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by Meghan Gardner

No matter your political views, I think we can all agree that separating children from their parents when families try to cross the border from Mexico into the USA is not just bad policy, it’s traumatic to the children.  At Guardian Adventures, we call ourselves “Guardians” because our emphasis is on Safe, Fun, and Educational events.  Notice that “Safe” is first in that list.  This means both physically and emotionally safe.

As Guardians, we collectively feel it is time to step up and do more.  We have chosen to work with the nonprofit International Rescue Committee, which was founded in 1933 by Albert Einstein. The IRC delivers lifesaving care to people fleeing conflict and natural disaster. The IRC has also been given the highest possible rating from all three of the top charity watchdog organizations: Charity Navigator, BBB Wise Giving Alliance, and Charity Watch.

Guardian Adventures is offering a challenge to our community:  If you donate to the IRC between now and 7/20/2018, we will match your donation. Our maximum matching for the program is $1,000, so this fundraiser can raise a total of up to $2,000 from Guardian Adventures and our community.  Just visit https://help.rescue.org/donate and send us a copy of your receipt.  Also, please let us know in the email you send us if you want this to be anonymous.  If you don’t we would like to announce your name (not the amount of your donation) in our future update as an Honorary Guardian.

Let’s take action now and make a difference in the lives of children who are suffering.  Thank you for your help!


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As the Guardian Adventures family of camps grow, so do our staffing needs in order to provide the best experience for our heroes.  This summer we are adding a nurse to our current staff and are looking for help finding another talented nurse to assist Sidleterra’s ranks.  This person must be a licensed nurse in Massachusetts.  We are looking to add this person to our staff for this coming summer so let the search begin in earnest right now!

Also, just to sweeten the chase a little bit, we are offering a $100 credit toward camp tuition that will be applied upon the successful completion of the summer.  We are hopeful that the right candidate is someone our existing community knows.

If you or anyone you know are interested in joining the Guardian Adventures family for the summer, please see our Camp Nurse Application.

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Students in Asia will be training for a trip to Mars this summer.

Meghan Gardner of Guardian Adventures, Inc. has joined with Professor Joe Blatt of Harvard Graduate School of Education, Dr. Uche Amaechi of the Fletcher Maynard Academy, and Andrew Gil from ST Unitas, the parent company of The Princeton Review, to create a new organization called The Stem Initiative which will be opening a series of STEM and story-based summer camps throughout Asia. Gardner, Blatt, and Amaechi designed the full curriculum and story about a trip to Mars for grades 2-6 students. This summer, the first location will be at Seoul National University (http://en.snu.ac.kr/), and the second site is at Se-Jong University (http://eng.sejong.ac.kr/index.do ), which will be a residential camp.

This year, the STEM Initiative will engage day and residential campers in experiential science, technology, engineering, and math projects that foster a deep understanding of fundamental education concepts, while modeling collaboration and inspiring innovation. Campers will be joining a mythical company named Space Time Continuum, Inc. as they solve challenges and work jointly on projects based on sending a spaceship from Earth to Mars and then establishing a colony on the planet. Both the US team and ST Unitas plan to keep the mission growing and expand to additional countries in future years.

Gardner brings unique expertise to this venture. As CEO of Guardian Adventures, Inc. she has been a guest lecturer at Harvard Graduate School of Education for the past 4 years, teaching students about Guardian Adventures’s progressive approach to using interactive stories and live adventures for teaching STEM and life skills. The benefits of using stories to educate include creating context for better understanding as well as retention, motivating students to learn more by capturing their imagination, and providing a sense of belonging as they discover their own role in the greater story. Guardian Adventures runs Wizards & Warriors (www.SwordSummerCamp.com) and Zombie (www.ZombieSummerCamp.com) STEM summer camps and year-round programs for all ages. Guardian Adventures is also partnering with Boston area shelters to bring homeless kids into their camps this summer.



Written by our consultant, Nelly Tonchev

It’s summer vacation and children have more time for games and fun activities. Families can use this opportunity to shut off the tech toys and engage in favorite summer activities such as books, picnics, pool parties, barbecues, and more. Since we live in a world without borders, maybe you can go outside your comfort zones by learning about different cultures.

I write about Bulgarian mythology, folklore and cuisine, so I can offer a few ideas for the summer.

1. Dine at an ethnic restaurant

I’m sure your first idea is to dine at an ethnic restaurant and this is perfectly fine, we all love food.

This is your chance to expand your palate. See if there are any ethnic restaurants nearby that you’ve never been to. If you can’t find a Bulgarian restaurant, you can prepare your own ethnic Bulgarian meal.

My favorite is called “banitza,” but since it’s summer, I think you need to try my other favorite for the summer: Zucchini with yogurt-dill sauce
Also yogurt is a known Bulgarian specialty, healthy and tasty.

Visit our blog, “Ronesa Aveela” to explore more recipes and learn about different Bulgarian and Mediterranean dishes; try the taste of Bulgaria and the Balkans.
To discover more recipes, you can get a copy of my book, Mediterranean & Bulgarian Cuisine

2. Experience ethnic music and dance

There are plenty of ways to learn more about music in other countries. Here are some suggestions:

  • Sign up for a dance class to learn Flamenco (Spansh), Polka (Czech), or the Jig (Scottish or Irish)
  • Attend a concert or music festival that showcases music from different parts of the world
  • Check out CDs of ethnic music at the library

Bulgarian Music and dance

Bulgarian folk music and dance are quite different from what Americans are used to. Dances are performed by men and women in lines or circles (Horo).

I’m sure you’ve heard about some in the movie 300 (Message for the Queen) and other Hollywood movies.

“Go down, go down, bright sunshine
Go down, hide your light.
Mourn for your leafs, you forest”

To learn more check out my article on Bulgarian Music and Dance.

In my book Light Love Rituals, you can learn more about the Horo and also when the dance is performed.

3. Learn about your heritage

Doing a little genealogical research with your family allows you to spend time together and reach out to distant family members. Creating a family record is a pursuit you can work on for a long time, and you never know what you might discover.

Even if your heritage is not Bulgarian, maybe you have a friend who is and you want to learn more. Visit my blog or my author page where you can find different books inspired by the rich Bulgarian traditions and mythology.

My latest book, The Unborn Hero of Dragon Village, is a good summer read to travel to the mystical world in Zmeykovo (Dragon Village) and also learn about different mythological creatures.

4. Learn about Mythology and Folklore of other cultures through crafts

Bulgarians celebrate name days, birthdays and they observe and practice many more rituals and traditions. In my Baba Treasure Chest series, I’ve described some of them.

My favorite tradition is making a Martenitsa, the white and red amulet of friendship. In the short story The Miracle Stork, I have activities and also steps on how to make your own.

If you’re traveling, some of my book are available on Audible, a perfect way to entertain the entire family until you get to your final destination. You can have an awesome trip while learning about another culture.

5. Coloring Books for the entire family

Coloring can reduce stress and be fun for the whole family. When you’re coloring, you’re not checking your smart phone, flipping channels or tweeting. In addition, my series Mermaids Around the World can help you learn more than 50 different mermaids legend around the world.

 


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