Mission San Juan Capistrano has unveiled a new audio tour program — just in time for back to school.
NATHAN BANDA AND JACK ADAMS LENT THEIR VOICES TO MISSION SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO’S NEW AUDIO TOUR, “IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK.”
“If These Walls Could Talk” is a self-guided audio tour designed for students — and specifically those California students learning about the Mission.
The approximately 80-minute tour is part of the Mission’s education program, newly named “Remembering the Builders: Mission San Juan Capistrano Student Education Program.”
“The new name reflects our effort to focus on sharing the many facets of history and ensures that we are remembering the contributions of our Indigenous builders and celebrating St. Serra,” said the Mission’s executive director Mechelle Lawrence Adams. “We are always proud that our education programs continue to meet, or exceed, the State of California’s curriculum standards for learning about history, social sciences and some science.”
MISSION SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO TOUR GUIDE MELANIE RAYBURN DEMONSTRATES THE AUDIO DEVICE USED DURING TOURS.
Led by the “Grandmotherly Mission Wall’s” voice, children, students and families will learn important and interesting facts about the Mission and its almost 250- year history.
During the 23 station stops, tour goers will “meet” historical figures such as Fr. Serra, the Mission’s founder, a Spanish soldier, a Native Acjachemen person and a Spanish padre. They will learn about the Mission’s agriculture and step inside Serra Chapel — the state’s most historically significant chapel.
The audio tour also inspires students to ask questions of their own, continuing the conversation long after the tour ends.
Co-written by Lawrence Adams, the audio recording features voice actors as well as local student Jack Adams and Nathan Banda, Juaneño Band of Mission Indians, Acjachemen Nation.
“It was very fun and cool to tell the Mission’s story,” said Adams, of his role in the audio tour. “The first time I read the script, I was like — wow — I learned so much in just the first 15 minutes.”
Adams, 11, attends middle school in Seal Beach and is also the son of Lawrence Adams.
“I like the tour because it’s from a kid’s perspective,” he added.
Mission tour guide Melanie Rayburn, who was on hand to distribute the audio tour devices to guests during its official launch late last month, remarked how children seem to really enjoy all the tours offered at the Mission.
“When families are ready to exit, the kids don’t want to give it back,” she said.
“If These Walls Could Talk” audio tour is available during Mission San Juan Capistrano’s regular operating hours. For more information, visit www.missionsjc.com.
Note from the Mission: While ongoing support of the Mission’s Adopt-A-Class Scholarship Program is provided by The Nicholas Endowment, additional funding is sought to provide scholarships for at least 150 students per day during the 2023-2024 school year. This funding will ensure that students and youth can experience the new audio tour and take part in the Mission Matters Adobe Brick Making class. Every student will also receive a special “Remember the Builders” commemorative bracelet as a memento of their visit.