CSI campers investigate the Codman family
July 22, 2011
Fourteen campers from a Crime Scene Investigation camp in New Hampshire recently visited the Codman Estate to put their detective skills to the test. The seventh and eighth graders investigated the lives of seven Codman family members using “evidence” in the form of documents, photographs, objects, and spaces that the family left behind in their Lincoln, Massachusetts, home.
The Case of the Empty House engages students’ skills of observation, deduction, and reasoning through an in-depth exploration of the house and gardens that make up the Codman Estate. Students examine books, portraits, furniture, artworks, and other family treasures to determine how the Codman family spent their days, and how the lives of this intriguing family intersected.
Camp Sargent in Merrimack, New Hampshire, began to offer their CSI camp last year, and this year the campers’ trip to Lincoln replaced a forensics lab conducted on camp grounds. Camp counselor Denise Moquin was excited by the opportunity for her campers to utilize all aspects of forensics in a historic setting and get a hands-on experience with history that they might not come across in their school classrooms.
Among other revelations, the CSI campers hypothesized that matriarch Sarah Codman was fond of entertaining and socializing, but that she also had a quieter side as revealed through her watercolor paintings, which the campers observed in Sarah’s bedroom. The day concluded with campers presenting their findings and then replacing one segment at a time to a giant reprint of a Codman family photograph, literally solving the Codman puzzle.