Thursday, March 17, 2011

letterboxing

Earlier this week we picked up a buddy and went letterboxing.


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!


6 comments:

Hendrick Family said...

Oh I love those girls in that picture!

What fun!

Heather

The Farmers said...

Looks like a fun adventure. I overheard a man talking about this the other day at a fabric store. He was buying fabric for his wife to make something involving the letterbox. He said they travel around Lake Sommerville to do this. So fun!

Sue said...

What a fun thing to do, and it looks like some little ones were enjoying it too.
Thanks for sharing, until tonight i had not heard of letter boxing. I learn something new everyday.
Sue

Traci said...

Thanks for posting this Mandi. I have researched letterboxing a bit..a little on the history, did some searching, got overwhelmed and dropped it! That happens right? So thanks for breaking it down and sharing your time of it....now I think I will take another stab..thanks!

LOVE the childrens handmade bags and have ALWAYS loved Moonpie's Christopher Robin-ish bobbed hair..so cute.

The Kramer Family said...

Let me tell ya....the buddy had fun too! She came home with all sort of stories. I think we might have to take up "letterboxing" too.

Love you!

Jack Anthony Pule said...

oh man i love geocaching, it makes you feel like Indiana Jones. I discovered it last year and I do it whenever I can. I went to Dallas to hang out with my buddies and we were bored and I made them all do one. They at first thought it was stupid, but by the end of the visit they were asking if we could do one more.