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Rocking It in McCreary

Pretty, painted rocks are showing up everywhere



A new fad is rocking McCreary County, bringing the community together for one gigantic game of hide-and-go-seek.  However, in this version of the game, folks of all ages are decorating rocks with bright colors, cute images, and words of inspiration and cheer before hiding them throughout the County. Finders of the hidden rocks usually can’t help but smile when discovering one of the painted rocks in an unexpected hiding place.

Sherry Hatfield Ball of Pine Knot got the idea from Facebooking with a cousin who lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  Learning about “The Burg Rocks” originating in her cousin’s hometown, Sherry was impressed by the way the rocks spread love and good will throughout the community.

“It was really neat seeing the community come together for something fun,” Ball remarked.  “That said, I thought I’d give it a try in McCreary.”

The objective is simple-to spread happiness, love, and inspiration through the simple gesture of painting rocks and then hiding them throughout the community for people to find.  Folks of all ages can participate.  In addition to spreading love and inspiration, the activity sparks creativity and often brings young people together with their families and community as they work together to create, hide, and discover rock art.

Ball began her mission by establishing the official “McRock-McCreary Rocks” group page on Facebook.  Soon after establishing the McRock Facebook page with easy directions for participating, the number of people joining the group skyrocketed.  Currently, there are more than 5,000 McRockians .

The directions for participating in the McRock craze are simple.
First, find some rocks outside (do not take rocks from unauthorized federal/private/business property or railroad tracks) or purchase them from stores such as Dollar Tree, Lowes, or Walmart.  Buy some painting supplies (paint, sharpies, glitter, etc.) and decorate your rocks.  On the back of your rock, give directions to your rock’s potential finder by listing:  “Take picture. Post FB McRocks.  Keep or re-hide.”  It’s then a good idea to clear coat your rock to protect it from the elements. When your rock is finished, “hide” it somewhere for someone to find.  If you discover a rock and don’t have Internet or Facebook to post a picture, don’t worry.  Just keep hiding and finding rocks.  It’s all about spreading love and sunshine!

Ball cautions McRockians to keep their artwork and comments family friendly since children love to hide and look for rocks.  Negativity, bad language, arguing, etc. are not tolerated and such behavior does result in individuals being banned from the McRockian group.

Although most businesses are rock friendly, with some even hiding rocks and offering discounts and merchandise to the finders of the rocks, Ball does not want to “rock” the boat with businesses that prefer being rock free.  She has established simple guidelines instructing McRockians to not hide rocks inside businesses or in front of credit/debit card readers at ATMs, gas station pumps, etc.  She also stresses the importance of respecting the wishes and rights of owners and managers of businesses.

In addition to businesses joining in the fun, various organizations are scheduling side events involving McRocks.  The pre-Blazin’ Bluegrass June Fundraiser Festival (June 9/10) will have a Saturday evening rock hunt during that event with prizes awarded.  The McCreary County Public Library has scheduled “Tween/Teen Rock Painting” on June 8 from 4:30-6:30 at the Library.

It’s anyone’s guess as to why the spread of McRocks has advanced so rapidly throughout the County.  Who knows?  In a County constantly bombarded by the negative-drugs, poverty, lack of finances, lack of jobs, etc.-perhaps it is just that these simple rocks offer something positive.  They allow us see the best in each other and with that glimpse comes a little bit of hope for the future.

One thing is certain.   With more and more folks joining in the rocky fun, it’s a sure bet folks will, at least in the near future, keep on rockin’ it in McCreary County.

Happy hunting!

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