The rock-painting craze is in full swing among communities all over Northwest Indiana.

“I think it’s a wonderful movement and it’s contagious — we have painted 120 rocks, just ourselves. If we are diligent and if we all work to make this a good thing, our kids will remember this,” said Elizabeth Eenigenburg, who started the Facebook page Crown Point Rocks. “It’s simple fun, simple kindness and simple love.”

Every community Facebook rock page has a different philosophy — Happy Rock Project, The Kindness Rock Project, etc. — but the main idea is the same: A person paints a rock, hides it in her community, hopes that it is found and inspires the finder to re-hide the rock and/or paint a rock to continue the cycle.

Bobby Conger, of Portage, who started the Facebook page NW Indiana Happy Rocks, said his family learned of the Happy Rock project from Cub Scouts.

“You are sharing a smile, basically, but you put a smile on a rock. It’s just makes you happy. My whole family is painting rocks, even Grandma. We like everything about it. I personally get more enjoyment of the hiding the rock because you want a spot that’s obvious but hidden,” Conger said.

“Everybody is doing it, and it’s cheap to do. We’ve had our page up for only three weeks and we have almost 200 members.”

Supplies to participate in the project can be permanent markers, nail polish, paint, colored pencils, etc.

“It’s important that you spray a sealant on the rock when you’re finished so the paint stays on the rock,” Eenigenburg said.

Since May, about a dozen painted rock Facebook pages in Northwest Indiana have been created — Highland in Rocks, Schererville Rocks, Northwest Indiana Rocks, 219 Rocks, Lowell Rocks, Chesterton Rocks, Valpo Rocks, Cedar Lake Rocks, etc. All pages have between 100 and 500 members.

Eenigenburg hosts neighborhood rock-painting parties and also is working with the Crown Point Library to host rock-painting classes over the next few months.

“We had a rock party here a week ago and the kids that day painted 50 rocks. My table was a disaster, but they had fun,” Eenigenburg said. “At the library we are doing two week-night classes and a Saturday class. It’s not just for kids — it’s for all ages.”

Jenny Vander Meer, of Lowell, agrees it is for all ages.

She said hunting for rocks is a great way for kids to get off electronic devices and get outdoors. Although Vander Meer loves seeing her 5-year-old son’s face light up when he finds a painted rock, she personally enjoys painting rocks.

“The first rock I painted was a CHD (congenital heart defects) rock to spread awareness and honor baby Kane, who passed away in January. The Facebook page, KanesKrew — Made With Love, has become near and dear to my heart. I do plan on painting other rocks to help spread awareness, especially for cancer and brain tumors to honor my mom, who passed away in April 2015,” Vander Meer said.

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