Did you come across a brightly painted rock in a Romeoville park this summer? If so, you saw the handy work of Romeoville Rocks. Megan Deliberto, who started up the Romeoville Rocks Facebook page, describes the idea as, “Really simple. Just find and paint rocks.” After painting the rocks, head to a local park and hide them for people to find. The only rule is rocks can never be hidden in the grass. “It’s dangerous for the landscaping crews,” Megan warns. “The rocks have to be in the parks or in landscaping that lawn mowers don’t go near.” So what happens next? “If you find a rock, you either keep it or hide it for somebody else. It’s just a really simple to make kids smile,” says Megan, who is quick to add that while she believes the project is mainly for kids, “I like painting rocks too. My cousin comes over all the time to paint rocks with us and she’s a grown adult. We both love it.”
So where did this idea come from? Details on the overarching Kindness Rocks Project can be found at thekindnessrocksproject.com, but how did the idea migrate to Romeoville? “My cousin told me about the Kindness Rocks Project and the super active group they have in Lombard,” explains Megan. After painting, hiding, and finding rocks in Lombard, Megan’s son fell in love. “All they had in our area was Will County Rocks, so we started the Romeoville one.”
Megan shared a story about her five-year-old son creating a rock specifically for the Fire Department. “It looked like a minion and he left it by the big park near Station One. One of my girlfriends works for the fire department, so I gave her a heads up. At RomeoFest, my son ran up to the fireman that was manning the table and asked him ‘Did you find a rock?’ He said they did and they keep it on their back patio. He said ‘It’s our mascot’ and my son was over the moon.”
Why is Megan such a big proponent of Romeoville Rocks? “It’s cheap and it gets our kids outside,” she laughs. “The rocks are creative. The kids are running around and not watching TV. Best of all, they feel like they’ve found a treasure when they find a painted rock.” But what if you don’t have a child? Jamie Shawmeker, another member of the Romeoville Rocks group, provided some insight. “The thing that really drew me in was the idea of spreading these random acts of kindness to others.” Jamie works full time while also being a full time student, “so the smallest bit of fun and creativity is enough to break up a rather mundane day for me.”
Megan started up the Romeoville Rocks page on Facebook in May and admits things got off to a slow start, but now there are boy and girl scout troops painting rocks. Jamie knows of parents and daycare leaders who have discovered the activity too. If this sounds like something you want to participate in, join the Facebook group and rock on!