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Barksdale Rocks!


Barksdale Rocks! No, really. It’s a fact. Tracy Elms started hiding painted rocks around Barksdale to get “kids and adults off the couch” and involved in “a game of hide and seek that never ends,” according to the Barksdale Rocks Facebook page.


Tracy moved to Barksdale base housing recently and didn’t know anyone when she arrived. She said, “In today’s society, we don’t communication with each other much anymore.”


So, she started Barksdale Rocks as a way to meet people and get families out into the community. “So far, it seems to be going pretty well,” she said.


Barksdale 2nd Mission Support Group Commander, Col. DeDe Halfhill, said, “When we come to a new base it takes time to get involved and we don’t always see right away the community and connection a place has to offer.  Programs like Barksdale Rocks help bring us together and show us how we can make Barksdale or any assignment as good as we want.”


The Facebook group already has more than 90 people and dozens of photos showing kids and adults having a great time finding the colorful stones.


The rocks are brightly colored and fun to find. (My daughter had a great time finding the pink butterfly rock on our Public Affairs sign and the pizza rock near the Air Force Global Strike Command building.) Anyone can participate and rock locations are not just on base.


Beyond the fun of the hunt and painting, this program shines as an example of community improvement and involvement. While we don’t always get to pick where we go in the military, we can always choose our attitude and actions when we get somewhere new.


Tracy’s example shows how something as simple as painting and hiding rocks can help to build a sense of community wherever we land.