We're very close!
Found! Morgan digs out the box.
Opening our first letterbox.
Other folks who have found the box before us and left their stamp. They come from all over the country!
We stamped the logbook with our personal stamp and left a little note.
The first stamp in our logbook.
Grace discreetly puts the box back in its place.
Letterboxing is an intriguing mix of treasure hunting, art, navigation, and exploring interesting, scenic, and sometimes remote places. Letterboxing is an activity that involves following clues to locate a hidden treasure. Sometimes the treasure is inside a building, but most of the time it is outside. It's a great family activity that can lead you to discover new places and learn interesting bits of history.
What is the Treasure?
The treasure inside a letterbox is a rubber stamp, along with a logbook for you to sign in. Usually the stamp is hand carved and relates in some way to the location. It is great fun to collect all those little pieces of art -- but don't take the stamp!
What do you need for Letterboxing?
In addition to the clues and any maps or tools needed find the treasure, the hunter should carry at least a pencil, his personal rubber stamp, an inkpad, and his personal logbook. When the hunter successfully deciphers the clues and finds the box, he stamps the logbook in the box with his personal stamp, and then 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.
What is the origin of Letterboxing?
Letterboxing supposedly got its start in Dartmoor, an expanse of rugged wilderness in southwest England. A gentleman took a long hike into the moor in 1854 and left his calling card in a glass bottle. He suggested others do the same as a mark of their achievement.
At some point, someone left a postcard for the next hiker to drop in a "letterbox," what the Brits call a mailbox. Today, there are thousands of letterboxes hidden across Dartmoor.
This eccentric British pastime traveled across the Atlantic in 1998, when Smithsonian magazine ran an article on the Dartmoor letterboxes. From there, adventure seekers in North America caught on to this fun pastime. Today, it is estimated there are over 20,000 letterboxes hidden in North America alone.
Turns out the stamp they chose was perfect! The butterfly has a double meaning for us. For the last 10 days or so, we've been tending to a Butterfly Garden science project at home. We've been raising eggs into caterpillars and then watching the amazing transformation into butterflies.
Witnessing this miracle has reminded us about how God works in our lives. The butterfly represents the transformed heart, the Resurrection, the hope, and the beauty that comes from our relationship with God, through Christ.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"
-2 Corinthians 5:17
The Butterfly Effect is also known as the phenomenon whereby a single occurence, no matter how small, can change the course of the universe forever.
This morning, it was also time to release our butterflies (and ladybugs). We couldn't think of a better place to do that than Cancer Survivors Park.
Before we left, we said a special prayer for all our loved ones, whose lives have been touched and forever changed by cancer.
To find out more about Letterboxing and search for hidden boxes in your area, check out http://www.letterboxing.org/