Letterboxing is quickly becoming a favorite outdoor activity in America as it has been in England. Young people indicate that letterboxing is going on a treasure hunt with a purpose. Participants create code names that are used when they locate and leave their stamp on a notebook located in a hidden letterbox. Most players carry their own stamp and notebook so they can maintain personal records.
Librarians can join this international activity by placing their own letterbox on library property and advertising it within the community. You can even shelve a letterbox within the library’s collection in addition to hiding one on the grounds.
By going online, participants can find directions to all the hidden letterboxes in their community. This is also a great activity for traveling families as Letterboxing.org list boxes by state and city.
Although summer may seem like the ideal time to set out a letterbox, families and youth groups participate year round. Heavy fall leaf cover and winter snow make it just a little more challenging to locate letterboxes.
Learn more about letterboxing:
Go to www.letterboxing.org/GettingStarted/
Follow links to other areas of the Web site that will help you prepare a box and make a stamp.
Add Randy Hall’s book The Letterboxer’s Companion to your collection
Become familiar with the language
You will need:
A small watertight plastic container (for outside use)
A notebook that fits inside the box
One stamp (indicative of a library) and a small stamp pad to place in the box
A pencil or pen
A zip lock bag to provide double protection for the items within the box
Publicize the library’s participation as a community letterbox resource. You may be introducing a large section of the population to Letterboxing.
Things to do:
Create a list of clues that will lead to your letterbox
Register online at www.Letterboxing.org/
Notify the local newspapers that your library is participating
Use the Kids! @ your library® logo on all news releases and flyers
Promote letterboxing as a part of the Summer Reading Program
Contact youth organizations like scouts, 4H and the recreation department
Letterboxing is a free activity, no GPS equipment is necessary
The library is communicating with other agencies
Letterboxing enthusiasts may find your library because of the activity