As you read this, we are just past the midway mark of our camp season of adventure, wonder, and education.  We would like to take this opportunity to look both backward and forward at this amazing summer of 2018.
In our new home in Salem, we have saved the world twice from an invasion of deadly zombie hoards using our blasters, ingenuity, and teamwork.  Heroes have analyzed the science of viruses, learned to cooperate between different and unique groups, and of course, destroyed plenty of zombies.  In these two, one week-long sessions of Zombie STEM overnight and day camp, our heroes have been able to express who they are through their creation of avatars to live within our world.  The literary theme of this year’s camp was Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The staff was extremely excited to get the summer started with this fast-paced world of Nerf blaster action combined with the Guardian Adventures’s innovative way of delivering education.  Make sure to check out our Facebook page for video updates and highlights.
After all the zombies were cleaned up, Wizards & Warriors set up shop for the remainder of the summer season exploring Bulgarian cultural stories.  Once sorted into houses, our Heroes replaced blasters with swords, protective eye goggles for shields, and swapped future for medieval fantasy.  Krali Marko has been saved from the evil clutches of the Lamia by our curious and energetic group. Through an immersive plot crafted expertly by our Guardian Adventures staff, our Heroes have learned about Bulgarian mythology, fought an onslaught of monsters, and have saved the world of Sidleterra from ultimate destruction.  As we approach the close of our first two week-long session and prepare for the second, our campers have learned how physics and geometry affect swordplay, how white blood cells affect healing, and a variety of other STEM  topics that are put into play in our realm.  Nestled proudly in the education and sword action has been some serious fun and friendship forming.  As houses march between encounters, lunch, and guild time, songs and laughter have rung out all summer long and fill the Salem woods.
We thank all of our Heroes for taking part in our world and each Hero Maker (you) for allowing your Heroes to make our world even better.  We hope a piece of Sidleterra comes home to your house and your Hero remembers our magical realm all year long.  Sidleterra is a place of education and adventure but also connection, belonging, and family.  From our family to yours, it has been an amazing adventure so far and we have another session to go!
The Team at Guardian Adventures
PS  If you have an older camper, be sure to consider our Blackwatch Teen Camp which will run in mid-August.

Written by Jake Javitch
Warm greetings to all of our Guardian Adventures family. Recently, Guardian Adventures took an opportunity to be heroes for a special group of students in need all the way from China!  We were contacted by a Chinese camping coordinator whose 21 campers flew all the way from Guangzhou, China for a summer camp in Wellesley, MA only to find out that when they arrived on July 15th, their contract had been voided without any communication.  You can imagine their disappointment and surprise at this situation. So once Guardian Adventures was informed, we sprang to action to try to save their summer.  As an intentionally inclusive environment, Guardian Adventures wanted to make sure we could help out campers in need and assist in any way we could.
All 21 students turned Heroes are now joining us at our Quest Camp location at the Salem State University and are enjoying our brand of story-based education.  After some ice-breakers and some initial trepidation, our new friends jumped right into sword games, guild time, and encounters all over camp.  The heroes at Quest camp have been very welcoming to their new house members and are helping them get into the flow of their new adventures.  Ever ready to help, Guardian Adventures is extremely excited to have new heroes add to our community as both groups learn from each other in new ways!

It’s mid July and our camps are in full swing! Our Zombie Overnight and Quest Camps just wrapped up in Salem, and we’re starting up our Wizards & Warriors season. But at our Burlington facility, both our Zombie and W&W Day Camps have been running simultaneously by our wonderful Day Camp staff. Meet our Day Camp counselors:

Christopher Buck

Is a returning counselor from last year. When Buck isn’t hard at work studying at graduate school assumption college. they like to train in Kenpo martial arts and play the violin. Buck is one half of the foundation of day camp as their stories and game mechanic ideas transport our campers to entirely new worlds. Their attention to detail and safety and their compassion for the unique qualities of every camper make them a necessary contributor to camp’s success.

Chris Dale

Dale who is a veteran Guardian Adventures kid and staff member is the life and soul of camp. She eats, breathes, and dreams of stories jam-packed with knowledge that any child will be hooked on. Her endless imagination and improvisational abilities lay the second foundation for camp. Her dedication to the children she works with and her passion for teaching make sets camp above the rest. When she’s not creating alternate universes filled with interesting characters she likes to eat sushi, play magic, and smile.

Maria Ferrandi

Maria, a first-time head counselor, and logistics director is the glue that holds this operation together. Her experience in expressive art therapy and years working with children from all backgrounds lend her the ability to handle any challenge. Maria also has years of practice in all art forms and loves to play guitar. Her creativity, flexibility, and passion for working with children adds a unique and special element that our camp has benefited tremendously from.

Remember, it’s not too late to sign up for another wonderful week of Day Camp and send some more time adventuring with these Hero Leaders… Sign up using the form below:

The best part of being a Guardian is getting the chance to make a difference in a Hero’s life. We love reading the incredible testimonials and reviews that our parents send us. Here you can read Betsy’s story about her Hero, Becca.

“This will be my daughter’s third summer attending Wizard & Warrior Overnight camp. As a mom to a daughter on the autism spectrum, it has been challenging to find a place where she feels accepted for who she is, quirks and all. The summer prior to finding Guardian Adventures camps, she tried a different three-week overnight experience with a camp on Cape Cod. While she had some fun and made a friend, when I asked her if she wanted to return the following year, her response was “I had to work really hard at fitting in to have fun. I wish I could just relax and be myself and have fun.” This was a pivotal moment for me, because in that moment I realized that the message she’s been receiving (in both subtle and not-so-subtle ways) is that who she is, is not okay.

I knew I needed to find a place that accepted her true self – a place where she did not have to mask in order to fit in.  I found this at Guardian Adventures. They pride themselves in providing and fostering an open and inclusive community and not just acceptance of diversity, but a real celebration of it.

We have found the counselors to be more mature than your average summer camp counselor as well, and they care about each individual camper.  Once, in her first year, one of her counselors noticed that my daughter was burying her nose in a book during free time. Since he did not know her well, he called to check in with me to find out if this was something she did just in order to recharge and regroup or whether it was social avoidance. As it turns out, she likes to do this and it had nothing to do with social avoidance, but for the counselor to notice and inquire spoke volumes to be about his level of insight and interest in each camper.

The camp is wildly creative and unique, and each day includes important STEM learning, as well as plenty of outdoor adventure. She loves the teamwork aspect, the creative outlet, the total immersion, and the adventure. She cannot wait till she returns!

Betsy (mom to a third year hero)”

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