by Maddie Hamblin
Thinking critically does not end when classes do. For the past week, campers have become increasingly interested in a game called “Crack the Case,” where players act as investigators to solve murder-mystery crimes that typically have strange, abstract solutions. The phenomenon began on Saturday during the SCATS Olympics when I hosted the game as an activity for participants to earn points for their countries. Campers were divided in two teams where they created their own theories based off a short informational paragraph about the crime and two vague clues. After the teams presented their case, campers asked questions to discover more information about the crimes that could only be answered with “yes” or “no.”
After the Olympics, I thought the game would be over and done with, and I counted it as a successful activity. But later that night in my hall, many of my girls came up and asked if they could play “the fun crime game all their friends had been talking about,” which led to multiple nights of organizing short games during hall time every night this week.
I was a bit nervous to play this game with the campers, as it is challenging even for adults. However, I was blown away by the creativity and thoughtfulness campers put into presenting their cases, thinking in ways I know I never would have. There is something truly inspiring about seeing the kids throw themselves completely into a game and becoming genuinely excited to solve problems and answer complex questions. Hosting this game truly reminded me of what this camp is all about: learning to think and educate oneself in a multitude of fun and exciting ways.