Once your heroes have accepted the challenge set before them, they will then need a mentor or mentors who will give them the guidance they need. For this summer camp, you (and other adults, if you have gotten their assistance with the camp) will be the mentors. You can dress up and give them their assistance in costume and in character. Have fun with this! You can do each of these guilds, one each week, or you can run them all at the same time, with the students rotating from one guild to another, or you can just focus on one guild. It is up to you.
Making their Weapons
|from Under the Sycamore|
First our heroes need to make their own weapons. We like the tutorial from Under the Sycamore because they are sturdier that the ones made from just pool noodles and yet they have a bit of buffer from the foam that is wrapped around the pvc pipes. You will need enough 1/2 inch pvc pipe, the foam that goes around them, plastic adaptors that fit onto the pipes, duct tape for all your students and at least one saw. These swords can pack a punch, however, so your sword wielders need to be taught how to use them.
The SwordsmasterBecause I don't want my students actually hurting anyone and I want to later film some of the battle scenes, I want to teach my sword wielders dramatic and yet harmless sword maneuvers. I have found this video from Albion Schoole to be the best way to teach them. You (or whomever you are getting to play the Swordsmaster) can either watch the video and learn the maneuvers and then teach them to your students or you can watch the video with your students, stopping as you go along and learn the maneuvers together.
Have your students practice as long as they need to in order to get the skills down.
Once your students have their sword skills mastered, they need to be taught some basic battle strategies. These can only be done if you have a group of students participating in the camp. I have picked out four of the basic battle strategies, but there are many more that you can add or substitute.
The first is called Leapfrogging. For this, you divide your students into two teams. The two teams need to agree on a signal. Once this signal is used, Team A will attack the enemy while Team B breaks off and attacks the enemy from a different, and more favorable position, such as a flank. At some point in the battle, Team A will give Team B the signal again and the teams will change position, with Team A attack the other flank, for example and Team B moving to the straight on position. Teach this in the form of a drill.
The second maneuver is called a Charge which is when your students advance towards their enemy at full speed and engage in close combat. It's benefit is shock value.
The third is the Ambush, in which the students hide behind the existing cover and come out of concealment with surprise as its key benefit.
The fourth technique is called Encircling. Students form a line and circle the enemies' forces, leaving just a small break in the line for retreat. This break ensures that your enemy will retreat just where you want them to. Its downfall is that your forces are spread out and therefore weakened at any one point.