Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Letterboxing Season 2008 Begins

In September of last year, I was flipping thru a magazine and came across an ad for a SUV that mentioned Letterboxing and gave a web address. I had no idea what that was but was curious and so I looked it up. That was the beginning of what was to become a wonderful family hobby. We have had adventures like you can't imagine!! First of all, for those who have not heard about it, Letterboxing is best described as a "treasure hunt" type of activity. There are a few websites where Letterboxers (LB's) can post the clues and let others know that they have "planted" a box to be found. As the seeker you choose the boxes you wish to find, print the clues and set out on the path of adventure - it's great fun!! We have 59 boxes stamped in our "Logbook" and have had a fantastic time in the process of finding them. The planters create a hand carved stamps (which by the way can be incredibly intricate and beautiful artwork) and each seeker has a "trail name" and a signature stamp which they use to record their visit to the box. When the box is found it must be done discreetly so that passersby are not aware of it, lest any harm come to the box and it's contents. Once found and safely out of sight you stamp your logbook with the stamp located in the box and leave your stamp in the box's logbook to record your visit. When stamping is completed, the box is re-hidden as it was found and left for the next seeker.

Before I go any further, let me say that Letterboxing has not only been great family time and wonderful fitness (many boxes are hidden on beautiful hiking trails), but it has been an awesome addition to our homeschool curriculum. We have studied Lewis & Clark, walked the Natchez Trace, given Wonder Boy an incredible opportunity to learn about those who have served our country in war by visiting one the most amazing war memorials that I have ever seen off the beaten path in Birmingham, AL. We have visited 2 Civil War Battlegrounds, some of our areas most beautiful views and camping areas that we would not have known about had it not been for our Letterboxing adventures. It has given us a hands on classroom, to teach nature, science, chemistry, history, geography and life skills. Letterboxing has opened doors to things we may not have otherwise encountered and it has definitely led us to places which would be otherwise undiscovered in our day to day lives. God shows up on our adventures regularly and allows us to sow seeds into Wonder Boy's life in ways that would not be possible around the family meal table. We take regular field trips with our homeschool covering around AL & TN and always try to squeeze a Letterbox or two into these outings. We are going to Tullahoma, TN this week to visit the Hands On Science Museum and have located 3-4 boxes near by - guess what we will be doing when the field trip portion of our day is done??

These pictures were taken at the 270 foot long Clarkson Covered Bridge in Cullman, AL where a box was hidden. This bridge was constructed in 1904 and is 1 of 11 covered bridges still remaining in Alabama. This was out in the country and we would never have known about it had it not been for our Letterboxing adventures - one more item to add to that list ;-)

If I have intrigued you to find out more please visit or to get more information on getting started. Please let me know if you pursue anything - we would love to hear your stories!! Get out there and adventure and enjoy God's beautiful world ;-)

In His Grace,


jennyhope said...

how neat is that!! I had no idea! Too bad I can't backpack I have a bad neck. =)
About the paint pens you can buy them pretty much at any walmart or craft store like michaels or hobby lobby. I just usually paint something simple on a background and then put the verses I want. I also buy the canvas' from those stores. Let me know if you do some.

The Young's said...

What a cool, cool idea!!!! Are there very many letter boxes in this area without having to travel very far? Just curious. This would be great outings for our family on the weekends!!! Thanks for such an awesome idea!!!

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