A suspicious package that led to the Fort Worth Police and Fire Department shutting down parts of University Drive Thursday was part of a TCU Extended Education camp project.
The package was a letterbox.
According to the TCU Extended Education website, “Letterboxing is a unique ‘treasure hunt’ style outdoor quest opportunity that combines navigational skills and rubber stamps.” It’s similar to the popular hobby geocaching.
According to the site, “August of 2014 campers from surrounding cities attended a Treasure Quest Camp held at Texas Christian University. As a final project the campers designed a letterbox and hid it on the TCU campus.”
The page includes clues for how to find the letterbox.
Director of Extended Education David Grebel said they are working to prevent this from happening again.
“The University was aware that the organization was planning the letterbox activity, but they received permission with the expressed understanding that they would remove all the letterboxes when the activity was over,” Grebel said in an email Friday.
“The University will review procedures with the organization to get a better understanding of what happened as well as how to avoid this type of situation in the future.”
TCU students in Dr. Ron Pitcock’s Cultural Memory class noticed the letterbox weeks ago.
“We were looking at the Veteran’s Plaza when a student discovered it,” Pitcock said. “We opened it and signed the book.”
Sophomore finance major Matthew Imaizumi was the one who opened the box.
“Inside they had like a sign in sheet where you put your name and an ink pad and stamps so you could put your name and then stamp it,” Imaizumi said. “Somebody in the class found it and pulled it out. I was curious so I opened it. A bunch of people stamped it and then we put it back under the bench.”
Pitcock’s class was in session during the incident Thursday.