Another outstanding workshop I attended was "Cemetery Quest: Using burial grounds to teach and share local history" with Steven Glazer of Valley Quest, a program of Vital Communities. Okay, so I'm a little warped--I happen to like cemeteries! This workshop, however, was more than a look at historical burial grounds. It showed how a community, or a region such as the Connecticut River valley, can discover its local historical resources and share them with its citizens. It sounds like something that would be good to pursue here in Windham. How many people know about Windham's history? Probably a small number of the adults in town, and an even smaller number of its children.
A "Discovery Quest" is developed for a location. In many cases, the quest is put together by a teacher and a class who are studying local history. Quite simply, a quest is a treasure hunt. The "treasure," a small box containing a sign-in book and a special stamp, is found by reading maps and following clues. But of course, the real treasure is finding out about the people and places in the community.
I purchased Valley Quest II: 75 More Treasure Hunts in the Upper Valley for our collection. It has been cataloged [917.4 VAL] and is nearly ready to go! I think it would be a resource for teachers and local groups who are interested in replicating the program for our area. As those who've taken the Windham Historical Society's "mystery tour" know, there are many interesting places right here in town. (We keep two copies of the tour information from past years, one in our Reference section [R 974.2 WIN], and the other on the regular shelves [974.2 WIN].) I will be ordering Steve Glazer's book, Questing: A Guide to Creating Community Treasure Hunts shortly. I hope someone in the community will borrow it, and Valley Quest II, and realize that it's time for a Discovery Quest program to be started right here in southern NH! Anyone willing to take on the challenge?
If you have an interest in New England cemeteries, make sure you visit A Very Grave Matter.