Adventure Quest Institute

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    Bring your students to see the only competitive educational sled dog team in southern…

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    Adventure Quest Institute provides schools with three program options in order to meet your…

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Adventure Quest Institute provides schools with three program options in order to meet your school’s specific needs.

Stage Presentation: This program takes place in one location such as a multi-purpose room, auditorium, or outside amphitheater. We recommend this style of program for groups numbering over 100 students.

This program begins with the students watching a brief video demonstrating how a dog team and musher work together to win a race. An interactive discussion follows that helps students understand the importance of a good working relationship between dog team and musher.

The stage program also includes animated story telling as Robert Stradley takes the students on an imaginary nighttime run on Alaska’s Iditarod trail. During this high energy and fun filled story time the students will learn how a musher uses mushing equipment and techniques to help the dog team as they travel down the snowy trails of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Portions of Robert’s content was derived from personal conversations with world renowned mushers like four-time Iditarod champion Martin Buser and the winner of the last four Iditarod Races, Lance Mackey.

Volunteers a brought up on stage to suit up in authentic mushing gear used by Robert and his sons as they train and race the Team Quest sled dogs. As the students don the over-sized “bunny boots”, musher hats, and parkas, the audience learns the importance of protection against the dangers of hypothermia and frostbite in the subzero temperature of the Arctic. This section is guaranteed to bring big smiles and loud burst of laughter!

Next, a twelve member human “dog” Team is assembled on stage showing how each position of the team works together for the teams’ ultimate success. This newly formed team, along with the audience, is taught the actual commands that sled dogs must learn before venturing out into the deep woods.

A brief video is viewed showing our Team Quest Racing Sled Dogs as they train, race, and play at their home in the Angeles National Forest. Here students see how equipment is made and maintained, how dogs get from home to the race, and how lead dogs are trained. At the conclusion of this eight minute video students are challenged to use reading and research to attain their dreams.

At the close of the program, students are given a chance to pet the Team Quest dogs, stand on the back of a real dog sled, and view mushing gear and photos displays as they file out of the auditorium.

“Checkpoint” Station Rotations

This hands-on program is recommended for groups numbering up to 100 students. The program starts as does the stage program (see Stage Presentation description). After the interactive discussion on the video clip the four pre-divided groups, or “Dog Teams,” are sent to the following for Checkpoints:

Dog Gear- Here students can stand on the back of a sled, dress up in cold weather gear, wear snow shoes, and hear stories that teach of how each piece of equipment is vital to the health, safety, and success of the team. They will learn what gear is mandatory for mushers to carry long distance races like the 1,049 mile Iditarod Sled Dog Race.

Media- This checkpoint provides a great opportunity to research the history of dog sledding past, as well as the exciting revival of dog sledding today. Student will see a copy of newspaper accounts relating the true story of the 1925 Serum Run, affectionately known as the Balto Story. There are books showing how dog sledding was developed by those in the native In 2003, . founded Adventure Quest Institute, Inc. This educational non-profit organization has been inspiring thousands of students each year at various schools, libraries, churches, and other civic organizations. in the Arctic. Other material will show sled dogs being used by great explorers throughout history. Picture boards display the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, as well as races that our own Team Quest sled dogs have run. An interactive Iditarod buzzer board is used to test the student’s knowledge of Alaska’s geography, history, and culture. Two video clips will be shown, the AQI video mentioned earlier, and an Iditarod video showcasing highlights of the “Last Great Race.”

Dog Team Building- This station is a blast! Students learn, first hand, the value that each dog brings to the success of the team. After learning a variety of actual mushing commands, the students put their learning into practice as they pull the Team Quest dry land racing cart around the field. A giant Start/Finish banner adds to the feel of a real sled dog race. After the teams run the course we huddle together to debrief the experience. Here students share what life principles this team experience has taught them.

Meet the Dogs- At this checkpoint students get to spend some quality time petting and grooming a selection of real working sled dogs from the lines of the late Susan Butcher and Jeff King (both four-time champions of this prestigious race). Students learn about the different breeds of huskies along with which breeds are best suited for a given job. Students may get a chance to put a harness or bootie on a dog just like a musher would do before a run. This station usually takes place at the dog truck where students can see how the dogs and equipment are transported to races. Everybody loves the dogs…and I’m sure the feeling is mutual.

At the conclusion of the program students receive their “Team Quest Honorary Musher Card” which references books they can read to further their knowledge of these incredible animals.

*To accommodate greater numbers the AQI Staff can perform multiple programs during a day for a nominal fee for each additional program.



Last Updated (Saturday, 30 September 2017 17:59)