A Thursday class project turned Traci Bodine's Grovetown Elementary School first-graders into treasure hunters.
Bodine and parent volunteer Kathy Nay put together a version of an online cache-hunting game for the pupils to practice using the skills they learned after completing their study of maps and cardinal directions.
The class was divided into two groups - girls and boys - and each started the race off with a clue to find a clue. The two groups then had to work together and combine their clues to find the cache, or treasure.
"The race is not about who gets there first," Bodine told her class before the game began. "It's about being able to get there. It's about working together as a team."
And they were off.
The girls headed off looking for a tree with a yellow ribbon. They then had to use a compass and walk several paces in a certain direction to find the clue hidden in a stump in a stand of trees near the school.
"It was exciting," said Jalen Seals, 7, who found the clue for the boys' team and became the team leader as the boys and girls joined together on the hunt for the treasure box.
The class trudged all over campus following clues that led them to the woods behind the building, where a small green metal box awaited them.
"Not only do they get to go outside, which is good, and off regular playground areas, they get to use their skills and actually find the treasure," Nay said.
The pupils, huddled close as Bodine opened the box, oohed and aahed as the loot was revealed - a water-proof container, donated by Nay, with a compass, safety mirror and whistle for each pupil.
After locating the cache, each pupil signed the log book that will stay inside the box, which will now be placed off school grounds for others to find through the Web site www.geocaching.com.
"Now I am going to take this box and put more toys in it and put it in a different place that is not on school grounds," Nay told the class. "...We're going to name it Bodine's Bunch. We're going to name it after your class. And people like me, people you don't even know, will come and find this box and see that y'all were the first ones to find it."
To find a clue to the box's new location, go to www.geocaching.com.
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