlets have covered the phenomenon.
Here’s how you can participate in the Kindness Rocks movement while vacationing at Skytop Lodge in Pennsylvania’s beautiful Pocono Mountains.
- Visit the Poconos Kindness Rocks Facebook page and see where others have found their rocks.
- Create a Google map of rock spots that intersect with some of your interests (hiking, shopping, culture etc.). Rocks have been found at planetariums and science centers, parks, historical sites and shopping centers.
- If you find any rocks, be sure to post them on social media with #KindnessRocks and the location.
- Re-hide your rocks in places where other travelers can find them. Keep your rocks in plain sight, and make sure they are unobtrusive so people won’t trip over them.
- Visit a local craft store and paint a few rocks of your own. Skytop Lodge has 5,500-acres of forested land with hiking trails ideal for planting #KindnessRocks. Tip: Coat your rock with clear paint that’s safe for animals so that your painting will stay put, even in rainy conditions, and won’t harm wildlife.
Who doesn’t love a good treasure hunt? From Easter egg hunts to “geocaching” (using GPS coordinates to locate hidden clues or objects), searching for treasure appeals to the little kid in everyone – regardless of your age. Hunting for Kindness Rocks is a great way to spend quality outdoor time with your family while vacationing in the Poconos. Contact us today to get your Poconos family adventure started.