This is topic Kickstarter Project for Young Geeks in forum Your News! at The Geek Culture Forums!.

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Posted by Guard Up Family Swordsmanship (Member # 49964) on October 10, 2012, 17:21:
Hey all!

My company just announced that we will be raising funds to license our youth program called “Wizards & Warriors”. This program is designed to engage kids and teens in live, story-based adventures where they play a character in an ongoing storyline.

In these adventures, the kids (we call them “Heroes”) fight monsters with foam swords, win treasure and solve ancient mysteries. We also have a futuristic version that uses Nerf Blasters called “Zombie Blaster Adventures”. Both programs involve kids interacting with creatures and characters out of real life history, literature, and mythology.

Please consider supporting our Kickstarter Campaign:

100% of your donation goes towards making our license a reality… which will help individuals and facilities across the globe offer this exciting program to children and teens who would benefit from the opportunity to experience an adventure where they are the hero… and make lifelong friends.

Whatever amount of support you can provide is appreciated. And whatever help you can provide is made even larger if you do so within 24 hours of reading this. The campaigns with the most number of donations within the first days of going live have a higher chance of being listed as a “Popular” campaign on the Kickstarter main page. With your help, we can get there!

Thank you so much for your support. This is the start of an exciting journey for all of us at Guard Up and the young heroes we hope to reach!
Posted by macmcseboy (Member # 1232) on October 11, 2012, 03:44:
sniff sniff.... smells of spam spam spam spam eggs spam bacon
Posted by Guard Up Family Swordsmanship (Member # 49964) on October 11, 2012, 06:35:
I don't get it. This is under "Your News"... which I assumed was anything newsworthy about what's going on in our lives... and pertains to geek culture.

We are trying to do a fundraiser for a program that will help kids explore education, imagination, and make friends... something I would have really appreciated when I was growing up (besides Dungeons & Dragons).

If it's deemed spam, I will pull it. But I was careful about where I posted this and thought it was appropriate.
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on October 11, 2012, 06:36:
WOW on the first Post asking for money.

Green EGGS and SPAM.

It may be legit?
Posted by Guard Up Family Swordsmanship (Member # 49964) on October 11, 2012, 06:43:
We are asking for whatever support people can provide... even if it's just spreading the word. This reaction is kind of surprising - the rest of the geek community (including 2 GeekDads at are very much in support of what we are doing.

If you want to know if it's legit, please take a look at the kickstarter project. There is a news piece on our company by NECN.

I'd be happy to answer any questions you have OR delete the post if the admin here rules this as spam. Lesson learned.
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on October 11, 2012, 09:19:
Megan, these forums have a long history, most of the time that a new poster asks for money we never hear from them again. Then there are the people with chronic illnesses looking for sympathy.

Your group is a long way from "The Huron National Forest" and our posters in Australia and Japan surely would not be able to attend any of your camps.

How Nitro and Snaggy will come down I can not answer, how ever teaching kids fencing to me is a valid goal and good exercise.
Posted by Guard Up Family Swordsmanship (Member # 49964) on October 11, 2012, 12:33:
Actually, this past summer, we had 2 campers from Australia, 3 from Chile, 1 from England, 4 from Canada and 1 from Switzerland.

Kids and teens travel from all over the world to attend our camp. So I wouldn't write off someone from Japan soon. [Smile]

I get what you mean, though, about posters asking for money for whatever cause and disappearing. These boards have a history and I'm not part of it. I get the reaction... it's an "unearned" request.

Well, I plan on sticking around. But if it's too much of a sore spot, I'd rather pull the post than cause bad vibes. Our camp is for geeks and run by geeks. We just never found this community before. Go figure.

Admin can let me know and I respect the decision.
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on October 11, 2012, 14:21:
So from your profile, we know that you are involved with this kickstarter program.
So what is the displacement of your motorcycle?
your other interests?
Computer skills?

We have a collection of people from many areas, and interests.

Tell us about you Megan.
Posted by Guard Up Family Swordsmanship (Member # 49964) on October 11, 2012, 14:46:
1000cc (Yamaha R1). Got my racing license 4 years ago at Louden in NH.

Other interests:

Weight Lifting
Scuba Diving
Fire Breathing
Skeet Shooting (newbie, but I *love* it)

...I'm an adrenaline geek.

Also love reading about Neuroplasticity. Actually, I read about any brain science... it fascinates me. But particularly interested in how the brain changes.

Computer skills are so-so. I know enough hardware to swap out memory, replace a harddrive, set up a home network. Picked up a little java script, php, html with my website work (mostly modifying existing code and a lot of experimenting).

Huge fan of Joss Whedon - LONG before The Avengers brought him to everyone else's attention.

Used to collect Daredevil comics until Bullseye killed Elektra (loooooong time ago).

Married for 22 years to an awesome geek-jock who spoils me... two exceptionally talented daughters who love geek culture but look more "artsy". (Although they date geeks almost exclusively).

So there you have it. Do my creds hold water? [Smile]
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on October 11, 2012, 15:01:
Meghan, If you take the last of the coffee make a new pot the old stack of byte will fall down if bumped.

The others will be along in a day or two, this election for some reason politics has not a discussion, hope to read more about you.

Myself 66 year old retired Skilled Tradesman Dies Molds and tooling along with machine building.

I have had a cancer removed, that changed many things and thoughts, however I am above the grass.
Posted by Guard Up Family Swordsmanship (Member # 49964) on October 11, 2012, 15:13:
Tea drinker... coffee is murder on my stomach.

Watch the alignment on that byte stack. The higher it goes, the longer it has to fall. And it's a mess to pick up.

Cancer sucks. Glad you beat it. My dad lost his battle. It changes so much.

Dies molds and tooling? I may have some questions for you. We want to make our own foam swords for our classes... but they would likely require a mold for part of the interior rod.
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on October 12, 2012, 09:56:
Guard Up Family Swordsmanship

Well I have a year and a half before I can consider myself in full reemission.

Before you set a course upon building your own gear, think about insurances and liability problems. Have examples of Sendo Swords, Scimitars, American Cavalry foils and the gear used in competition mounted on the walls. It would behoove you to have videos of good matches.

My fear is that some family that has always made excuses for their off springs actions will enroll their problem child, and that child may injure some one else's child. If you also manufacture the gear you could be on the hook for damages. Find a good product and have a list of outlets that sell that product. You do not want to end up talking to insurance company lawyers, when that happens it usually turns out bad.
Posted by Guard Up Family Swordsmanship (Member # 49964) on October 12, 2012, 09:59:
I know what you mean by liability. Especially with kids.

The problem is that our current swords are from a Sole Source. You know the nightmare that causes: the vendor has us up against a wall. They deliver when they want. They charge what they want. And we are at their mercy.

Trying to find other options. Ideas?
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on October 12, 2012, 11:16:
Before I even looked at the Websites my first thoughts were those foam noodles for backyard pools. Have you considered putting a length of auto heater hose inside of one of those noodles as a stiffener?
Posted by Guard Up Family Swordsmanship (Member # 49964) on October 12, 2012, 11:28:
The problem is the level of flexibility vs the level of stiffness. You want the sword to be flexible enough not to hurt the person you use it on (especially with a thrust)... but stiff enough to be able to parry a swing from another person.

As such, we need a sword that is graded in stiffness: More stiff at the handle, some give at the middle, and quite flexible at the tip.

This is where the tooling comes in. The tip would be graded from medium flex to high flex. The handle would be stiffer by reinforcing the main rod with an add-on... so it wouldn't need tooling, just assembly.

Also, the foam we would use is a much higher quality foam than pool noodles. It has to be to withstand (literally) hundreds of high impact hits on a daily basis. The standard life of a sword should be at least a couple of years. And they get a lot of use. So the quality of the foam and core and the fabric need to be high enough.
Posted by Snaggy (Member # 123) on October 12, 2012, 12:07:
Hi Megan!

Have you seen an increase in people interested in swordplay since Game of Thrones?
Posted by Guard Up Family Swordsmanship (Member # 49964) on October 12, 2012, 12:17:

I think Game of Thrones has some influence... just like LOTR did (but more for teenagers). However, movies and media in general are more like inspiration for those who already have the desire to try sword fighting. Does that make sense?

It's not so much the reason they do it as much as the spark that got them to pick up the phone and call us. Most people have been wanting to try sword fighting since they were young. Everyone at some point picks up a stick as a child and pretends it's a sword. Some grow old and bury that part of themselves... some grow up but keep that inner child alive. The latter are open to that spark and just need a nudge to finally join in on the fun. [Smile]

Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on October 12, 2012, 13:41:
Looking at the products from Nerf. I see your problem, you need a variable durometer rubber compound molded into the shape of various medieval weapons.

That is more than just a tooling problem it is also a chemical nightmare.

I know that the foam mattress people use built up layers composite each a different durometer. They have eight or more inches to get from hardest to softest.

On true foam products the mixer head speed is varied to get different bubble size as the product is extruded through the nozzle. You also want a foam that would skin over looking shiny.

This is way more complex than plastic pipe foam insulation.
Posted by Guard Up Family Swordsmanship (Member # 49964) on October 12, 2012, 15:21:
Actually, we've had success with a simple high quality foam tube that is of uniform layer. The foam doesnt provide as much of the "softness" of the hit as the variable nylon core rod. The rod is different thicknesses from the handle to the tip. The foam covers the rod. And then a nylon cloth covering goes over that.

The nylon cover is of various colors (which allows the user to customize their weapon to a degree).

We do also use Latex swords much like these:

However, they have almost no flex when it comes to a thrust... and the edge can cause a bruise on a child if they are hit with a hard swing. Whereas the nylon foam swords are much more forgiving.

There are tons of Latex manufacturers out there... but not many nylon foam sword vendors.

We buy (literally) thousands of dollars in nylon foam swords a year. It's rough having to go through a single source though.

Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on October 12, 2012, 19:12:
Okay My Contacts in the plastic industry are Jewish so I have to wait until the sabbath is over. I will attempt to get in touch with a supply wizard.
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on October 18, 2012, 11:29:
Guard Up Family Swordsmanship, not good news my friend in the plastics supply chain has retired. More not so good news the costs associated with building a mold good for 10K parts and the plastic would be close to the retail price point of toy vendors.
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on October 19, 2012, 13:12:
Matters of scale, I last commented on price point of making your weapons for medieval arms.

Here is a break down for my position.

The molds can be made quite cheaply, think Plaster of Paris, and plywood.

The rest of the process is the high dollar area.

Chemicals some of them are cheap to buy but have a high disposal cost. They all have a short shelf life, you have to use them up quickly.

Curing ovens

The actual injection gun and it's controls, also the blend changes with the weather. Air density and humidity affect cure and strength.

Personnel, during casting you will need about twelve people, to open molds, take out the part, spray the mold with mold release and set it back up for refilling.

Ventilating there are toxic fumes.

I know how frustrating it is to have a single source supply chain, but unless you are prepared to go into competition with them it will be hard to get your price point down.

Now that I have ruined your day, will you please post on your other Geeky Talents?
Posted by Guard Up Family Swordsmanship (Member # 49964) on October 19, 2012, 13:39:
Sorry for my delayed response. My youngest daughter is home with a concussion from high school volleyball. I feel for her... it sucks not being able to be active or do anything else like look at a computer or tv screen (which cause headaches) or even read a book. I guess it's time for some shopping therapy. [Smile]

Just for clarity - we won't be making our molds or doing the production ourselves. We'd go through a company for that. I looked into about 3 years ago and the set up was about 2K and an minimum order of about 1K pieces. The cost wasn't too bad per piece because all we needed was a 6 inch long rod that tapered to a finer point. But the start up is tough to budget.

I havent done any research lately though.

As for my other geek skills:

Weight Lifting: 200lb is my 3 rep max in bench press
Snowboarding: Ride goofy. More into carving than jumps. Too old for missing that landing.
Scuba Diving: Advanced Open Water certified. Used to be an underwater videographer when I lived in California.
Fire Breathing: Use liquid paraffin.
Skeet Shooting: Remington 410 shotgun was my favorite.

I also did 25 years of martial arts... but gave it up after I could no longer stomach the "I can kill you with a death touch" BS and the number of so-called masters who had beer guts hanging over their black belt.
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on October 19, 2012, 14:53:
Where I worked we did Air Filters (auto) the flat panel and round. Our flat panel department had two lines making ten/minute each. they ran 24/7 so that we would not lose so much material getting the equipment back to correct from down time.

Toxicity the Gun Flush was the worst, not too toxic before we ran it through the mixer then it became toxic as all get out and had to be handled by decon companies. We did not want to shut down and flush the guns and mixers.

Our Grandson took a hit BMX riding and is now playing football. I go to every game to see if he takes a hit. I am pretty sure he would not tell his mother. Oh the days of "Shake it off and get back in there".
Posted by Guard Up Family Swordsmanship (Member # 49964) on October 19, 2012, 16:32:
Problem is that the days of "shake it off and get back in there" caused kids with permanent brain damage because they never gave their concussion time to heal.

I tell my kids that you can muscle through just about any pain... I played rugby with broken bones. But never, ever, mess with your brain or your spine. If those get hurt, it's time to stop playing. Everything else, we can negotiate on.
Posted by Ugh, MightyClub (Member # 3112) on October 22, 2012, 13:27:
Concussions are nothing to mess around with. Several kids have died in the last couple years after "getting back in there" with a concussion.
Posted by Guard Up Family Swordsmanship (Member # 49964) on October 29, 2012, 21:42:
Hey all...

Just wanted you all to know that I am taking an extended leave of absence from work (time for a break!). And I will be "unplugged" for a few weeks. So I haven't fallen off the face of the planet... well maybe the virtual planet... [Smile]

I hope to see you all when I return.

Time for an adventure.


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