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.
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” flipbook, which will show a list of activities and pricing. If you would like this brochure mailed to you, or for questions, please call the office at (303) 786-9216.
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 Americanmagazine (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.
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