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Home School Life Journal
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales
painting by Katie Bergenholtz

DIY Medieval Fantasy Camp, part 2: Call To Adventure



An event, sometimes traumatic, leads to adventure or quest

There are less specific directions for your camp week this week, as it must be tailored around the world and characters that you and your students have just created. 

You will need to use your own creativity for this part of the camp. You will need to decide what event will spark the heroes into action. This may come from the legends or other aspects of the world you have jointly created. Or, you may add some spark to the story that has been laid out so far. Think of all the calls to adventure you have read about or seen in movies. The call to adventure can come in the form of a verbal or written message, letter, dream, temptation, last straw, or loss of something precious. Whatever it is, it makes the hero aware that there is something beyond his ordinary world. The objective of the adventure is often treasure, but the treasure can be something other than a physical treasure such as the freeing of a captive or the acquiring of knowledge.
Examples: 

  • Give them the goal of traveling to some distant land to rid the world of an evil monster like how Gilgamesh travels with Enkidu to the Land of the Cedars to kill the guardian, Humbaba. You can have them go to the edge of whatever you have mapped out, or you can even go beyond the map, if that is possible. Be very descriptive in medieval fantasy terms.
  • Request them to help in a major war such as Agamemnon requesting Achilles’ presence in the Trojan war or Odysseus convincing him to fight. For this you will have to have an actual "battle" complete with safe foam swords they will make.
  • Have them receive a message that requests their help in a rescue mission, such as the hidden message Luke obtains in the droid he just bought to rescue the princess in Star Wars. What will they rescue and why? Make sure it is a journey of sorts to get to what they will rescue. Put it on the edge of the mapped area, or perhaps beyond it, if possible.
  • Nudge your students by giving them a prophecy that they will participate in whatever adventure you have created just as the prophecy that predicted Achilles’ role in the Trojan War. Be very descriptive in the prophecy and they may jump at the chance.
  • Have the adventurers or your character have a vision such as Fiver's vision of the impending doom for the warren in Watership Down. What will the vision show your students? Be as descriptive as possible.
  • A special object that calls to the adventurers to go on the adventure such as when Elf script appears on the ring in The Lord of the Rings after it is tossed into the fire. You will need to create a special object for this call.


Whatever your call is, make it a difficult one; one that seems almost impossible to accomplish. We are dealing with heroes, so the adventure has to be heroic, too. Include difficult areas that the students will have to go through to get to where they want to go, such as through areas that have enemies of your students. Whatever it is, it has to give our heroes a chance to use their abilities such as strength, courage, loyalty, hospitality, generosity, and leadership skills.
After you have decided on what your call to adventure will be, then write a basic script or general notes that you will present to your students. You will also need to create any props you might need.

Refusal Of The Call

So, what happens if you set the call to adventure out for your students, and they don't take it? Well, this is not uncommon in the hero's story either, (think of Achilles leaving battlefield) and in fact is one of the steps of the heroic journey. But, thankfully, we sometimes get a second chance. Make the mundane world less comfortable for your students and the call more appealing. This can include giving your students chores to do that would be appropriate for the world, such as gathering wood, making a fire and cooking their own dinner. (I know, this might be appealing to some. You know your students and what they would not like as much.) Along with the chores, give them more incentive to come along on the adventure, such as a reward at the end.

This week, then will be filled with acting and preparing for their adventure. If you have additional time, give them the task of determining the call to adventure in the books they are reading. This may give them inspiration.

1 comment:

  1. Great pictures for this post.

    Now, I'm thinking about the calls to adventure from different stories I've read and the different games I've played....

    ReplyDelete

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