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‘Family rocks’ hits Brewton

Nicole Burns |  The Brewton Standard Above: The Rachael Smith family and Reba Carroll and her granddaughter, Harmony, pose for a photo.

Nicole Burns | The Brewton Standard
Above: The Rachael Smith family and Reba Carroll and her granddaughter, Harmony, pose for a photo.

STORY AND PHOTOS BY NICOLE BURNS

In an age where most young families struggle to fit family time into their busy schedules, a Florida woman is giving Brewton families a rocking opportunity. And it won’t cost you anything but your time and a little persistence.

About six weeks ago, Rachael Smith of Bratt, Fla., launched a Facebook page called “Family Rocks” after finding a similar group in Texas. It’s a game of hide-and-go-seek with a virtual twist.

“Me and my kids initially painted 75 rocks and hid them between Atmore and Flomaton,” said Smith. “My mom and sister painted some rocks for the Brewton area.”

The idea took off in Brewton. The group is now up to almost 700 “Rockers” who paint, hide, and find rocks around the area. Hiders upload pictures and clues and finders upload pictures of found rocks and re-hide them.

While the game is fun for all ages, Smith said there’s a greater purpose behind it.

Nicole Burns | The Brewton Standard The rock that started it all in Brewton. Read the clues below, find the rock and win a prize.

Nicole Burns | The Brewton Standard
The rock that started it all in Brewton. Read the clues below, find the rock and win a prize.

“I have five children,” Smith said. “When we’re at home we do homework, we do this, we do that. We never spend quality time together. This is our way to doing just that.”

Not only do kids enjoy the hunt, but it’s also a way to get those creative juices flowing.

“I was so tickled at them when we first started doing it,” said Smith. “We would paint rocks together, and they would have paint from head to toe; paint all over my porch. It was a big mess, but it was so much fun. It’s bringing my family together. That’s my goal.”

And it’s not just Smith’s family. Reba Carroll of Brewton said her granddaughter, Harmony, is a hard core “Rocker.”

Carroll said, “I’ve noticed how much the children love it. It’s good for them. They go home and paint the rocks themselves. They’ll do the drawings and then they’re just thrilled to go out and put them out, but they’re also thrilled to go back and find those have been moved.”

Smith said family unity is the ultimate goal of the project.

“I want this to bring families together,” said Smith. “You can buy toys, you can buy all kinds of stuff. They won’t remember it. They may have special memories of a toy here and there, but making memories will last a lifetime. That’s what it’s about – family time.”

Brewton families seem to be jumping in on the action. If you join the group, you’ll see new “Rocker” pictures popping up every day. Families, couples, and even friends take the time to get outside to seek, find, and hide again. Think about how many video games are idle with more kids taking the fun outside to play – a lost art in this day and age.

Family Rocks is free and open to anyone and everyone. There are a few rules to follow to keep the game safe – stay off private property; don’t leave rocks out where people could fall or they could be hit by lawnmowers and become projectiles; and, if you find a rock, post a picture so the hider knows it’s been found. Then, re-hide it.

If you go out looking, see if you can spot the first rock that started it all. We’re offering it as a prize rock. Find it, bring it to The Brewton Standard office at 407 St. Nicholas Avenue and claim your prize. Here are the clues:

• Many pass, but won’t take the time to stop.

• I might make an appearance in someone’s special pictures if I’m here long enough.

• I’m hidden among the creepers.

• Come find me if your Family Rocks.