UPDATE June 2nd, 2021
We're amazed and truly grateful for all of our donors from the past year, helping us raise over $23000, putting us almost halfway to our goal. However, the second half is often steeper than the first. We may be running with steam now, but we're still not out of the woods.
With the help of all of you, summer camp is officially happening this year at a beautiful in-person venue with over 70 heroes registered for their adventures. We cannot thank you enough for the generosity, patience, and support that has gotten us to this milestone. The donations from the last year have been distributed 50% directly towards scholarships for our campers in need, 25% towards our new camp venue in Sturbridge, and 25% towards the equipment necessary for an in-person camp. However...
There are still campers who need scholarships or they won't be able to attend. There are still costs left to cover all of the amenities of our venue. Lastly, we have decided to increase the amount of outsourced support for all pandemic-related safety precautions. We're asking our community to help us one more time as we round that final corner and begin the summer camp season.
Where will your donation go during this second half of the fundraiser? 50% as always will continue to go directly to campers as scholarships as we are still receiving daily requests for campers to attend who cannot cover the costs themselves. 25% will continue to cover venue costs that despite the loosening of guidelines is still presenting an additional cost above and beyond our usual camp season, and the final 25% will be going toward our on-site professional COVID-19 testing, high-quality PPE, and compensating our additional staffing to ensure safety.
Thank you again to all of our donors thus far. Together we can make summer camp magical, safe, and an epic success.
- The Story School
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During this pandemic, our first thought is to help our families the best we can. Another goal many people have is to help ensure that the most wonderful, unique small businesses that we know can survive. By donating to The Story School, you can do both.
So, what’s so incredible about The Story School? We run the Guardian Adventures weekly programs and summer camps where kids and teens navigate live stories, solve problems as a team, and learn about academic subjects like science or literature along the way. We create an exciting and fantastical environment in which all the kids are called heroes, and they learn to help each other to save the day.
Humans are hard-wired to understand stories, and invest ourselves in them. This is what motivates our heroes to work together to find the answers. Their actions make the story work. They have the freedom to influence the direction of the stories, and the choice of figuring out how to accomplish their goals. Being participants inside the stories, and having this power to help others and to succeed makes them feel like heroes.
Who participates in our camps? Kids and teens who:
*Start out shy or who need to gain confidence.
* Need to connect with other kids with similar interests.
* Have ADHD or who are on the spectrum... and want to be accepted for who they are into a camp with neurotypical teens and kids.
* Haven’t found their purpose yet, but long to do so.
*Love costumes, drama, adventure, mythology, science, languages, history, or culture… or who don’t know yet how much they’ll love some of those things.
Our heroes get to wear costumes and makeup, but so do our staff, and sometimes the heroes’ parents. We create stories, sets, props, and lessons, and the kids have a blast. Our heroes enter an environment where they can be their ultimate selves while taking on the roles of other characters. They learn respect, boundaries, scientific principles, how to get rid of a monster or a zombie, how to get along with and help other kids, and to believe in themselves.
Some of our camps have been organized around the theme of a culture, such as Native American, Japanese, or Arabic. We work with members of those cultures to develop curricula that authentically reflect the cultures. The exposure to various cultures increases knowledge and cross-cultural sensitivity.
Over the years, our work has evolved into a form of informal teaching and learning that is now being studied by universities. Our heroes learn by being involved in an adventure or mystery. They become empowered by working on a team that uses its collective imagination and knowledge, but must acquire additional knowledge to overcome obstacles. Being active in the story’s outcome makes the whole experience feel like a game. The heroes are in control of the outcome, and can be proud of their collaboration.
What happens when they’re done with camp?
* Our heroes gain knowledge, communication and interpersonal skills, confidence in themselves, techniques for learning, and continue interests they encounter at camp, or have the confidence to seek out other new interests later.
* They look forward to going back to camp the following year, and have made lasting friendships.
*They are more comfortable meeting new people, working on teams and making plans together, making presentations, or auditioning for a play.
These experiences have helped heroes do better in school, get jobs, and even influence their career direction.
Check out these videos to see how The Story School works, and how much it means to campers and parents. And thank you for your support!
The Story School is a 501c3 nonprofit organization which runs Guard Up & Guardian Adventures programs.