Some parents are concerned that your child won’t enjoy a whole week of half-day or full-day online summer camp.  We hear you and we have a solution: We invite your hero to join us for adventure, in the same fashion as our online summer camps, with this trial version which is only 1.5 hours long and is running for 3 days only next week. Let your child see how exciting our educational adventures and out-of-your-chair activities are with Guardian Adventures Online Summer Camps.

The trial camp will follow our Wizards & Warriors story theme, expanding on our magical world known as Sidelterra. Each day of trial camp is 1.5 hours in length (9:30am-11:00am) and priced at $50, or give your hero the gift of all three events for $135. Adventures are reserved for ages 7-10.

Trial camp dates are:

  • Monday July 13th,
  • Wednesday July 15th,
  • Friday July 17th.

To register or find out more information visit our dedicated event page for Trial Online Summer Camp.

What is cultural appropriation? Is it different from cultural misrepresentation? Who is affected by these practices and who can we turn to for guidance? These questions can be uncomfortable to ask ourselves but, especially in today’s national dialogue, uncomfortable questions are often the most important. With this in mind, Guardian Adventures decided to take the first step in beginning a conversation on the topic of cultural misrepresentation in the media.


An online gathering of minds was held last Monday with three experts as featured panelists. These three women have been or currently are cultural consultants for the Guardian Adventures team, providing their feedback regarding all cultural details of our camp plots and storylines. From costumes to characters to the furthest reaches of history, myth, and literature, these consultants have guided us in establishing the quality and integrity of our story-based summer camps.


First, the attendees to this discussion were introduced to Claudia Fox Tree, a cultural educator of Arawak and Native American culture. You may remember her work from a past Day Of The Dead event. Second, the attendees were introduced to Alma Richeh, a cultural educator for our exploration of Syrian culture. Our campers from last year will remember her as the bringer of song to our summer camp. Third, attendees met Amina Zakki, a cultural educator of Moroccan stories, whose impact will be seen in this year’s Moroccan themed storylines at (online) camp.  The panel was moderated by our CEO, Meghan Gardner.


Our panelists delivered thought-provoking stories and perspectives on the topics of cultural appropriation and misrepresentation. The hour-long conversation was well received and, we feel, worth a watch for anyone interested in broadening their own definitions of currently spotlighted terms. If you are interested in learning more about the subject of culture in media, you are invited to watch the panel program about Cultural Appropriation and Misrepresentation online.


We’re getting everything in place to host the best online summer camp experience we can for you and your hero. Adventures are being imagined, virtual worlds created, and our staff is getting prepped to be the best counselors (or monsters) that they can be. There’s a lot to cover, especially as this year will be different than any other before it. Luckily, we’ve gotten pretty good over the last twenty years at making learning fun. Every day the team is joining on Zoom to learn new skills, protocols, and creatures.

What’s staff training like for an online summer camp? Take a peek at this synopsis of half of the training that took place last Tuesday…

The day began, as most training does, with an ice breaker. We couldn’t “pass the ball” around, so instead, we chose an intellectual warm-up. Everyone explained, in surprising detail, what insect they would be and why. This was followed by a game of virtual hide and seek, acting as both a fun activity to use with the campers but also a vehicle for familiarizing oneself with the functions of Zoom as well as sharpening spatial awareness.

After that, discussions were held on managing camper behavior, screen etiquette, and how the “tree” of our staff is set up. This lead to a discussion on allowing the campers, or heroes, to lead their own stories. Even if we are not live and in-person, this idea continues to be an essential part of a Guardian Adventures summer camp experience. Adventures are pre-designed but can, and will, be edited in real-time to fit with what the heroes decide. Our virtual world is a living one mixed with magic and autonomy, which are a conscious part of all of our camps.

Once the nitty-gritty details were covered, we dove back into the fun! Improvisation is a key component of what we do, so it’s only natural that improv games are part of our training. The games played included challenges that sharpen quick thinking, promote nimble minds, and help our counselors stay one step ahead of the kids so that the story can stay living. We also played games that assist in time management, with the goal of packing as much adventure into the day as possible.

Halfway through the day, we were joined by our founder, Meghan Gardner, who shared some company secrets (sorry, we can’t share those here). She also dove into detail on the company’s ideals of Courage, Honor, and Compassion. These are applied not just to our campers, but to our entire staff. We discussed the importance of our cultural educators.  Some of whom, are participating in a panel discussion today about cultural appropriation (if you attended, good for you!). Meghan and the team discussed the facets of Informal Education and Student Lead Learning, both of which are very apparent in our STEM modules during adventures. We discussed some of the lore of Sidelterra too, from the Greater Spirits to the most minimal characters campers might encounter.

We also dove into what we call “APB” or Autonomy, Progress, and Belonging. These are very important to create the inviting, accepting, and educational environment that we are known for. Going online doesn’t make any of these less crucial and we are prepared to maintain these ideals in every adventure that we lead.

Seems like a lot of stuff to cover? Believe it or not, but this was just one day. Just one half of one day. Yes, our staff training is rigorous and that is to ensure that this year’s summer camp, even online, is the greatest adventure we can possibly provide. We are beyond excited to still offer amazing camps for our heroes and thank you all for your support as we’ve made this a reality.

Until camp begins, we wish you all health, happiness, and adventures of your own. We’ll see you in Sidelterra very soon!

Not registered for camp yet? Start your registration process today at:

Needless to say, things have been a little…different this year. Life threw our merry band of adventurers a curveball, but our heroes are the kind who won’t back down from a challenge. Our parents, our students, our campers – everyone came together and helped our team make an online world a truly amazing and magical place. We thank you all profusely for the enthusiasm that you’ve provided in making Online Summer Camp a wonderful adventure that we can all look forward to this summer.

Quarantine won’t last forever though (even if it feels that way). We’re excited that we’re beginning to see hints of normalcy on the horizon. With what we’ve been told from both national and local health agencies, we are hopeful that The Castle will begin to reopen to our community midway through Phase 3 of Burlington’s reopening. Phase 3 begins June 29th (as of now – this could change), which means very shortly after that you’ll begin to see events and classes being announced as in-person and back at our favorite facility.

We will still only hold camp online through June and July, but the possibility of seeing some of our regular adventurers in person has our entire staff smiling. We expect that fencing and NERF will be two of the first classes to return to The Castle as they provide the most protection against person-to-person contact.

We also are brainstorming how to hold full-day adventures, similar to our school break adventures, on a limited first-come-first-serve capacity, reserved for currently active members and campers. This will help us prepare for the possibility of a full day camp at our facility this August.

We are working diligently to make sure we do everything we can to keep the facility safe. At the start, classes or events will not run simultaneously, limiting the number of people inside the building. New cleaning measures will be put in place indefinitely.

One important difference is that student and camper equipment will no longer be shareable – which means that you must bring your own personal equipment.  In order to offset this expense, we are offering significant discounts for a limited time on our 2020 Retail Order Form.  We are not providing Fencing Equipment at this time and encourage you to purchase your equipment from Blue Gauntlet or another reputable provider. If you or your child typically use our facility equipment, please be sure to arrive at our facility with your own equipment already in hand so that you can enter the class, camp, or event.

Requiring our students and campers to purchase their own weapons was not an easy decision.  However, based upon currently known guidelines from the state, it seems a clear decision. We know it is a change to the way we’ve done business in the past,  Change is never easy.  We understand that.  But harder than change is the fact that failure to change the way we interact with one another puts everyone’s health in jeopardy.

Our heroes have learned the importance of Courage, Honor, and Compassion.  We wish to lead by those very same virtues and there is nothing more compassionate than ignoring our own inconvenience in favor of the safety of our friends and family.  To quote one of our favorite movie lines, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Or the one.”

We are constantly striving to make our castle a safe space for learning, having fun, and adventuring with your friends in the Guardian Adventures community.

Your Team at the Castle

PS  With all of this in mind, we’re curious: What would you want to see make a triumphant return to The Castle first? Let us know in the form below. Until we see you again face to face – stay active, stay engaged, and keep adventuring.


We recently shared a Survey designed for the parents of our young heroes and adventurers. Our hope is that we can better understand your concerns and offer solutions that will not just ease your mind but improve you and your camper’s experience this summer. Below are some of the most prominent answers we saw from the 34 parents who shared their thoughts along with our responses.


79% of our camp parents see physical activity as the most important part of an online summer camp, closely followed by personal interaction and then STEM learning.

Rest assured, our online summer camp does not mean an entire day of staring at a screen and clicking your way through a story. Our camps are based on stories that lead the campers through grand adventures… and adventures need heroes who can overcome any type of obstacle. We’re creating those obstacles to be both in our fantastic online world as well in the real world around us (even outside).

Actions won’t just be typed or stated, they’ll be performed by the camper: “Dodge! Attack! Parry! Jump! Reach! Run (in place)!” Before a hero can enter battle they’ll need to choose skills and equipment to defend themselves. They’ll hunt the house for just the right props. Before a hero can solve a puzzle they may need to find certain objects from nature. They may travel to the backyard and start poking around.

Heroes also rely upon the help of their fellow adventurers. Our stories are designed to promote teamwork and cooperative creativity. There are also time blocks dedicated to letting the campers interact, encouraging friendships that feel real, even if separated by a screen.

We have made STEM a major component of our online adventures, just the same as our in-person camps. Using printable cut-out materials and lists of basic items found at home, STEM activities are a key part of solving puzzles and saving the day in the online world they are navigating.

Many parents are worried that they will be incapable of focus on their jobs, working from home, when their child finds themselves bored in a quarantined summer season.

This is something we considered early on and have developed a system to help.  We are sending out instructions for connecting to Zoom and Google Classroom platforms ahead of time. We also have a Tech Check day before camp begins to make sure that your child is versed in how to log in and navigate the adventure.  Our objective is to keep your campers engaged so that they need as little of your assistance as possible.

If budget is an issue, many organizations are recruiting the help of online summer camp companies (like ours) to provide their work-from-home parents the child care support they need to keep up. Online camps are an excellent solution to combatting boredom at home. If this is something that concerns you as a work-from-home parent, you can ask your employer about considering hiring us to make your life easier to manage and your company better succeed this summer. You can share this link with them and let us take it from there:

As well, we are still accepting applications for scholarships for those families on limited income at this time.

Some parents fear that their child will experience social skill regression as an outcome of the quarantine. There is also a hope for an increase in mental health due to a sense of belonging.

Our online adventures heavily rely on communication and team efforts. Interaction is imperative for saving the day! We’re also extremely proud to be a company that for twenty years has been praised creating a sense of belonging for our students and campers. This is not something that will be lost moving online. Our programs are designed from corner to corner to create an environment where everyone can belong and feel like they really are a hero amongst fellow Guardians. That sense of belonging will increase mental health, confidence, and peer to peer skills. We are strongly committed to this and have it in mind every day.

Online safety is a big part of parents’ unease.

We’ve been online since the moment we shut the castle doors in mid-March. During that time, we’ve held weekly classes and events, birthday parties, and a full week of Spring Break. We feel confident in saying that we’ve had a lot of time and practice with our online classroom. A big part of our adventure thus far has been learning how to best maintain safety, both physical and mental, in everything that we do with the kids.

All of our staff and counselors are trained in our methods of hosting online adventures. There are many protocols in place to keep your camper safe and engaged.  If you feel you have specific concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can address them.

We do hope to see your camper in our online camp this summer and we look forward to keeping them mentally, socially, and physically engaged in our educational adventures.  If you haven’t registered yet, please do so now so that you can enroll your camper in the full or half weeks that best fit your schedule.  Let the adventure begin!


If you haven’t yet done so, feel free to share your opinions with us using the Parent Survey, still open for responses. Thank you all for your continued support and feedback that is essential to improving our Guardian community.

Courage. Honor. Compassion.  


Guard Up’s mission and values for over 20 years have been to help young people grow into adults who display those three tenets of a hero.  


Current events require that we, as a company, choose courage and publicly disavow those among us who saw nothing wrong as George Floyd was callously murdered; act with honor as we recall the memory of George Floyd and countless others who have been victimized by our society, and provide compassion for victims of racism across the globe.


Our company and all of our employees stand with the Black Lives Matter movement and categorically condemn racism in all its forms.  


There is no room for hate in our America.  But it is not enough to want things to be better, we must act to bring change to society. We will not solve the problems of racism just by sheer will or through some grand bargain.  Change, real change will require voices of millions of heroes declaring as one, “enough is enough!” and standing together.


As a way to fight hatred and manifest our intentions, we are making a donation to The ACLU Foundation of MA.  This organization fights every day to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all of us and especially to those who don’t have the resources to defend themselves in the face of systematic injustice. The ACLU provides services and resources for Black Live Matter protesters as well as the press.


As a company, we are committed to furthering this objective through our commitment to expand our outreach to diverse communities while providing scholarships for those who cannot afford our services. We will also sustain and expand our partnerships with cultural consultants from around the world so that their stories are presented by us in the most sensitive and appropriate manner possible while inspiring children to see commonality past the color of our skin.


We hope that you will join us in supporting the voices of those who have been unheard for too long. We ask that you hold true to the tenets of courage, honor, and compassion in the face of hatred and ignorance. We call on our communities to stand united and work together for change. 


We will not turn away. We will not abandon our brethren. We will not be complicit.


The hero’s journey is upon us. Black lives matter. Will you join us by donating today to the ACLU or your local charity in support of bringing an end to racism?


To donate to the ACLU, visit their website:

The global pandemic is a global conversation, with experts in a wide variety of fields discussing the impact it has had on our communities. One such expert is Dr. Saul Rosenthal Ph.D., a health psychologist as well as an active parent of a year-round adventurer with us. He has been sharing innovative ideas and thought-provoking conversations with his community through a podcast. Recently, our founder and CEO, Meghan Gardner, was a guest on the podcast to discuss a number of topics relating to the virus, the summer camp industry, and families. You can listen to the podcast episode on Dr. Rosenthal’s website.

Meghan and Saul discuss numerous aspects of how COVID-19 has impacted the 2020 camp season for Guardian Adventures, both positively and negatively. But before we can examine these key points, it’s important to define what Online Summer Camp with our Guardians is like, inside and out. Meghan elaborates on this with a clear image – a living videogame. She explains how videogames can engage their players in immersive environments and stories utilizing the core concepts of Autonomy, Progress, and Belonging (APB).

Autonomy is the player’s ability to choose their own actions and experience the consequences or rewards that follow. Progress is an obvious measurement of the player’s advancement through the story while they “power up” as they make beneficial choices. Belonging, regardless of social distancing, has not changed. It is still defined as a sense of being part of a group or community, one that supports each individual as they advance through the challenges. This is something many parents attribute to the Guardian Adventures summer camps and, thanks to online innovation, can still have their campers experience this summer. Although we pride ourselves in being an “unplugged camp” (phones and tablets are relinquished when camp begins), the offline, in-person experience doesn’t need to be lost as the adventures become digital.

The conversation of the interview flows to the safety precautions being taken both online and upon the reopening of businesses. We have been checking in with local health departments on a regular basis to stay up to date with new regulations and recommendations regarding safety during this pandemic. When in-person camps return, it will be because we feel confident that it is the right time to do so.

We then get a sneak peek into the philosophy of Guardian Adventures and our story-based adventures. The idea of “fun before learning” is pondered and applied to lesson retention. Imagine a chalkboard with a “Ferris Bueler’s Day Off” droning lecturer. Now imagine a powerful wizard explaining the physics of a catapult. One definitely seems more accessible, especially to imaginative children, than the other.

The excitement of an adventure makes the education engaging on a level that is hard to grasp until you (literally) live it. But there’s more to learn from our adventures than just STEM. The ability to play a character within a story allows our campers to become the heroes of their own tale. What happens when a mistake is made? The character receives the consequences – not the camper. This frees the adventurers to experiment with morals, decision making, and with their own personality traits, without the impending fear of personal failure. That is an incredibly freeing experience and one that we believe can help inspire the heroes of tomorrow.

We also hear some new details about Guardian Adventures program licensing (currently being playtested by 200 or so camps) and the importance of our full-day immersion this summer. There are no local in-person hangouts for kids so the hope that youth will get out and socialize is diminished by the lack of swimming pools, parks, playgrounds, etc. This is why online camps will be unprecedentedly valuable this summer. Our programs can help keep social engagement high with kids this summer and our licenses allow organizations from around the world to do just that.

Lastly, we get to learn what Meghan’s doing to keep herself healthy. One word…family. Family is an unspoken positive outcome of this quarantine. More and more families are finding themselves looking forward to eating their meals together, spending valuable time together, playing games, and exercising. These are the kinds of activities that are helping us all get through this sluggishly moving time.

About Dr. Rosenthal

Saul Rosenthal, Ph.D., is a developmental and clinical psychologist in the Boston area. Over the past twenty years, he has built expertise in integrating biological and psychosocial approaches to wellness. He works with clients across the lifespan, families, and organizations to help them manage persistent health issues, anxiety, and stress. He is particularly interested in the complex biopsychosocial factors involved in conditions like chronic pain.
In addition to private practice, Dr. Rosenthal has worked in a variety of medical and community health settings, including serving as Training Director and Biofeedback Coordinator of Behavioral Medicine at the Cambridge Health Alliance. He also served as a training psychologist at the Edith Nourse Rogers Veterans Medical Center as part of the Primary Care Behavioral Health service. Dr. Rosenthal presents a wide variety of audiences on topics related to parenting, health, and stress management. He is also involved in training, supervision, and mentoring.m

We say the word “adventure” quite often among our fellow Guardians and no other word truly sums up the last two months. Since we closed our castle doors to the public and to our staff, every day has brought new obstacles and new solutions. The digital worlds we’ve created from scratch are now home to countless characters, both allies and antagonists. New friends have joined us along the way from all across the nation. Our merry band of adventurers has set off on quests of all sizes, from single hour roleplaying scenes to a full week of Online Spring Break (those werewolves were pretty difficult to vanquish).

Needless to say, these online games and stories are adapting every day we enjoy them with you. We are thrilled with the level of engagement we’ve seen so far from these innovative efforts and we’re bringing that enthusiasm to the design and creation of our online summer camps, coming soon to a computer near you.

These new tools, ideas, and worlds are ripe with possibility. Live summer camps are still our true love but we can’t help but be excited about what online camps can provide to our summer-time adventurers. This is something we’ve never done before and thus will be a completely unique experience. Here’s what you can expect from this brand new style of summer camp:

A new collection of games and activities

The limitations of social distancing have required us to retune many of our usual games. This has produced an entirely new collection of games and activities that are, as always with our services: Safe, fun, and educational. From hands-on STEM activities that adventurers can do at home to virtual tag and scavenger hunts, there’s no limit to the fun that we can still have together.

Visually immersive new worlds to explore

Using the magic of Zoom, virtual backgrounds are a fun new way to add a level of immersion to our live stories. With a few clicks of the mouse, adventurers can be launched from deep space to the vast woods to a mighty castle hall and back again. Zombies and other monsters can pop up at any moment! Our themed slideshows also have endless possibilities for our adventurers to interact with the virtual worlds, maintaining the autonomy you’ve always expected from our story-based summer camps.

The chance to make new friends, regardless of where they might be

Online Summer Camp isn’t “held” in Massachusetts, it’s held wherever that camper has access to the internet. That means that our summer camps are no longer too far away for potential adventurers, no matter where they might be! Summer campers will have the unusual opportunity to make lifelong camp-friends from all over the country and even the world. This is something that we are very excited to witness. The worldwide web is just that – worldwide. Soon, our summer camps will be too. We hope to see your hero join us and make summer a little more magical.

To get more information on the various options we have for pricing and themes of online summer camps, contact us using the form below or visit our Online Summer Camp page.

Guardian Adventures is pulling back our curtain and sharing our new Universal Game System with the online education and recreation community. Our goal is to provide the tools needed for summer camps, recreation departments, event hosts, and afterschool programs to continue offering their services both online and offline. During the quarantine, parents need to have the necessary resources to help keep their children physically and mentally engaged while they are homebound.

We’ve been running, designing, and enjoying story-based adventures for nearly two decades. Since the world went digital, we’ve seen over 90% of our regular adventurers joining us every week and have even developed a fully immersive online summer camp. To us, these advances have been hard work (like…really hard work) but still felt natural as we are a team of gamers, educators, and storytellers across the board. We understand that many organizations will find these online adventures daunting and might be skeptical that they too can accomplish what we have. We believe that you can and are happy to announce that we have a solution.

Over 100 curious parties have now enrolled themselves in our Free Trial of our Online Zombie Adventure. This trial package is designed not just to showcase how much fun an online adventure can be, but to prove that it really can be done! The magic of our new Universal Game System is possible for any organization that is ready to try something new, something immersive, something adventurous. It also includes the offline version of the adventure, so you can use the system post-quarantine.



If your organization is intrigued by the programs we are offering, please take advantage of this complimentary adventure. Try it out for yourself. See what works for you and see what you might change for yourself.

This is a free preview course where you will learn how to run a Guardian Adventures interactive online event for your attendees. We have also created an offline version so that you can see how the two relate.

What this adventure provides:

  1. Instructions on how to run your own Online and Offline Zombie Adventure along with step-by-step written instructions and a video that walks you through the adventure.
  2. All of the image assets and audio for making your adventure immersive and exciting
  3. Marketing assets such as a digital flyer and banners to help you promote your adventure to your campers
  4. How to use Zoom to run the adventure

What this adventure does NOT provide but what IS provided in our upcoming Ultimate Game System license:

  1. MANY more skills for the players to choose from
  2. Classes such as Scientist, Wizard, Doctor, Warrior, Security, Healer, etc for the players to help define their character – which improves their sense of autonomy.
  3. Groups (divisions or houses) which help your players self select into according to their style of play – which improves their feeling of belonging to something bigger than themselves.
  4. Skill advancement options which allow your players to get more skills and be stronger over time – which improves your retention by giving players a sense of progress.
  5. MANY more assets which help you to create up to 5 versions of the same adventure: Fantasy, Wilderness Protectors, Zombie, and Superhero
  6. Offline versions for all of the above which explain how to run these versions at offline, in-person camps.
  7. And of course, the option to purchase pre-written modules which provide step-by-step instructions for running the adventure both online and offline along with all necessary assets for the adventure and for marketing.

Our objective is to help you see how stories and gamification can be used to create a more immersive and engaging program – both online and offline. If you are able to present this program successfully, we recommend purchasing our annual Ultimate Game System license, which will be released before the end of May.

NOTE: Since our adventures have a game mechanic, if you have a staff person or host who is a gamer, they would be the best person to take the course and run it. Gamers understand how game mechanics and stories interact and they may understand how to run an adventure with more ease and efficiency.  However, we do provide step-by-step instructions in case you are not a gamer.

Please visit (or have your gamer visit) our Complimentary Online Zombie Adventure to register and learn how to run your own 2-hour event for your campers.

It’s amazing to witness how disaster can bring people, and even businesses, together. We have been brainstorming with other summer camps across the nation, working together and helping each other stay active while social distancing continues to threaten the industry as a whole. The geographical distances between us are no longer a factor and alliances are being made by camps literally all over the world. We are all working together towards one unified goal: To be able to provide the best possible services to our communities.

The sustained level of uncertainty, however, is making this goal a challenge. The summer camp industry needs to prepare for the summer season if its at all possible to go live, but we are getting almost no guidance from our local government and even less at the federal level. Will camps be allowed to operate live? We don’t know. Will camps have to be provided only online? We are ready to do so, but knowing this sooner would certainly help us know where to focus. Will a new hybrid of the two be the case? Again, we could do this better if we had at least an idea.

These are the questions that need answers (or at least educated calculations) if our industry is going to do prepare. The answers need to come from local health departments and local governments. Even if the state government allows summer gatherings, the local health department is still the final voice – but the guidance of the state in that decision would certainly be helpful. So, we urge you — please write to your state government and local health department. Remind them of their neighbors in the summer camp industry. Help keep us in their mind as they begin to announce their decisions for the summer season. The sooner we know what we can offer to our families, the better we can provide those services.

It is also important to remind your local officials that, without the services of summer camp and child care, there will be unprecedented obstacles for parents once they are allowed to return to the workplace. If parents are called up to return to their jobs, offices, posts, etc…what about their children? This is an issue that may not have occurred to many officials or employers, but it is a pertinent one nonetheless.

Summer camps are an invaluable service for working parents and will be needed just as much as before once workplaces reopen. Our local government and health departments need to have the summer camp industry on their minds. They will need their local residents, like you, to ask them to do so. Please, reach out.

Until we see you again, we wish you health, safety, comfort, and support. May the adventure go on!

To find your local health department’s contact information, you can use the resources provided here:

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