Cool activity for kids and adults: Letterboxing

Remember my childhood friend Beth, of the bento boxes for her kids' lunches? She's back with more coolness in parenting:

"I like to think I'm relatively creative with my money (aka cheap). And have found a FREE activity for all ages:  letterboxing (www.letterboxing.org)

The kids (2, 5 and 8), my mom (60), nephew (18) and I (34) did it yesterday.  As it happens there is one in our town.  What fun!

So any travelers, or adventurer, that want to do something a little different... check out letterboxing.  The stamps in the books were fun to see.  And following the clues no too hard.  My 5 year old found the box, but we all had fun exploring the surroundings after our find.  Add a picnic lunch or snack, and you can have an all day event.

-Beth

What is letterboxing?  From www.letterboxing.org

Letterboxing is an intriguing mix of treasure hunting, art, navigation, and exploring interesting, scenic, and sometimes remote places. It takes the ancient custom of placing a rock on a cairn upon reaching the summit of a mountain to an artform. It started when a gentleman simply left his calling card in a bottle by a remote pool on the moors of Dartmoor, in England.

Here's the basic idea: Someone hides a waterproof box somewhere (in a beautiful, interesting, or remote location) containing at least a logbook and a carved rubber stamp, and perhaps other goodies. The hider then usually writes directions to the box (called "clues" or "the map"), which can be straightforward, cryptic, or any degree in between. Often the clues involve map coordinates or compass bearings from landmarks, but they don't have to. Selecting a location and writing the clues is one aspect of the art.

Once the clues are written, hunters in possession of the clues attempt to find the box. In addition to the clue and any maps or tools needed to solve it, the hunter should carry at least a pencil, his personal rubber stamp, an inkpad, and his personal logbook. When the hunter successfully deciphers the clue and finds the box, he stamps the logbook in the box with his personal stamp, and stamps his personal logbook with the box's stamp. The box's logbook keeps a record of all its visitors, and the hunters keep a record of all the boxes they have found, in their personal logbooks."