Tool No. 12: Questing


Description of the tool

Introduction to the method is making general heritage inventory (all aspects and elements are taken into account) of a place, where a quest will be developed. Then one specific area of heritage is analyzed in details (e.g. a custom, architecture, craft, legends, local history, local personality). Usually, it refers to a small community like a village, town or its part, but it can also be located inside (in a museum, gallery). It requires deepening the knowledge in the selected particular area and a narration is built in the form of a poem. Ultimately, a treasure hunt game is created. The effect is important but at the same time the participative process and dialogue is significant. The method can be used in any stage of ecomuseum development – in early stage it can contribute to dialogue concerning local values, in more advanced ones it can enable to create educational tools that can be part of ecomuseum educational program.

Guidelines to apply the tool

It can be used anywhere in a limited space (up 2 hours walking or biking distance).
It is carried out by means of a workshop (usually 2 days) and on-line cooperation after the workshop.
Target group: representatives of a local community, NGO, local nature and heritage lovers, culture institutions, youth, seniors etc. (15 to 20 people).

  1. Identification of local natural, historical and cultural heritage resources (tangible and intangible) by means of a brainstorm. All kind of local curiosities, anecdote, oral stories could be included.
  2. Selection of the main motive: e.g. architecture style, legends, local personality, local traditional craft, nature, a palace with a surrounding park, important local family, historical event or period, a battle. It can also be a story about the most important/interesting heritage of the place. The quest will focus on a chosen thematic motive.
  3. Selection of places/sites to make a trail. A trail is not marked in any way and runs in a place following the narration based on a selected topic. At the end there should be designed a place to hide the treasure. After the draft designing the trail, participants take a trial walk to verify if anything is not missing and to decide where to hide the treasure.
  4. Writing the story in a form of a poem. Participants are divided into smaller groups and the trail is divided into sections. Each smaller group is responsible for writing part of the story concerning assigned section. The narration includes: story, instruction how to move along the trail and clues. Finding clues’ solutions allows to discover the password to the treasure. Clues are based on specific features, architectural details, inscriptions (e.g. on boards, monuments, buildings) that are relevant to the story. If not all story parts are ready or they still need more elaboration, participants get some extra time after workshop to improve their texts. At the same time volunteers prepare illustrations and a rubber stamp that is hidden as a treasure (to put it on a leaflet as an evidence of completing the quest).
  5. Editing the story. Usually story needs to be “smoothed out” and edited to make a good piece of a rhymed narration with good, guessable clues. Before dissemination it is tested and verified.
  6. The final effect: leaflet. The leaflet is designed including the whole quest text, hand-made illustrations and empty space to get a stamp. Names of text and illustrations authors are put on the leaflet.
  7. Outcomes. Benefits of making quests lie not only in the final product – the leaflet that enables discovering the place following the poem. Process is not less important than product in the questing methodology: discussion concerning the heritage, special values of places, events, people, stories etc. It is a very involving method and people feel responsible and proud of the common heritage and work. Both the process and product have high educational values.

Support materials

Presentation concerning questing methodology
Examples of quests
Clark D., S. Glazer, Questing. A Guide to Creating Community Treasure Hunts, University Press of New England, Hanover and London 2004.


Barbara Kazior

Scientific Coordinators