Two blue ice cube trays filled with black & yellow painted "bee" rocks

Rocks painted black and gold like honey bees are being scattered at outdoor public spaces around Fox Lake, Waupun, and a few in Beaver Dam. Initiated to create a “buzz” about Waupun Area School District’s public charter school — the School for Agricultural & Environmental Studies (SAGES) — during Wisconsin’s Open Enrollment period, this no-cost activity is meant to encourage families to spend time this spring adventuring together outside. Plus, it provides a break from screens.

These 2-inch oval rocks were hand-painted in art class by SAGES’ learners — Kindergarten through 6th grade — and will be hidden outside during the week of March 22. Fox Lake rocks were placed by SAGES’ learners during a walk around town in their Physical Education class, while rocks found in Waupun, Randolph, and Beaver Dam are getting placed by SAGES’ staff, learners, and their families. 

The public is invited to “bee-gin” this painted rock treasure hunt anytime after Friday, March 26. Anyone can participate. The idea is simple. Get outdoors and when you find a “bee” rock, scan the QR code on the back to view a short SAGES video, take a photo and post where you found the rock on SAGES’ Facebook page (www.facebook.com/schoolforagriculturalandenvironmentalstudies/). Then, keep the fun going by re-locating the rock in another public space for someone else to discover. 

If you find a “bee” rock with a gold Waupun Warrior “W” painted on it, you’ve discovered a “prize” rock! To redeem your prize, take your “W” rock to SAGES Charter School at 200 S. Depot Street in Fox Lake between 7:30 am - 4:00 pm starting on Monday, April 5.     

Inspiration for this special rock project came from similar area efforts including Fondy Rocks, Horicon Rocks, and The Kindness Rock Project. However, the phrase “SAGES Rocks!” holds a much deeper meaning for staff and learners at SAGES. It’s part of a chant often said when the entire school is together. “As a way of concluding our all-school monthly Town Hall Meetings (being done virtually from each classroom this year versus all-together in our media center), I’ll chant ‘SAGES’ Rocks!’ and in unison every learner and staff member responds, ‘Yes, we do!’ It’s a powerful way to remind each other of the pride we all have in our learning community and school,” shares Julie Schmidt, SAGES’ Principal.

Proud to be part of the Waupun Area School District, SAGES is a project-based, public school with more than 130 students in grades 4K-6. Open Enrollment is happening now through April 30. To learn more about SAGES, open enrollment and how to apply, or for a guided tour, contact Julie Schmidt, SAGES Principal at 920-928-3136 or email jschmidt@waupun.k12.wi.us. For additional information about SAGES or to take a virtual school tour, visit www.waupun.k12.wi.us/o/sages.