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In our NERF universe, we’ve seen robots, psychics, and more zombies than you can shake a foam sword at…but why stop there? We’re big fans of “what if.” What if there was a new class of character for the NERF-verse? What if we could flip the world on its head? What if we introduced Super Heroes into the world? Well, guess what. We just did.

The “Sups” will be making their official Guardian Adventures debut and joining the lore of Sidleterra at our NERF Adventure Night this Friday, the 15th. They will then become a steadily rocking piece of the NERF-verse, in our summer camps, MLK Full Day Adventure, as well as all NERF Adventure Night’s to come. Curious how it all works within the story? Here’s what’s planned:

Technology has far surpassed its potential and complexity as predicted by modern experts. The constant meddling of unethical and taboo science from illegal organizations like X-Corp, Q-Cure, terrorist organizations, and mad scientists has reached a tipping point. Super powers are now a modern threat and commonplace to Siddleterra. Interdimensional travel has opened the door for superior evil to take more concrete forms within the realm. 

The first documented evidence of super powers was discovered when Zee Corp began experimenting with Z-Weapons and alien technology. Shortly after, separatist group of ethically questionable scientists broke off to form X-Corp which began heavily using Z-Weapon technology to produce “Super Soldiers.” Simultaneously, Q-Cure was started upon the recovery of The Elixir of Life, discovered by the heroes in the far future.

There’s been a fallout of Zee Corp and other government agencies trying to prevent total destruction and world domination from a new threat every other summer. Radiation, diseases, mutations, time fluctuations, and powerful discarded artifacts have affected an unknown number of communities and caused the transformation or evolution of those exposed into something more…super.

The powers are attributed to the class of Sup. There are big Brutes, smashing and slamming their way through the enemy. Psion heroes sneak past the obstacles using their invisibility and cunning. Next in line, we find the Gadgeteers, using holograms and sticky traps to contain and distract their foes. Finally, the Sups host Elementals. The Elementals are mutated beings with supernatural command over the elements of the natural world. Fire, water, air, and earth are the tools of these Sups, usable as both protection and weaponry. What if two Elementals combined fire and water? What if a Brute and Gadgeteer worked together to surprise an enemy in heavy armor? We’re almost ready to find out.

If this doesn’t sound like something you want to explore, no problem.  All current Defender Divisions are still part of the universe.  Your characters can progress as they have been and you can experience the adventure as you have since you started.  The new Sup class is just an addition that allows those that want to try something different a new range of new opportunities in the world of Outpost 379.  Together, Defenders and Sups just might have a chance to save the human race!

If you feel ready to pick your powers and get super in our NERF-verse, you can sign up for this Friday’s NERF Adventure Night. Best of luck to our new Sups! Use your powers wisely, work together, and remember to always ask “what if.”


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As heroes of all ages marched towards The Castle doors they could see colorful lights dancing across the drawbridge. The faint sound of laughter and swordplay echoed throughout the courtyard. The doors opened and a wild cast of creatures welcomed attendees into the evening with promises of fellowship and hints of mystery beginning to unfold.

It all began with the residents of Sidleterra throwing a gigantic potluck dinner, provided by Guardian Adventures and various families in attendance. Once every belly was full, the heroes were led to witness a ceremony between the Fae. This ceremony was to mark the passing of a magical Orb that helps to control and power the seasons.

As Lord Summer was passing off the Orb to his brother, Lord Autumn, a dark figure darted between them, snatching the Orb and disappearing into the shadows. Confused and disgruntled, Lord Autumn accused Lord Summer of trying to prolong his season. Lord Summer denied that he had anything to do with the theft. He then called upon our heroes of Sidleterra to explore every nook and cranny of The Castle, pleading with them to discover the truth and save his name.

The heroes began their quest for truth. Within The Castle, they found a Cooky Carnival that Spring created, a battle ground overseen by Autumn, a realm of Lord Summer where he told grand stories of the Fae, and finally a realm in which Lord Winter displayed the ways of ice and snow.

There was something to be seen, something to be done, and something to learn in every realm, but the Orb remained missing. The mystery was growing as time began to run out for the falsely accused Lord Autumn. To raise the spirits of our disgruntled Fae, the heroes performed traditional Morrocan songs and dances, taught by special cultural guests brought by Guardian Adventures.

Many heroes had noticed by now a dark and menacing figure meandering the hallways. Garbed in a black suit, shades, and scowl, the being introduced himself as Mr. Styx. As the night came to a close, our heroes were called to Mr. Styx’s office and asked what they had learned of the Orb’s theft.

After much discussion, a being named Aicha was called forward. She willingly returned the magical Orb to the Fae so that the seasons could pass properly. She explained that a dark version of herself was the one who had taken the Orb in first place, but was not able to explain further. Mr. Styx bid our heroes leave his realm, and they returned to the world outside of Sidleterra.

After the adventure, our older heroes were invited to a masquerade ball to continue with festivities in true Sidleterra style. The ball was themed as a semi-formal dance, although many costumed characters still roamed the room. Every face boasted a smile, which is no surprise considering that the ball was kicked off by a fire spirit, breathing flames high into the night sky.

The evening was a smashing success. From the wonderful food provided by our families to the comradery and teamwork in the adventure and masquerade ball, we at Guardian Adventures would like to say thank you to all who made it a night to remember. We hope that this event has sparked your hero’s curiosity of what’s to come this summer and properly put forth our gratitude for all that you, the parents and guardians, do. We couldn’t be what we are today without your incredible support. So, here’s to the Day Of The Dead and here’s to another summer of adventure…


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Food, friends, and a whole ensemble of freaky creatures to encounter…that’s what you’ll find at our annual Day Of The Dead celebration. The festivities are coming to The Castle on the evening of Saturday, November 2nd, less than a week from today. The celebration is a free event but only for campers and their families who have completed their pre-registration for the 2020 summer camp season. Upon the start of the celebration, pre-season discounts will end so pre-registration is highly encouraged.

While the holiday originates from our neighbor Mexico, all around the world countless countries and communities will also be celebrating, all in their own ways. Let National Geographic show you a brief glimpse into the tradition:

Here at Guard Up’s Guardian Adventures, we do things our way. We’re opening up our Castle doors and lowering the drawbridge for all pre-registered campers and their families to join us for a celebratory feast. During the dinner, all heroes are invited to explore The Castle and discover what adventures await them. Various rooms will be used to represent the four seasons with creatures within that might need your help with this or that. Courage, honor, and compassion will be necessary if you want to be a hero and save the seasons from the mysteries that are coming. Along the way you just might stumble upon some valuable information regarding the plot of 2020 summer camp…maybe… And for those of you who simply wish to socialize and catch up with your camp friends in a fun and creative environment, we warmly welcome you too.

Directly after the Day Of The Dead celebration, we will also be hosting a Masquerade Ball (we do love masks here) for all of the teens (ages 13 and up) that attended the evening. This will be a wonderful opportunity to see who you’ll be spending your summer with, as well as show off some sweet dance moves. Note that this is a semi-formal event, so please dress in your finest costuming. This is a great chance to show how your character “cleans up.”

To all those who will be attending this event, we greatly look forward to entertaining you. For those who have not RSVP’ed yet, there’s still time to get yourself on the VIP list. Pre-register for summer camp before the end of the week and not only will you be cordially invited to Day Of The Dead, but you will also be getting the best possible price on a 2020 summer camp experience. We hope to see you at The Castle this Saturday. Until then, cheers to the dead.


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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. And we all know 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 plenty of NERF blasters 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 fill out the registration form 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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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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