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When you were in school, you may have been partnered with kids from schools in towns and countries far-and-wide to become Pen Pals in a letter-exchange program. Patricia Egolf of the Gem & Mineral Society of Syracuse, New York, instituted a new spin on this for junior rockhounds, namely, a "Rock Pals" program in conjunction with our AFMS Future Rockhounds of America program.

Kids love the different rocks, minerals, and fossils to be found across our great nation, but they can't always afford to buy them or to travel to collect them. But how wonderful it would be for juniors in a club to band together to collect local samples to trade with juniors in other clubs across the country! With that in mind, Pat had volunteered to establish and oversee "Rock Pals." A club would gather 20 to 25 local specimens in sizes small enough for all to fit in a medium-size flat-rate box available at the U.S. Post Office and, after making arrangements with another club, each would mail a box to the other.

Sadly, Pat passed away on February 7, 2012. To honor her memory and spirit, we have renamed this program as the “Patricia Egolf Rock Pals Program."  Darryl Powell of New York and Todd Maurer of Ohio have volunteered to help keep the program going. Clubs interested in participating and being added to the list below should contact either Darryl or Todd:

Darryl Powell, diamonddanrochester.rr.com, (585) 278-3047

Todd Maurer, maurertkonabear.com, (440) 542-9490

On this page of the AFMS Kids Corner, Darryl and Todd will maintain an updated list of club names and the primary contact persons for the clubs, along with their email addresses and phone numbers. To start a trade, email or call the contact to see how many kids are in that club and to make suitable arrangements. Here’s to kids trading and having fun!


Albuquerque Gem & Mineral Club Rock Retrievers, NM
c/o Earlene Shroyer, Earlenecommunityofjoy.com, (505) 508-7272
c/o Catherine Sovereign, csgreendaisygmail.com, (505) 345-0091

Che-Hanna Junior Rockhounds, PA
c/o Inga Wells, ingawellsyahoo.com, (570) 731-4396 or (607) 425-7426

Coquina Kids of the Tomoka Gem & Mineral Society, FL
c/o Karen Nathan, coquinakidsearthlink.net, (386) 402-5000

Delaware Valley Earth Science Society, NJ, & Rock & Mineral Club of Lower Bucks County, PA,
c/o Mel LeCompte, rocksandbadgesyahoo.com
cell number (609) 458-7763

Junior Rockhounds of Central New York, NY
c/o Mary Schloss, mschlosshotmail.com, (315) 415-6884

Summit Lapidary Club Geo-Juniors, OH
c/o Todd Maurer, maurertkonabear.com, (440) 542-9490

Ventura Gem & Mineral Society, CA
c/o Jim Brace-Thompson, jbracethroadrunner.com, (805) 659-3577

Victor Valley Gem & Mineral Club, CA
c/o Scott Lafond, scottlafond27msn.com

Whidbey Island Junior Rockhounds, WA
c/o Denise Buys, sdbuysjuno.com, (360) 678-9025

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