Larp Summer Camp
We’ve mentioned the Wizards and Warriors Summer Camp a few times in the past, because we think it’s incredible. However, we’ve only had a little bit of video. Now the local cable news channel has picked up the story and done a great job showcasing just what an incredible experience it is for the students. My favorite kid? The girl who hasn’t made many friends in the last five years of school, but has a bunch of friends who are “just so accepting” now. Incredible. Bravo Guard Up!
A story of fun, learning and acceptance
The Woodland Realm, the Silver Citadel, a teenager agreeing to give his soul to death.
All part of an intense, creative fantasy world that’s teaching kids to use their imagination to solve problems and build self-confidence.
And they’re having a blast by being themselves.
It’s a safe bet that any day that starts with a front row seat for fire breathing, is going to be a good day.
Ninety-nine boys – and girls – some day campers, some stay overnight, ages 6 to 17, in the fantasy world of Sidelterra – which is actually Westford, the woods northwest of Boston.
This is a strategy session at one of the Guard Up camps.
Some are wizards, some are warriors, and unlike some other places, here all are having the time of their lives.
Avi Cohen, who goes by the name Hawk says it’s like school but in a fun way.
Emma King, who goes by the fantasy name Brew, says she has made more friends here than in five years at school.
And Bennett Nast, who goes by McNabb, his family’s clan, says he’s not popular at school, but is among people like himself here.
There’s an order to this – a talking stick, skill tokens for power, and every kid designs his or her own role.
“Mostly in battles, I take the dead and bring them to healers,” Cohen said.
And then it was time for that epic battle – LARP, live action role playing – heroes with foam swords – slamming into their masked counselors, playing the role of Unseelie, the bad guys – Oberon is on the stilts, in conflict with his wife for the custody of his child.
Assistant Director Chris Wiley explained that it is important for kids to see this, and at the heart of it all, the need, no matter the age, to suspend disbelief.
So, it’s not soccer, but there’s no questioning the physical activity,
The way it inspires and instructs.
Bennett explained how he learns about alchemy through chemistry.
And camp leaders say it empowers, that there’s no bullying when kids stay in their roles for the game.
And trust me, they are into it, following the three virtues of a hero: courage, compassion, honor.
That should transfer well from the battlefield, someday, to the boardroom.
Other weeks on these 300 acres, Guard Up also has a Nerf Zombie camp, just as it sounds, campers running through the woods, chasing blood dripping, face painted counselors.