Imagine offering kids and teens the opportunity to create their own character in a live, ongoing storyline that never repeats. They choose their special skills, select their foam weapons, and create their own history. They decide what to do next when opportunity (or trouble) arises. They stand shoulder to shoulder with their fellow heroes as they fight treacherous villains, solve ancient mysteries, defend the fragile land, and win long lost treasure.
Sound like a computer game? Well it isn’t… this is a LIVE Wizards & Warriors weekly class.
Why Do We Do What We Do?
The best answer to this is to read this blog post and then watch this video:
Guard Up, Inc.
and the creators of Wizards & Warriors camps
and programs are excited to bring you the opportunity to participate in – or even run – interactive story based adventures through our licensed programs. This fundraising is for creating a license that will allow current activity providers to run weekly adventures and monthly events using our game system. License holders could be any of the following:
- Rec Centers
- Martial Arts Schools
- Fencing Clubs
- After School Groups
- Gyms or Fitness Centers with Youth Programs
- …and almost any other youth or teen oriented businesses with enough space.
In a nutshell, our programs use live roleplaying stories and adventures to provide an exciting, safe, and educational experiences for participants. The purpose of our program is to educate kids, teens, and yes – even adults – in a dynamic, creative manner that engages their emotions and imagination.
Our supporters are people who “get” what we are doing (learning through adventure) and would love to see our programs spread closer to their location… or who wish to actually run their own programs. There are also those of you who just love what we do and you want to help us grow. We love you all!
If you want more than a “nutshell” description of our program, check out our videos. We’ve included the long-and-ever-so-detailed interview with Meghan and Jeff who can talk your ear off if given a chance… and the more action packed video montages of our various programs (Wizards & Warriors Camp and Zombie Camp) which use our licensed system. And don’t forget to check out the news spot above by NECN. Reporter Josh Brogadir took the time to really get the “why” in what we do.
This License gives access to an online repository where Game Makers will be able to do the following:
- View How-To videos for running safe and fun foam sword programs
- Read and print instructional manuals and articles with more detailed information on running classes and events, the rules system, how to create characters, etc.
- Have 24/7 access to marketing materials, videos, photos, flyers, story teasers, etc to help promote your programs
- Read articles on how to create alliances with schools, counseling services, social groups, and businesses which share your demographic
- Join a members-only online forum to network, ask questions, and share ideas with other Licensees
- Access to a new curriculum each month which details the story for 4 weeks of classes, resources required, logistics of play, background information, educational elements, and more.
- Access a new event each month which can be used for running birthday parties, special events, or just an extra class.
- Watch online training videos which show you how to run the weekly curriculum and monthly events with real examples of the kids playing through that curriculum!
- Be invited to training seminars and events for you (and/or your staff)
- Receive advice from experts who designed the curriculum and the program
- Get instant marketing prominence when your program and location are listed on our website
Receive leads from our website for new prospective students
- Subscribe to the Licensee newsletter with exclusive information, resources, and ideas
The above is available to every Licensee and more to come as we grow the program. License holders will be able to offer this program as part of their current services for anyone ages 6 and up. The current pricing model is $189 for the monthly license… which can be covered by just 2 new members. We also plan to have some free content available to non-licensees so they can see what they think about it (and try their hand at the techniques).
The demographic for our adventures are kids, teens, and adults who love computer games, theater, Joss Whedon, Peter Jackson, and a very exciting story filled with action and depth. Our educational method is to create an adventure based on the Hero’s Journey where all monsters and characters are from real world mythology, history and literature. Our adventures capture all of the immersive elements of a very good computer game – but where participants are interacting face to face (even if they are fighting each other :) and getting physically active.
What is your money going toward?
We already have a good chunk of our start-up content… it just needs some final assembly and polishing. We also have the License agreement completed. We are testing an online repository system as we write this. And we are already play testing additional curriculum.
So your money will be for helping us shoot more How-to videos and developing additional written and visual content as well as helping us to upload all of this content into an online repository (which charges us a substantial annual fee). This will let us meet our January 2013 release deadline – which happens to be the best time of year for adventure enrollment.
Here is what we plan to do if we raise more money than we are requesting…
8K = Pre-develop entire first year of written and visual content
15K = Develop online store for sourcing foam weapons, costuming, props, masks, and more at reduced rates
25K = Add Zombie Blaster Adventures as a license option; a post apocalyptic version which uses blasters and foam darts instead of foam swords and science instead of magic
50K = Add a higher level License which includes enough curriculum for Summer Camps and After School Programs to run 5 days a week
Heroic Stretch Goal: 100K = Create Franchise offers for a full time facility running these programs year round with onsite training, turnkey operations, training, marketing manuals and videos for all programs as well as classes in Fencing, Japanese Sword, Stage Combat, and more.
Who is Guard Up, inc?
Guard Up! Family Swordsmanship was founded in 1999 by Meghan Gardner. Starting as predominately a martial arts and self defense school, Meghan decided to expand classes by offering sport fencing and foam sword classes.
Then, after participating in her first LARP, she realized that live roleplaying could be used as a vehicle for education.
After recruiting the skills of some very talented youth instructors, our foam weapon adventures were born. It wasn’t long after that, we created a summer camp called Wizards & Warriors Day Camp using the same game system. These programs grew so quickly that Guard Up changed its business model to only providing sword related programs.
Eventually, the day camp grew to an overnight summer camp that attracted campers from all around the globe… including Australia, England, Chile, Switzerland, Canada, and more. At this point Jeff Wegman, Meghan’s long time friend and business consultant, came on board as partner. Jeff’s business background in contract negotiations as well as experience running a LARP made him a valuable addition to the business.
Just two years ago, Guard Up started offering Zombie Blaster events and classes using NERF weapons. We modified the game system to work with blasters and continued to pursue the important ingredient of education but using blasters instead of swords and science instead of magic.
When people ask what we do, the answer is simple: We make a significant difference in the lives of the kids and teens who experience our adventures. We challenge them to be the hero they read about and perform the great deeds they imagine. They have a chance to fight ferocious monsters, solve ancient mysteries, negotiate with Death, quest for treasure, and learn a lot about themselves and each other in the process.
Imagine that – kids and teens becoming adults knowing what it feels like to be a hero… and wanting to make the world a better place.
We have been running adventure programs for more than a decade now and the requests never cease for us to expand to other locations. We have kept this to ourselves long enough to feel it’s time to bring adventure to the lives of young heroes everywhere. With your help, we can make this possible.
Please give what you can and know that you have made a difference.
We thank you… with complete sincerity… for your faith and your support.
Pledge $10 or more
Thank you for your pledge! We will list your name on our Wizards & Warriors website as a supporter of our programs OR give you access to 2 complimentary sword lessons via our online repository. Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $25 or more
Our backers at this level are given a Wizards & Warriors Logo Dog Tag (cool accessory for any serious gamer!) OR access to 4 complimentary sword lessons via our online repository. Plus the level below this (2 lessons or website mention).Add $10 for international shipping. Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $35 or more
These Warriors get a copy of the Sport Sword DVD - learn how to engage in foam sword battles with your friends! Includes footwork, evasions, attacks, parries, tactics, and more. Plus the reward options at each level below. Add $10 for international shipping. Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $50 or more
Wizards love books, so this level gets access to our online repository where they can print out a copy of the Sport Sword Instructor Manual - which has examples of games you can play and drills you can perform with foam swords. As well, you get the reward options at each level below. Add $10 for international shipping of items below. Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $75 or more
Let everyone know you are our Defender with your own Wizards & Warriors Ball Cap or, if you are local, join us for TWO complimentary 2 hour Monthly Adventures where you can cross swords with monsters and live characters! Plus the reward options in the levels below.Add $10 for international shipping of items below. Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $100 or more
Our Healers can appreciate this one: You get a handwritten "Thank You" Postcard from Death (because you can never have too powerful of an acquaintance) OR access to two online videos of Padded Sword Games (which are not in the Instructor Manual) plus the options in the levels below this. Add $10 for international shipping of items below. Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $200 or more
Our Knight level for those who like to be part of the team and show it! You get a Wizards & Warriors Camp Hoodie (up to XXXL to cover all that armor!) that is signed by camp staff and creators OR access to our online repository where you can print a copy of the Padded Weapon Games program. Plus the reward options in the levels below. Add $15 for international shipping of items below. Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $350 or more
Our Ranger level for those who want to witness the action first hand: Two tickets for Feast of Heroes held at our summer camp in Massachusetts as well as a "Behind the Scenes" tour of how our summer camp works plus the reward options below. You must provide your own transportation and accommodations. Add $15 for international shipping of items below. Estimated delivery: Aug 2013
Pledge $500 or more
Our Spy level for those who like to know what's going on before everyone else: Get a "sneak peak" at the first month of License Materials (videos, curriculum, articles, etc) before its released, as well as two padded swords, plus the reward options below. Add $15 for international shipping of items below. Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $750 or more
You have to be a nefarious type to enjoy the Brigand level where you get a no-good-doer named after you at our Summer Camp. We also include an email with a digital picture of your Brigand in costume... and a note about what havoc they caused amongst our heroes. OR you can opt for the printed manuals for both the Sport Sword Instructor Program AND the Instructor DVDs. Plus the reward options below. Add $15 for international shipping of items below. Estimated delivery: Aug 2013
Pledge $1,000 or more
These Patrons get dinner for two with the Wizards & Warriors creators, Jeff and Meghan - where we can trade battle stories and you can lose your appetite from Jeff's excessive puns. We can also go over ideas you have about the License or programs. Plus the reward options at Spy level and below. Add $15 for international shipping of items below. Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $2,000 or more
This is our Hero Level for those who want to live the adventure! You get unlimited access to the online repository containing How-To videos, weekly curriculum, articles, marketing materials, and much more for six months. If you agree to the terms and qualify, the License Start Up Fee and one year of License Monthly Fees are waived. This will allow you to run the curriculum with your own group, give feedback, and be a part of the development of the curriculum and materials! Plus the reward options at Ranger level and below.
Estimated delivery: Jan 2013 OR You get one week of Wizards & Warriors Overnight Summer Camp or 2 weeks of Day Summer Camp (for one adult as staff assistant or one child/teen as camper). Overnight camp includes all meals and boarding for ages 10+. Transportation from Boston Airport to camp and back is included. Day Camp includes lunch for ages 7+. Plus the reward options at Spy level and below. Note: For adults, you must successfully pass CORI/SORI criminal background check to attend camp. Estimated delivery: Aug 2013
Pledge $2,500 or more
Our Lesser Spirit level for those who wish to play a major character at our Wizards & Warriors Overnight Camp for 1 week. Work with our plot team to design a character from history, mythology or literature (at least 50 years or older) which you will play. Also give creative input on the plot! Transportation from and to Airport, room, and board provided. Must be at least 16 years old. Plus the reward options at Spy level and below. Add $15 for international shipping of items below. Note: For adults, you must successfully pass CORI/SORI criminal background check to attend camp. Estimated delivery: Aug 2013
Pledge $3,500 or more
The Greater Spirit level for those who want to give a test their own adventures! You get unlimited access to the online repository containing How-To videos, weekly curriculum, articles, marketing materials, and much more for one full year. If you agree to the terms and qualify, the License Start Up Fee and one year of License Monthly Fees are waived. This will allow you to run the curriculum with your own group, give feedback, and be a part of the development of the curriculum and materials! Plus the reward options at Spy level and below. Add $15 for international shipping of items below. Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $5,000 or more
This is the Game Maker level for those serious about running their own adventures. This provides everything in listed in Greater Spirit level, as well as one week of "shadowing" at our year round 7500 square foot facility in Burlington, MA where you will get to see, first hand, how we run our own weekly adventure programs. Transportation to and from the Boston Airport provided. Food and accommodations are your responsibility. Add $15 for international shipping of items below. Note: For adults, you must successfully pass CORI/SORI criminal background check to shadow at the facility. Estimated delivery: Jan 2013