A Brief History of LARP Adventure Program
LARP Adventure Program (L.A.P.), a community arts and multiple intelligences educational program started in 2000 at the Springfield Museums. In 2002, L.A.P. came to Boston at the Charles River Gym, spending the better part of a year in that community before moving to private programming for families in the Brookline area. Over the course of the next few years, the L.A.P. curriculum was refined from the initial ideas into a formal curriculum for middle grade youth.
Using for a foundation the idea of Live Action Roleplay (LARP), a collaborative community theater performance that lends itself to the advancement of interdisciplinary arts, the curriculum teaches a wide variety of artistic and technical skills. The L.A.P. curriculum believes in honing 21st century skills and creating an environment for self-application and personal development. Teachings that influence the curriculum come from around the world, where in many places LARP has been recognized as an important cultural tool for the education and enrichment of youth and adults.
Arlington became the next important community for L.A.P. through the Arlington Center for the Arts (ACA). It began formal classes in 2006 through the Ottoson Middle School’s afterschool enrichment program, Arlington Enrichment Collaborative (AEC). Over the next eight years, L.A.P. expanded its Arlington offerings from an initial class of 10 youth one day a week to multiple days with dozens of youth of all ages. Now, L.A.P. hosts over 100+ youth from grades 5th to 12th in the Arlington, Belmont, Winchester area, partnering with other local schools such as the Chenery Middle School and the Acera School for Science, Creativity and Leadership.
In the 2014-15 school year, L.A.P. returned to ACA where it currently operates five days a week of afterschool programming with two days of evening programming as well. In addition to youth programming, L.A.P. offers professional leadership training, college-level internships, and private events / workshops for individuals, families, and religious / community groups. Outside of the educational enrichment programing, L.A.P. also operates summer programming, vacation programming and other events throughout the year, from one-day events to weekend overnights and week-long residential programming.
Why LARP Adventure Program
At LARP Adventure Program we believe that through nurturing one another in a community arts environment, we can discover our personal legends and reach self-actualization. The LARP Adventure Program experience and curriculum are based on community interdisciplinary arts, 21st century skills, and multiple intelligence education*. The program brings together a number of studies, forging them together into an experience unlike any other. This approach to community arts and education allows each participant to shine in their own true nature and power. In turn, the participant nurtures and feeds the growth and development of the community. In this process of shared self-actualization, the community as a whole is inspired, creative juices flow, minds are motivated and the path to greatness is manifested.
We are Imagination. ™
Live-action roleplaying can take many forms and can be used to create many things. It is an integration of theater and sports that includes all of the interdisciplinary arts. It’s a place where communities can form and take shape. In our LARP, we take the approach of Transformational Leadership through Theatre and involve old world and ancient customs and traditions, personal and community principles as well as community and global transformation. By the processes of multiple intelligences learning methods, the principles of the eastern movement, inspiration and creation nurturing, among others participants are energized and activated for self-empowerment, facing challenges and addressing fears. The goal is to teach 21st century skills while not losing the historical context of tradition. Through our program we seek to help youth develop and give them a place where they can practice self-exploration and transformation, discovering their inner power and truths. In short, we hold each other to do amazing things.
LARP Adventure Program utilizes the outdoors and nature to embrace the theory of naturalistic education, multiple intelligence learning and appreciation of the outdoors. By bringing youth into an interactive theater environment staged in the outdoors we aim to foster appreciation for wildlife and nature. This nurtures the relationship to one’s natural surroundings by including it in their heroic image. In the game youth are encouraged to identify and classify plants, rocks, landforms and animals as part of a discovery adventure. In addition, the game setting focuses on the values of the evolutionary past of hunters, gatherers and farmers in a medieval setting. Nature appreciation, for example, has it’s own rulebook and curriculum. These include, wildlife tracking, botany, wildlife restoration and geology. In short the goal is to create a sensitive, ethical, and holistic understanding of oneself and the world as a whole, establishing a greater understanding of humanity's role within the greater ecosphere, through the community arts.
*Multiple Intelligence Education:
The theory of multiple intelligences is a theory of intelligence that differentiates it into specific (primarily sensory) “modalities”, rather than seeing intelligence as dominated by a single general ability. This model was proposed by Howard Gardner in his 1983 book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Gardner articulated seven criteria for a behavior to be considered an intelligence. These were that the intelligences showed: potential for brain isolation by brain damage, place in evolutionary history, presence of core operations, susceptibility to encoding (symbolic expression), a distinct developmental progression, the existence of savants, prodigies and other exceptional people, and support from experimental psychology and psychometric findings.
Gardner chose eight abilities that he held to meet these criteria: musical–rhythmic, visual–spatial, verbal–linguistic, logical–mathematical, bodily–kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic. He later suggested that existential and moral intelligence may also be worthy of inclusion. Although the distinction between intelligences has been set out in great detail, Gardner opposes the idea of labeling learners to a specific intelligence. Each individual possesses a unique blend of all the intelligences. Gardner firmly maintains that his theory of multiple intelligences should “empower learners”, not restrict them to one modality of learning.
Gardner argues intelligence is categorized into three primary or overarching categories, those of which are formulated by the abilities. According to Gardner, intelligence is: 1) The ability to create an effective product or offer a service that is valued in a culture, 2) a set of skills that make it possible for a person to solve problems in life, and 3) the potential for finding or creating solutions for problems, which involves gathering new knowledge.
This general explanation is borrowed from multiple sources collected by Wikipedia.