Every young man imagines himself as a heroic champion, a great warrior from ages of old! And – we are delighted to see – more and more young women are placing themselves into the roles of gallant warriors as well, thanks to images and role models like Xena, Mulan, Alanna the Lioness, Buffy the Vampire Slayer … and even King Arthur’s lady knight named Silence (one of the Round Table’s best-kept secrets!)
Emulating the great warriors of history is an important part of every child’s development: This sort of role-play allows them to confront their fears, and also to explore the values of a code of honor as they learn the difference between a champion and a killer, a hero and a bully.
But just what does it mean to be a warrior? Is a warrior merely a person who wears armor and swings a sword, or is there something more to it than that? What sort of arms and armor do warriors use, and what’s the difference between their equipment? What sort of rules, customs, and values guided the warriors of the ancient world? Do the codes of honor idealized by great warriors of the past have any bearing on the heroes and champions of the modern world?
To help children explore their natural curiosity about images and tales of heroic warriors of the past, Chivalry Today has developed the Warrior Camp and Warrior After-School Club programs. In our hour-long (after school) and full-day, week-long (camp) Warrior Programs, children get to learn about, and practice the battle-skills of the historic warriors they may have seen in movies, TV shows, books, or video games – warriors like the Spartans, Roman legionnaires, medieval knights, samurai, mongols, Amazons, Vikings, and more.
These immersive, adventure camp-style activities provide children with a variety of benefits:
- Challenging, healthy physical activities under the close supervision of Chivalry Today’s educational staff;
- Authentic details about historical warrior cultures, equipment, and skills that dispel the myths and misconceptions they may have gotten from other sources;
- A sense of dignity and respect for the skills and tools of real warriors (including those in the modern world) as they see that warfare and battle, though sometimes necessary, are not “play”;
- A personal understanding of the values of the “warrior code” that guides soldiers in their duties, sets the boundaries of aggressive and violent behavior, and builds the sense of respect and trustworthiness that makes soldiers and warriors valued members of a peaceful, functioning society.
On top of all of that, children at Warrior Camp/Club have a great time testing out their theories and ideas about warriors and their skills. Was a Spartan’s javelin better than a Mongol’s bow? Is a samurai’s sword strong enough to defeat a knight’s armor? How did Roman soldiers march in formation? How did Vikings find their way home in their dragon ships after a battle?
For every youngster who has used a trash can lid as a shield, a broomstick as a lance, or a piece of plastic kitchenware as a helmet (and, yes, Chivalry Today’s instructors have done all of those things when we were young) Warrior Camp/Club brings the image of a heroic warrior to life.
Now there’s a way to let your child release his (or her!) inner “knight in shining armor”!
Warrior Camp is generously hosted by the Team Touché Fencing Center in San Diego’s Sorrento Valley, and is held periodically over various holiday school breaks (Winter and Spring break, and Summer vacation). Warrior Camp sessions are available for half-day, or full-day enrollment. (Early drop-off is available too.) Warrior Camp is intended for children ages 7 to 15, with “junior” and “young adult” age-appropriate activities.
For information about upcoming sessions of Warrior Camp at Team Touché, or to enroll your child, contact Team Touche at (858) 622-9696.
Warrior After-School Club is available through the after-school program offerings of several elementary and middle school districts throughout San Diego County. Check with your school’s after-school club coordinator to see if Warrior Club is available for your student – if not, please tell the school’s front office or extracurricular coordinator that you’d be interested in taking part in Chivalry Today’s after-school program. We’re always looking for more campuses that want to include our program!