Written by Peter, Sales Manager and Hero Leader at Guard Up

It is with a mix of optimism and sadness that I announce that I will be ending my role as a Guard Up instructor and manager on Sunday, April 30.  In the time I have been at Guard Up I have met incredibly unique, creative, and courageous people among our students, parents, campers, and staff.  Guard Up students develop a profound knowledge of their strengths and goals and what they can contribute to the world, and we – their parents, siblings, instructors, and friends – are privileged to expand our own self-knowledge as they do.

As I take the next step in my career, I am focusing in two areas: working with private schools, charter schools, and other organizations while helping prepare young adults transition from social and educational services to adulthood at age 22 (an age when many of those services disappear).  It is only through my experience at Guard Up and through the inspiring and enlightening conversations I have had with so many of you that I have realized the potential of these opportunities.

I have spoken with students, parents, and teachers at Guard Up about their experiences with alternative ways to educate and I have seen the importance of practicing those techniques and promoting these values in the classroom.  

I see Guard Up students developing healthy and productive habits when it comes to leisure, decompression, and stimulation.  The skills of relaxing and having fun can be surprisingly difficult to build, particularly for those who struggle to fit the mold, join the conversation, or pick up the sword (so to speak).  Our students strive to build supportive communities and carve out a place for themselves and others to play and learn and grow in a way that is meaningful to them.  I hope to help students transitioning into adulthood find and build those same communities and to develop leisure and vocational skills that will allow them to be happy, healthy contributors to society.

I will miss you all very much, but this will not  be the last you hear from Office Pete, Mean Pete, UniPete, or any of the other characters Guard Up has helped me to build and embody.  You will see me at events and visiting camp (if I really can’t stay away you may see me in the classroom again).  And I will bring you with me as I move through the world, taking inspiration and comfort from our time together and from the knowledge that you continue to build worlds – and build a better world – together.