A new game is prompting Clovis residents to get up and walk around outdoors, and it doesn’t involve Pokémon.
Local families are on the hunt for rocks — beautifully painted ones.
Anyone can paint a rock, hide it somewhere in the city — not on private property, of course — and then post a clue to Clovis Rocks Facebook group, explained Clovis Rocks founder Nicole Ward.
Then, the rest of the group’s members go out and search for it.
“There are not a lot of rules,” Ward said. “If you love the rock and want to keep it, you can. If you want to re-hide it, you can take it and re-hide it somewhere else and leave another clue to the new place where you hid it. If you want to leave it where it is, you can say ‘hey I found it’ and then leave it here so someone else can get a chance to find it.”
The idea is based off of Love Rocks, a project started by the parents of two young girls who were killed in 2013 when they were hit by a car in front of their Oregon home. To honor their lives, their parents spread love and joy by decorating and sharing river rocks.
Love Rocks has made its way across the country and around the world, with numerous spinoffs.
Ward found out about it through a friend who is part of the 2,250-member strong Oakhurst Rocks.
“I said this is fun, we should do this in Clovis,” Ward said. “I think it’s a small enough town where there’s a lot of really good hiding places and people get out.”
Ward launched Clovis Rocks in February and membership steadily grew to nearly 300 members, with most people finding out about it through word of mouth.
Some have found the group through the stones themselves.
“We always tag on the back Clovis Rocks - Facebook so that when people find them they can look it up and join the group,” Ward said. Some artists add the month and year the rock was painted.
Shopping centers are the most popular spots to hide — and find — the treasures.
“It’s really easy when you’re out running errands to just drop a rock,” Ward explained.
While plenty of adults participate in the game, it’s a big hit with families, especially those with young children, Ward said.
“The kids love going out to look for them,” she said.
They also love to create them.
“This is amazing because it doesn’t require a huge commitment as far as space” Ward said. She uses one corner of her dining table to paint and allow the rocks to dry. “You can get inexpensive craft paint from Michael’s or Walmart, and inexpensive paint brushes. You don’t have to buy canvasses and expensive paints, it’s really easy.”
The acrylic craft paint should be sealed using clear nail polish or a spray-on sealant, Ward said, so the water-based paint doesn’t wash off in the rain or in the stream of a sprinkler.
Ward’s 9-year-old daughter, Isabella, lights up when she talks about the paint pens she uses to decorate her river rocks.
“There’s even gold. And you don’t have to seal it when you use Sharpie pens,” Isabella said.
For those who want to participate but don’t consider themselves artistic, Ward recommends using temporary tattoos, which stick onto the stones within seconds.
Ward estimates she’s hidden about 20 rocks since starting the group four months ago.
“It’s fun. It’s meant to bring the community together and get people out of the house and doing something with the family,” she said.
A dazzling design can also be a refreshing surprise for someone who happens upon a rock accidentally.
“Even if someone is not part of the group, it can brighten someone’s day to find a pretty rock,” Ward said. “You never know who is going to find it.”
Search “Clovis Rocks” on Facebook, or click here to ask to be added to the group.