The 1st Rosemont Guides recently took the opportunity to explore Montreal’s metro system in a new way. Leaders created a scavenger hunt that would get them thinking about many aspects of public transportation during their adventure.
The evening began as the girls gathered together at the Rosemont metro station. Girls were given individual tasks as well as group tasks to complete over the course of the activity. For the individual task, each girl was given the description of someone they might accompany in the metro; for example, someone in a wheelchair, an elderly person, a newcomer who does not speak/read French or English, a Deaf person, a person with autism, etc. Girls were asked to make observations along the way to contribute to a later part of the evening. The group tasks were broken down into several different themes and required teamwork and problem-solving.
Theme One: Orientation
The first theme had the girls searching for information they would need in order to get around in the metro system. This, naturally, covered rules for using public transportation, ticket prices and purchasing as well as map reading. In order to find the next set of clues they had to succeed in getting into the metro, figuring out where to go (where 3 metro lines cross) and how to get there (identifying the direction on the map and then translating that to practice by following the signs).
Theme Two: Safety and Responsibility
Upon arriving at the correct destination, the girls were only told to look for something that might belong to them. It didn’t take them long to find a man holding an envelope with the unit name displayed. The girls hesitated, but once assured by the leaders that the man was known to us and that it was safe to approach, they retrieved their next set of tasks with excitement! The instructions had the girls solve which metro station they must proceed to next and had them answer questions about personal safety, emergencies and responsibility. Questions such as “How do you protect your belongings in a cramped and crowded space?” and “What would you do if you felt unsafe or uncomfortable while in the metro?” were discussed. Leaders explained how ticket booth staff or STM security may be able to help them in different situations.
Theme Three: Accessibility
After once again finding our helper for the night, the girls retrieved the next envelope. The topic of this group task was accessibility. The girls observed the way seating and standing space in the metro trains is organized. On the way to their next destination, they spoke about priority seating and assistance animals. Upon arrival at Mont-Royal station (which is heavily under construction), the girls were asked to think about the individual scenarios they had been given and what challenges might be faced by individuals with varying needs.
Ending the evening with a surprise photo op and a prize!
Returning to the Rosemont station, the unit happened upon an STM security team who kindly posed for a group shot with us. The evening drew to a close and the girls collected their final envelope. They found inside a Street Wise interest badge and a Girls in the City fun crest for each of them. Happy, tired and holding new badges in hand, the group parted ways with a round of “see you next week!”
Blog post by Amanda Guay, a Guider with the 1st Rosemont Guides in Monklands District.