By Eric Heinz
Hidden around San Clemente are images of Darth Vader, the pier, skateboards and anything else people’s hearts desire.
Briana Denney, a San Clemente resident and interior designer by trade, started the group San Clemente Rocks, where people can decorate rocks with social media information attached to them.
“My son, Desmond, and I were walking the beach trail and he found a rock from another rock club in Washington,” Briana said. “I thought it would be fun to start something like this in San Clemente.”
People can participate by painting the rocks with the club’s message on the back. “If you find me, please post a picture of me on our Facebook page, San Clemente Rocks” is the message.
“You can keep the rock, share it with someone else or re-hide it,” Briana said. “Through social media and the Facebook page, we’ve had a lot of responses.”
The rock search has been likened to geocaching, but it’s not quite the same. There is no GPS or land coordinates involved in the process. Some of the rocks will have riddles or esoteric messages written on them for participants to find the next rock.
Briana said she would like to organize larger community events based around finding different rocks in various locations.
“I think the most exciting thing that’s happening right now is that we’re collaborating with other community organizations to provide workshops for local teens and we’re going to be fundraising with local charities,” Briana said.
Briana said she doesn’t hide her own rocks in difficult-to-find spots, but some of the group members have become very crafty with their hiding.
As of Wednesday, July 5, the Facebook group had 365 members. It is a closed group for safety purposes. Denney said they’ve had 100 new members join in the last week.
In addition to the group enjoying the collector’s aspect, Briana said a few parents have approached her about getting their child away from the television and video games for a bit.
The organization from Washington state Briana is following is called Fidalgo Island Rocks, a group with more than 2,700 members that has hosted similar silent auctions and other events.
“There’s so many people who are excited about this club that I figured we could put it to good use,” Briana said. “I get to sit down with my family and paint for a bit. It really does brighten people’s day. And it’s bringing together the community, and it touches my heart a little bit to see that.”
For more information, visit the Facebook page San Clemente ROCKS. Currently there is no Instagram for the group, but that may come soon.