Local Girl Scouts spread joy via decorated rocks hidden in Old Town

By Sara Bruestle | Aug 13, 2014
Photo by: Sara Bruestle Rhea Murphy, Maddy Muller and Stacia Hall have painted rocks with a happy message to spread joy throughout the city.

Three Girl Scouts are spreading joy throughout Mukilteo.

Rhea Murphy, 11, Maddy Muller, 10, and Stacia Hall, 11, have placed 30 painted rocks around Old Town and at Lighthouse Park with the word “Joy” across them and instructions to pass them on.

With these “Joy Rocks,” the three have completed all the requirements to earn a Bronze Award, scouting’s highest award for Juniors. The scouts are from Mukilteo Troop 40952. They’ll receive their award at a ceremony in September.

“I think it’s a fantastic project,” said Troop Leader Frances Murphy. “I love the idea that people can get a bright, little surprise in their day and, hopefully, they will spread the joy and keep it going.

“It’s a great way to try to make the world a better place, and these girls came up with it all on their own.”

There are seven requirements – which include completing a service project, earning three badges and finishing a Junior workbook – before scouts may earn a Bronze Award as part of a team.

In search of a project, the scouts made a list of ways they could make the world a better place and then voted on them. The Joy Rocks project received the most votes.

“We thought it was a good one to spread joy throughout Mukilteo,” Rhea said, adding that the project took them about a year.

The scouts collected the rocks whenever they were camping or at the beach.

They then spray painted them neon blue and green – “pretty colors” – wrote “Joy” and variations of the phrase “Pass it on,” and then added other decorations, such as stars, flowers and hearts.

On some of the rocks, they also wrote their Girl Scout Troop number – “so they know it’s from Girl Scouts” – and instructions to post a photo of the rock on Instagram with the hashtag #joyrocks.

“If they do that, then we can see if it actually makes it around,” Maddy said. “We can check it and see how common it is.”

The scouts had a lot of fun with the spray paint – and “accidentally, maybe” painted their feet.

“We were unsupervised,” Rhea said, with a laugh.

With the rocks painted, they then spread the joy on Aug. 7 – at the Rosehill Community Center, along the waterfront and at businesses in Old Town.

“We spread the rocks around places where people will probably find them and pass them on,” Stacia said.

“But we kind of hid them,” Maddy said.

The three hope that passers-by will see the rocks, pick them up, smile at their find, and then pass on the joy by putting the rock in another place to be found again.

“We’re hoping that people won’t just take them and keep them for themselves – that they’ll actually pass it on,” Maddy said.

“Please don’t steal the joy,” Rhea said. “There’s enough for everybody.”

Who wouldn’t feel joy over finding a rock painted by a kid? Murphy asked.

“It’s a mini-adventure,” she said. “When you find something unexpected, it makes you happy.”

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