Students search Olathe for teacher’s hidden items


Corinne Staley

One of Mr. Adell’s hints for the scavenger hunts he send his students on.

Kayla Staley, Feature Editor

Treasure hunts are all about deciphering riddles, using problem-solving skills and tracking down valuable items. For Joel Adell’s Multivariable Calculus class, this is something they have the opportunity to experience.

Adell was inspired by a man named Forrest Fenn who hid a treasure chest and wrote clues for someone to find after he was diagnosed with cancer; no one has yet found the mysterious prize. As for Adell, he hides small tokens around Olathe and gives his students clues to find them; the winner receives $20.

“The goal is to get people outside and use logic,” Adell said. “It’s mostly just for fun, but they also find places in Olathe that they didn’t know existed.”

So far, two riddles have been solved.

“When I solve riddles, I start at the very top and just do it in little manageable chunks. It’s easy to focus on just bits at a time,” Carley Eschliman, senior, said.

This technique proved effective when Eschliman found the first token with the help of Bethany Bluel, junior. With her $20 reward, she bought bagels for her class.

The second riddle was solved by Nathan Helgeson and Ryan Mersmann, seniors, and they followed Eschliman’s lead by purchasing bagels to share.

Helgeson and Mersmann used teamwork to accomplish their goal.

“We talk to each other about how we interpret the riddle, and come up with a consensus on places we will look,” Helgeson said.

Students enjoy participating for a variety of reasons.

“I like the adventure of it. You never quite know where it’s going to be, and it’s challenging to actually find the treasure,” Eschliman said.

Despite the fact that Adell’s hunts are mostly just for fun, there are some benefits from participating.

“I think that I’ve gained some pretty good skills from these riddles. I know now that I can find some buried treasure if need be,” Eschliman said.

She has even written her own riddle for the class to solve.