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Fossick Club promotes scavenger hunting

Fossick Club's poster

Camille McFarland

Fossick Club's poster

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To many students, the encrypted messages on posters around the school are a source of intrigue, if not concern, but to a select few, they are the clues to a hunt.

Members of Fossick Club, created by juniors Sareena Marshall and Roosh Bhosale, go on scavenger hunts and solve puzzles. These hunts are cipher-based and include riddles and encrypted messages. For example, numbers could correspond to letters, which would then spell out a location where the next clue would be. Whoever reaches the final clue first wins, but finishing the hunt alone is an accomplishment. The clues are posted around the school, but are usually out of the way and incomprehensible to the untrained eye.

To be honest, a lot of what the Fossick club does is a bit over my head. Usually, they need to walk me through even the simplest of puzzles,” English teacher and club sponsor Clay Guinn said. “The student leaders are such great champions for the activity, though, that I’m always swept up by their playful enthusiasm and impressed with their ability to solve these puzzles so quickly.” 

The idea for the club came to Marshall and Bhosale after last year’s Darwin Day, an annual event hosted by Freethinker’s Club. Darwin Day consists of a scavenger hunt with clues posted around the school.

“In the end, Roosh and I ended up winning,” Marshall said. “Even if we hadn’t won, we still had loads of fun. We decided that it would be great if there were a club where this is all we did.

Looking for a name for the club, Marshall and Bhosale used Thesaurus.com. The word of the day happened to be fossick. Meaning to search for or to hunt, fossick was an apt name.

“It fit so perfectly, and we thought, ‘This must be a sign, this is the word that we are going to use,’” Marshall said.

Over the past year, Marshall and Bhosale have held three hunts, including a Halloween-themed quest in October. While Marshall and Bhosale would like to have monthly hunts, they require extensive planning. Next year, they intend to plan the hunts further in advance and to recruit more members.

“This school is a great arena for this type of thing,” Marshall said. “There are a lot of smart people who would be interested in this.”

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The official student newspaper of St. John's School.
Fossick Club promotes scavenger hunting