In our camp at 18 Reasons, the "Found Treasures & Scavenger Hunts" morning group hunted for words and then made "found" poems. Click on the photo of each poem to read a larger version.

Our afternoon group's theme was "What a Mystery". In our "What a Mystery" curriculum, kids learn how to compose a compelling whodunit story. The campers also constructed stories with secrets as the centerpiece. Here are some brief excerpts.

Arlo wrote on the prompt "Create a suspenseful scene".

“I thought I heard something, somewhere in the house. There it was again, a creak, from upstairs, directly above me. Now a note from the piano. Am I hallucinating? Abandoning my movie, I took a flashlight and headed upstairs.

“Fi,” I heard as I freeze.

“Fie…Fo…Fum,” I continue walking, I must be hallucinating.

The stench of rotting flesh stops me.”

Ben wrote on the prompt “It was missing…”.

“It was missing. On a planet, billions of years away, a ball of energy that held us together, supplied us, and kept our people alive had gone missing. Our council thinks it was stolen by a planet close to us that had almost been killed after using up all their natural resources. Our planet is dying now, without the aura. I am a soldier, I have been fighting for years now, protecting us survivors against the citizens turned into zombies that have been framed by the aliens to terrorize the survivors.”

Owen wrote on the prompt “It was missing…”.

“It was missing and I knew someone had stolen it. I knew it was gone as I entered my bedroom. I bolted out into the night to search for my Shadow Amulet. I had an idea of who would have taken it. Later in the night I arrived at the asylum, everything had gone haywire. I could hear unhuman screams coming from inside.”

Nicky wrote on the prompt “It was missing…”.

“That night it was very hard for Michael to sleep and when he did he felt as if someone was closing a door right in front of him. The next morning when Michael woke up it was eleven o’clock. He was late for work. He hurried out of bed and rapidly got dressed but he noticed something was missing. The glove was gone…”

Nick wrote on the prompt “It was missing…”.

“Bang! Bang! Were the sounds that I woke up to. I went back to bed thinking something fell in the bathroom. I woke up, turned the lights on and realized tht the diamond watch that was passed through the family for decades was gone I went downstairs and the windows were shattered. “

Miles wrote on the prompt “I cheat on almost every math test…”.

“My family is considered intellectually gifted. Me, on the other hand, I suck at math. I feel really out of place in our family. My younger brother can do more complex math than me. So I got tired of being made fun of so I started cheating on almost every math test that I take. My parents finally started to notice me. One day I got caught cheating on the last test.”

Dash wrote on the prompt “I can read minds”.

“Kate Contraire could read minds. At first, she had only been told she had an amazing ability to detect patterns. But as she grew older, she noticed an increasing ability to know what other people were thinking. It had started out as noticing an idea that wasn’t hers. But as she started paying more attention to those feelings she noticed that people were talking about these unknown thoughts. She had told no one about this ability.”

Harrison wrote on the prompt “It was missing…”.

“It was missing. The money, the safe, everything. Wait! I better tell you who I am before I tell you about the bank. I am Kurt Brown, The Magic Man as you might say. I am a wizard. I float around in a costume saving people, and tying up the bad guys, but this case was so cold I couldn’t find the bad guys. They had covered up evry scratch and fingerprint.”


Elliot wrote on the prompt “Create a suspenseful scene”.

“He thought he heard someone in the house. It was one of those light footstep noises that repeated for a couple seconds and then stopped. His dad was at work and his mom wouldn’t be back from shopping for another 45 minutes, and besides, she would have called his name if she were home. Who was it? Could a stranger have picked their door lock? Could it have been his friends knocking on the door? He felt a shiver down his spine thinking about the couple robberies in the area. Could that be happening right now? Just then he heard his cat crying.”