WINCHESTER — A fictional plane crash stranded children on Skull Island with only one way to escape, in this week's Roseburg Summer Fun summer camp organized by Umpqua Community College.

Campers were divided into three groups, each with an adult guide and a team leader who was chosen at the start of each day by their peers.

Each group was looking for a gold key to start a boat left behind by smugglers, and make their way off Skull Island.

A team leader would roll dice to move their game piece on a map until they landed on a square that came with an activity to complete. If two teams ended up on the same square on the board, there would be a challenge.

Teams that completed the activity or won a challenge would get a clue. The clue would help them move up in rank from green horns to scout to forager and finally warriors.

As warriors, they got clues on where to look for a gold key hidden somewhere on the UCC campus, or Skull Island as it was known this week.

"I designed it in a way that they find it on the last day and don't run out of activities," said Game Master Isaac Ashby. It's Ashby's second year organizing the camp.

The game room would have all the pieces they would need to complete activities and challenges, moving up in rank would also give them more activities to compete in. Each group would also have its own room to complete activities, think of strategies, or try to figure out the clues.

On Wednesday, the Bald Eagles took on the Unstoppables in a water balloon challenge. 

"Our strategy is don't press press too hard and keep it up by your hip, because I think that'll be a little bit easier," 9-year-old Shelby Atterbury said.

Bald Eagle team member 9-year-old Axel Williams said, "We stopped them before so their name doesn't make any sense."

Axel teamed up with 10-year-old Skyler Plumb-Taylor in the challenge. They stood back-to-back with a water balloon squeezed between them trying to move from one end of the field to the other.

The team fell short on the first try. 

"It's pretty hard," said Unstoppables' 8-year-old team leader Kylee Schuyler said of the water balloon challenge. "Other challenges have been a lot easier."

"You have to let it rest on your behind," Skyler advised his teammates.

This tactic seemed to work as the Bald Eagles defeated the Unstoppables, at least in the challenge. It's unclear who won the impromptu water balloon fight that broke out seconds later.

Some of those other activities included crab soccer, kickball, parachute launches, tag and building rockets.

Bald Eagles, Unstoppables and Little Tiny Devils will all take part in the Game Master Challenge 'Fruit Ninja,' where campers will throw a deck of cards into half a water melon with the intent that the cards stick into the water melon flesh.

Ashby said that as the camp comes to a close he will give out more clues and nudges to help get all teams closer to the gold key, and a way off the island. 

"Somebody has to win," Ashby said. "Last year they found the key with an hour to go on the last day."

Sanne Godfrey can be reached at or 541-957-4203. Follow her on Twitter @sannegodfrey.

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Education Reporter

Sanne Godfrey is the education reporter for The News-Review.

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