Rocks painted with inspirational messages will soon be scattered among the beaches and trails of West Prince thanks to the latest participants of Stepping Stones to Success.
On June 10, the six young people taking the program, that focuses on life and employment skills for youth 17 to 29 years of age, were busy putting a final glaze coating on the over 200 rocks they had painted for the program’s feel good project.
The inspiration for the project came from program participant Marley Gavin, who had brought in a rock she had found with a nice painted message on it to share with the group.
“As part of our program we like to do some kind of feel good project for the community,” explained program coordinator Maureen Chaisson. “We decided to go pick some rocks and paint them.”
The group took a day last week to collect the rocks and then spent some time washing, painting and letting the stones dry before adding the glaze coating on Monday at the program’s location on Main Street in Alberton.
The hope is that later on this week the group will start placing the rocks on various beaches and trails around West Prince to let people find them.
Each stone has been uniquely painted with either a positive quote or picture or sometimes both.
The participants used Google, Pinterest and their own imaginations to give each stone a personalized touch.
Words like ‘Hope’, ‘Today I choose to be happy’, ‘You Matter’, ‘Be Humble, ‘Be Brave’ are some of the examples painted on the rocks. Some quotes were inspired by movies or books, like ‘Hakuna Matata’ from the Lion King.
“They are being very creative and artistic,” said Ms Chaisson of the participants efforts to decorate the stones.
Ms Chaisson said these feel good projects are not only something the program tries to do for the community, but they are good for the participants as well.
“It’s like self care,” she said. “When you do good things for other people it makes you feel good... If they are having a down day, go collect some rocks and paint them and pass them out and you will make yourself feel better.”
Fellow program coordinator Alana Leard added that in life people don’t always know what another person is going through.
“We like to bring joy to someone in small a little ways and this is what they (the participants) decided to do,” she said. “It’s simple. It is time consuming, but at the same time you are enjoying every bit of it because you are painting and you are talking and you’re laughing, coming up with different ideas. It was a lot of fun.”
Hannah Arsenault said she finds painting the rocks very relaxing.
“It’s also very rewarding,” she said. “Just to do something simple and hopefully it will change somebody’s day and just brighten it up a little bit.”
Everyone of the participants are excited for when they go and drop the rocks off so the public can find them. They are also excited to see if any of their stones will pop up on social media.
“I can’t wait to make someone’s day,” said Ms Gavin.