Tag Archives: events

Harry Potter’s Back (and more)!

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Art by Kazu Kibuishi

For more than a year, muggles, witches, and wizards alike have been asking us when we would bring back our Harry Potter discussion groups for 8-17 year-olds. We are thrilled to announce that Prefects and Junior Prefects are back at Carbon Valley Regional Library in Firestone and Erie Community Library. Both libraries are part of High Plains Library District where they know all about the magic of reading!

All of our discussion groups are conducted according to our Geek Philosophy method that encourages young people to speak and listen to each other in a spirit of wholehearted inquiry. We can’t think of a better way to approach the thought-provoking works of J.K. Rowling. 

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Send us an owl: What are the most important lessons you have learned from Harry Potter?

There is one catch to all this, however. Junior Prefects and Prefects in the High Plains Library District are being run as pilot projects. In order to continue the discussions past February, we need to show that young witches and wizards are excited to gather once a month or more to talk about magic! Please sign up and tell your friends!

Carbon Valley meetings will take place on the first Tuesdays of the month, beginning December 6. Junior Prefects meet 4:30-5:30 p.m. Prefects meet 6:30-7:30 p.m.

8-11 year-olds: Register for Junior Prefects here.

12-17 year-olds: Register for Prefects here.

Erie Community Library meetings will take place on the second Tuesdays of the month, beginning December 13. Junior Prefects meet 4:30-5:30 p.m. Prefects meet 6:30-7:30 p.m.

8-11 year-olds: Register for Junior Prefects here.

12-17 year-olds: Register for Prefects here.

Are you a Jedi as well as a wizard? Register for Fandoms Unite: A Star Wars Story to share your excitement about Rogue One and all things Star Wars with fans your own age! The story begins on December 1 at 4 p.m. Register here. May the Force be with you!

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Be sure to like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter for event updates. From time to time, events open up for an expanded age group or new spaces are added. Don’t miss out on the magic! 

You can get more information and register for any High Plains Library District programs by calling 1-888-861-7323. 

Keeping up with Grey Havens!

Hello, awesome Grey Havens followers, supporters, fans, and families!

Have you been a bit nervous about all these crickets chirping on GreyHavensYA.com? Never fear! We are currently in the process of revamping both of our websites, and that means a little silence here and there. The best place to find GreyHavensYA updates, photos, and fun stuff is at Facebook.com/GreyHavesnYA and @GreyHavensYA on Twitter.

Grey Havens YA is just one branch of The Grey Havens Group, Inc, a local nonprofit. Our organization’s website has migrated to GreyHavensGroup.org. Please check it out, but be aware that we are still tinkering. You can find all Grey Havens Group, Inc news at Facebook.com/GreyHavensGroup and @GreyHavensGroup on Twitter. There will be a lot of news coming about trainings, events, new discussion series, and more! Make sure you find us on social media and email us at greyhavensgroup@gmail.com or greyhavensya@gmail.com if you have any further questions.

Coming up this month:

  1. Geek Philosophy Star Trek Edition TODAY (Friday, August 11th) at Carbon Valley Regional LIbrary. Doors open at 5:30pm and the movie starts at 6pm. We’ll be watching Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and having a fabulous discussion afterward. Free and open to all!
  2. Grey Havens YA will be presenting two panels at MALCon this Saturday, August 12th! Coping with Character Deaths at 12pm and Youth in Fandom Culture at 3pm. See you there!
  3. Grey Havens will be hosting a Menchie’s Fundraiser on August 27th! We will be sharing the flyers as soon as we receive them. Make sure to take a flyer to Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt in Longmont on Saturday August 27th. It’s going to be great!

And now, we’d like to share a few photos from what we’ve been up to all summer…

Our main sumer project has been Hogwarts Preparatory Academy, a summer camp for 50 young witches and wizards ages 8-11. We hope you enjoy just a few of these photos, and visit our Facebook pages for more.

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Mischief managed!

Send us an owl: What favorite nerdy thing did you do this summer?

This Summer, #BoldlyThink

We hope you all enjoyed last week’s post about deciding what to do with the time given to us. Apart from that, you’ll notice that this blog has been quite silently lately. That’s because in addition to recovering from celebrating six of our graduates, we’ve been gearing up for a very geeky summer.

Hopefully you know that as of this year, Grey Havens YA incorporated with The Grey Havens Group, Inc to become an official, tax-exempt nonprofit organization. We are working on taking all the steps necessary to reflect that change, and that means website links won’t always redirect properly and blog ideas will sit in the queue while we gather summer camp supplies and prepare training materials and paperwork. We thank you so much for your support and patience during all this.

Here at Grey Havens YA and The Grey Havens Group, Inc, we are super enthusiastic about a technique we like to call “Geek Philosophy.” If you search that term on our website, you will find countless posts about it. It’s something we’ve been doing with our young adults for almost three years, and we also implement this technique with our adult groups and in our intergenerational programming. Creating an environment where people of all ages can discuss philosophy and literature openly and equally is so central to who we are as an organization.

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Questions generated at our last Geek Philosophy Film Screening

In that respect, we hope that you will join us for our next Geek Philosophy event This Friday, July 8th from 6pm to 9pm at Carbon Valley Regional Library. We’ll be watching Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and using it as a jumping off point for a very geeky philosophy discussion. No registration necessary, just show up with all your friends and enjoy the popcorn! This event is open to all ages. On social media, we like to use the hashtag #BoldlyThink.Geek_Philosophy_Voyage_SM

Bonus! We’ll be doing it again with Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country on August 12th! Same time, same place. We hope your summer will be full of brave philosophical exploration and adventure!

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Now send us an owl: What’s your favorite Star Trek movie and how does it help you to #boldlythink?

When Trivia Isn’t Trivial: One Reason to Love “Fandoms Unite”

On December 4, Grey Havens YA hosted Star Wars: The Fandom Awakens at Lafayette Public Library, part of our Fandoms Unite outreach program. As we were leaving, I called out, “Live long and prosper.” One of the teens replied, “Namárië.” Fandoms Unite, indeed!

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Eager to answer!

Fandoms Unite, our monthly program of trivia, captions contests, singing, dancing, acting, improv and general fandom craziness is always a ton of fun but it might not seem like a very important thing to offer young adults. What significant good could possibly come from teens getting together once a month to celebrate popular culture? Why would we even encourage such a thing? Isn’t popular culture, well, trivial?

The answer, we strongly believe, is no. Everyone engages in some way with popular culture. It gives many of us a significant part of the language with which we understand and speak about our world. (How many of you would know what I meant if I said that someone can be as logical as a Vulcan but as passionate as Anakin Skywalker?) It is how we engage with it that matters most.

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Star Wars Yoga: Han frozen in carbonite!

Fandoms Unite is not just an experience of popular culture; it is consciously imitative of the internet experience, the home turf of much of the growing fandom subset of popular culture. We sing and shout along to clips and GIFs. Our captions contests are practically exercises in meme-making, and our non-competitive trivia is a lot like one of those “how-much-do you know-about…” quizzes most of us have taken online. The difference between an online community and a Fandoms Unite community (and we believe both can have value) is that Fandoms Unite takes place in a room in which teens are interacting with each other in person. They see first-hand that there are other teens and even adults who take their interests seriously. We reflect the things that make them laugh and the things that spark their imaginations back to them and they, in turn, share the light of their enthusiasm and creativity with us.

Singing, "Let it Flow," a Star Wars parody of the famous Frozen song
Singing, “Let it Flow,” a Star Wars parody of the famous Frozen song

When teens experience other teens and adults celebrating the fandoms they love, they feel seen, heard and valued. When people feel seen, heard and valued, they are more confident and willing to take risks. Learning always involves taking risks. The first time you rode a bike, you had to have the confidence to risk falling. The first time you learned to read, you had to have the confidence to risk failing. Learning to think critically and independently requires the confidence to risk forming and expressing your own thoughts, based in your deep experiences of reason and feeling, even when others are telling you that you are wrong. Learning to say “no” to high-risk behaviors when everyone else is jumping off the bridge, requires the confidence to stand strong against persuasive peers and the need to feel accepted at all costs. Sometimes, that confidence can be nurtured in a meeting room at a library answering what may appear to be trivial questions about Star Wars. The intrinsic worth of confident risk-taking is one reason we say…

May the Force be with you. Live long and prosper. Namárië. Fandoms Unite!received_966898340064948.jpeg    received_966898646731584.jpeg

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Send us an owl: This post describes just one of the many reasons we believe in our Fandoms Unite programming. Have you attended one of our events? What was it like for you? 

If you love what we do and want to help us bring Fandoms Unite to as many young adults as possible, check out this fun and easy way to support us this December. Hanon le (and many thanks).

Fandom Theater

For the past two years (yes, everyone — it’s birthday season!), Grey Havens YA has been leading regular “outreach” programming referred to as Fandoms Unite. We call this outreach because it’s a chance for the entire young adult community to come together without the limits of our currently closed book group. We love Fandoms Unite because we get to have fun and show everyone just how much we love it.

Each Fandoms Unite has a theme — it could be trivia, sing-a-longs, fitness for nerds, find out more on our Community Programming page. However, Co-Director Robyn’s personal favorite is what we like to call Fandom Theater. Think of it as drama club but full of fandoms.

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First, you’ll need some tongue-twisters to warm up. How about saying “Raxicalicofalipitoris” five times fast? What about Legless Lego Legolas and his Lego Lass? We also need to get in to character, so a few times shouting “KHHHHAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNN” at the top of our lungs should do the trick. We may even throw in some Nerd Yoga to center ourselves.

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Next! We need to start the acting! We hand-pick the best scenes from fandom movies and television shows and give volunteers the opportunity to bring them to life. The best part about this is that it never goes according to plan and it’s always hilarious. Our participants surprise us by playing trees, tv screens, and radios. We even had one volunteer stand perfectly still as Han Solo frozen in carbonite for the first scene of Return of the Jedi!

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Another fun aspect of Fandom Theater is the improv – we alternate between scripted scenes and fandom improv. Participants pick characters, a place, and a problem out of a hat and see where the action takes them! Can you imagine Sherlock, Ron Weasley, and Sauron solving a crime in Narnia? What about Darth Vader, Elsa, and Katnis at Hogwarts fighting off a Dalek invasion? Fanom improv is the best! Sometimes, we’ll even send extra characters in to help the scene a long — “Sam and Dean Winchester, go save them with the Impala!”

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Now, while our improvisors are getting ready with costumes and props, we have to keep the rest of the audience entertained. The “Nerd Circle” is an exercise developed spontaneously because we happened to have a hula hoop and a rubber ball in our props bag. All we needed to add was nerdiness and we have plenty of that! To play, just drop the hoop on the ground and gather in a circle around it. The person with the ball tosses it to someone else who then has to jump inside the circle and do something nerdy. We get lots of quotes, impressions, songs, interesting facts, (polite) hand gestures and more. If you can’t think of something, you can skip your turn by passing the ball to someone else. It is not about being the last nerd standing but about being as nerdy as you can in a circle of people who think being nerd is something to show off!

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Fandom Theater is so much fun! And we here at Grey Havens YA are pleased to announce that we are bringing this fantastic event to the Lafayette Public Library on Saturday, October 24th from 6pm to 8pm! If you are in grades 6-12, sign up today on the library’s website!

Okay, I just can’t resist adding some more photos form our awesome volunteer photographer, Donna Clement!

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Send us an owl: What awesome scene from your favorite Fandom are you just itching to act out?

Potter-Mania and Summer Mayhem!

Grey Havens YA has been very busy lately! This coming week, we will be leading 41 of Longmont’s 8 to 11-year-olds through Hogwarts Preparatory Academy, a camp at the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center. Stay tuned to this site and our Facebook page for more updates and photos along the way!teacherbinderhogwar This site may seem quiet, but we are having quite a whirlwind of a summer! Not only are we working on a Harry Potter Summer Camp, but we also hosted a Cosplay Workshop at the Lafayette Library on July 1st. We’ve got lots of photos to share with you and hopefully an Animoto from the Library coming soon. It was a blast, and we can’t wait to go back there on Saturday, August 1 from 6pm to 8pm to celebrate their summer reading program finale via trivia, captions, and sing-a-long nerd songs. This event is free and open to anyone in grades 6 through 12, so please call the library (303-665-5200 x1175) to register!

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Thank you for your continuing support. Grey Havens YA is in the process this summer of coming together with our parent group, The Grey Havens Group, to incorporate and become a 501(c)3 nonprofit. For more on that process, check out the Grey Havens site and our meeting minutes.

In the midst of planning events and attending board meetings, Grey Havens YA members are still passionate about book discussions. We just started a new book, Epic by Conor Kostick. Have you read it? This is our first time studying a book that doesn’t already have a lot of scholarship behind it. We are entering uncharted territory, and we can tell already that it’s going to be a fascinating (or rather- epic) journey.epiccover

Whew! Plus, we’ve already had a pretty amazing story come out of our summer camp, and it hasn’t even started yet. See this Facebook post from Co-Headmistress Kelly:

“You won’t believe the amazing thing that happened today! Kelly, Grey Havens YA’s co-director, stopped in at the PostalAnnex Longmont to have the contract for our Hogwarts summer camp notarized (because even binding magical contracts need to be notarized). Not only was the service exceptional but it turns out that these folks are makers of fine American wands, with detailed information about wood types, cores and suitability for different kinds of magic. They even loaned us a whole collection so that our campers can try out various wands. These are exceptionally fine and affordable wands, folks. After the summer camp, they will be back at the Postal Annex and available for purchase for the extremely reasonable price of between $25 and $40 with wooden display box. For witches and wizards, that is around 6 to 9 galleons if you round up. What a deal!”

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With all that’s going on, we think it might be a while before we can officially say, “Mischief managed.” However, we solemnly swear that we are up to no good… Will you join us?

Send us an owl: If you could go to a “summer camp” of your choosing based on your favorite fandom, what would you pick? What would it look like?
P.S. Have you liked us on Facebook yet?

How do you nerd?

Grey Havens YA has been taking the #ThisIsWhatANerdLooksLike campaign on the road, and it’s been a pretty awesome journey! First, we stopped at the Longmont Museum’s Robots Rising exhibit. Next, we headed to the Longmont Library’s Summer Reading Program Kick-Off.  As seen on Twitter, the signs have been traveling far and wide, but sometimes we also get to have a Nerd Table. The Nerd Table encourages patrons to be a part of our interactive art project by drawing or writing about how they nerd. This could include anything from fandoms to sports to hobbies to equations– and even to equations that when read aloud become limericks. It’s been quite an amazing and nerd-tastic experience! Check out some of our photos below, and like our Facebook page for even more nerdy content.

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At the Library, we also did a short presentation of our Fitness for Nerds program! It was so fun to replicate this program for younger kids. I think our members had a blast leading it, and we saw so many little ones laughing and dancing.

wpid-wp-1432577330804.jpeg wpid-wp-1432577343064.jpegDance like Baby Groot is my favorite! We also did some nerd yoga, Hermione hand-raises, and fangirling. And of course, we had to end with The Big Finish:

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For more photo fun, remember to check out our Facebook page. If you want to bring Fitness for Nerds to your community, leave us a comment or send us an email. Thanks for all the fun and support. Remember, it’s how you love it!

 Send us an owl: How do YOU nerd?

Making the Magic of Grey Havens Available to the Next Generation: Meet Robyn Bosica at the Real Myth Symposium

Círdan’s note: Did you know that Grey Havens YA is going to have a major presence at this year’s Real Myth and Mithril Symposium? Check it out!

The Grey Havens Group

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About Robyn Bosica:

Robyn Bosica is the volunteer Co-Director of Grey Havens YA and currently resides in Frederick, Colorado. Robyn has been working with young adults in community events, theater programs, and service trips since 2008, and she is thrilled to be a part of a group as awesome as Grey Havens YA. For her work, she received the City of Longmont’s 2014 “Make Time for Kids Award” last November. Robyn holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and Writing from Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland. Her particular interests include creative nonfiction, science fiction, and the intermingling of literature and identity. An avid Tolkien-fan from the age of eleven, Robyn seeks to encourage the next generation of young adults to follow their nerdy passions and engage in the kind of world-building imagination that shines light into life’s darker moments. Robyn blogs about those moments, along with faith, grief, and beauty at her personal…

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Fandombombing the Library!

How are you celebrating SuperWhoLockiday this year? What? You don’t observe this geeky, fabulous day paying tribute to all we love about Supernatural, Doctor Who and Sherlock? Well, if you want to start, we at Grey Havens YA can show you how!

First, two of our members, Katie and Jayne, fandombombed the Longmont Library, placing photos of SuperWhoLock characters all over the place, including some places you might not expect and some where our guests had to search to find the photo to win a prize. Next, they hosted a SuperWhoLock Extravaganza, with trivia, caption contests, amazing videos, sing-along songs and more! Here are some photos from the event.

Happy SuperWhoLockiday!

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Send us an owl: Did you attend SuperWhoLockiday? What was your favorite part?

Grey Havens YA Makes Time for Kids

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Well, we prefer to call them “young adults” but on November 21, Robyn Bosica (evermind) was honored by the City of Longmont with the “Make Time for Kids Award” for her work with Grey Havens YA. At the time of the original ceremony, Robyn was busy making time for kids so a group of her fans from GHYA accepted the award on her behalf.

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We wanted to be sure that Robyn knows how much we appreciate her, however, so we held our own ceremony the very next day at our book discussion meeting. The award was presented by our faithful dragon mascot (who, for some reason, spoke in a somewhat unconvincing British accent) while each of our members gave Robyn his or her personal thanks for her dedication to our group and its mission of LITERACY-IMAGINATION-COMMUNITY-INCLUSIVENESS.

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The City of Longmont also wanted to be sure that Robyn knows how much they appreciate the work she does so they held yet another ceremony on the following Monday. Here Robyn is receiving the award from Ben Ready of the Longmont Youth Council, Longmont’s Director of Community Services and the Director of Children and Teen Services at the Longmont Public Library. Well done, Robyn!

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“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” -Gandalf the Grey

Send us an owl: Congratulate Robyn on her award!