The Guild of Saint Olaf
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The Quest - A Guild of Saint Olaf Original

 
Scavenger hunts are nothing new.  Nor are Renaissance festivals.  Scavenger hunts at Renaissance festivals, though, are a fairly recent occurrence; they've been popping up everywhere we've been...

Most are like Easter egg hunts: go to these places and find these items.  Fun and entertaining, but not necessarily engaging...

The Saint Olaf Quest was designed from the outset to be fun, engaging, rewarding, AND educational.

Over a decade ago, when the Palm Springs Renaissance Faire was still a 3-day event, with Friday being a School Day, we found ourselves mobbed by high schoolers with questionnaires.  A teacher at the local high school had decided to send her students out with a specific assignment: to gather historical information on all of the groups represented at the faire, and to get pictures with the "important people."

We were completely taken aback, and utterly delighted!  At the time, we were playing the English Court; the Royal Spanish guild was in attendance, the Archers of Ravenwood were active participants, and the Academy of Arts & Sciences was a strong presence.  That year was wonderful for all of us, and we looked forward to that particular faire more than any other.

Sadly, after only a couple of years, the students' "scavenger hunt" faded out.  We heard a rumor that the teacher had left the district.  But it was a fond memory, and all of the other groups at the faire reminisced about how much we'd all enjoyed the "search for knowledge."  And then Susan took a trip out to a faire in Ohio, and came back with an idea: Why not start our own?

So we coordinated with the other guilds to see what they'd be willing to teach any child who came asking, and set up a list of tasks for children to complete.  In some cases, it was information: How many ships does King Philip have in his Armada?  In other cases, it was how to make something: a pomander full of spices, or a ribbon favor.  In others, it was learning how to do something: tying knots, or bowing correctly.  The final requirement was to return to the Royal Court once they had completed all of the tasks, and report and demonstrate what they had learned.  Then they were presented to the Queen, and She knighted them.

The response was fantastic!  The guilds loved it.  The children, both of patrons and of faire folk, loved it.  We kept it up, and we saw the same children, the same families, returning year after year just to go on The Quest again!

Now we offer The Quest as part of our participation in any Faire for which we are the Royal Court.  It does require coordination with other guilds, but we've never had any difficulty finding others willing to play and teach along with us.  And it engages the youth who will be our "next generation" of students of history and faire folk!

If you would like more information on The Quest, or would like to become one of our Quest Destinations, please Contact Us!