The visits we have made have been because an adult wanted to go or as part of a camp programme. I don’t remember any resources to encourage people to walk around the exhibits so it was an aimless ramble. So it would be good to have something to aid a walk around. It is wrong to assume that cadets and staff have a natural interest in the RAF and or aircraft, so need to something to prompt them to look around. Not sure about the quiz idea, unless there’s a gizzit it at the end.
The main thing to consider is length of visit, which will include lunch and potentially a visit to the shop, as this should guide the resources. I would suggest a visit will last 4 hours max incl lunch etc. The last couple of visits due to Hendon’s location we have spent more time travelling than at Hendon.
The one question I would ask is what about adults? If you go as a parent you will go knowing it’s for the kids, but when it’s a youth group or school visit, you are going because the rules say there has to be an adult there, with this in mind what do you offer for adults, other than a café, which like all café’s in these places know they have a captive audience. It would be good to have something that maybe adults with no particular interest in the RAF feel there is something for them, to interest them.
Any resources should be age appropriate but I think that more hands on doing type things should be available, as from the last time I visited cadets seemed to spend ages queueing for some sort of simulator and feeling somewhat disappointed when we said we had to leave. Maybe 3D things would grab the interest.
For me being able to research family who were in the RAF, would be of interest. But I’m not sure if this is something held back to charge people. This could include searchable newspapers for info about your squadron.
Not sure about the ATC and even RAF timeline as like all historical matters, unless someone explains the context, it’s just a list of things with or without pictures. Maybe have reenactors there to “bring it to life”, my wife and I are EH members and the people they have at events in costume acting as per the period, do bring it to life, give it some context and many are quite entertaining.
Demonstrations of the skills and crafts required to build the aircraft of different eras, with the chance to have a go. I find the ‘builder’ sheds at Duxford really interesting. Other than it’s a reasonable walk with some old aircraft.
Maybe an Anderson shelter or similar and get 5 minutes sitting inside with a simulated raid during The Blitz or mock of a Lanc in flight and likewise 5 minutes. I’m not sure if it’s still there, but I when visited the Cloth Hall in Ypres years ago they had a reconstruction of a shell burst in the entrance. Woke people up if nothing else.
Guided tours around sections to explain about what’s in that area. Or take the cheap, soft option with self guided audio tours. I’ve done a few of both types over the years and help to explain things. I do prefer a person to a voice in headphones.
I would overall try bring Hendon to life, people in period costume talking about their role or experience. This seems to work well at EH attractions and again for special events have some children doing it as well, I’m sure stage schools would have youngsters to do this.