Yes, June 24th is fast approaching! Official start of summer holidays for schoolchildren, public holiday for workers, day of celebration with music… what is Saint-Jean in reality?
For the adults that we are, to ask the question is to answer it. But for our young people, is the answer really so obvious? If they understand that June 24 is Quebec's national holiday and that it is therefore an opportunity for all Quebeckers to come together to celebrate their belonging to our beautiful nation, what do they really know of its past? Do they know the identity of the heroes who helped build the Quebec of today? And what about the major events that marked its evolution? In short, how do you make them understand the true meaning of Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day and get them interested in the history of Quebec?
To learn, you have to live
I surely don't teach you anything by telling you that it is through experience that one acquires the most knowledge. We may read all the books that deal with driving and take all the lectures we want, we will really understand what driving is only oncebehind the wheel! The same goes with history. To capture the attention of our young people, therefore, we must first and foremost bring history to life so that they can experience it themselves.
Many museums also offer interactive workshops, guided tours with costumed facilitators and historical re-enactments that will certainly appeal to young and old alike. I am thinking here of the demonstrations of military exercises at the National Historic Site of Fort-Chambly, of the gourmet tours at the Château Ramezay in the company of the chef Maupoient (leader in the days of New France), theatrical guided tours of Ghosts of Old Montreal, and many more.
Beyond the museums
Besides museums, there are of course other ways of approaching history. Why not, for example, take advantage of a rainy weekend to organize a marathon of Quebec films? Maurice Richard, Louis Cyr: the strongest man in the world, La Bolduc, Babine, 1981, Chasse-Galerie: The legend, Ésimésac, February 15, 1839… there is no shortage of choice!
Do you prefer board games? No problem! Try Québec, a strategy game in which you will play as a bourgeois family seeking to leave its mark by rebuilding the city of Québec through more than four centuries of history! If you have a penchant for quizzes, test your knowledge with the game Quebec I remember, which contains more than 2,400 questions relating to ourBeautiful Province! And keep an eye out for Nouvelle-France, a brand new game designed by a Saguenean who should be released next fall!
Travel in Quebec
Finally, take advantage of your summer vacation to discover Quebec with your family. From Gaspé to Sept-Îles, via Saguenay, Rimouski, Trois-Rivières and all our charming villages like Saint-Élie-de-Caxton (birthplace of Fred Pellerin and main character in his tales), there is so much to see and discover!
In short, make history concrete, lively and thrilling and watch your young people immerse themselves in it with happiness and pride!