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Greetings to all the wonderful denizens of Guardian Castle! This is Chris Wiley, the resident castle Quartermaster, Storymaster, and Pied Piper. Many of you we’ve come to know quite well over our past 20 years, while many of you are new to our castle. We can’t wait to start our new adventure season…

We are reaching out to welcome our heroes and heromakers (students and parents) in our classes to the Guardian Adventures crew, as well as to help us get to know you better. After the close of another epic summer, we are able to turn our eyes back to the myriad of classes at our castle. We want each of our classes to be a welcoming community that reflects the students in the program and is open to new heroes joining. We see heroes of all ages, backgrounds, and experiences come to us and we endeavor to build a world within our walls that welcomes all equally. Our wonderful Guardians (or instructors) are constantly working to increase the entertainment and engagement of our heroes.

We know that there are some new faces in our classes and new adventures starting in many of our programs. Change can be challenging for anyone and we want to make sure that any changes are productive and help create a more engaging class and a stronger community. We would love your help in building our community to be as strong as our castle walls! How can you help? Well, I’m glad you asked…

Class Assessments: We will be conducting assessments of all our students to check in on their progress, goals, and enjoyment in our classrooms. We would love for this to be a dialogue with our students and hear from you about any goals or challenges we can work together on.

Survey Responses: We recently released a survey that had a variety of questions to give us feedback on our past, present, and potential future programs. This survey will help guide us in making community-driven adjustments.

Live Feedback: Our Guardians (instructors) and Castle Captains (managers) try to touch base with as many heroes (and their heromakers for our younger heroes) whenever we can but with a castle this full it can be challenging. You are always welcome to reach out to us and set up appointments or talk in person anytime. Let us know when class is amazing and when there is something you think we can improve on.

Our programs and castle are only as good as the community it is built around. We like to think of ourselves as the bricklayers building up a strong and durable community. You amazing people are the mortar that helps hold all of us together. With your help, we can build a warm and welcoming castle that will stand as a beacon to all the heroes of the world.

Huzzah!

PS: Please feel free to reach out to our membership manager, Mikey Scofield, for any feedback, concerns, comments, or help that you need in making your experience as a member in our Guardian Adventures community even better. He is available by phone and email Tuesdays through Saturdays and is more than happy to work with you in any way, shape, or form to ensure your child’s success.

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What you’re seeing there is a fire spirit, breathing real flames into the sky at the Bedford Day Parade. You may be surprised to learn that the spirit is also our founder and CEO, Meghan Gardner…becuase what CEO shouldn’t enjoy a nice flammable hobby? The fire department seems to agree.

The Bedford Day Parade is an annual tradition at the end of every summer, where the community gathers to support local business and celebrate their town pride. Guard Up’s Guardian Adventures has been honored for the past decade to be a part of this tradition, and every year we crank up the heat just a bit more. During the parade itself you could find young elves and elder wizards marching alongside the fire spirit as the audience stared in awe (or took snapchats) of the billowing flames.

The parade concluded at the town center where local businesses had their EZ-Ups and pop up tents lined along the walkways. The Guardian Adventures booth was easily one of the most entertaining. Children, teens, and adults alike wandered over, not sure what to expect. What they got was a full fledged Guardian Adventures experience.

The “weary travelers” were greeted by an elf, requesting their help on her quest to restore sanity to the town fool, who danced, skipped, and jumped in circles around the unsuspecting travelers. They were then ushered to a small table where they were given stickers and sustenance for their journey (in the form of free candy). In the background, a wizard juggled and a forest spirit twirled a wooden staff.

Needless to say, people were intrigued.

There was also plenty of time to talk to hopeful wizards and warriors. The young heroes would first speak to our resident wizard, Steve the Magnificent…

…and would then have the chance to prove their skills with a foam sword against our Masters of Arms.

In conclusion, Bedford Day 2019 was a smashing success. From fire breathing to foam sword fun, thank you to everyone who participated, came to say hello, or assisted in the quest to restore the village fool’s sanity (which was eventually accomplished). Bedford TV published a live stream of the entire event, including another video with an interview of our CEO and fire spirit, Meghan! Take a look below…


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Change is an inevitable byproduct of growth, and over the last twenty years, we’ve grown immensely. What started as a family swordsmanship facility has evolved and matured into an incredibly vast array of story-based adventures for all ages. Yes, swords are still a key piece of plot, but the focus has shifted. We used to teach self-defense. Now we teach science, technology, engineering, and math, as well as some battle skills with our foam daggers and NERF blasters.

Now that we’ve reached the ripe old age of twenty, we feel it’s time to rework our image to better reflect what Guard Up has grown to become. There’s one word that sums up all that we do best, and that word is Adventure. So to all of our friends, families, and zombies alike, we’d like to reintroduce ourselves.

We are Guardian Adventures.

Guard Up is still the corporation, but the operations now have a separate identity and can continue to grow in their own way, much like the heroes that embark on them. With this change in name, you’ll begin to notice other changes happening in the castle, online, and on the battlefield. The sign that hangs proudly on the front of our castle wall is brand new, with the new name and more focus on the educational curriculum that we’ve crafted over the years. The weekly Guard UpDate has a fresh new look.

We’ve even got new Guardian gear on the way…

The biggest upgrade in our name changing process is, as we’ve mentioned previously, our new website! The site boasts a well of information on our summer camps and school break adventures, fully customizable birthday parties, corporate zombie invasions and training, as well as a full section crafted specifically for educators interested in STEM and informal learning.

This change couldn’t be timed better.  Guardian Adventures has a significant number of large projects we are currently working for everyone from the Lexington Library’s Night at the Library adventure (where the characters are climbing out of the books and 100 teens have to find out how to put them back in before 10pm to save the library from “certain destruction”) to our wide-reaching international corporations like ST Unitas in South Korea and also our biggest international contract yet (soon to be revealed).

Curious? Take a sneak peek today at www.guardianadventures.com, (once we are done optimizing the site, we will move it to guardup.com).  Please reach out to us to let us know what you think. What blew you away? What could be better? We want to know!

From all of us here at Guardian Adventures, thank you for the last twenty years of magic, mayhem, and monsters. Cheers to the future. Let’s conquer it together and always keep adventuring…


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As of yesterday, Shutdown Week is officially over!

The drawbridge has been lowered and the doors swung wide open for all of our favorite Guardians to return to The Castle. It’s been a minute since you’ve seen the place. Certain things seem a little different. But why? Well, take a peek at our Shutdown Week Recap, detailing some of the highlights of our hectic week of work:

We checked every single piece of technology to make sure it’s all working the best that it can. And when I say every single piece…I mean every. single. piece. There are a lot more gizmos and gadgets than you might expect in a castle.

We unloaded the camp van now that camp in Salem is over for the season. But that means more stuff to go on the office shelves, so we simultaneously reorganized all our shelves and closets (big shout out to Katie for spearheading that one). Everything is all nice and orderly now. Every pen and pencil has is in its proper place.

We tested our weapons, from foam swords to spell packets to NERF blasters of all shapes and sizes. We can now confidently say that any weapon or shield you snag will have you battle-ready,

…with the proper training of course.

Also, our costumes are all now freshly washed so not only will our staff look like a warrior, they’ll smell like a rose!

Our executive team did their annual “Camp Hot-wash,” running over each detail of this year’s adventures: What worked, what didn’t, and why. Doing this guarantees an even more magical trip to Sidleterra in 2020, new lessons for our weekly classes, and more interactive adventures for Friday nights. We can’t wait to show you what we’ve dreamt up.

We cleaned all the rooms, from the floors to the ceilings and everything in between. We even cleaned all of our chairs. Big thank you to some of our Junior Instructors for helping out with this mission. We didn’t miss a single spot in this ol’ castle of ours.

While (almost) all of this was a grand time, my personal favorite moment of the week was an employee field trip to a local escape room. We pulled up to Breakout in full costumes, as one does at Guardian Adventures, and were able to escape the “Museum Heist” themed room with only a minute to spare!

 

And that, as they say, is that.  But one more thing:  Our new website is live on a private server and we would like to ask for volunteers to go through the site and help us find errors, broken links, etc.  This new site combines all three of our previous websites and also adds in a new section for Educators.  Do you have a keen eye for proofreading and are you up for helping out?  Please contact us and let us know.  Thank you!


 

PS: We also cleaned the grill in preparation for our annual Member Appreciation Spar-B-Q, to which you are invited! If you’re free on September 14th then come on down to The Castle for some food and foam fun.

PPS: And we played with swords. A lot.


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Summer Camp is officially wrapped for the 2019 season. Thank you to everyone who participated and helped make the magic real for the young heroes at King’s Watch Day Camp here in Burlington. After ten weeks of nonstop adventure, there’s a whole lot to remember. Here’s some of our amazing counselors’ favorite bits…

 

John Cordero

“I loved playing Gilgamesh. I loved playing an evil villain and watching the kids band together to overpower and defeat me as a team. They had to surround me and I was force-fed a potion, which was pretty ridiculous and cool.”
WHAT DID YOU LEARN?
“I learned a lot about how personalities can mesh…or clash. It was also interesting to observe how when you try to explain something to an 8 year old they’ll understand faster than a 50 year old, becuase they don’t hold onto old knowledge and are more open to new ideas. We can learn a lot from the kids.”

Elena Nahrmann

“I also loved playing out the Gilgamesh plot. The campers manufactured a magical weakening potion using STEM and the PH scale early in the day. After there was a this great big battle…it was epic.
Demon Town was a great part too. It was sort of a land of the dead and in order to buy stuff everyone had to do favors and sign contracts since there was no money. Everybody was making each other do silly dances to get potions and powers. Also John acquired one camper’s soul. All the campers fought together to get it back. I think that was my favorite week.”
WHAT DID YOU LEARN?
“I learned how creative kids could be, especially when they started bartering with souls, which we did not expect.”

Sarah Galevi

“I really enjoyed the Orchestrated Meditation for the plot. We did that so we could call upon the spirit Ninsun to get advise and wisdom in order to beat Gilgamesh. She appeared to them after they had successfully meditated in the spirit realm. The kids were (surprisingly) very into! Not to mention, they were really quiet for a whole thirty minutes.”
WHAT DID YOU LEARN?
“I learned how to be a leader, be more confident, own the situation, and improvise when things don’t go as expected. These kids have some wild imaginations and you’ve got to keep up!”

Mikey Scofield

“It’s always a good time goofing off with the kids, especially during the extended day hours when anything goes. I also really get into making the puzzles in Zombie Camp for the kids to solve.
I made one where they had to read cryptic pictures. The campers were tasked with using the clues in the codes to see how many stones they could put in the goblets. Once the correct amount was used the goblets were  keys to open a temple door to a secret room filled with new mysteries and quests. I mean, c’mon. That’s awesome! It looked so cool and the kids picked up on it really quickly.”
WHAT DID YOU LEARN?
“I learned more about what can make this camp even better. Some stuff we weren’t sure would work actually had a surprising impact. We got to experiment in ways we didn’t expect and I think the kids got a lot out of this summer…and so did the adults. Everybody grew together.”

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