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When did the Jeep duck start?

‘Just one duck at a time’: Duck Duck Jeep movement spreads kindness

As he left work, he found it sitting on his Jeep, Kimberly Long, his wife, said. From there he left to meet Long, and together, they drove to Newberry to put their rescue pit bull to sleep.

Even after he traded his Jeep, Kimberly Long said her husband still kept the duck.

“For whatever reason, sometimes these ducks just find their way into people’s hands that need them on that moment and that day,” Kimberly Long, a Jeep Gladiator owner who works in Gainesville, said.

Duck Duck Jeep, an act of kindness where Jeep owners place rubber ducks on each other’s cars, was created by Allison Parliament in Ontario, Canada. Since its start in 2020, the movement has taken hold of the United States. As of Feb. 7, the “Duck Duck Jeep – Florida” Facebook group had about 16,900 members.

Melanie Reagan, a Jeeper from Palm Coast, Florida, said Duck Duck Jeep is a phenomenon that makes people smile, especially after the challenges of COVID-19. Her Jeep, named Ascender, is a tribute to her love of rock climbing.

“When you walk to your Jeep and see a duck, you feel good — even as adults,” she said.

Rubber ducks sit on the dashboard of Melanie Reagan

Jeep owners display their ducks in what Reagan calls the “duck pond,” the dashboard area in the vehicle made for sunglasses — a daily reminder of how they were gifted their rubber travelers.

Reagan’s favorite is her Elsa duck, which she received while taking her grandson to his first charity event in Tennessee. “Frozen” is her favorite Disney movie, she said, and the item reminds her of time spent with her grandson.

“I felt like I was probably 5 again,” she said.

Even when she’s not in her car, Reagan carries ducks in her purse for others, often trying to match the Jeep’s personality to her choice.

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But Jeep culture extends beyond rubber ducks. The community has developed its own etiquette guidelines, charity events and clubs. Besides ducking, Wrangler drivers are known for their infamous Jeep Wave, a two-finger signal resembling a peace sign directed toward other passing Jeeps.

Rebecca Pratt, 52, a nurse at UF Health The Villages Hospital, said she finds herself waving to other Jeeps even when driving her husband’s truck.

“I got to watch myself,” she said laughing.

For the past year, she’s been the owner of a 2002 burgundy, two-door Jeep named Sangria.

One night as she was leaving her 12-hour shift, Pratt received her first duck, which sat waiting for her on Sangria’s door handle. Suddenly, she forgot all about her day, she said.

“I’m good; I’m refreshed,” she said. “I got a duck.”

After receiving her third rubber duck, Pratt ordered 50 of her own on Amazon. Members of her assortment include a pink mohawk duck, one with sunglasses resting on its head and another with a panda face.

“It brings me a lot of joy,” she said, adding that she felt compelled to pass on the feeling.

A box of rubber ducks for Duck Duck Jeep

The movement continues to get more and more creative, Janelle Townsend, a Jeep owner from Holiday, Florida, said. She’s seen people receive duck keychains and ornaments, as well as Jeep matchbox cars.

Townsend gave out about 80 ducks — some St. Patrick’s Day and Disney-themed — between March and November. With the help of her 8-year-old, Townsend said they punch holes and write tags to go with the small acts of kindness. On each one, her Jeep’s name and city are clearly stated.

Taking inspiration from Harry Potter’s pet owl, Townsend calls her Snazzberry Gladiator Jeep Hedwig. On its hood, a snowy owl decal can be seen alongside the Jeep’s name printed in the movie franchise’s popular font.

“It was more stressful than naming my kids,” Townsend said.

Beyond the ducks and the decorations, Townsend said having a Jeep is about belonging to a community bigger than herself.

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“You could own a Ford Mustang,” she said. “You can own a Hyundai, but that community is not doing anything remotely the way the Jeep community is.”

Owning a Jeep gives John Chapman, a retired fire chief and current pastor in the St. Augustine area, a feeling of brotherhood. His Gator-blue Jeep named Andie, short for Star Trek’s Andorian, is his third Wrangler.

In November, Chapman and other “Duck Duck Jeep – Florida” members banded together to ship rubber ducks to group member Nicky Sorensen for her daughter, Dixie. Through a post, Sorensen asked for the ducks as a birthday gift for the now 3-year-old, who has spina bifida and loves ducking jeeps.

“That’s the kind of response you get in the Jeep community,” Chapman said.

A Gators rubber duck sits on Aaron Ammons

Shannon Iglesias, who works at UF Health Labor & Delivery, said she is part of Alachua County Jeepers and Gainesville Jeepers, clubs in which groups of owners go on trail rides, have barbecues and hang out.

During the pandemic, Iglesias called on Jeepers to participate in a truck parade to celebrate a boy’s birthday. About 40 Jeeps participated in the event, Iglesias said. Duck Duck Jeep is just one aspect of owning the vehicles, she said.

“There’s just a lot of charity and a lot of parades that we do,” she said. “We’ll convoy and show our support for different things in the community.”

In November, Reagan attended Krawl’n for the Fallen, an off-road, four-wheel drive event in Starke, Florida, that raises money for families of fallen police officers. More than 700 Jeeps were on the trails, according to its Facebook page.

During the Night “Remembrance of Our Heroes” Ride, Reagan said they honored the fallen officers by driving down a trail without any lights. Instead, they followed the blue glow sticks attached to the back of each Jeep and were guided by a path of luminaries.

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Coming down the trail’s hill, she could see officers and survivors on the other side; something Reagan said was both heartwarming and humbling. She left knowing they touched others’ lives and remembering the importance of togetherness.

“There’s always hope out there for everybody to just get along,” she said. “Just one duck at a time.”

What the Duck? What is Ducking and Why Is It a Jeep Thing?

Jeep brought the largest duck in the world to the Detroit auto show this year, calling it a show of appreciation for a fun new tradition in the Jeep community. But what the duck are Jeep owners doing?

«Ducking a Jeep» is the act of placing a small rubber duck on a Jeep that you randomly see. The little rubber ducks can have drawings or other messages written on them, perhaps sharing admiration for someone’s customization or accessories, the amount of mud they’ve accumulated, or just showing some love for the community. The reason doesn’t matter, because ducking is meant to spread joy to other Jeep drivers and is a silly trend that has origins in Canada.

The trend started in the summer of 2020 when the creator thought that more smiles were desperately needed. The Official Ducking Jeep Facebook group describes its origins like this:

«Creator Allison Parliament founded Duck Duck Jeep in Ontario, Canada, after a crazy experience left her wanting to spread kindness because the world was on fire and not in a good way. She took a tiny rubber duck, left it on a Jeep, and got caught doing it. We’ve taken the kindness we’ve created and turned it into something amazing.»

Parliament described her first ducking to Jeep: «I saw a really nice Jeep Wrangler in the parking lot, it was tricked out and lifted. So I grabbed a duck, wrote ‘Cool Jeep’ on it, and left it on the door.» She snapped a photo and posted it on her Instagram with the hashtag #duckduckJeep.

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The rules are simple. Any Jeep can be ducked, not just Wranglers. The whole purpose is to be kind and spread kindness. The private group exists to post photos of ducks given and ducks received and has more than 67,000 members and thousands of posts. There are also almost 200,000 posts on Instagram with the #duckduckJeep tag.

Some people take it far more seriously by matching the colour of the duck to the Jeep, handing out seasonal ducks, and working with others in the group to find new and fun ducks. Parliament says she’s given out more than 6,000 ducks so far.

That’s why Jeep brought a six-storey-tall duck, the world’s largest, to the auto show this year. The 4,000-kg giant duck will be on display in Detroit for the whole run of the show and Jeep is giving out prizes for photos posted with the big duck. If you’re planning on making it to the show this weekend, Jeep and local dairy Milk & Froth will be scooping out ice cream with fun flavours like Snazzberry, 4xe, and Mud Terrain. They’re all Dessert Rated, of course.

Evan Williams

Evan Williams

Evan has been covering cars for close to five years, but has been reading about them since he was 2. He’s a certified engineering technologist and a member of AJAC. If it moves and has an engine, Evan’s probably interested in it.

Do You Ever Wonder Why Jeep Owners Put Ducks On Other Jeeps and Call It ‘Jeep Ducking’?

Sometimes I look at the Jeep community the way I look at Bikers, but I don’t know that Bikers do anything like Jeep Ducking.

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Once upon a time, my husband was huge into off-roading with Jeep’s, he hopes to get back into that one day and I look forward to it myself.

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When it comes to the Jeep community, the ducking and the waving is a thing you need to be aware of.

What is Jeep Ducking?

Ducking refers to taking little (or big) rubber ducks and putting them on a Jeep when you see it out and about, say on a trail, or even in a parking lot.

Jeep Ducking started in 2020 in Ontario, Canada when one Jeep owner decided she wanted to make someone smile, so she bought a rubber duck and placed it on another Jeep.

How does one start a trend so easily that spreads like wildfire?

If you want to start Jeep Ducking, you’ll need to check out the rules of Jeep Ducking, pick up some Jeep Ducking tags, and make sure you have a ton of rubber ducks on hand so you’re always ready to duck someone.

If you’re looking for some fun ideas to spice it up, check out the hashtag #duckduckjeep on Instagram.

The Jeep Wave

Now when it comes to the Jeep Wave, it’s pretty much just a regular wave to say hello to other Jeepers that you cross paths with.

Some people believe there is history behind the wave that relates it to soldiers waving to other soldiers while they drove Jeeps.

But, it could just be that people who love Jeep’s want to wave hello to others that also love Jeeps too!

I did learn today that there is some etiquette concerning the Jeep wave, but I really wonder if most people care about that…

What I read was the person that initiates the wave should be the “lower-ranking” Jeep, but eh… I think I’ll just wave when I want.

I mean, what if your Jeep isn’t pretty to look at, but is a beast on the trail… who decides the rank?

Apparently, there is a Jeep hierarchy calculator to help you figure that out if you’re worried about it.

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