Over the years, we’ve hosted more birthday parties than you can shake a foam sword at. But, there’s a birthday around the corner that we’re especially excited about…ours! Very soon Guard Up will be turning twenty years old so we invite you to take a look back, as well as ahead, at what we’ve accomplished and what’s on the near horizon.
Twenty years ago in 1999, Meghan Gardner, founder and CEO of Guard Up, opened the doors of her martial arts facility. Meghan’s experience as a black belt and Assault Prevention Specialist allowed her to work around her hours as a stay-at-home mom. Being the mother of two girls, Meghan was inspired to learn a great deal about how to raise independent children who could make safe decisions and how to “unplug” them from the computer so they would enjoy real life more than a virtual one.
As her two daughters grew and changed, so did the company. The sword and fencing classes grew quickly and became the focus of Guard Up. As well, Meghan’s kids greatly influenced the creation of the story-based summer camp and programs. When Meghan would tuck her daughters in at night, she would tell them an interactive bedtime story where her kids were the heroes and could influence the story by stating their actions.
Meghan began to realize the profound ability that interactive stories had for teaching children and teens valuable lessons – for both personal and intellectual growth. So she and some instructors created an interactive story-based class where kids could learn through adventure. And the rest, well, you know the story: wizards, warriors, zombies, heroes, dragons, and so much more.
From opening the doors in 1999 to lowering the drawbridge today, Guard Up has consistently evolved to provide the best possible experience for our families. In that spirit, we are thrilled to announce that very soon we will be releasing a brand new website! The new site will be the beginning of our transition to our new brand name: Guardian Adventures.
Why the change? As the years have passed, Guard Up has been putting a greater focus on STEM Education and interactive storytelling as a means to fulfill its mission of inspiring lifelong learners who want to make a difference in the world. Due to our success in this area, we have been getting noticed by some rather large organizations. From Meghan’s annual lectures at Harvard Graduate School of Education, to our Mission to Mars adventures in South Korea (as well as here at home), or our budding relationships with other tech and adventure companies in Asia, to our many other corporate projects that are in motion but we can’t talk about until they are released (turns out these corporations don’t want their competitors finding out about us quite yet)… Guard Up Family Swordsmanship has fully evolved into Guardian Adventures. So it’s time we look the part as people look for creative, educational solutions. But don’t worry – fencing, swordsmanship, and NERF are still part of our offerings.
Keep an eye out for the new site. We will be sure to make the announcement once it’s ready to go live. In the meantime, we will continue inspiring tomorrow’s heroes one adventure at a time.
Until then, we’ll see you on the web…