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History of Questing

​​​Questing in the U.S. was born in New England out of a 150-year old tradition in the region surrounding Dartmoor National Park in southwest England. "Letter boxing," as this tradition is called, has become a hugely popular past time, with thousands of boxes hidden in both natural and cultural locations around Great Britain.

The Vital Communities organization built upon this tradition on this side of the Atlantic by developing the Valley Quest program. In the early to mid-1990s, Vital Communities was concerned about the future of the Upper Valley region, and was hoping to develop a program that might: (a) foster sense of place; (b) strengthen relationships between schools and the natural and cultural heritage of their communities; (c) build bridges across the generations, partnering children with community adults and civic groups; and (d) build relationships between new-comers and old timers.

The result was Valley Quest​, with "Valley" referring to our place and "Quest" referring to a treasure hunt. This treasure might be a natural site (wetland, town forest) or perhaps a cultural site (abandoned mill site, historic cemetery, etc.). Over time, the Valley Quest program has grown. More than 1,500 children, adults, families, scouts, students and historical society members contributed to the creation of the Quests found in the Valley Quest books and online.