Wednesday, September 2, 2009


The boys, Beulah and I decided to go on another adventure today. Our purpose was multifaceted. The main goal was to enjoy, yet another, perfect weather day--the kind that gently heralds in Autumn. I am also trying to be creative about how to get the boys outside and moving. If I achieve that goal, then I also accomplish an exercise session with Beulah dog, which is vitally important. So I decided to try Letterboxing with the boys.

I had read about this activity before and thought that it sounded like the grandest fun. The best explanation for what it is comes from the description of the book The Letterboxer's Companion:
"Letterboxing is an intriguing mix of hiking, puzzle solving, treasure hunting, and rubber stamp artistry, topped off with the thrill of discovery."

Basically, people create boxes that hold inside a bound blank book of some sort and a rubber stamp and then they hide the box somewhere in the world. At the Letterboxing website, people post where they've hidden their box, along with directions on how to find it. Once you find the box, the idea is that you will take the stamp that is inside and use it to stamp your own book, showing that you found the box. Then, you are to take your own stamp that you've chosen to represent yourself or your family and you stamp it in the book within the box, recording that you, too, have found the box. Many people make their own stamps, which is so very cool. At the website, we clicked on Missouri and found locations within our county. All of them happened to be at the same park, but it is a BIG park with miles of trails that twist and turn throughout the woods, so there is still a sense of grand adventure.

I decided that we would try and find one of the five boxes, as I had no idea how difficult this would be or how long we would have to hike to find it. It turned out to be the perfect level of difficulty for my boys' first attempt. It was easy enough to find, yet provided a basic challenge in following directions. The above pictures show the tree, or crag as it was described in the directions, in which we found the box, the box hidden inside the tree, and then the book within that held the stamps of all those who had found the book before us.

We will definitely do this again. As I don't know how to carve my own stamp just yet, we'll probably just try to pick one out at the craft store. It might be neat for each of the boys to pick out one for themselves, as well as have their own books to be stamped. Then, whenever we travel somewhere, we could look up possible Letterbox locations in the area, and have a grand adventure somewhere else in the country.

Can you tell that I thought this was as much fun as the boys?

"I decided that adventure was the best way to learn..."

Lloyd Alexander

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