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Autumn has definitely settled into our chilly New England town. The leaves are boasting lovely shades of auburn and yellow while families stroll along the frost covered streets in sweaters and hand knit hats. There’s a sense of anticipation hanging in the frigid air as the holiday season quickly approaches. But before we can begin to plan for family gatherings, feasts, football, new year resolutions, or the horrors of holiday shopping, we mustn’t forget about an earlier holiday that’s just around the corner: Veterans Day.

A day of gratitude and appreciation for those who have served their country is certainly an excellent reason for schools to close. The problem, however, is that when schools shut their doors, too many kids, free of their usual scholarly responsibilities, will immediately turn on their television or computer. A day meant for rest and thought has become a day for Fortnite. This isn’t exactly what you might have had in mind. That’s where we come in…

Guardian Adventures is here to provide your child with all the excitement of their favorite video game, all without the need of screens. Does your hero want to save the world from an all powerful evil using their wit and cunning? We’ll give them a costume, complete with foam sword, and send them on a quest to conquer the “big bad boss.” Does your adventurer crave the thrill of blasting zombies and leveling up with each horde of monsters vanquished? We’ve got NERF blasters locked, loaded, and ready to keep our staff zombies at bay all day long. We can provide all of this without a single screen in sight.

With a full day available for adventure, we recommend letting us keep your child busy, rather than Nintendo. We’ll get them running around, swinging their foam swords, and cheering each other on as they quest their way through the magical story unfolding before them. The adventure is real…and so is the action.

Last year’s Veterans Day adventure here at The Castle sold out, packing the place with wizards, warriors, and zombies. Based on the response thus far, we fully expect this year’s event to sell out too. So, if you want to give your child a screen-free adventure with their big day off, call us today at (781) 270-4800 or write us an email to pre-register. The adventure will be a continuation of the last School Break event two weeks ago and will also be shedding some a little light on a topic of great interest to our Guardians: the origins of the zombies. Not to mention that within the adventure, a STEM lesson will throw our heroes into the wild world of biology as they learn about the mechanisms that make a human (or zombie) body function. Sounds bit more engaging than another episode of SpongeBob, doesn’t it?


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If you’ve been paying attention to popular culture for the past few years, chances are you’ve heard of the Netflix original series Stranger Things. If you’ve really been paying attention, you may have noticed a sudden rise in popularity of the tabletop game Dungeons & Dragons. While there is definitely a correlation between the two phenomena, there might be more to the legendary “game of geeks” than you think…

D&D first hit the shelves in the early 1970’s. In its first year, the game had around one thousand fans playing the roles of wizards and warriors. In its second year, that number tripled. By 2007 over six million people around the world reported playing D&D on a regular basis, making it the most popular roleplaying tabletop game of all time. So why is it that a game made up of just some oddly shaped dice, a grid, and a big dose of imagination has skyrocketed to such fame? The answer is simple: roleplay.

Roleplay is an intriguing concept. You don’t just put on a silly purple hat and become a wizard, you have to adopt a wizard’s characteristics. Your character is no longer imaginary…your character is truly you. The actions are of your character. The consequences are of your character. The real you is completely free from the story. This freedom is a major benefit of roleplay and the game itself.

Imagine a world filled with magic, monsters, and quests of incredible grandeur. Now imagine that you can do or be anything you wish in that world. Imagine that freedom. All of a sudden, the world isn’t such an intimidating place. You can experiment with your morality and take risks that may have seemed impossible before. If you succeed, congratulations…it’s just a game. If you fail, trip, stumble, or fall…it’s still just a game! There is no risk of embarrassment. You didn’t make that mistake, your character did. When there’s no embarrassment involved, you might find yourself becoming a bit braver than you thought you could be. Roleplay is the perfect opportunity to grow. Your character is a vehicle for self-discovery and that vehicle can never crash. You’re immune from real-world consequences but you can still learn them in real-time.

You’re finally allowed to make mistakes.

The magic of D&D has been growing in popularity nonstop since it’s humble beginnings in the early 70’s. Here at Guardian Adventures, we fully support the roleplaying juggernaut. It’s a fantastic and fantastical adventure for our kids, teens, and adults where they can grow as heroes in a safe space made up of imagination and comradery. That’s why every other Friday evening we embark on quests of our own with the 5th Edition of D&D here at The Castle!

Our biweekly D&D events have rapidly become some of our most popular Friday Night Adventures. The exponential increase in attendance has actually become so great that we are now implementing a limit to the roster. The capacity for attendance will from now on sit at 8 participants per DM (dungeon master) with a maximum of 2 DM’s per session. This means that the roster will either be closed at 8 attendees or 16 if enough interest arises. With this capacity in place, pre-registration (24 hours or more in advance) will be required for all D&D events at Guardian Adventures. The event registration will close the day before the event. If you don’t want to miss an opportunity to resume your quest, or give the legendary game a try, pre-register today at www.guardup.com/events/


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Dear Parents,

It has come to our attention at Guardian Adventures that some members of our community are active in an online chat group on Discord.  Discord, for those not familiar with it, is a proprietary freeware VoIP application and digital distribution platform—designed initially for the video gaming community—that specializes in text, image, video and audio communication between users in a chat channel.  This group can be a great way for kids who have met at Guardian Adventures to socialize when they aren’t together at the castle or at camp.  The risk is that it can also become toxic. 

Recently, some members have left Guardian Adventures or curtailed some of their activities here telling us it was because they no longer identified this as a safe space due to the actions or comments of some people on Discord. Obviously, while we have no control over what your children or teens do when they are not at Guardian Adventures, we are concerned that members of our community would behave in a way that makes others feel unsafe.  We understand that kids and teens may think they are being heroes by getting everyone to “do what is right”. However, the reality of the situation may be more complex than what they perceive and in their zealousness, they can even become bullies. 

We would like to ask each of you to speak to your kids and teens about the online community and appropriate behavior.  Remind them that things posted in group chats are NOT private and, like everything else on the internet, they never go away.  Let them know that it is up to them whether to participate in various online communities like Discord, Facebook, and others. Most importantly, please remind them that even when they know they are right, it isn’t acceptable to force others to go along or to ridicule people for not sharing their perspective. 

Finally, let me reiterate that Guardian Adventures is an inclusive community.  We believe that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. We do not tolerate bullying in any form.  That being said, we cannot impact anyone’s behavior on social media platforms outside of our adventure space where we do not moderate or control their actions.  We rely on individuals to self-edit while on social media as a sign of true heroism, character, and maturity. And we hope that our heroes remember that Compassion is the most vital of the three tenets of a hero.

Thank you for being a part of our diverse and special family.  We look forward to adventuring with you for a long time to come.

 

Michael Matfess

Operations Director


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