Fred Flintstone Meets Pokemon Go How the area code rock hunting game came to town.
Just paint and hide one and you will feel like a rock star! This family-friendly, art-loving, community spirit-improving game is gaining interest in the North State. What it is and where did it come from?
Legend has it that a Washington state resident started this idea several years ago, Since then, the rockin’ treasure hunt has been rumored to be taking off across the nation.
Lisa Dawson of Memphis, Tennessee remembers joining in the fun, "It started as way to get my kids involved in something other than their tablets, the TV, 'Minecraft.”
Dawson and her kids painted rocks with fun artwork and encouraging words, then hid them throughout town for other unsuspecting passers-by to find. It didn’t take long for the fun to take off. Dawson launched 901Rocks! in July of 2016, and within six weeks she had close to 10,000 members on her Facebook group.
Meanwhile, back in Oklahoma, Kimberly Politte’s young son, Hunter, had been fighting a rare form of cancer, retinoblastoma. Hunter’s eyes were removed to stop the cancer from spreading and to save his life. While he lost his sight, he is now cancer free and attends regular follow up appointments to monitor his medical needs.
On one of Hunter’s follow-up appointments at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in- you guessed it- Memphis, Dawson found some painted rocks and appreciated the happiness they brought her and her family. She decided to borrow the idea of “planting joy” back in her hometown of Claremore. Again, the area code scavenger hunt idea rock-eted into success. Dawson’s group now has over 34 thousand members.
While Politte’s 918 Rocks! was rockin’ and rollin,’ an Oliverhurst, California family visited Oklahoma and, yes, found painted rocks. Brittani Rockholt’s (can we pause for a moment to admire the fitting surname?) parents, Tim Maynard and Cindy Cross Maynard, brought the idea back to her. She thought the idea totally rocked, so she started planting joy in Olivehurst.
The merriment quickly spread to Marysville, Yuba City, Gridley, Live Oak, Chico, Colusa- and even as far as Redding. The family's Facebook group, 530 Rock Hunt, has over 6,000 members who post photos of painted rocks – ones they are hiding and finding, along with painting tips and hints on where to locate new rock “plants.”
The Chico ROCKS! Facebook group is also gaining solid ground.
So, how do you get in on the fun? There are a couple of ways to play: 1) Find a rock that has been lovingly placed somewhere around town, then replant the rock somewhere else. 2) Paint some original rocks and place them around town.
Either way, be sure to write 530Rocks! or Chico Rocks! on the back. Make sure you take a photo of the rock and post it on Facebook or hashtag on Twitter to increase the fun-factor and community participation.
Melinda Haynes, MA, LMFT Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist California lic. no. 102308 Serving Chico, Paradise, Oroville, Gridley The persons depicted on this site are models. Photos do not represent or guarantee results.