Boonville Missouri Rocks gets literal with its message of positivity

10 months 1 week 14 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 10:50:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
By: Monica Harkins, KOMU 8 Reporter

BOONVILLE - Anyone walking around Boonville might be able to play a game of "I spy" now that painted rocks are scattered throughout town.

Ashly Conner started Boonville Missouri Rocks (BMR) this fall to get people in the community excited about sharing a joyful activity together. She looks at the project as a way to spread kindness.

How it works

There are a few ways to participate, but traditionally it starts by painting rocks and then hiding them all over in Boonville.

People can go on "rock hunts" to either looking for specific rocks hoping to stumble on some. Others stick to painting and hiding the rocks.

When someone finds a rock, they are supposed to either re-hide it or keep it. If they choose to keep it and take it home, BMR asks that they paint a new rock to put in the community.

How it began

Conner said, after the passing of her father as a young adult, she realized she needed live her life to its fullest.

"My husband and I sat down and were like, 'you know people don’t live forever. We should try to do everything that we want to do because tomorrow’s not always promised,' so we sat down and made our bucket list," she said.

On that list was starting something in her community. And BMR has been widely embraced, with more than 500 members in its Facebook group.

The idea for painting and leaving rocks, specifically, came from a Google search. Conner read about Megan Murphy's The Kindness Rocks Project and was inspired to start a version in Boonville. 

"People all around the world have that same 'I am having a rough day.' One little thing makes such a huge difference," Conner said.

She said she wasn't sure if it would take off, but was hopeful she could get people involved.

To spread the word about how the project works, Conner wrote #BMR and a Facebook logo on the back of the rock so people knew to go to the Boonville Missouri Rocks Facebook page to learn more.

"The Facebook page allows people to get on there and talk about it," she said.

People share photos of the rocks found, stories of how the rock changed someone's day and sometimes hint to where new rocks were placed.

Conner said it's a family fun way to get off the phone and be out and about.

Right now BMR is just in Boonville, but Conner said she wants to continue working on spreading kindness.

"I’m still kind of in shock that I’m making a difference in people’s lives one rock at a time," she said.

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