The Castle Guards

Adventure Quest After-School Program

Program description:

Be the Hero of a Mythic Quest!

Since 1995, Renaissance Adventures has offered after-school programs and enrichment activities in Adventure Quest™, an active, outdoor, Renaissance-themed theater game, designed to develop self-esteem, team-building, and creative problem-solving skills.

In Adventure Quest, the children and teens become the heroes of an incredibly fun and dynamic quest, working together in a mythical and magical world to overcome interesting challenges, solve mystifying riddles, brainstorm unique solutions to puzzling dilemmas, and swashbuckle with foes. The Questers experience the excitement and confidence that comes from banding together to defend their village, solve a perplexing mystery, or negotiate a peace treaty.

Wielding safe foam Swasher swords, the Questers play dueling games and act out challenges like fending off a bullying ogre or a thieving band of pirates, in an environment that teaches good sportsmanship, fair-play, and respect for others. Then they exercise their minds as they try to piece together the clues in a coded riddle and follow a map to buried treasure.

We often offer one “Quest” for 4-8 continuous weeks, with each week a chapter in the story that the Questers help to create.

Read testimonials about our programs by parents and educators, and lean more about Experiential Learning through Roleplaying Games further down this page.

Current After-School Programs:

Whatcom Hills Waldorf School

Who: Boys & Girls grades 1-8 (grouped with students of similar age)

When: Wednesdays 3:00 – 5:00
Session 1: Oct 4 – 25 (4 weeks)
Session 2: Nov 1 – Dec 6 (5 weeks, with no program Nov 22 for Thanksgiving break)
Free intro day of swashbuckling games: Wed Sep 27th, 3:00 – 5:00

Where: Outside on WHWS grounds. (or Assembly Hall in inclement weather)

Cost: $16 per week = $64 for 4-week session, or $80 for 5-week session

More Info: Harper will be at the school this Friday at 1:15 to answer questions about the program.

Register Now

Drop-in available for Intro day Wed Sep 27th


Geneva Elementary

Who: Boys & girls aged 8-11

Where: outdoors at Geneva Elementary and Euclid Park

When: Fridays from 2:30 – 4:00
Oct 6 – Dec 1 (excepting purple Fridays, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving weekend)
Class dates: 10/6, 10/13, 10/27, 11/17, 12/1

Cost: $12 per week = $60 for series of 5 weeks

Register Now


Skagit Homeschool Quest Series

Who: Boys & Girls ages 8+ (will be grouped with students of similar age). If there is enough interest we may be able to open up an extra group for ages 6-7.

When: Mondays 9:00 am – 12:00 noon
Session 1: Oct 9 – Oct 30
Session 2: Nov 6 – Dec 11 (potentially – still awaiting approval from school)
Free intro day of swashbuckling games: Mon Oct 2nd, 9:00 am – 12:00 noon


Session 1 will meet at Hillcrest Park, and will focus on active outdoor activities and swashbuckling adventures

Session 2 details coming soon.

Cost: $20 per week = $80 for 4-weeks of Session 1, $120 for 6 weeks of Session 2

Register Now

Drop-in available for Intro day Mon Oct 2nd.



Columbia Elementary

Who: Boys & girls aged 6-11

When: Tuesdays 2:30 – 4:30 pm,
8 weeks, Sep 12 – Oct 31 2017

Where: Outdoors at Columbia and Elizabeth park

Cost: $15 per week = $120 for series of 8 sessions.

We will meet at the garden area near the portables (on the south side of the building). *Please note this is a different location than last year* We will Quest at Elizabeth park, and return to pick up at the garden area. There will be one ‘Quest’ storyline for the 8 week series, and it will be a different story from the Quest last year, so students who came before are encouraged to come again.

Program Full


Wade King Elementary

Who: Boys & girls aged 6-11

When: Mondays 2:30 – 4:30 pm,
8 weeks, Sept 11 – Oct 30 2017

Where: Wade King gym & nature trail

Cost: $15 per week = $120 for series of 8 sessions.

Children will meet at the gym. We will Quest in the gym and outside, utilizing the forest as weather permits. There will be one ‘Quest’ storyline for the 8 week series, and it will be a different story from the Quest last year, so students who came before are encouraged to come again.

Register Now


Lowell Elementary

Who: Boys & girls aged 8-11

When: Thursdays 12:45 – 3:15 pm,
6 weeks from Sep 21 – Oct 26 2017

Where: Lowell Elementary music room, Outside & Fairhaven Park

Cost: $15 per week, = $120 for series of 8 sessions.

Children will meet at the Music room / stage, and will Quest outside as much as weather permits, including at Fairhaven Park. There will be one ‘Quest’ storyline for the continuous 6 week series, and it will be a different story from the Quest last year, so students who came before are encouraged to come again.

Program Full. There is however still room at our quest at Fairhaven Park, which starts after our Lowell program finishes.
Register for Fairhaven Park



Parkview Elementary

Who: Boys & girls aged 6-11

Where: Parkview Elementary and Cornwall Park (meeting location just in front of school)

When: Fridays from 2:30 – 4:00

Session 1: Sep 29 – Dec 1 (excepting purple Fridays, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving weekend)
Class dates: 9/29, 10/6, 10/13, 10/27, 11/17, 12/1

Cost: $72 for series of 6 weeks

Register Now


Fairhaven Middle School / Fairhaven Park

Who: Boys & girls aged 8+, from any school (Walking distance from Fairhaven Middle, Happy Valley, Lowell, and Larrabee, also close to Samish Woods Montessorri)

Where: Fairhaven Park and CHAT room of Fairhaven Middle School

When: Thursdays 3:45 – 5:15 pm
6 weeks from Sep 21 – Oct 26 2017

Cost: $12 per week = $72 for series of 6 weeks

Fairhaven Park is close to Happy Valley, Lowell, Samish Woods Montessorri, Fairhaven Middle, and Larrabee schools, and the program is open to them as well as homeschooled kids or kids from other schools. All kids aged 8+ are welcome to attend. As Thursdays are an early-release day, many students can come even if they’re already signed up for another after-school program on Thursdays.

There will be one ‘Quest’ storyline for the 6 week series.

Register Now

Northern Heights Elementary

Who: Boys & girls aged 6-11

Where: Northern Height Elementary School

When: Wednesdays from 2:30 to 4:30 pm
8 Weeks from September 6 – October 25

Cost: $15 per week = $120 for series of 8 sessions.

Children will meet at the Outdoor Shed

Register Now

Interested in having an Adventure Quest after-school program at your school?

Contact us and we’ll be happy to set one up!

Here’s how it could look: 

Location: Your school! We’ll be outside as much as weather permits, but need a room or covered area at the school that we can Quest in during inclement weather.

Dates/Times: 1.5 – 2 hours a day, one day a week, starting as your school ends

Ages: 8-12 (recommended for Elementary) or 11-14 (recommended for Middle School)
Does your child want to be part of an on-going Adventure Quest after school? If there are 4-7 children interested, and a willing school, we’ll bring our Adventure Quest program to you!

Registration: We can handle all the registration, so the school doesn’t need to do any extra effort on that end. Or, if the school prefers to handle the registration, that’s fine too 🙂

Contact Harper by phone at (360) 836-0386, or by email at to see if we can bring an Adventure Quest program to your school.


Exciting Opportunities in Experiential Learning

Since 1995, Renaissance Adventures have run exciting and fulfilling programs for kids age 6 – 16. In our quests and programs, we believe in a holistic, non-authoritarian approach to the development and education of the participants. Click here to read our brochure about the kinds of activities we can host for your group.

If you are a parent that would like to have Renaissance Adventures host an afterschool program at your child’s school, please call us at (303) 786-9216 or contact us by email.

Experiential Learning through Roleplaying Games

Challenges and lessons are set within the context of a highly-motivating adventure—a quest with the kind of epic scope that rival and surpass movies and video games. However, unlike video games and other passive media, our active, outdoor quests develop the students’ physical, mental, social, emotional, and ethical development in a healthy and fun environment. Furthermore, our skilled instructors offer individualized attention, and improvise scenarios to compliment the skills, needs, and interests of the group.

Besides being incredibly fun, Adventure Quest programs will help participants in a variety of areas:

  • Critical thinking– students develop and practice critical thinking and problem solving skills throughout their mythic adventure. For instance, when the plot or characters of the story take an unexpected turn, participants must puzzle through a solution that is not readily obvious.
  • Team working– challenges within the story are often daunting, and the group is only successful when they can work together as a team, utilizing the strengths of each individual.
  • Social development– motivations of characters within each story are complex, and when the participants interact with these personalities in a genuine way, they come to understand how to communicate in a positive way.
  • Conflict resolution– students are often presented with scenarios of conflict that can only be resolved when an agreement can be made, whether it be between two great nations or a household of bickering siblings. In fact, because the participants hold their swashers in hand, they always have the option of handling conflict with more conflict; when this strategy fails, it gives them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and address conflict in a more inspiring way.
  • Imagination and creativity– through an interactive story, with scenes and monsters and realms described by a brilliant storyteller, the stage is set for creative expression and imaginative exploration—some of their greatest strengths.
  • Responsible empowerment– roleplaying games offer the participant the ability to choose their actions in a safe environment; when a goal is reached and a challenge overcome by the participants’ actions, it allows the children to realize that they can overcome other situations in their own lives.
  • Skills education and training– within the quest, the leaders have an opportunity to teach any number of skills that would help the kids succeed in their adventures. Knowledge of mathematics helps one group pass through a magically trapped corridor filled with a number pattern; cryptograms scribbled on a pirate’s map test the kids in their language abilities; making a real-life debris shelter teaches kids what they can do in the wilderness… the list goes on.

What Can We Offer?

Renaissance Adventures can host a number of different programs, customized to the needs of your group, class, troupe, or pack. Activities range from fun and fast-paced swasher games, to team building scenarios and challenges, to an in-depth series of Adventure Quest classes where the participants are the heroes of a mythic quest.

Click here to view our “Youth Organization Offerings” brochure, which will show a list of activities and pricing. If you would like this brochure mailed to you, or for questions, please contact us.

Testimonials from Teachers and Educators

Renaissance Adventures has captured the hearts and minds of our students. The Quest Leaders have fun with the children and create a climate of respect and creativity.” –Polly Donald, Director of Friends School, Boulder

We at Horizon’s have been greatly impressed by the programs offered at Renaissance Adventures. Their talent to inspire creative, imaginative play, blended with their ability to actively interact with our students in a fun, safe, and nurturing manner has made the classes very popular with the students in our school.” –Kim Hanson, Community Liaison, Horizon’s School, Boulder

Renaissance Adventures is a wonderful, unique experience. As a teacher, I really appreciate that the children learn while having so much fun. As a parent, I love how caring and concerned the staff are for the children.” –Jeff Hamilton, Teacher, September School, Boulder

Research on the Benefits of Roleplaying Games

  • Scientific American magazine (December 2011, Dr. Kieth Oatley) reports the findings that fictional storytelling increases a person’s capacity to understand and empathize with the characters in the story, and by extension, with people in their lives. “The process of entering imagined worlds of fiction builds empathy and improves your ability to take another person’s point of view. Fiction facilitates the development of social skills because it provides experience thinking about other people.”
  • In her book, Role Play Made Easy, training expert Susan El-Shamy observes that “the benefits of role playing [include] showing the strengths, weaknesses, and consequences of certain behaviors and attitudes… a participant in a role play can immediately test new information and try out new behaviors, see how things feel, make adjustments, and try again.”
  • Critical thinking and reasoning skills are developed and practiced within our programs, within the experiential framework of a live-action roleplaying game that emphasizes a very well-rounded set of challenges. Many studies have demonstrated that children who lack strong reasoning and critical thinking skills are less likely to succeed in the more “practical” fields of physics and mathematics. See “Developing Thinking and Problem Solving Skills” in the Introductory Mechanics textbook, and the references therein (V.P. Colletta & J.A. Phillips, PERC Proceedings, 2010).
  • In an article titled “Fantasy Role-playing for Mutual Aid in Children’s Groups” (Drs. Zayas & Lewis, Social Work with Groups, Volume 9, Issue 1), the researchers illustrate how three boys with ADHD were presented with a scenario in a fantasy roleplaying game that required them to work together. The children began the scenario by doing what they always did—rush into the challenging situation without a thought to the best way to overcome it. After an initial failure (a failure that was both physically and emotionally safe), the boys thought ahead to overcome challenges with more patient collaboration.