Tag Archives: harry potter

Harry Potter’s Back (and more)!

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. 

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!


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?

One of the Best Weeks of Maddie’s Life, Brought to You by Grey Havens YA!

hogwarts prep article

Take a look at this recent article in The Longmont Times-Call about our recent magical summer camp! Here is some more of the feedback our young adults received on the magical camping experience they created:

“My son participated in the Hogwarts Preparatory Academy, and I wanted to inform you of how impressed I was. Right from the beginning I knew it was going to be a completely magical time for him. That magic stayed throughout the whole week. He had a wonderful time, and he still is talking about it.”  -Stacie F.

“My daughter was looking forward to her Hogwarts camp for months and I’m happy to say she thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve loved listening to her talk about all the activities (and then showing the rest of us spells, potions, palming reading, etc). Thank you for such a fabulous experience, it completely exceeded my expectations!!” -Muggle Mom

“I think this was one of the best camps either of my kids have yet attended. Your creativity and attention to detail just made it so fun and magical! [My daughter] loved it! It was great! She says to continue doing everything! She also says, ‘I think you should remember to clean out your cauldron next time.'” -Angela J.

Yes! Next time we WILL remember to clean out our cauldron!

And that’s not all! One of our assistant professors, 145Barbarian, put this video together to showcase the camp. Check it out, and journey to Hogwarts Preparatory Academy for yourself:
“Hey everyone! I am happy to present a video I made for Hogwarts Preparatory Academy. Though the pictures might not be the best quality, I’m proud of the video.”

For more information about Grey Havens YA programming, including at the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center, visit our Community Programming page.

Grey Havens YA has been invited back to host Hogwarts Prep next year. Some students want to sign up now! The problem is that we don’t know that our group will be ready by the summer of 2016 to repeat and improve upon this very detailed, labor-intensive camp. Can you help us to create the time and resources to meet demand? Thank you for helping us to make magic!

A Trip To Hogwarts!

Círdan’s Note: Not only did Grey Havens YA lead a magical Hogwarts Preparatory Academy this summer, but also some of our assistant professors got to visit the real Hogwarts! We are fortunate to have an account brought to us by Assistant Professor Noble. Enjoy her tale and her photos below!

Hogwarts Castle

About a month ago I received a letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry stating that I was to report to Diagon Alley and board the Hogwarts Express, courtesy of the Hogwarts Railways, to the one and only Hogsmeade and the famous wizarding school itself! Why, you could only guess what emotions I was feeling! You rarely hear about wizards from other wizarding schools being asked to visit Hogwarts! I am currently a witch at the Beauxbatons Academy of Magic or, for us, l’académie de magie de Beauxbâtons which is an all female wizarding school located in France. Perhaps you have seen us compete at Hogwarts for eternal glory during the Triwizard Tournament? So of course, without a second to spare, I found my trusty Silver Arrow, and was off to Diagon Alley to accept this offer. I would have used my fireplace, but sadly I ran out of floo powder. (I would have made some, but nobody can quite get the recipe right! I don’t want to look like a mess when I arrive at Hogwarts.)

When I arrived in Diagon Alley, I paid a special visit to my vault at Gringotts to snag some galleons, and ran around like a mad woman trying to buy everything I might possibly need for this weekend at the best school in the world, I finally decided to dash over to the platform to board the Hogwarts Express. Whoa! As I was on my way to Hogsmeade, I made the startling discovery that I only had four galleons in my pocket by the time I was done! I ended up spending a little more galleons than I had planned… I mean, doesn’t everyone who goes to Diagon Alley visit Madam Malkins for a robe and scarf, the Leaky Cauldron for a bite to eat and a butter beer, Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes for some laughs and love potions, Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour for a sweet treat, Ollivanders for a much needed wand repair, Scribbulus Writing Instruments for fancy new writing quill, and still have money to spare? I mean, I didn’t buy too much butter beer or pumpkin juice. Only enough to satisfy myself.

Hogwarts Express Sign

When the train finally pulled up at Hogsmeade and I managed to squeeze out of the busy station, I breathed a sigh of relief. I have made it! In the distance you could see the castle towering above everything on a beautiful cliff. I scurried through the village dropping by Honeydukes to give up my last four galleons to purchase some Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans. Right when I opened one and plopped one into my mouth, I knew I made a terrible mistake! It was a troll bogey flavor! And, in an attempt to counter this terrible taste, I had another. I must be a magnet for bad bean flavors. It ended up being a dog food bean! After that, I stuck the beans into my robe pocket and vowed not to eat them until I got back from Hogwarts. I will have to combat the flavors at a later time. I am still a little shaky from the incident, but I am on my way to a brilliant recovery. Perhaps soon I will be strong enough to continue eating them.

Bertie Botts Beans

Hogwarts Symbol

After leaving Hogsmeade, I stood before the bridge leading to the castle and I stared at two of the pillars at the entry way. Writing appeared and disappeared in a blink of an eye. Magical writing that is. What did the writing say? I can not quite remember. My sister, currently a bold Slytherin at Hogwarts, could tell you but as for myself, I think I accidentally had a small sip of a forgetfulness potion while I was lounging around in the Gryffindorr Common Room. The inside of Hogwarts was truly magical though. Talking pictures, which know exactly where you are at every time, magical classrooms, ghosts, common rooms, stained glass, witches, wizards, magic,  you name it! It was breathtaking. Now, the argument that another fellow witch of mine had with the Fat Lady was rather odd though. Even though she was a Gryffindorr, she was denied access into the common room several times after the argument until the Fat Lady finally gave in and let us enter. That of course gave the rest of the witches and wizards behind us a laugh. I spent the night there in the Gryffindorr common room, even though I would say that I am a Hufflepuff at heart, and the next day I was able to advance deeper into the castle and learn even more about Hogwarts. I even got a sneak peak at Dumbledoor’s office and the famous sorting hat!

My time at Hogwarts was short and I have no doubt that I will be back some day in the future. I have several friends there that I intend to visit, as well as family. There is so much to tell you, but right now, the quill that I purchased in Diagon Alley is running low on ink so I must go buy some more before I can talk my experiences that I had there in greater detail. But for right now, that is all that I can write. Hopefully, I will be able to collect enough galleons to buy more ink since this trip wiped out the majority of my vault! Wish me luck!


Catherine Noble

Witch at the Beauxbatons Academy of Magic

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!


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!”


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?

Member Monthly Rant: Books and Reading

Cirdan’s note: Greetings. Today, we bring you a well-worded rant from our very own geekygeenerd. Enjoy, and be sure to send us an owl!

I believe in books and the power of reading.

I have loved to read ever since I learned how.  I was reading chapter books in first grade, and tore through the Harry Potter series when I was nine.  In fact, I once got in trouble at school for reading during class.  When the teacher called me out on it, I wasn’t embarrassed as much as I was concerned that he didn’t use a bookmark.  I have learned over the years that people who read more tend to know more things.  For example, I was once accused of cheating because I knew the answers to many of the questions a teacher was asking from a trivia book.  But all that I was using was the knowledge I had accumulated from books.  The ability to read well is also important for school.  Remembering knowledge acquired from books is important, because students are expected to read textbooks and novels, and some refuse because they say that they “hate reading,” which is incredibly sad to me.  Reading increases knowledge.  Reading can make you laugh, cry, and fall in love with fictional characters.  When I read the Harry Potter series, I did all of those things.  I developed emotions and feelings from printed words on the pages of books.

Some will argue that there is no need to read with today’s technologies, however, they fail to see that not everything can be absorbed by a screen.  For example, encyclopedias are checked thoroughly before they are published.  But websites like Wikipedia can be edited by anyone, making them unreliable.  Also, studies show that people who read from books retain more information than those who read from a screen.  Others think they just don’t like reading in general, but maybe that is because they have never found something they have enjoyed reading.  I think this correlates with assigned books in school.  I have noticed other students will start a book thinking they will hate it, and sometimes they do.  One personal experience I have had with this was when my brother was assigned to read The Giver. He hated it, but I loved it, and we usually love and share the same books.  I think this is due to the fact that he was forced to read it, but I chose to read it for fun.

I truly believe that reading makes you smarter.  In fact, kids who were shown the television show Spongebob Squarepants had a lower IQ after doing so.  What do you think would happen to those kids if they had read instead?  I was never allowed to watch Spongebob as a child, so I read.  Because of this, I’ve been reading at a higher level than what was expected of me since I was in second grade.

Reading is one of the most important skills one can have in life.  A book can teach you and a book can make you cry.  You just have to chose to read it.  This I believe.

Send us an owl: What is the first book you remember reading? And/or What book or series sparked your love for reading?

Banned Books: Harry Potter

Banned Books Week 2014 is already off to a great start. Click here to read one of our member’s thoughts on banning books and click here to read Robyn/evermind’s introduction.

We totally didn’t plan for the timing to coincide, but two Saturday’s ago, Grey Havens YA created an All-Harry-Potter themed Fandom’s Unite.

Our lovely volunteers: Donna, Robyn, Kelly, Luwanna, and Dyhrddrdh. Wands at the ready!
Our lovely volunteers: Donna, Robyn, Kelly, Luwanna, and Dyhrddrdh. Wands at the ready!

More photos to come! During our Hogwarts special night, we asked our members and attendees to share some thoughts on banned and challenged books, seeing as J.K. Rowling is on the banned and challenged author list. We compiled a little video to share with you below. Enjoy!

Send us an owl: Please feel free to share your own story about how Harry Potter or another work of literature changed your life and how you would feel about that work being banned and/or challenged.

PS. Did you know that September 22, 2014 was Hobbit Day aka Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday???

PPS.  Did you know that both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings have been challenged and/or banned? Share some love for the hobbits in the comments! If you have anything you’d like to write about Tolkien and/OR Banned Books Week, please don’t hesitate to email us at greyhavensya@gmail.com.

PPPS. …I’m referencing Gandalf’s letter in The Fellowship of the Ring right now.g-rune

Cultivating Respect in Fandom Culture


Recently our members have brought up the value of respect in Fandom Culture. At Grey Havens YA, we remind each other weekly that it’s not about what you love, but how you love it. We also foster an open and accepting community for nerds all along the spectrum of any given fandom; we welcome Humans, Dragons, Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves, Balrogs, Trekkies, Bronies, Wizards, Rangers, Timelords, Sontarans, Slytherins, Hufflepuffls, Gryffindors, Ravenclaws, Gryffin-puffs, and anything in between.

However, it is not so easy to ensure that all-inclusive respect during our larger community events like Fandoms Unite. We have new attendees and people who may not know all the values Grey Havens YA stands for. Our members have noticed this, and brought it to our attention. We asked them if they’d be willing to write a skit about Fandom Respect and share it and the next Fandoms Unite. They did so, and we also asked them to share it at Geek Show. We aim to start off every event now with a reminder that being a nerd is about how you love it, and whatever you love is totally okay and welcome.

Below is the transcript of the skit written by demonicdragon and geekygeeknerd. We also have a small clip of the skit available on our new YouTube Channel.

 Starring Sam and Dean from Supernatural.

Sam: Hi, I’m Sam.
Dean: And I’m Dean.
Sam: We are totally officials from the FBI… *shows badges*
Dean: And we are investigating fandom prejudice!

Scene One

Sam: *Watching My Little Pony*
Dean: Dude… what are you doing?
Sam: Shut up, it’s a good show! Jerk.
Dean: B- uhhh…. OK so why are you watching a little girls show?
Sam: Well sure, it’s marketed towards younger girls but actually it has an interesting plot and relatable characters.
Dean: …*Is watching the screen*
*Two Hours Later*
Dean: These ponies man… I mean, I really connect with Rarity..
Sam: See, I told you to give it a chance, now look at you!
Dean: *Holds up a stuffed pony*
Sam: So you agree, that it’s ok to be a brony?
Dean: Yeah, as long as we aren’t shoving into peoples faces, I’m cool with it.
Sam: Exactly! *Holds up his stuffed pony. They sit down to watch.*

Scene Two.

Dean: *Reading Harry Potter.*
Sam: *Walks in* What are you reading?
Dean: *Shuts book quickly* What? Nothing…
Sam: Oh hey, I love those books! I just did a sorting hat quiz, you should take it!
Dean: Uh, Sure. *few minutes later* I’m in Slytherin, awesome!
Sam: Well that fits you, that’s where all the evil ones go!
Dean: You’re so housest! *rant about lack of evil in Slytherin and such* Sure, Slytherins are typically evil because of their cunning ambition. But there have been plenty of Slytherins that haven’t gone bad and plenty of people in other houses that have. Slytherins are so great! And I mean, Snape wasn’t evil. *Puts on Slytherin scarf and tries to remain manly.*
Sam: How many times have you read the series…?
Dean: *counts* *changes subject* So what house did you get?
Sam: …um…. *mutters* Hufflepuff
Dean: What was that?
Dean: Is there something wrong with hufflepuff?
Sam: Dean… it’s Hufflepuff! Who has a badger as a mascot?
Dean: *passionate rant about how cool hufflepuffs are* Okay, first of all, Badgers are kind of scary, man. I mean, they bite! And second of all, you are in the house of the great Helga Hufflepuff. How dare you think that Hufflepuff isn’t amazing? Hufflepuffs are great. You’re awesome you’re a Hufflepuff, therefore Hufflepuffs are awesome!
Sam: *Proudly puts on Hufflepuff scarf*
Sam and Dean: *High five!*

Conclusion. Sam and Dean take comments from the audience about Fandoms.
Sam: Ok. *choose people to answer* *mark it down* *shows Dean*
Dean: WRONG!
Sam: What he means is… It doesn’t matter if you like one thing differently than someone else.
Dean: Yeah, or even if you dislike something… What matters is that every fandom should be respected.
Sam: And that we shouldn’t be Jerks *looks at Dean* about things we don’t agree on.