Athens, TN participating in "rockin" scavenger hunt
A unique type of scavenger hunt is all the craze in Athens, Tennessee.
A unique type of scavenger hunt is all the craze in some East Tennessee cities.
If you're anywhere around Athens, look closely and you'll see it.
"You can stumble across it in your every day routine," said Maggie Witt.
Special items are hidden in plain sight, in parks, downtown, and near businesses.
"It's like you're finding treasure!" said young scavenger hunter Brooklyn Couch.
It's treasure in the form of something simple.
"You find rocks!" exclaimed Couch.
But they aren't just any rocks, they are decorated.
"Just find a rock, paint it, and then you re-hide it," explained Gavyn Million.
The rocks are left behind for others to find.
Some rocks are even found with surprises. They are "pay it forward rocks."
"They put gift cards with them, or like paint supplies for them to go paint more rocks," said Chrystal Ballinger, she takes her kids hunting a few times a week, "Just different things like that."
And it's not just in Athens, these rocks can be found in cities across the United States.
Hunters and hiders can find hints on where rocks are hidden on the Athens Tennessee Rocks Facebook group.
The group grew to nearly 2,000 people in just a few months.
Some people said they love seeing rocks pop up in other cities, and hiding them as they drive through different places.
Parents said it's a fun way to get their kids out and about, and it only cost, well, the price of a rock.
Painted pieces of nature that hold a bigger meaning.
"It's basically to give somebody somewhere a smile," explained Witt.
Many cities across the East Tennessee area have Facebook groups for folks wanting to get involved with hunting or hiding rocks.
"Never in a million years would I have dreamed that I would be this involved with rocks," Witt said with laughter.