Passport programs – or something like them – are becoming more and more popular, especially when you are talking about games such as geocaching and outdoor adventure-type things.
Enter Quest Scouts — a way for people to get out and do different tasks and earn badges along the way.
Basically it’s another reason to explore a little and broaden horizons.
The originator of this idea is Dylan Waller of Portland, Oregon. A geocacher and a hiker, Waller got the idea for Quest Scouts on a trip to the Grand Canyon.
“My friends and I were going for a terrain-five geocache that involves backpacking for several days from rim to rim,” Waller said. “I was ecstatic during the trip, and wanted to figure out a way to bottle that feeling.
“I decided what I needed to do was make sure I was continually exposed to new experiences,” he continued. “And thus, Quest Scouts was born. I created it because I needed it in my life, and I’m happy to get to share it with others.”
Waller spends the majority of his time working on Quest Scouts. When not working on it, he’s a geocacher and a hiker. He’s also an avid board game player and plays with a group about once a week. He’s also been designing a board game for more than a year.
What is Quest Scouts and how does it work?
Basically, Waller said, it’s scouting for adults.
“It was created to help myself and others get the most out of life through stepping out of our everyday routines and having new experiences,” Waller said. “We’re an online community where you can complete objectives to earn points and earn physical badges.”
The themes for the 2015 badge book were decided before the books were printed, thus giving a bit of a head start in regard to helping shape the program.
“I’m a curious and creative person, and come up with most of the objectives myself,” Waller said. “I have taken suggestions from time to time though.”
Quest Scouts is an easy game to play. Each month, there is a new quest. You have to complete objectives to earn points. Once you reach a certain level, you can then claim the sticker (or the mini-token, if you’ve done that) for completion of the quest.
The tasks vary from watching videos, reading a book, photography, geocaching and more. They are also connected to the month’s theme.
It’s noteworthy, too, that it’s free to participate. One doesn’t have to purchase anything to play the game. But, the passport, stickers, and tokens are available for sale on the website. A PDF version of the month’s quest is also there, in case you just want to do it that way.
Each month, there are many different ways to earn the needed points, which should make it easier for anybody to play the game.
“It is very important to me to have a variety of objectives to choose from,” Waller said. “I want people to have the option to stay within their comfort zone or venture out. I have different ‘characters’ that I think of when I review the objectives. Would a person without a car be able to get 1,000 points? Would a person who reads all day at work and doesn’t want to read to relax be able to get 1,000 points?”
For those who are paying members, this is how it works (this is based on the Scout Plus Pack membership):
Each month, members are sent a pack. You’ll get a printed Quest Card, the previous month’s sticker badge (for your book) and a metal tag. All they ask is to not display badges until after completing the quest.
Scout packs also contain a small surprise each month. So far, that’s included a small card game, sunprint paper, and other goodies. Sometimes, the extra will correspond with the current theme. On top of that, members have access to online printables and monthly member’s only micro quests.
Waller said he hopes Quest Scouts continues to evolve and grow.
He said he’s working on future themes (all of the 2015 ones are in the badge book), and there’s a chance there could be a discount if one signs up for a longer term. That, however, will be based on the numbers of members etc.
“I’d love to invite anyone who is interested to join us,” he said. “Our community is still small, and I plan on doing something special for all who are around prior to our first 200 members. I want our ‘original scouts’ to have proof that they were with us from the beginning.
“Quest Scouts is a work in progress,” he continued. “Feel free to give suggestions.”
On the web:
- Website (http://www.questscouts.com/)
- Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Quest-Scouts/1547779125454010)
- Twitter (https://twitter.com/QuestScouts)
- Instagram (https://instagram.com/questscouts/)
Coming soon: A review of Quest Scouts (as soon as I complete one of the quests!)
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