Onslow Co. group that paints, hides rocks part of global Facebook buzz

(Photos of various Onslow Rocks finds via Facebook)

JACKSONVILLE, Onslow County - If you've coming across a painted rock in Onslow County or other parts of Eastern Carolina and weren't sure what that was all about, we've got your answers.

It's part of a movement that has taken off after beginning just as a fun activity among a small group of friends. Now, thousands are participating and rocks painted here have been found not just in other cities or states, but even other countries.

"Our rocks have been found in Germany, France," said Jada Ohlson, an admin of the Onslow Rocks group. "They've been found in the Dakotas; they've been found just all over."

It all started here when someone started a Facebook group in Santee, Calif. From there, numerous other groups, including the group called Onslow Rocks sprouted all over the country and world. A woman invited some of her close friends to join -- Ohlson said she was the 30th person to join the Onslow Rocks group. That was barely two months ago.

That group, which was started by fellow Onslow County resident Katie Dodge, now boasts nearly 20,000 members.

"None of us could... we didn't really see it coming," Ohlson said. "When people find them, they post them online on the Facebook page and then they're asked to either keep them and they're supposed to paint one and and re-hide it or they can re-hide the one that they found."

It's drawn interest from people of all walks of life.

"We had a dispatcher a couple weeks ago go on there and ask, 'Hey can you put them around the police station cuz we're here like all the time. We're always here. We don't get to leave but we can walk outside and walk around and look,'" Ohlson said.

Part of what she believes has made the movement grow like wildfire is the connection people get to make with strangers, and getting to see where your rock can end up. So if you see one of these painted rocks laying around - go ahead, take it.

"You have to remember it's the little things that are gonna make the difference for people," Ohlson said. "All the little bitty things just like a painted rock is what's gonna make somebody's day better."