It was a trip around Hillsborough that the Frank family will never forget. 

The 2nd annual Cameron Park Elementary School Scavenger Hunt was held last week. The journey took the family across town and unlocked special prizes along the way. Paul and Cindy Frank donated $285 to take part in the event. The Scavenger Hunt is part of the spring auction at Cameron Park, which raised over $12,000 this year. The money goes to literacy programs, new computers and funding for school supplies. 

The hunt started at the Village Diner, where the family had to find a set of tiger paws on a table in order to unlock the first clue. That led them to the Orange County Public Library, where the Franks had to find a special parking space. Once inside the library, there was another clue on the mirror in the girls bathroom. The prize waiting for them was a free pass at the Sky Zone and Museum. 

Purple Crow Books, which gave away two new books, Carlisle & Linny Vintage Jewelry, Weaver Street Market, the Wooden Nickel, the Hillsborough Fire Department and Healing Paws Animal Hospital were also included in this year’s scavenger hunt. 

Before the hunt, organizer Doreen Matters sends the participating family questionnaires, including a question about what the children want to be when they grow up.

“What I do at the end of the hunt is I take two of the questions that the kids answer,” Matters said. “I try to give them an experience in whatever field they choose.” 

This year, 10-year-old Lily Hunt said she wanted to be a veterinarian. Healing Paws offered Hunt a chance to become a vet for a day, where she will shadow one of the doctors. Jack Frank answered a marine biologist. The Duke Marine Biology Lab in Beaufort has offered the family a chance to tour the facility, meet the professors and learn the tools of the trade. 

Among the highlights this year was a trip to the fire department. Fireman put the kids in gear, put them on the fire truck and had them learn what a fireman does in an average day. Once they finished the tour of the firehouse, they were awarded a voucher for Pelican Sno Balls & Door Hangers. 

“The family doesn’t know where they’re going at all,” said Matters. “When we describe the auction item, we tell them that they will tour Hillsborough and hit some of the local places around town. But when I have the winner, I’ll send a questionnaire to them and ask them what are their favorite places downtown? So when they tell me that, I’ll create the hunt around their favorite places and their favorite foods and items. They were very heavy readers, so I took them to Purple Crow Books, for instance.” 

The hunt ended with a lunch at the Wooden Nickel, Paul’s favorite eating spot around town. 

“I like having little things like that to make it more personal,” said Matters.