2017-2018 National Youth Activities Ambassador
Patriotic Painted Rock Project
It is so exciting to see and hear the rush of activity and excitement across the country in the promotion of our Youth Activities program. Many of you are utilizing social media which is vital in reaching the youth of today. Social media is also being used by as a collaboration tool; Auxiliary members are getting questions answered by Department Chairmen and sharing ideas with one another. Below is an idea shared on social media by Debora Stiffler, Youth Activities Chairmen for the Department of Oklahoma.
In February 2015, Megan Murphy, a life coach from Massachusetts, founded The Kindness Rock Project, a simple way to spread joy and kindness with messages painted/written on rocks. The Kindness Rock Project has taken off nationwide and rocks can now be found in thousands of communities across the country. The painted rock movement may be called something different where you live, but the idea is the same: gather supplies, decorate a rock, write which Facebook group to post a photo to once it’s found and hide it in plain sight in a public place (i.e. a park, playground, hiking trail, on a sidewalk, etc.). Whoever finds the rock takes a photo with it (i.e. a “selfie”), posts it to the Facebook group and then hides the rock again.
Debora Stiffler thought it would be fun to put a patriotic twist on the painted rock movement and involve youth through the Auxiliary’s Random Acts of Patriotism (R.A.P.) initiative. Use the guidelines below to start your own Patriotic Painted Rock Project.
- Gather supplies
You will need rocks, acrylic paint, paint brushes, permanent markers and sealer.
- Host a rock painting party!
- Paint patriotic pictures and messages on the rocks. Need some inspiration? Check out our Pinterest page for ideas.
- This activity can be done at home by an individual, but encourage youth to do this as a group. You could even host a parent/child rock painting and hiding party and invite the whole family to join in the fun!
- Be sure to put what group the finder should post a photo in (i.e. RAP Rocks and then list your state – RAP Rocks Oklahoma, RAP Rocks Vermont, RAP Rocks Washington, etc.) on the back of your rock.
- Create a public Facebook page and post simple guidelines and information about the R.A.P. initiative.
- Include rules such as no hiding rocks in national or state parks, on private property, in cemeteries, etc.
- Pin a post to the top of your Facebook page explaining the R.A.P. initiative and link to the National Organization’s Youth Activities webpage: https://vfwauxiliary.org/what-we-do/youth-activities/ and the National Organization’s Scholarships webpage: https://vfwauxiliary.org/scholarships/.
- Post contact information for your Auxiliary (i.e. a phone number and an email address).
- An example is below:
This is a page to post rocks you’ve painted or found around town.
Paint a rock. Write RAP Rocks Oklahoma on the back. Hide it in a public place such as a city park, playground, sidewalk, etc. DO NOT hide the rock in a national or state park, on private property or in a cemetery. Keep the messages on your rocks family-friendly.
Find a rock. Take a photo of the rock. Post it to RAP Rocks Oklahoma. Use the hashtags #RAPRocksOklahoma #PatrioticRocks
Get off your electronic device and out of the house. Explore the beautiful world we live in. Spread joy, kindness and patriotism in our community. Happy hiding and finding!
Have questions about the VFW Auxiliary or our programs and scholarships for youth? Learn about our scholarships here: https://vfwauxiliary.org/what-we-do/scholarships-2/ and our programs for youth here: https://vfwauxiliary.org/what-we-do/youth-activities.
Contact us at (list an email address).
- Hiding the rocks
- Take a photo of each rock you hide and post it to your Facebook page and the RAP Rocks group you created. Include a clue as to where the rock is hidden (i.e. the name of the park it’s hidden in).
- The first time you hide the rocks, make up a flyer and place around town in various locations youth frequent letting them know that the rocks are around town to find and locations where they are hidden (i.e. the name of the park they are hidden in).
The Patriotic Painted Rock Project is a wonderful way to involve youth and their families in your community in an inexpensive activity that spreads joy, kindness and patriotism!
There are so many great ideas out there and I look forward to sharing more with you! Keep up the great work!