Volunteer Spotlight: Linda Kahl and Lois Frazer
Valley Quest is often thought of as a family-oriented program. With educational treasure hunts of varying length, difficulty, and physical intensity, the program offers Quests that engage every interest and age group.
For some, Questing is a family affair, and the Kahl and Frazer families set the bar high.
Sisters Lois Frazer of Etna and Linda Kahl of Hartford were introduced to Valley Quest in 2001. They’ve been Questing ever since, bringing along their husbands, children, grandchildren, mother, and even their younger sister Lana.
Frazer and Kahl’s shared enthusiasm for Valley Quest is contagious. Last summer alone the sisters completed over 80 Quests. They each monitor approximately 20 Quests throughout the Upper Valley.
As lifelong Upper Valley residents, Frazer and Kahl love to learn about the history of towns throughout the region.
They grew up in Strafford, VT, where their father was the last caretaker at the copper mine.
“Back then in Strafford, you either were a farmer or you worked in the mine,” says Frazer. With multiple generations of family hailing from Strafford, Kahl notes, “we’re related to all the people in the cemetery there!”
Even with their deep local ties, Kahl and Frazer love learning new things about the Upper Valley through Questing. “We’ve been to all these tiny towns we never knew existed and learned all about the history of all of Vermont,” says Kahl.
“I like learning about a new town, and Questing gets me to go investigate a new place,” says Frazer. Kahl added, “We’ve learned about so many places that we’d never gone before.”
Kahl and Frazer spread the word about Valley Quest at every opportunity. “We’ve taken our kids, and they’ve taken their kids,” says Kahl. “I’ve given both neighbors books, and they’ve gone on Quests.”
“Everywhere I go, I tell people about Valley Quest,” says Frazer. “It doesn’t cost anything but the gas, and there are not many things in this world that don’t cost anything.”
In addition to checking on their collective 40 Quests and volunteering to update clues for other Quests, the sisters complete about 20 other Quests each year. There are still a few Quests that they have not yet been on, but that number gets smaller every year.
Their next Questing challenge? “I haven’t tried to write one myself yet, but I’m excited to take the Quest writing workshop with Steve Glazer,” says Kahl, who has ideas brewing for a new Quest in Strafford.
Kahl and Frazer’s Favorite Quests:
- Mountain Maple Quest in Norwich
- Town House Quest in Strafford
- Flat Rock Quest in Orford. “It’s just such a lovely place,” says Frazer.
- Porter Cemetery Quest and Beale Cemetery Quest in Lyme. “I could sit [at the Porter Cemetery] all day overlooking the Connecticut” Says Frazer, “and we discovered the most amazing field of ladyslippers at Beal. We never would have gone there otherwise.”
- Four Corners Quest in Croydon, NH. “It’s so quiet and so beautiful to get there,” says Kahl.
- The Woodstock Quests. “Because it’s fun to tromp around Woodstock. There are so many of them, and they all have stories to tell.”