New game challenges kids at Fort Chambly

Kids have to find creative ways to smuggle goods past a soldier



The Fort Chambly National Historic Site is offering an interactive family activity this summer. Smuggling, Outsmart the Exhibition challenges visitors to a game where they must attempt to successfully smuggle goods past a soldier. The activity shines a light on the history of Fort Chambly and the illegal trade that occurred in the region during the late 18th century.

The game is played in four phases. First, you pick a card that assigns you a historical character. Then, you choose your character’s skills, such as knowledge of the land or a native language. Once you have your character, you need to get by the guards, who will try to stop your smuggling operations. After being questioned by the guards, you reach the final step of the game when you learn whether you got away with your illicit activity, or if you were caught.

The game provides a variety of different paths, which will differ every time, giving children the opportunity to try again. Interpretation coordinator Jacynthe Guimond says kids aged 8-10 especially love the game and want to do it over and over again. It takes about 30-40 minutes to complete.

Throughout the game, you learn about the fort’s history and its role in preventing smuggling during the 18th century. The exhibition also includes informative captions for parents that summarize key concepts of the exhibit. This helps parents better understand and answer their children’s questions. It is also helpful when you don’t have time to read the full text of the informational panels.

“The fort itself is impressive,” Guimond says. “The gigantic stone fortifications are fascinating to children.” Children visiting the fort also have the option to don costumes and tour the site in period-appropriate outfits, she says.

This fort is located about an hour outside of Montreal. Hours of operation until Sept. 23 are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week. Admission is free for those under 17, and free for all on Canada Day.

For more information, visit pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/qc/fortchambly.

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