NOTE: Michelle shared this post a couple of years ago. We have a project to share this week, but before we do, we wanted to repost this story on Letterboxing. If you haven't discovered this past time with your children, you are in for a treat :)
This summer we have discovered a fun new hobby... Letterboxing or as my kids call it... Treasure Hunting.
What is Letterboxing? It is a fun hobby that combines hiking, clues/maps and stamp collecting. You follow the clue to find a box. Inside the box you will find a special stamp and a notebook in a waterproof container. You stamp your notebook with the found stamp and the Letterbox notebook with your signature stamp, then you re-hide the box. This is a great way to encourage kids to hike! The first time out my little ones did a 3 mile hike and wanted to keep going for the next box.
What do you need to get started... just a journal for collecting stamps, a signature stamp to leave your mark (homemade or store bought), an ink pad and pen, possibly a compass and a clue map. I also keep sunblock, bug spray and a water bottle in our pack.
To find lettingboxing hunts in your area log on to Atlas Quest. Choose a hunt that is active (been found recently) and has in fact been found before. Some letterboxes are not maintained well and it is very discouraging if you can't find the box, especially the first time out.
I have printed out a bunch of hunts in our area and we leave our letterboxing kit in the car. It has become a fun spur of the moment, afternoon activity for us. We have not created our own signature stamps... yet. We will sometime soon but I was anxious to get started so we grabbed what we already had and set off on an adventure.
Have any of you tried letterboxing yet? Our favorite find so far was found in a small, old cemetery. It was a very cool fairy stamp.