Facs4fun's Blog

Enriching the Lives of our FACS students

EXTRA CREDIT – Letterboxing – A not so new sport…

on March 21, 2011

I don’t know that you would call letterboxing a sport- there is no physical “boxing” involved, but there are boxes involved in this fun family activity, and it requires you to get outdoors and hike, bike, climb and find hidden treasures!  We talk about global travel in our classroom, reading maps, and planning trips – This takes that module to a whole new level of fun!  I am offering this activity as an extra credit assignment – please read all of the information below, and then print out the participation signature form and return to class no later than March 30, 2011

So what is letterboxing you ask???  The information below is taken from www.letterboxing.org

Letterboxing is an intriguing mix of treasure hunting, art, navigation, and exploring interesting, scenic, and sometimes remote places. It takes the ancient custom of placing a rock on a cairn upon reaching the summit of a mountain to an artform. It started when a gentleman simply left his calling card in a bottle by a remote pool on the moors of Dartmoor, in England.

Here’s the basic idea: Someone hides a waterproof box somewhere (in a beautiful, interesting, or remote location) containing at least a logbook and a carved rubber stamp, and perhaps other goodies. The hider then usually writes directions to the box (called “clues” or “the map”), which can be straightforward, cryptic, or any degree in between. Often the clues involve map coordinates or compass bearings from landmarks, but they don’t have to. Selecting a location and writing the clues is one aspect of the art.

Once the clues are written, hunters in possession of the clues attempt to find the box. In addition to the clue and any maps or tools needed to solve it, the hunter should carry at least a pencil, his personal rubber stamp, an inkpad, and his personal logbook. When the hunter successfully deciphers the clue and finds the box, he stamps the logbook in the box with his personal stamp, and 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.

SUPPLIES FOR LETTERBOXING –

You will need a few things to get started on your journey.

1.  Rubber stamp that represents you – for example – are you a dog lover?  Then choose a dog stamp…  Love to ride skateboards – then get a skateboarding stamp.  You can get rubber stamps at many craft stores (ie.. Michael’s, JoAnn Fabrics, Ben Franklin)   The personal stamp is your personal mark that you leave in the logbook of each box you find. It is a rubber stamp that you either carve yourself or have custom made. Creating your personal stamp is of course part of the art; it’s your signature in the letterboxing world. You would not typically buy an off-the-shelf rubber stamp to use as your personal stamp unless you were really anxious to get started, or saw something that was “you”. Almost all personal stamps these days are hand-carved. (I do not require a custome made stamp for this project, but you can choose to make on if you desire – I can get you directions on how to make your own.)

 
 

button jar rubber stamp

 

2.  Ink pad – some letterboxes require you to stamp their imagein a certain color – be sure to read your directions ahead of time so that you know what color to use…  Otherwise, a dye-based acid free ink works well (these can also be found in craft stores). I prefer the dye-based as it dries faster and seems less messy, but this is all up to personal preference.

 
 

ink pad

 

3.  an Unlined personal log book for you to log your trips and excursions that you set out on.  A book with a hard cover works best so that you have a hard surface to stamp on.

4.  Compass, or other items requested in the letterbox clues that are given to you…  Some require other items, so be sure to read all the clues and be sure you have the required items before setting out.

5.  Pencil or pen to write in the letterbox journal.  You will stamp their stamp in your journal and will stamp your stamp in their book, then sign your “signature” or “code name” in their book so that they know you were there.

You can find more FAQ’s about Letterboxing on the FAQ’s page

So – are you ready to get started?  Go to www.Letterboxing.org and click on the BIG BOOK that says Letterboxing USA, then click on your state, and your region.  Scroll through the list until you see your county, and view some of the clues that are available to you – There are many in the town of Leesburg area to do, so you don’t have to travel far.    Be sure to complete each of the following.

Download the Participation form from my school website.

fill in all the required information on the form, and stamp the image from the letterbox that you found on your excursion – Be sure to stamp your image in their book as well.

***Most importantly (from the letterboxing.org website….see below)***

WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER

Letterboxing, like any outdoor sport, carries the risk of unforeseen hazards.  “Letterboxing North America” supports a policy of not knowingly placing letterboxes in areas that will create undue risk to the letterbox hunter.  However, as conditions may vary, it is the responsibility of the letterbox searcher to become thoroughly familiar with the conditions in the area to be searched, to adequately prepare for those conditions, and to conduct oneself safely and responsibly with respect to those conditions and with respect to his or her personal abilities and limitations.  “Letterboxing North America” and the individual letterbox sponsors assume no liability for events which may occur related directly or indirectly to one’s searching for a letterbox. 

Do not let children hunt for letterboxes unsupervised.

By reading and utilizing the letterbox clues posted on this web site, you acknowledge the above conditions, and accept responsibility for your own actions, and agree to hold non-liable the clue writers, website authors, and letterboxing organizations and further, agree to provide this disclaimer to any person with whom you share these letterbox clues. 

LbNA Home

Additional Letterboxes can be found at this site —-> Letterboxing

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