Ocean City Today

Berlin and Ocean Pines youth paint rocks, hide them

By Intern, Morgan Pilz | Aug 10, 2017
Courtesy of: AUBREY SIZEMORE Children in Ocean Pines, from left, Zane and Jonah DeVito and Olivia Koval, are painting designs, inspirational messages and pictures on rocks, then hiding them for people to discover.

(Aug. 11, 2017) Children in Berlin and Ocean Pines are painting inspirational messages, colorful pictures and designs on rocks and hiding them around their towns for others to discover.

Those who find rocks are encouraged to post a picture of them on the Berlin Rocks and OP Rockss Facebook pages. They can then hide the rocks somewhere else or keep them.

The first rock painting group can be traced back to Renton, Washington, in 2011. There are now more than 500 rock painting groups across the nation. Berlin youth joined the movement in April.

“I came up with the idea after a spring trip to Florida and finding [painted] rocks there,” Berlin Rocks Creator Stacy Ernst said. “Their group is called Palm Harbor Rocks.”

The Berlin group has painted more than 80 rocks, which could still be out there waiting to be found.

Meanwhile, children in Ocean Pines started to take part in the game about two weeks ago.

“Stephanie Koval and her daughter, Olivia, started painting rocks for fun on a rainy day,” Ocean Pines resident Aubrey Sizemore said. “She spoke to her sister [Shari Sudano] and she said her community does the hide and seek rocks. Stephanie asked myself and my two sons [Zane and Jonah] if we wanted to do it. We immediately agreed.”

The OP Rockss Club has painted over 150 rocks. Some of them have been taken as far as New York.

The rocks they paint on can be found at stores such as Home Depot, Lowes and Walmart. Common hiding spots around the two towns are trees, benches, wooded areas, flower pots, pathways, playgrounds and local parks and businesses.

“A few stores have permitted us to put them inside on a shelf,” Ernst said.

“We just want to make people happy and get them excited to find one of the rocks,” Sizemore added.

Everyone is welcome to paint new rocks and hide them for others to find. Visitors to the area are also encouraged to take part in the activities, and start a painted rock group in their own community.

“[People] should look for them because, well, that’s the game,” Sizemore said. “We put them in plain sight so you stumble across them. And people should make their own so the game gets bigger and bigger.”

“It’s important because finding a rock can brighten someone’s day,” Ernst added. “It’s also extra special since our area is so touristy. Some finders take them to rehide in their home town.”

One of the purposes of the game is to see how far the rocks can go, if they stay in Maryland or travel to a different state. The main goal, however, is to bring a smile to a stranger’s face.

Anyone interested in painting rocks in Berlin or Ocean Pines can contact either group through their Facebook pages. To find the Berlin group go to Berlin Rocks or contact Ernst at 410-279-6072. To find the Ocean Pines page, visit OP Rockss.

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