The Case of the Missing Forks

A special thank you to Kim Aycock, Camp 2 Campus Learning Solutions, for allowing me to reproduce this activity for you.

The Case of the Missing Forks: A Camp Mystery Theme Day

Scene: Breakfast on what appears to be a “normal” day at camp. But wait! The forks are missing – there is not one fork to be found in camp. The characters from “CLUE” (Professor Plum, Mrs. Peacock, etc.) make an appearance (A.K.A. a skit!) to solicit help from the campers to solve this mystery! There are plastic forks hidden all over camp that can be turned in for points and a prize for the team who finds the most by the end of the day.

Later That Day: Campers gather in a central location to find clues about who took the missing forks, where they were taken from, what vehicle was used in the getaway, and where the forks were hidden.

To Start: Each team will be given an envelope containing a checklist, a pencil, and a number of “Clue” cards (The number of cards in each envelope depends on the number of teams playing and the number of people, places, and things involved in the mystery. One card from each category will be placed in the confidential envelope; these cards are considered to be the solution to the mystery). Each team will begin the game at the designated central location, where a representative from each team will roll the die (or draw a number if there are more than 6 teams). The numbers on the die (or that are drawn) determine the location each team will start (have teams start at a different place if possible). Examples of possible locations are given below:

  • Location #1 – Ball Room (McLeod Lodge)
  • Location #2 – Billiard Room (Rec Lodge)
  • Location #3 – Conservatory (Canoe Lake)
  • Location #4 – Dining Room (Dining Hall)
  • Location #5 – Hall (Wishing Well)
  • Location #6 – Library (Curtis Lodge)
  • Location #7 – Lounge (Totem Pole)
  • Location #8 – Parlor (Swim Lake Bleachers)
  • Location #9 – Stables (Barn)

To Play the Game (an adaptation of the board game, “CLUE”):

  1. At the start of the game, each team should look at the cards that are given and check these suspects, escape vehicles, starting locations, and hiding spots off their checklists. (Because they have these cards, they know they are not the cards that are in the confidential envelope.)
  2. Throughout the game the entire team must travel TOGETHER and arrive TOGETHER to the places named above. When a team arrives at a particular location, the team proposes a possible scenario for the “mystery,” i.e. “We think Mr. Green took the forks using a fun noodle as the getaway vehicle, and they were taken to the Treehouse. Teams must; however, always use the place where they are currently located in their scenario as the place the forks were taken from. (When at the Dining Hall, they cannot guess that the forks were taken from the Library.)
  3. When teams propose possible scenarios at each location, they will be shown ONE of the cards of ONE of the people, places, or things, involved in the mystery (by a person who has been assigned to facilitate the groups arriving at each location). Therefore, they now know that it is not one of the cards in the confidential envelope. Teams will then begin to notice which cards are never shown. As more clues are revealed, each team will begin to formulate an idea as to what the true scenario is.
  4. During the game, teams move from place to place by always coming back to the central location after having guessed ONE scenario (only one guess per turn) to roll the dice (or draw a number) that will determine the next “move.” Teams are allowed to go to a place more than once; however, after rolling (or drawing) the same place for the third time, the team is allowed to request to roll (or draw) again until getting a different number.
  5. At the end of the game a bell will ring and all teams will return to the central location where each team will do their detective work and quietly discuss the mystery. The group must agree on the suspect, where the forks were taken from, the escape vehicle, and where the forks are now hiding. It is important for teams not to share any information at this point!! Teams will reveal their conjectures during evening program.

Evening Program: Each team will present their conjecture for the solution to the mystery in a given central location. (Allow approximately 20-30 minutes for groups to make final preparations.) Props will be provided that can be used in the “skits” (forks, getaway vehicles, etc.) Prizes will be awarded to the team(s) with the correct answer (or the most accurate answer) and also to the group with the most enthusiasm and creativity. It is important for each team to have an exciting, creative, and dramatic performance. Don’t forget to award a prize to the team that collected the most plastic forks throughout the day!

References: The real “CLUE” game by Parker Brothers, the first adaptation by Alice Lurain (Camp Woodland, Eagle River, WI), and the second adaptation by Susan Edwards (Camp Illahee, Brevard, NC).

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