ALAMOGORDO, N.M. – A new craze has hit Alamogordo, one that involves residents of all ages painting and hiding rocks throughout the community.
“My sister lives in Illinois and they do the rock thing there, she was telling me about it. I thought it would be neat for kids here because there’s not a lot for kids to do around here,” said Patricia Glore, founder of the Alamo Rocks Facebook page. “So we painted rocks for two weeks, hid about 50 of them and then I started the page.”
As residents found the hidden rocks, they also found instructions painted to the back of the rocks directing them to the Alamo Rocks page. Currently, the group has over 2,300 members.
“This is something I do with my great grandkids,” Glore said. “(My great grandson) found his first rock by himself yesterday and he was so excited. This gives them something to do outside of the house, so they’re not stuck indoors playing on tablets and watching TV.”
Organizations such as the Alamogordo Public Library and Alamo Jump have jumped onboard with the craze, hosting rock painting parties for the community.
“I love that this is something anyone of any age can do,” said Youth Services Librarian Ami Jones. “One of the things that sold me early on was a photo of a big burly dad sitting at a table with his little girl, painting rocks together. You don’t have to be a great artist – I’m sure not – and kids are so excited when they see a picture on Facebook of someone holding the rock they painted. It even gets people exploring businesses and area attractions that they might not have known about. How many kids couldn’t tell you where City Hall was, before they started finding rocks there?”
David Quinlan, owner of Alamo Jump, said this is great because it’s an inexpensive family-building activity.
“It’s great seeing parents and kids sitting down at the same table, exchanging ideas on what to paint and then trying to put their vision onto a rock via paint, glitter, glue,” Quinlan said. “The most important thing to us is seeing the true joy the kids have in participating. From painting rocks to finding rocks, there is non-stop joy and excitement around this. We put out rocks multiple times a week in front of our business and to watch as a kid walks by, finds it and literally jumps and shouts – there isn’t anything like it.”
Rock painting, hiding and hunting isn’t only for children, a lot of adults are finding joy with the activity too.
“One of our members wrote yesterday that his wife’s mom had passed away not too long ago and she didn’t get to see her mom before she died, so she was wanting a sign from her mother,” Glore said. “So he went to work that day and happened to find a pink rock, a color that her mother always wore. She’s keeping that rock.”
Getting involved with Alamo Rocks is simple, gather rocks, acrylic paint and join the Alamo Rocks Facebook page to post pictures and review suggested guidelines.
“The best part is seeing that someone found a rock you hid,” Jones said. “So we really encourage people to post pictures to the Alamo Rocks page – whether they are going to keep it or rehide it. The biggest fear is that someone felt spiteful and just threw yours or your child’s hard work into the trash.”
The group is currently putting a list together of area businesses that do not want rocks hidden on their property or inside their business. The rule of thumb is if you’re unsure if it’s OK to hide a rock there, ask the business. At the Alamogordo Public Library, rocks can be hidden outside the building or inside the children’s room.