Many outdoor attractions throughout Brown County may have hidden treasures thanks to a growing movement with thousands of members.

Brown County Rocks has more than 2,000 participants in a program hiding painted rocks throughout area parks and other outdoor attractions as part of a growing movement to inspire citizens of all ages to get outside and explore their surroundings.

“Amanda Biggs built it up to 1,800 members and I took over at the beginning of May and now we’re over 2,100,” Brown County Rocks Head Administrator Rhonda Bode said. “What started it for me was in Washington state it’s a really big thing. There was a group of over 28,000 for that rocks page alone. I moved from there after I separated from the service and took over this one to try and build it up as high.”

As part of the program, members paint and hide rocks throughout the park, making every casual stroll into a treasure hunt for the initiated. Bode said the idea began as people painting rocks and leaving them as acts of kindness, then blossomed into groups using social media to spread the trend nationwide. 

“It grew into putting a Facebook page on the back of the rock with a note saying post your rock to the Facebook page,” Bode said. “A lot of groups do paint parties, trading and it all became a community from one little act of kindness. I don’t know where it originated, but that is what it started as.”

Bode said the group grew as random pedestrians encountered randomly placed or hidden rocks, then posted them on social media and went into rock finding or rock hiding for themselves. Moore Printing Company recently established a rock trading post where citizens can exchange their painted rocks.

“I didn’t know it would grow this fast,” Bode said. “I thought it would take a lot more work on my part. Really, a few of the right people found some rocks and they started painting and really took off with it … “[Moore] reached out and said ‘We’d be more than happy to put one in here.’ They have really taken it on themselves and it has been great.”

Monday, Brown County Rocks will begin hiding Fourth of July themed rocks throughout the county. Bode said she noticed many participants hide their rocks downtown, but they can be anywhere so long as they are accessible to the public and not on private property or inside a business.

“There have been a lot hidden in downtown,” Bode said. “People like to walk up and hide them around the little shops. A lot of people will hide them in stores, but that is not recommended and we try to prevent that. I try to hide them when I go eat somewhere. I just hide them outside of the business.”

Those looking to join Brown County Rocks can find them on Facebook at Brown County Rocks (Texas) #325ROCKS!, drop by Moore Printing Company or contact Bode through email rhondaallison52@gmail.com. However, Bode said the most important step is to get out, get painting and start hiding.