What is a Quest?
1. "Questing is a place-based education model of creating and exchanging treasure hunts in order to collect and share your community's distinct natural and cultural heritage -- your special places and stories." From vitalcommunities.org
"A quest is a community treasure hunt that guides people through -- and teaches them how to see -- a unique community treasure." From poeticsofplace.org.
"Each Quest would be made up of three parts: clues, which teach visitors how to see—or read—a community story; a map guiding them along a specific route; leading to a particular “treasure” and treasure box, complete with a story about the site, a sign-in book, and a hand-carved stamp featuring a symbol for the site." from poeticsofplace.org
"Commonly written in rhyming verse, a Quest contains movement clues
that get you from one spot to the next. (A Quest usually includes a
site map as well.) The features at these spots illustrate the story.
Quests also have informational clues, that interpret the
meaning of the features and their place in the story – maybe an old mill
site, a beaver dam, an eroded bank, or a low salt marsh." from muscongusbay.org
2. Originated in England 150 years ago and is called letter-boxing there
Why do it?
1. To learn deeply about a local place
2. To work with community members and involve the community in teaching and learning about a place
3. Map community assets
4. Foster sense of place and community
How is a Quest made? (adapted from the vitalcommunities.org site)
1. Pick a spot that that is special in your community.
2. Ask permission to make a Quest
3. Visit the site 2 or 3 times to begin to understand it,and start to think of how to form a Quest that fits the location
4. Look for the experts: people in your community who can teach you more about your location. Ask them to join you at the location.
5. Be a researcher and take notes on what those experts tell you!
6. Choose a strategy. Be creative. How will you create the clues?
7. Draw rough maps of your site. Also sketch or note the unique features that would make good clues.
8. Make a rough draft of your Quest strategy with the clues.
9. Field test the rough draft with lots of people and make changes to make it better.
10. Write a description of what makes your Quest location unique. A few paragraphs is fine--be sure to state why your location is special. This will go in your Quest box.
11. Draw final Quest Map.
12. Make a stamp to use for stamping Quest passports.
13. Get a box to use as a Quest Box (plastic food containers work well). Waterproof the introduction to the site and attach it securely to the inside cover of the box. In the box: a log book; pencil/pen; stamp; ink pad; pencil sharpener.
14. Hide the box.
15. Make sure the box will be monitored long term.
What are potential challenges? (from muscongusbay.org teacher evaluations in 2009)
1. Finding enough planning time
2. Maintaining student engagement
3. Creating a good work flow