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Show off your creativity with Scott County Rocks

Holly Viers • Jul 3, 2018 at 2:15 PM

GATE CITY — If you’ve been exploring Scott County recently, you may have found some rocks that are a little more colorful than usual.

That’s because of Scott County Rocks, a community outreach effort geared toward county residents. The program invites people to paint rocks and hide them in public places for others to find.

“It’s something that everybody can do,” said Pam Cox, director of tourism for Scott County. “You can do it with little kids, and we have a lot of older adults that like to do it.”

How it all began

Scott County Rocks got started last summer through My Southwest Virginia, a regional organization. Healthy Scott and Scott County Tourism then got involved, forming a three-way partnership.

Cox said the program has been a great success since the beginning. So far, Cox estimates between 200 and 300 rocks have been painted, and that number continues to grow.

How to participate

Whether you’re naturally artistic or a beginning artist, Cox said anyone can get involved. Those looking for an easy way to participate can visit the Scott County Rocks booth, which will be set up at the Dungannon Fourth of July celebration, Duffield Days, the Hometown Festival and other county events.

People are also invited to participate on their own, Cox said, but everyone is encouraged to take photos of their rocks and share them on social media with the hashtags #ScottCountyVARocks and #SWVA.ROCKS.

“We’re trying to hit all of the communities, all of their festivals, set up and show people what you can do,” Cox said. “It’s a way to engage the community, a way to engage kids. It’s not really a tourism effort, but it’s more of a community outreach.”

How it works

Cox said rocks and decorating supplies will be provided to those who participate at one of the county events. All rocks are cleaned and primed before each event to ensure they are ready to paint.

From there, the direction you take with your rock is up to you. From simple designs to complex works of art, Cox said she’s been blown away by the creativity of the participants.

“I’ve been amazed,” Cox said. “Some people will paint really intricately designed rocks.”

Once the rocks have been painted and sprayed with a sealer, Cox paints #ScottCountyVARocks on the back of each rock. From there, artists can either keep their rock or hide it for someone else to find.

“One of them that was painted ended up in Orlando,” Cox said. “Somebody took a photo and said, ‘This little rock has traveled a long distance.’ That’s really neat when people do that.”

For more information or to connect with other Scott County Rocks participants, search for “Scott County Rocks” on Facebook. Those who are interested in volunteering with Scott County Rocks should contact Cox at [email protected]

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