Last year I saw a fun idea on Pinterest that I decided our family was going to embrace this camping season: rock collecting. Wait, wait. Before you roll your eyes and move on, this isn’t just rock collecting. It’s memories collecting, too.
At each of the campgrounds we visited this season, we picked up a rock representative of the area we camped. We have a deep blue rock from Indiana Dunes lakeshore, a pale pink from Montana, and a crystal speckled one from South Dakota’s Black Hills. The kids helped us find rocks at each stop to add to our family memory jar, and it was a lot of fun for them to discover rocks of different types and colors. (Score for a way to tie it into geology and a mini homeschooling lesson!)
When we returned home I used a Sharpie to write the name of the campground and the date of our visit. Then we (carefully) dropped them into a glass mason jar. Over time as we add more rocks I’ll need a bigger storage vessel. I envision a nice big glass jug or crock that will make a wonderful conversation starter for entertaining–and a fun way to reminisce as a family on cold winter nights when we are dreaming of another camping season.
One caveat to this memory maker: Please be respectful of park rules. Some locations ask you not to remove rocks or other natural items–the Badlands is one example. I know taking one little rock might seem like a small thing, but preserving these parks and sites for future generations begins with us conserving them today.