If you’ve come to our Summer Camp before then you’ve definitely heard the word “LARP,” the common abbreviation for “Live-Action-Role-Play.” Sounds like fun! But before you can play…you must create your role. Character development is one of the most creative aspects of LARP. You can be anyone, or anything, from anywhere, or any time.
Take long-time camper Kira for example, or should we say Barrel…
The possibilities are endless. If that seems overwhelming, don’t fret! Guard Up is always here to help. Try your hand at one of the Character Creation guides. Remember to use Mythology as your resource, get as wild as you wish, and, above all, stay true to your own inner hero.
What do you picture when you read the word: job. Most would answer something along the lines of “the same monotonous task, day after day, fueled by coffee and ibuprofen.”
What do I picture? (yes, I’m breaking the fourth wall for this blog post) Well, let’s run through my week so far, shall we? On Monday I helped a 67 year old man sign up for weekly fencing classes and got to share his excitement of finally jumping back into his passion after a 20 year hiatus from the sport. On Tuesday I spent my break with my NERF blaster, using a Chinese gong for (loud) target practice. Yesterday I walked around our Castle…on stilts.
So what’s on the docket for today? Quite literally, anything! But enough about little old me. Let’s hear from one of our veteran Guardians, our Quartermaster, the incredibly talented Chris Wiley…
Working for a Place You Believe In
My name is Chris Wiley and I am the Program Director for Guardian Adventures, Wizards & Warriors, and Zombie Summer Camp. I get to play pretend for a living and help bring worlds of imagination to life. I am on my 11th year working with Guardian Adventures and approaching my 12th summer with our epic adventure camps.
On any given day, I get to design STEM curriculum, write stories based on myths and legends, pick up a foam sword to spar with kids and adults, dress up and play ridiculous characters (like the villainous Duke of Bones or the friendly Cyclops brothers), or don knickers and a mask and get paid to fence.
I have so many stories and anecdotes over my years with the company. From students growing into instructors under my mentorship to ridiculous birthday adventures coworkers have thrown for me to meeting the love of my life at this very job and marrying her at the campsite where we met, this building and this community of coworkers means so much to me. Guardian Adventures has been an integral part of my life for over a decade.
All of the above are reasons why I started working here and the reasons I enjoy each day I work. But the reason why I stay, the reason why after taking two years of spending time with my family and starting my own family down South I decided to uproot my family and move back to Massachusetts to this company, is because I believe in our mission. The part of working for this company that motivates me the most is that we serve our students and campers — who we call heroes — by challenging them to be better people. Whether encouraging compassion and courage through roleplay and consequences, building a life-long love of learning through story-based informal education, or just helping kids and adults relate to the world around them through unplugged active play, Guardian Adventures helps make kids into heroes and educators into champions.
That’s why I work here and that’s why I believe in Guardian Adventures.
Needless to say, us Guardians never have to worry about getting stuck in a monotonous routine. There’s always more adventure to uncover at The Castle, and now it might be time for your own adventure to begin…
“A champion team will defeat a team of champions…”
This is a powerful quote. Think about it. It defines exactly what a “team” is: a collective, a collaboration, a unit. When likeminded heroes work together towards a shared goal, they create something larger than themselves. Simultaneously, they become their creation. They become that unstoppable organization. An article from Positive Psychology Program lays out the core of teamwork in 7 elements:
1. Team Identity: A group with a strong team identity demonstrates belongingness, a desire to work together, and a sense of clarity around the role of each member. Groups with strong team identity also have high degrees of loyalty.
2. Motivation: A high level of motivation corresponds with the energy and responsibility levels of the team, and whether competition is working for or against the team. Having a motivated team requires knowing and meeting desires, setting stretch goals, reinforcing success, and being persistent.
3. Emotional Awareness: A team’s emotional awareness encompasses the amount of attention the team pays to notice, understanding, and respecting the feelings of team members. Emotional awareness is a critical factor in motivation, productivity, and a team’s ability to collaborate, making it central to the success of every team.
4. Communication: Intuitively, we know that communication is an essential factor for a group of people working together. It provides feedback and guidance on how well each of the team members listens, encourages participation, and discusses sensitive topics.
5. Stress Tolerance: A team with good stress tolerance knows how well it’s doing in managing the pressures of workload, time constraints, and the real need for work-life balance.
6. Conflict Resolution: Assessing a team’s conflict resolution means examining how a team processes disagreement and whether the team is able to deal with adversity as a way to enhance its functioning, rather than being caught up in the conflict. It’s essential for productivity and creativity.
7. Positive Mood: A team with a positive mood has is built on foundations of encouragement, a sense of humor, and an expectation of success. Positive mood is a major factor in a team’s flexibility and resilience, and it’s the heart of a “can-do” attitude. It influences how energized the team’s attitude is.
Our summer camps take teamwork to a whole new level with our Houses of Sidleterra. Every House is unique, supplying their own special skills and beliefs to the battle for good. From protecting the weak to conquering the ruthless, each House adds a new way of exploring the magical realm of Sidleterra.
“The universal thing we’re trying to get at is just curiosity and wonder…That excitement about the world, where you want to uncover something magical,” – Damian Kulash (Singer/Guitarist OK Go)
Since 1998, the American rock band OK Go has released an ever-changing catalog of music, from heavy headbangers to happy go lucky pop hits. However, it’s their music videos that have solidified the band in pop culture. You’ve probably seen the one with the Rube Goldberg machine, or maybe the one in zero gravity. The videos are visual stunners but it’s the magic behind the scenes that really excites us. Guard Up is a proud advocate of STEM Education and using real life to teach science, math, and technology to the future heroes of the world. OK Go has recently joined the STEM movement by releasing the OK Go Sandbox.
The Sandbox is an online resource designed for teachers to engage students, using the creativity of the band’s incredible video collection. The band allows students to step behind the curtain of some of their most popular videos and learn the science that went into every shot. Once the lesson is learned, students can experiment together, playing with what’s around them…like a sandbox! Check out this Sandbox lesson where math (and colorful explosions) meets the music:
STEM Education is an incredible tool for promoting life long learning and a love of experimentation in today’s young heroes. Guard Up’s summer camps are designed to apply STEM lessons into all of our interactive storylines, helping your kids to become the thinkers of tomorrow while having the adventure of their lives. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to sign up today as spots are filling quicker and quicker as summer approaches. Give us a call (781-270-4800) or register now at www.guardup.com/campreg.
In the meantime, take a look at what all that math accomplished for OK Go…
Close your eyes and take yourself back to the last day of school.
You’re staring at the clock, anticipating every tick, until that magical moment arrives when the bell rings and summer starts. Your head is packed with fresh knowledge. Your year has been one amazing learning experience after the other. You’re ready for the world, (especially vacation)!
But then, as suddenly as it began, summer comes to a close. It’s time to return to school.
You take your usual seat and settle in for another year of learning. The teacher asks you what you learned last year and…uh oh…now you can’t remember.
Summer Learning Loss is very real. It happens to everyone, it even used to happen to you. Luckily, our heroes are equipped with everything they need to combat this common occurrence. Our summer camps are designed to keep your child active, adventuring, and above all else learning. Keeping their minds sharp boosts retention and puts them one step ahead when Day 1 of class comes rolling back. What else can summer camp do to defeat Summer Learning Loss? Check out the article below for 6 reasons why summer camp is your best ally to keep your child growing year round…
Normally Mars is 33.9 million miles from Earth. But for a few days this past January, Mars got a whole lot closer.
After the success of Guardian Adventures founder, Meghan Gardner’s work on the Mission to Mars STEM summer camps in Seoul, Korea last summer, ST Unitas (the parent company of The Princeton Review and the largest Tech Ed company in all of Asia), decided to send their campers to the USA this winter that would take educational adventures to a whole new level.
Students from Seoul, Korea joined The STEM Initiative, a collaboration between ST Unitas, professors and staff from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Guard Up’s Guardian Adventures. This first of its kind collaboration integrates traditional STEM-based learning principles with informal education — experiential and student-driven processes that foster learning through hands-on activity.
Guardian Adventures is a company specializing in informal STEM education programs and camps. In addition, we provide weekly classes in swordsmanship and fencing as well as custom themed birthday parties and events.