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Shamong’s newest community movement rocks

Shamong’s newest community movement rocks


There is a new community movement sweeping the town of Shamong, as well as other parts of the nation. On Saturday, Oct. 22 from noon to 2 p.m., the MOMS Club of Medford, along with assistance of The Ceramic Barn, helped families paint rocks as part of a nation-wide activity locally sponsored by the group Shamong Medford Rocks.

Started by Colleen McCaffrey of Shamong, a mother of three boys, the idea for this group arose as a way to get local children outside to find creatively painted rocks that others have painted. Fostering a sense of community while inspiring creativity in the participating children, the initiative encourages family and friends to search for and replace these rocks.

“There was an art teacher in Hamilton that my nephew and his mom first got the idea from, and they started a Burlington Rocks Facebook group,” McCaffrey said. “My sons and I decided to start one closer to our house so that we didn’t have to go all the way out to Hamilton. My boys thought it was a really great idea, and it’s good for them to get outside.”

At the event, which hosted approximately 15 kids, both the MOMS Club and The Ceramic Barn helped the families who attended paint 30 rocks total. The groups suggested a $1 or $2 donation per child, and that all participants come wearing a smock or old clothes.

To create a painted rock, it is important all children use rocks that are not be much bigger than the palm of a hand, and that they wash them and let them dry before painting. It is also recommended kids use acrylic paint and seal the rocks with either spray sealant or Mod Podge.

“One child painted a rock shaped like a slice of pizza. One child painted a ladybug, and another child painted a very detailed face. Many of the younger children just added splashes of color to their rocks,” Mary Caravello, service project coordinator at the MOMS Club of Medford, said. “The adults even painted alongside their children, and two notable rocks painted by adults include a Minion and a pumpkin.”


Additionally, each rock was painted with the hashtag #MedfordRocks or #ShamongRocks on the back, and parents were encouraged to snap photos of these rocks that their children find and post them on the group’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/256486861412065.

Several children chose to hide a rock up at Freedom Park right after they painted them, while others wanted to take them home to their neighborhoods to hide. Some participants also talked about hiding their rocks on Main Street. If attempting to find rocks elsewhere, Caravello suggests searching playgrounds and the library.

“This is a good community initiative because it gets kids doing something other than playing with electronics,” McCaffrey said. “My boys love painting the rocks and hiding them. It’s also great to see that our page is growing bigger and will hopefully encourage more people to get out and participate.”

While McCaffrey may have started a rock painting trend in Medford and Shamong, she isn’t the only one doing so across the country. According to NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth, artist Carrie Sharp spends her days painting rocks and hiding them around east Dallas. She too just wanted to created something fun and free for kids in her neighborhood to do.

Similarly, according to The Missourian, the St. Clair branch of Scenic Regional Library hosted a rock painting night in October to paint rocks and hide them in the community. Clues as to the rocks’ whereabouts were posted on the group’s Facebook page.

Overall, this initiative has helped to foster a greater sense of support and bonding in Medford and Shamong. Having successfully taken off both in the local community and nation-wide, Caravello suggests families and people of all ages participate in the ongoing rock painting activity to continue spreading joy and happiness in the community.

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