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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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