About FRA

Magnetite Crystal Formation Fe(3)O(4), Image Credit: Thomas Parker Hall

(See more about this image below)

Kids and Rocks!

So someone you know likes rocks?

If you are on this webpage, you must be looking for stuff they can get, stuff they can do, or ways you can help encourage their interest.

We think rocks (and minerals and fossils and geology) are FUN! We know kids are fun, too.

So let's get together and find MORE ways to let MORE kids have MORE fun! Go ahead and explore these pages... Future Rockhounds of America is right in front of you.

American Federation of Minerological Societies (AFMS)

The American Federation of Mineralogical Societies (AFMS) was formed in 1947 and is composed of seven regional federations of rock, gem, mineral, fossil, and lapidary societies. Altogether, there are over 400 clubs across American and many have programs for youth of all ages. Some programs are unique to a club or regional federation and others are sponsored by the AFMS.

Future Rockhounds of America (FRA)

Seeing the need for a youth program, AFMS President Bill Cox launched the Future Rockhounds of America (FRA). Bill designed a certificate to be given to junior clubs giving youth of all ages the distinction of belonging to a club of their own. The only requirement for FRA membership is to be a member of a club with an AFMS affiliation. Since it's beginning in 1984, the program has grown to include a variety of youth programs.

Future Rockhounds of America List of Programs

This website highlights just a few of the Future Rockhounds of America youth programs including:

  • FRA Badge Program

  • Rock Pals Rock Exchange

  • Awards, Contests and Scholarships

  • Partnerships with Other Youth Organizations

  • Resources for Learning and Teaching

  • Fun with Rocks - games and puzzles

Our mission is to provide the help and resources adult leaders and parents need to explore the world of earth science, geology, mineralogy, paleontology, and the lapidary arts with youth.

Benefits of Joining FRA

Their are a wide variety of youth and juniors programs used by clubs throughout the federation. In working with kids in your club, you can use your own activities, a set of activities like the great packets developed by Diamond Dan, or simply have your kids participate in the regular workshops, shows, and field trips. Some clubs partner with professional societies or other youth organizations like 4-H or Scouts. FRA gives your club one more tool to attract kids, parents, and leaders.

However you engage youth in your own club, making them a part of the nation-wide FRA has some great advantages.

  • Having their "own" club under FRA makes them feel like they count in a sponsoring society run by adults.

  • Kids feel a sense of pride when they receive their blue membership patch.

  • While the youth of any society affiliated with AFMS can participate in the competitions and contests listed on this site, joining FRA costs nothing and gives us a way of staying in contact and sharing ideas.

  • Joining FRA allows Juniors in your club to participate in the popular and educational Badge Program.

Joining FRA/Renewing Your FRA Membership

The only requirement for kids to obtain FRA membership is to be a member of a regional club with an American Federation of Mineralogical Societies (AFMS) affiliation. The number of youth is not important: you can have as few as 1 or 2 or as many as you can handle. This program is free to all clubs with an AFMS affiliation through one a the seven regional federations.

Joining is simple:

  • Fill out the application below.

  • Forward the completed application to the AFMS Juniors Chair.

  • We will send you a Club Membership Certificate for your records.

  • If you already have youth enrolled, let us know how many so we can send you the correct number of membership patches. (To keep the cost down - only request patches for youth currently enrolled, not for youth you hope to enroll. You can always request more!)

  • That is it, you are ready to go!

If your club or society youth group is already members of Future Rockhounds of America, you can use the form below to update your contact information. If we have not heard from your club recently, your contact information is most likely old and outdate! This makes it difficult to keep your group abreast of current events.

About the image on this page

This specimen of Magnetite from the Ural Mountains of Russia displays classic octahedral crystal structure. Magnetite is an iron oxide in the same mineral group as hematite and pyrite and is one of the main iron ores used in the manufacturing of steel. The deep red color is also used as a paint pigment. Magnetite is the most magnetic of all naturally occurring minerals on earth.

Image Credit: Thomas Parker Hall