We headed over to Washington on the Brazos (the birthplace of Texas) because it is close, free, and there are tons of letterboxes hidden all over the park grounds.
I learned of letterboxing this summer from a couple of friends that had been doing it for a while. They told us about it before we left for our road trip up to Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, we were only able to hunt for one letterbox on that trip and hadn't picked up our journal since.
|Moonpie putting our first stamp in our journal. She found a compass on the trail |
and was pretty excited about that treasure!
Letterboxing is a nation wide scavenger hunt! People hide boxes all over and then leave the clues to find the box on the letterbox website. The letterboxes are small containers containing a journal and a stamp. We have our journal, stamp and stamp pad. When we follow the clues and find the box, we open it up and stamp our family stamp into the journal they have left behind in the box. We also put our name and the date we found it. Then, we take their stamp and stamp it into our family journal, including the location and the date.
|stopping for a snack break. yes, he's wearing a pajama shirt.|
This week we found a letterboxer that left 4 boxes. Her boxes had handmade stamps in them and followed along with the book The Legend of the Bluebonnet by Tomie DePaola. She even put excerpts from the story on her clue sheet so I could read them aloud at each stopping point. Her boxes were somewhat of a challenge to find. I had to climb under a low-lying cypress for one. I have the scratches to prove it.
|Moonpie and her friend looking over the Brazos River|
Interested in letterboxing? Here's how it's done:
- find a journal for your family to use
- find a "family stamp"- one that represents your family. Our stamp has four owls on it.
- get a stamp pad and pen
- keep it all together in a letterbox bag
- throw in a couple of zip-lock baggies just in case the ones in the boxes you find are trashed
- go to the letterbox website and type in the area you want to hunt. You can even search for specific parks (like I did this week). If you find a match, clue titles will pop up. You click on one and then you will receive directions.
|sweet friends. i love this picture!|
The fun of letterboxing is the adventure of it. The clues we have followed have led us to places in parks that we never would have gone to without it. It is age appropriate for everyone in the family and really just a fun, free way to spend a good time with each other.
***have older kids? try geocaching!