Thursday, March 27, 2008

LetterBoxing with Kids

Yesterday's 50-degree weather enticed daughter & I into the woods, and we found our first letterbox of 2008!

I wrote about letterboxing early on in this blog. For you newcomers, I want to tell you a bit about this treasure hunt. And, you "oldbies," it's time to join in the fun!

Definition from Letterboxing.org: "LETTERBOXING is an intriguing pastime combining navigational skills and rubber stamp artistry in a charming "treasure hunt" style outdoor quest. A wide variety of adventures can be found to suit all ages and experience levels."

Read all about getting started with letterboxing at these 2 websites:

http://www.letterboxing.org/
http://www.atlasquest.com/

Here's a short summary of how I would define the pastime of letterboxing. A letterbox is a plastic (usually) container that holds a logbook and a handcarved (usually) stamp. It is hidden in a publicly accessible area, like a local or state park. Clues to locate letterboxes are located at the 2 websites above.

Armed with the clues, your own stamp & inkpad, logbook, compass and pen, you (clandestinely) go on a treasure hunt in search of this letterbox. Upon finding it, you stamp your logbook with the stamp from the letterbox and then you stamp the box's logbook with your stamp. After secretly doing those activities, you then re-hide the box in the same location for the next letterboxer to find.

Below is a link to the clues for the letterbox that we searched for yesterday. This will give you a better idea of what the treasure hunts are like. This letterbox is dedicated to famous Dukes of Hazzard alumni, Tom Wopat. The trail was still snow-covered and a bit slippery, but we greatly enjoyed the hike. We decided that we were "courageously, foolish trailblazers!"

http://www.letterboxing.org/BoxView.php?boxnum=17203&boxname=Famous_Faces_From_Wisconsin_Series:_Just_a_Good_Ol

Here's an added bonus...Your children will be so excited and caught up in the search for the letterbox, that they won't even realize that they're getting lots of fresh air and EXERCISE!!! Our hike yesterday was 1.8 miles with some difficult uphill grades. Heehee...it wasn't even noticed by young hiker!

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