Southern Minnesota Rocks! – on Facebook
A new craze is sweeping the nation, and Blue Earth, as well as the surrounding Faribault County area, has joined in.
It is not a new electronic device. Not a new gaming system. Not new drones, no no. What is the new fad that is fun and relatively cheap to do as well as bring healthy exercise into your family’s life?
That’s right simple rocks you can find on the ground. Terri Burns, a resident of Blue Earth, started a Facebook group called Southern Minnesota Rocks, and the way to engage in the group is simple, and fun.
“You start by walking around and collecting rocks,” says Burns. “Then you bring them home, wash them, and paint them however you want. You can get as creative as you’d like, and then once you’re finished, you give a finishing coat of Modge-Podge or clear lacquer and place them outside wherever you want.”
The idea is someone will find the rock, take a photo of it, post it to the Facebook group, and then relocate the rock. Through the photos on Facebook, rock artists can track their rocks as they travel to new destinations.
“Our first rock we ever did made it all the way to Florida,” says Burns.
One of the more active members of the group is Tina Prescher and her family. She says she and her children, including twin daughters Addison and Erin, have placed newly painted rocks in a number of Blue Earth locations.
“We love doing it. It gets us outside and away from our iPads and television and gets us connecting as a family,” says Prescher. “We have even had a request from some of our military troops to send some to them. It’s such a fun, cheap thing to do.”
“It’s better than watching TV,” Addison Prescher adds.
The Prescher family already took some of their painted rocks to South Dakota when they went on vacation. And the Burns family plan to do the same when they head to Colorado.
Burns first learned about the new trend from a friend in Tyler, Texas, who also has their own Facebook group. Then she found Minnesota also had its own group.
“Then I thought, we should have something for around our area, I thought it would be a good way for neighbors and friends to connect,” says Burns.
And in the three weeks that her Facebook group has been in existence, it already has close to 1,000 members.
“We’ve seen a lot of our rocks in many different places,” says Burns. “We even have some over in Germany.”
Consider it as a traveling geocache. The painted rocks are not permitted in state parks or inside businesses (unless asked), and once people find a rock, take a photo of it and post it to Facebook, it is then their job to take it and relocate it.
“It can be in town, it can be taken out of town, it doesn’t matter,” says Burns. “It’s really fun though, it’s almost addicting.”
“It’s true,” says Prescher. “We’ve gotten some weird looks from people as we’ve hunted for rocks.”
But it is worth the looks, they say. Finding rocks to paint not only creates a fun and free activity for families, it helps to give some creative license to people of all ages.
“That’s the best part,” says Burns. “People of any age can create whatever they want on these rocks shapes, quotes, favorite sports teams, patterns, whatever you want. It is so much fun coming up with new stuff to paint.”
Burns’ two daughters Bethanee and Bailee have even taken their creativity to a new level by painting their dog, Tinkerbell, on one of their rocks.
“When we picked up the rock, it just kind of already looked like our dog, so we painted it to look like her,” says Bailee.
So, whether you’re two or 92, a boy, a girl, creative or not, Burns encourages everyone to join in the craze.
“If you don’t want to paint rocks, you can just search for them. We would love to see where they get to,” she says.
From the Faribault County Fairgrounds to Luxembourg, Germany, and everywhere in between, Burns has sent out a clear message to the world: Southern Minnesota Rocks well, rocks.