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.

Dear Guardian Adventures Community,

We hope you will join us as we have brought ALL of our classes and events online through a combination of Google Classroom, Zoom, and more services that are being added almost daily.  You can learn more about on our Guardian Adventures Online webpage.

We are also proud to announce that all of our story-based STEM summer camps are still taking place using the same online resources as our classes. Live, in-person camp may occur as well if admitted by local health departments. By taking the castle to the computer we are able to provide summer camp adventures for heroes from anywhere in the country!

NOTE: We ARE also opening our online classes and adventures to new students & birthday parties. Just contact us for more information.

Important information in order to participate (for current members):

  1. Classes will be held at their normally scheduled time.
  2. All students who are interested in participating must fill out the below online access form so that we can set up an account for them.
  3. Once students are confirmed and receive login information and instructions, they can join the class at the normally scheduled time.
  4. We encourage Adventure students to wear costuming since this is a two-way video classroom.
  5. We encourage Instruction students from Fencing and Historical Weapons to use their own equipment so that they can practice the techniques that the instructors are covering during the class.
  6. If a class is canceled because an instructor is sick, we will send out details on a “make-up” class taught by a different instructor for later that day or in the week.
  7. You must fill out the below form at least 24 hours in advance of your class in order for us to set you up with a login in time.  If it is less than 24 hours, we may not be able to get you access to that week’s class.

We are keeping our students engaged and learning while we are all trying our best to cope with this situation. We also look forward to seeing you (at least on our video conference platform)!

We do hope you will join us in this effort to support our community.  And we wish each of you health and safety while we navigate this challenging time together.

The Team at Guardian Adventures


If you are a current member of Guardian Adventures classes, please complete the below form in order to be sent login information regarding access to online versions of your classes and adventures during our physical facility closure (to slow down the spread of the Coronavirus).

Once your account is verified, we will email you login credentials for a Story School Google Classroom Account.  The email will have instructions on how to access your class.  Unless specified otherwise, your class will occur at its normally scheduled time.


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    If you are a 1 Class, 2 Class, or 3 Class Guarantee Student
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    If you are a 3 Class Guarantee Student
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