Last summer when I was looking for fun things to do with the kids over break, I found an article about letterboxing. After doing a little research, I printed off clues from http://www.letterboxing.org/ to a letterbox near our house, found a loose-leaf notebook to use as a logbook and bought a dachshund stamp for our family stamp. We then spent the afternoon at a park near our house searching for letterboxes that other people had hidden. When we found the box hiding in the pine straw behind a large oak tree, the kids squealed with the delight of finding a hidden treasure.
After we opened the letterbox ( a Tupperware container), we carefully flipped through the pages of the log book in the box and looked at the stamps of the letterboxers who had found the box before us. Laurel carefully put our family stamp into the logbook and Trevor wrote our name on the page. We then stamped the watermelon stamp that we found in the letterbox into our own log book and wrote a few sentences about our journey to find the box. After we were done, we carefully hid the box back in the same spot for the next letterboxer to find.
Over the past year, we have found many letterboxes throughout the Triangle area and even hidden two of our own boxes. In addition to being a fun, cheap and healthy way to spend time together, we have discovered many new places in the area that we may not have found otherwise. We had passed by a trail at a local park at least a hundred times over the years, but never ventured down it. While searching for a letterbox at the lake, discovered that the path leads to a beautiful creek that has turned into one of our favorite spots to play in the water and skip rocks.
I’ve found that since my kids love treasure hunts, that it’s a great way to get them outside and exploring. When I ask them if they want to go for a hike, they usually respond with a groan. However, if I ask if they want to go letterboxing, they say yes and start looking for their shoes. And as an added bonus, I think that I probably enjoy letterboxing even more than they do.