It been a year since I started this blog and posting has been pretty sporadic. I write lots of entries in my head and never get around to typing them out, or I haven’t taken any photos of something I want to write about and feel the words alone aren’t enough. One of my excuses for not writing more is that, since February 2016, we have been treasure hunting. Proper looking-for-a-hidden-wooden-chest-containing-riches treasure hunting… and it’s been a barrel of fun!

Treasure League is the brain-child of wordsmith and pun-lover, Anders J. Svensson. I’m convinced that Anders J. Svensson is exactly what my husband’s Viking name would have been. When first coming across Anders, I had to double check that it wasn’t my husband using a pseudonym.

The premise for Treasure League is simple. Each month a small wooden treasure chest is hidden somewhere in Calgary. A clue is emailed each day to subscribers until the treasure is found. The subscription fee is currently $20 per team per month.

Here are 505 reasons why I LOVE Treasure League…


1. It’s Original

Each month there is a different theme and there has been a huge variety of different type of clues, stories and threads. So far the themes have been Fire & Ice, Far Far Away (a kind of fantasy storytale), Secret Agent (murder mystery), Labyrinth (maze through Calgary streets), Hocus Pocus (all things magic), and Wonderlust (travel themed).

Think that you can just Google the answers? Think again. All the material is completely original so you won’t find any of the clues anywhere online. So, much as the internet can perhaps help in the quest, it won’t offer up the answer on a plate. The clues can be pictures, sound files, photos, symbols, number puzzles, visual puzzles and an endless selection of word puzzles like poems, riddles, anagrams, vigeneres and crosswords.


2. It’s Challenging

One of the reasons that Treasure League so special is that it’s so darned clever. Solving each clue has taken us anything from a few seconds to days (or not at all in a few cases!). Try this one on for size…

A sample clue
Example of an awesome, clever clue. Reproduced with kind permission. Copyright Treasure League.


The solution to just one clue, though, never leads you straight to the treasure… it’s up to each team or person to work out how clues go together or stand alone to point you in the right direction. So… it’s also completely infuriating and really tests your patience! During our first month, I couldn’t refresh my email fast enough each day awaiting the next clue. Thankfully I’ve learned to chill out a bit more since then. But I’ve also learned that finding the treasure is somewhat reliant on your ability to drop everything and race over to the location the second you have a good idea where the treasure is. That can be 30 seconds after the email comes in, so you need to be fast to be in with a chance.


3. You Learn New Things and Explore New Places

Pokemon Go has nothing on Treasure League! Since February, I’ve researched half of the historic buildings in Calgary, found out about the great fire of 1886 and discovered the story behind a McGuffin. We’ve got out and about to examine the lions on the Centre Street Bridge, scoured Nose Hill Park, clambered over River Passage Park and visited lots of public art.

Treasure Sign
Spotted whilst treasure hunting. If only the chest was well marked like this.


4. The Treasure League Community

Treasure Leaguers are a fun and interesting bunch of people. They are the sort of people you want on your quiz night team, or with you in an escape room. They tweet funny stuff and sometimes wear safari explorer hats. They are a friendly bunch and may even trade answers and theories. Some teams have a solo member, and others have over 20. Pub nights and meetups have been arranged. We recently spent 3 hours in the pub with a bunch of other Treasure Leaguers and I was amazed that we pretty much talked non-stop about treasure hunting! If you are ever happen to be in the location of the treasure when it’s found, the chances are you will meet other teams, congratulate the winners, commiserate with the rest, discuss clues and exchange stories.


5 to 505. The Prize

$500 cash is the prize for finding the chest first each month. If more people sign up, maybe the prize money would go up.  In July, our team, The Kilted Meeples, won the prize! My husband described how heart pumping is was to find the chest. I was about 3 minutes behind him, so missed that magical moment :-(. The prize money is going towards a new trampoline for our kids.

But Treasure League is about far more than the prize money. The entry fee is tiny in comparison to the entertainment value.

Sign up for September and beyond by subscribing at: Treasure League