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Macon Rocks

A+member+of+the+popular+%22Macon+GA+Rocks%22+Facebook+page+holds+her+freshly+painted+rock.
A member of the popular

A member of the popular "Macon GA Rocks" Facebook page holds her freshly painted rock.

Katie Atkinson

Katie Atkinson

A member of the popular "Macon GA Rocks" Facebook page holds her freshly painted rock.

Noemi Griffin, Mercer University

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It’s a hot and muggy summer day and the sky is about to open up for a downpour, but that isn’t stopping Amanda Williams and her children from sitting outside and painting rocks.

Williams is participating in a game that’s taking over Middle Georgia; the rock game. Williams said she’s hooked.

“I found my first rock at Griffin’s Animal Hospital, and from then on it was like ‘wow I’m excited to do everything.’ We’ve been painting for the last two days trying to get rocks ready to hide,” Williams said.

The game is simple: paint a rock, hide the rock and then post a hint online.

Then, whoever finds the painted rock can keep or re-hide it. Typically participants will keep the first rock they find and hide any others they come across.

Cheryl Stratigos, a long time Macon resident, started the Facebook group called “Macon GA Rocks”. Her goal was to bring people together through playing the game.

“I decided [to create the group] after looking at some posts of my friends and family in Columbus where they have a Columbus GA rocks [group],” Stratigos said. “Well why don’t I start one in Macon? Macon rocks.”

The Facebook group has gained close to 3,000 members since its inception in mid-June. The activity is popular among all age groups, with many parents taking their kids on rock hunting adventures.

There are also Facebook rock groups for various other Middle Georgia cities including Warner Robins and Perry.

“It’s just getting families outside together. They’re bonding,” Stratigos said.  “They’re getting the kids out from being in front of the TV and video games.”

The rules of the game aren’t strict; you aren’t required to use a certain type of paint and you can pick your rocks up from the ground instead of buying them, but the Facebook page does offer some guidelines if you need help getting started.

According to their pinned post you can buy your rocks anywhere from Home Depot and Lowe’s to the Dollar General. Once you’ve got your rocks you’ll want to wash and dry them before painting.

For best results, acrylic or enamel paint coated with a clear sealant like Mod Podge is your best bet. But sealing isn’t a required step and paint markers, sharpies or other types of paint will also get the job done.

Julia Chambless plays the game with her 3-year-old twins and prefers to paint on flat river rocks.

“They love to paint rocks and mix colors. Every time we go somewhere they’re like ‘Can we hide rocks?’” she said.

Chambless, a kindergarten teacher at Porter Elementary School, intends to bring the game to her classroom once school is back in session.

“We even talked to my principal about hiding them around the school for the kids to find or even getting the community involved to kind of promote Porter and show that we’re a community school,” she said.

On one recent afternoon, a group from New City Church set up a rock painting party in Tattnall Square Park and encouraged all passersby to join them.

“My wife had seen a thing on Facebook about ‘Macon GA Rocks’, and she thought that would be a good thing we could do to draw people in to hang out. Everybody can enjoy each other’s company and just get to know each other a little bit,” said Dave Elsworth, church member.

James Blackwell brought his grandchildren to the park to swing and ended up painting with the New City Church group.

“I’m 66 years old, and I’m having a ball,” Blackwell said.

Read the original story here

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Macon Rocks