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: https://www.naccho.org/membership/lhd-directory


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I was interviewed by a reporter from Thrive Global this week. He emailed me an interesting question about my current Life Lesson and I wanted to share my response with you:
 
My current Life Lesson Quote is “Crash looking down the racetrack”. This comes from way back when my husband and children gave me a Mother’s Day gift of all expenses paid to get my motorcycle racing license (I used to be an adrenaline junky). In the classroom, I remember the instructor saying very clearly to the class before we hit the track: “If you miss your apex on the turn and you realize you are going to crash, then crash looking at where you want to go… which is down the track.”
 
Sure enough, I missed my apex on one particular turn and my bike and I were headed for the bleachers. Immediately, I heard the instructor’s voice in my head and fighting all of my instincts, I turned my head and threw my body in the direction of the track that stretched out to my left. My bike leaned heavily and with my body hanging off, I somehow miraculously managed to make that late apex into a turn as my tire missed the edge of the asphalt by what was likely scant inches (I don’t know because I was busy looking down the track).
 
This has served me well in my business life… not in the single-minded hyper-focus that you might expect the analogy to refer to… but in this simple concept that if my business is going to fail, it is going to fail doing the right thing. My mission is my steering wheel even if I go careening into the bleachers.
 
With this in mind during this pandemic, I have managed to keep every one of my employees gainfully employed except for me. I filed for unemployment so that my salary could go into cash reserves for keeping my staff employed. We have moved all of our programs into an online environment and are running adventures via video conferencing. If families are laid off and can’t pay, we stop their billing but ask them to keep coming to the online class. We are also creating free programming for the general public. Yes, we are suffering financially. We have no new revenue and we are still (virtually) open for business. It’s scary. And it’s a lot of work trying to figure out how to keep going. But at least if we crash, we crash doing the right thing. This doesn’t make it easier. Just a whole lot clearer.
 
A number of our hero parents (and that’s exactly what they are – heroes) have reached out and are donating their vacation credits and unused tuition to other parents who are unable to pay for classes or camp. This is dearly appreciated. We are a small for-profit benefit company so we cannot apply for grants to help our families who cannot afford our services. We just absorb the cost. So every time one of you dedicates your credit or tuition to our other families, you aren’t just helping that family, you are also helping keep our small business alive.
 
So I thank you – each of you – who are helping out others and who are helping us in this difficult time. You are truly the definition of a community in how you reach out to help people (some of whom you have never met) out of kindness and compassion.
 
If you are a family who wishes to donate your credit or unused tuition – or if you are a family that needs help with your tuition – please reach out.
 
Thank you so much for your support.
 
Meghan Gardner
Founder
Guardian Adventures


We love what we do. There’s nothing that we love more than when a new adventurer joins the ranks of hero. New campers for the summertime and new members for the whole year bring new imaginations to the table, adding more and more to our ever-expanding world. Our adventures are made for our community and by our community, so adding new friends is the best thing that we can do!

Everyone who walks through the castle door is stepping into a world of imagination, acceptance, and creativity. Anything and everything is possible when you’re surrounded by our Guardians and your fellow heroes on another grand adventure. This place, those stories, and these people all make being a Guardian one of the most rewarding experiences an adventurer can have.

Now, there are even more rewards to be had…

We want to give back to those who have given the greatest gift, a new friend, to us. That’s why we recently ramped up our referral program with new and improved rewards. Now, bringing in new summer campers and members of all ages can get you anything from discounts to cold hard cash (because everybody, even a zombie, loves cash). Check out the new rewards below:

child holding STEM experiment at camp

New Member Referrals

FOR YOU: Every new member* you refer who signs up for an Annual Contract or completes 3 months as a Flex Plan member will be a $50 check earned by you.

BONUS: As well, if you refer 5 or more new members in a single year we will give you a bonus credit of $200 that can be used for any of our offerings (excluding membership).

FOR YOUR FRIEND: Your friend that completes the membership application within 48 hours of their 2nd introductory lesson gets the $150 registration fee waived.

Camp Referrals

FOR YOU: Refer a friend to either of our day camp programs (Kingswatch or Quest) and receive $100 in cash per new camper*  that registers for 1 or more weeks of camp. Refer a friend to overnight camp and you will receive $200 in cash for each new camper that registers for overnight camp.

BONUS: Refer 5+ new campers to any of our camps in a single year we will give you a bonus credit of $200 that can be used for any of our offerings (excluding membership).

FOR YOUR FRIEND: Your friend will receive a $50 discount for each week of camp the new camper enrolls in.

*New Member or Camper is any new member or camper from a family that has never been a client of Guard Up before. You cannot refer someone in your own household. Referral Fees are paid out after camp or the 3rd month of membership is completed.

If someone you know would benefit from our STEM Summer Camps or weekly classes for all ages, you can use the form below to refer your friend to us. We will reach out to them and if they register for one of our camps or classes and are qualified as a referral, we will provide you with your referral bonus as per the program guidelines. We’re excited to meet all the new heroes that our current campers and members recommend and to grow our Guardian community more every year.



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



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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