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  • Writer's pictureShane Moore

Mining with the Family

Updated: Apr 27, 2022

Nature, sparkles, mud, and sometimes a woodland friend or two; what more can a kid ask for? Mining has been such an amazing experience for my son. It started with him looking for ground scores, well, and frogs. As he grew in confidence, he was able to excavate pockets. Now, at seven years old, Joey is learning the jackhammer, using a small hammer to feather and wedge and even getting the basics of working an excavator.

Mining with children is a fantastic way to keep them active and outside. It incorporates STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics) and excites them with the constant thrill of finding something special. Joey loves to give his material away when he finds something special, a trait I think is most likely motivated by his step-dad Shane. So how and where can you dig with your child.

One day we hope to have kid digs up at one of the properties but for now, there are so many great places to take your child digging. Each state has it's own minerals and many have public mines. New Jersey, for starters has a perfect sight by Big Brook where you can sift for sharks teeth. This is an amazing summer day trip, by the way. The stream is cool and in the shade so it is super comfortable digging in.

Another wonderful place is up in Sussex County at the Franklin Museum. There you can find fluorescents. It is extremely easy going through the piles. Kids can then take their newly found treasures and check them under a backlight to see their magic.

Then there is of course, Herkimer. Joey has always dug at Area 51 and 52. Digging in the dirt

provides both the fun of getting unbelievably messy and many times some gemmy double terminated Herkimers. Diamond Acres is a fantastic site for kids. With a large dump pile and ground scores everywhere, kids can safely find some great material. He delights in the wildlife too.

Crystal Grove is not only a dig site but a camping ground too. Kids can spend the day finding ground scores or breaking some rocks then relax by the campfire afterwards for a perfect family mini vacay.

If you want to stay local, a great way to find places to dig is joining a mineral club. Mineral clubs usually have fabulous trips for all kinds of minerals at a group rate. The members also have wonderful insight on digging strategies, formations, you name it. Shane and I are part of the North Jersey Mineralogical Society for instance and he began his digging passions with the Keane Club in New Hampshire.

As I have stated in the past blogs, I am very new to this. So if you know of another place that is amazing for Rockpups to dig, please tell us about it in the comments. Let's help create the next generation of rock hounds together and keep this amazing legacy alive.

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Jun 02, 2022

Love these pictures!!!

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