Painted Rock Hunting New Rage in Joplin - KOAM TV 7

Painted Rock Hunting New Rage in Joplin

Joplin, MO -

 There's a new craze that's taking kids and adults to local parks and walking trails.

"I found one," screamed Emily Newman as she ran to her mom with her treasure, a painted rock.  The Newman  family is loving a new found pasttime.  Joplin area rocks. It’s a  facebook group that encourages people to paint, hide, and hunt rocks.
Beth Newman said of her girls,  " They enjoy finding the rocks. It’s such a joy when they see  one and they  just both instantly take off  running to see who can get to it first. It’s  kind of, it’s a thrill for them."

Billy Bowers, who created the page explained, "If you find a rock, if you like it, you can keep it. Or you can re-hide it . Mostly what we ask is that you come to our facebook page and post a picture of it cause our artist love to see that they've been found."

Bowers started the Joplin Area Rocks page after finding painted  rocks in Bella Vista, Arkansas with a facebook link on them.

He said, "We've got over thirty-three  hundred members of our group and we're not even six months old yet. So it’s amazing. I’m humbled and very happy to see how quickly its grown."

Nicole Lawson said her kids hunt and hide daily walking about three miles. They recently found several  at King Jack Park in Webb City but they’ve also hunted in Wildcat Park, Mercy Park and in Redings Mill.  
Son Lucas Lawson who is ten said, "I think it’s really fun. It gets the kids, helps the kids get more exercise."

His dad Kyle added another benefit is,  "Just being outside walking around with the kids. Family time."

Their daughter Avery re-hid a goldfish rock  she found that Bowers had hidden.  Another  part of the fun is painting the rocks. 
Beth Newman said,  “We enjoy painting the rocks together as a family.” Her daughter  Marissa said, “My two cupcakes, they were found like three times.”

Avery said,"My mom  helped me paint a Moana one and a pizza one!"

For families like the Lawsons, it’s a lot about family fun but they they've  found some  beautiful artwork on the rocks as well. 

Avery said one rock was painted by Sophia Lopez who’s name was on the back. She bragged of the skylight image, "It was so cool it was at night and everyone’s lights were on."

Mom Nicole said, “There are some people who are artistic with it. Some, the kids, Picasso’s is what we call them.  Everybody gets into it and it’s just really  fun.”

The goal is to be family friendly. They’re hidden sometimes in plain sight on park benches. Or others  are more difficult to find in rock piles near a creek or in trees. That’s where Lucas found one with the image of the Flash. Lady bugs are also a popular image.

Bowers said the rocks give good feelings. He said, "Some people have commented,  it improves their day.  Having a rough day and they found this little smiley face rock just an  inspirational saying or what not.
It spreads joy and enthusiasm  and people love doing it."

Joplin area rocks is a public group on facebook. Bowers said other communities are starting their own.

Here is a link: https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=joplin%20area%20rocks


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