TR Rocks: Well, We Know, But We Are Talking About Actual Stones
by Lacey Eibert Keigley
Maybe you’ve already found some and thought it was just a cute coincidence, a lucky find, a little treasure.
Likely it was all of those, actually, and something else besides.
The Boyer family has been on a mission, in fact, they are about to be on another sort of mission entirely. But the bit that has found its way onto our Swamp Rabbit Trail and along our main streets and our side streets right here in Travelers Rest is a rocky sort of mission.
Michael and Natalie Boyer and their three sons – Aidan, Liam and Declan – have been hiding rocks along the trail and throughout TR.
Not just any rocks, however. The rocks have been painted with unique designs and artwork, pictures of local businesses and TR-familiar sights, as well as other cute designs of animals and scenes from nature.
“We heard of the idea elsewhere actually,” Natalie smiled and shared. “But my dad is from TR and I love this town and I just thought that sounded so fun here too.”
The original idea was to enjoy the painting of the rocks as a fun family homeschooling project with the boys, then hide the rocks in town for their own family and friends to find.
That was about two months ago.
A love of community, a desire to draw kids into the outdoors and an idea that just gained popularity organically propelled the Boyers to think beyond the first simple ideas of painting and hiding rocks.
“We are about to move to Ireland,” Michael shared, with an infectious enthusiasm for what is clearly a passion he holds for his soon-to-be-adopted country. “And we realized this was a good way to share our message and our mission there too.” Now many of the rocks also feature the name of the Boyers’ website on the back of the rock. The Boyer Family website gives the rock finders an overview of what Natalie and Michael hope to be a part of when they move with their boys to Ireland later this summer. Once settled in Ireland, the Boyers will begin a similar project there, using shamrocks.
Here’s the idea. When you find a rock in TR, you can celebrate your find. (You know, dancing or taking a selfie with your rock or declaring loudly, TR Rocks! Hey, tag us at TravelersRestHere and we can start our own hashtag – TRRocks!) And then you can make a decision – just enjoy your victory and place the rock back in its spot for the next victor or bring a painted rock of your own and switch the rocks. You take your new treasure home and you leave a rock treasure for the next explorer.
We think this idea is such a fun idea – the painting options are endless. Paint a rock that looks like your TR business. Paint a rock that has a picture of your family, your dog, a sunset, a flower – you get to decide. If you feel so inclined, include your own email address so you can track the finding of your own rock.
The boys have enjoyed the process of painting together as a family.
“I painted bears and owls,” Aiden grinned. And the designs are as varied as the smiles on the three boys’ faces. Natalie said the boys particularly enjoy the hiding of the rocks although some of them place the rocks in highly visible spots while others have been quite creative about ensconcing their painted rocks. (We’re crossing our fingers that we find the easy ones!)
“The rocks so far begin at the gazebo in town and go down to Sunrift,” Natalie and Michael share, but soon the rocks should be all over town. “We’d love to hear this TR Rocks project is still going – to hear how other people are finding them along the way,” Michael said. “I think our kids would love when we are in Ireland to hear where the rocks are going.”
As we chatted, there was a giant pile of painted rocks spread out across the picnic table behind Leopard Forest showing how varied the rocks are in design and in size – beautiful art and primary colors make these rocks a genuine treasure for both kids and grown ups to stumble across.
Have you already found a rock?
When you and yours spend an afternoon painting and designing special TR Rocks – can you share it on Instagram with us?