As June 22nd approaches and I prepare my Raptor shot for our monthly digital gathering, I’m reminded of how this monthly tradition began three short years ago.

Back then, I was shooting and posting my dinosaur photos on an almost daily basis (I’ve slowed down considerably since then) and the newly formed #toydinosquad hashtag was beginning to gain regular usage from several early adopters. And then on June 18th, I had an idea that changed everything.

What if we designated a day each month, where absolutely anyone and everyone could post a Raptor-themed photo with the same unique tag? Essentially we would be forming a coordinated, global ‘Raptor Pack’ on the same day. Seemed like a fun idea to me!

Originally I wanted to pick June 20th, but I knew that only 3 months later, on September 20th, I was getting married and I didn’t want to add one more thing to think about that day. So, I chose the 22nd because it was a scheduled “no plans” day after our wedding, but before our honeymoon and that seemed ideal.

After a little brainstorming with #toydinosquad co-founder Grant (@afrovenator2) we had a planed day, a hashtag, a promo post and did our best to spread the word.


The original promo shot.

On the 22nd I posted my shot and the I sat back and watched the Raptor Pack come together. That first time we had 16 different people join together and form our global pack. It was truly touching to see people from all over the globe go out of their way to post a shot and prove just how small our world can be.


My first Raptor Pack shot

Over the last three years, we’ve only missed one month and had over a hundred different participants join at one time or another. As amazing as the first time was, seeing this monthly tradition grow and change over the years has been more rewarding, exciting and encouraging than I could’ve imagined.

To celebrate, this month’s hashtag is #tds_3yearsofraptorpack. If you’d like to join the pack, all you have to do is post a photo of a Raptor – Lego, PAPO, Safari, Ltd., Hasbro, etc. – on the 22nd. That’s it. You can also join the pack on the 22nd of every month and help us slowly take over the world!

See you on the 22nd!

Jaiken – @dinoczars

To inspire you, here are a few of my favorite shots from those early Raptor gatherings: