Merging technology and the outdoors, the Coonabarabran Girl Guide Community QR Code Challenge was unveiled on Sunday, 17 September, helping to mark the start of NSW Bike Week across the shire.
A series of QR Code Challenge banners have been placed at various public locations around Coonabarabran, with members of the community encouraged to find all 14 pieces of the puzzle.
QR (quick response) codes are comprised of a number of small black squares, similar to a barcode, and readable on a mobile device.
After downloading a QR Code Reader application onto a smart phone or tablet, the user can hover it over a unique code and quickly open a linked website or video.
The project has been a collaboration between the Coonabarabran Girl Guides and Warrumbungle Shire Council roads safety officer, Cheyenne O’Brien, and funded through Transport NSW’s Bike Week grants program.
Guides leader, Vivian Evans, said the idea for the QR Code Challenge first came from attending guide leader training on technology and the outdoors.
“The Guides took turns creating their own QR codes and challenges last year - it started at the Guide Hall and followed the proposed and completed shared bike path,” Mrs Evans said.
“It did require that you needed to complete one code to get to the next one, but we found that when one went missing, the challenge couldn’t be completed.
“Applying all that we learnt from last year and with Cheyenne securing funding for more robust banners through Bike Week 2017, we were able to make bigger and better QR Code Challenges this year.”
Local guides have also been heavily involved in helping establish the project, recording videos, introducing guests and being interviewed.
Mrs Evans said the QR Code Challenge was a fun way to encourage people of all ages to being active and educate the community about bike and mobility scooter safety.
“Residents, families and visitors can all join in this activity on a bike, scooter, skateboard or walking,” she said.
“The banners can be found in our parks, along the shared bike paths up over the bridge, near the information centre and pool.
“We won’t give them all away, as the challenge is to find all 14 of them and participate in the fun!”
The initiative also has a long-term potential, as the individual QR Codes can be edited to link to other resources.
“The learning from this activity is not over.
“Our aim is to develop and change the challenges to fit other themes and work with other community groups.
“Perhaps the codes could work on a theme for a month or two, then we can create and build new activities to fit a new theme.
“Themes could be related to the environment, astronomy, Clean Up Australia Day, National Heart Week, Education Week, Diabetes week, Book Week, Coonabarabran... it’s really up to our own imagination.
“We encourage anyone interested in collaborating to contact myself, Vivian Evans, to see what we can do, how we could engage various groups and of course the Girl Guides.”
Coonabarabran Girl Guides Brooke Neal, Azaelia Singh and Clair Butcher check out the Community QR Challenge.