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Local teacher, son find Strawberry Fest Medallion

Cottage Grove Elementary School teacher Brenda Theurer and her son, Drew, 7, found the Strawberry Festival Medallion Friday morning moments after the fifth clue was released. (Bulletin photo by Emily Buss)

A local educator and her son beat out dozens of treasure hunters Friday morning and found the 2014 Strawberry Festival Medallion, which was hidden in the baseball dugout at Woodridge Park.

Brenda Theurer, kindergarten teacher at Cottage Grove Elementary School, and her 7-year-old son, Drew, had a hunch the medallion was in their neighborhood park.

“We live just down the street and we walk the trail to Woodridge Park and play here all the time,” Brenda said. “It’s was a cool treasure hunt in our backyard park.”

Thursday evening, Brenda’s husband, Chad, was sifting through the clues printed in the South Washington County Bulletin and online and told her that he thought the medallion was in the nearby park.

“He really likes games and puzzles and thought he had figured it out,” Brenda said. “I knew I had some time to kill Friday morning, and Dylan and I thought we’d try it out. If we didn’t find it after a half hour, we’d go about our day.”

While the first-time hunters were scouring the park Friday, along with about a dozen other medallion hopefuls, she got a text from her husband with the fifth clue.

“Well, the first giveaway was the word ‘balk,’” Brenda said. “I know that’s a baseball term. So we headed over to the diamond. But the other clue, which talked about ‘the animal’s lair,’ that's when I knew it was the dugout.”

The mother-son duo sprinted over to the dugout next to the baseball field, but because the medallion was hidden between the dugout’s roof and the brick wall, she said it wasn’t easily found.

Searchers did not need access to the diamond to get to the medallion as it was hidden in the back side of the dugout wall.

“I felt a large object up there so I lifted Drew up and he poked his magnifying glass in there and pulled it out,” Brenda said.

“That’s when I yelled ‘We found it!” Drew said. “I was really excited to find the treasure.”

The two found the medallion about 10 minutes after the fifth clue was posted on the Bulletin’s website.

The prize was $300 cash with proof of a 2014 Strawberry Fest button, or $200 cash without a button.