Send Your Kid into the Zombie Apocalypse

Mastermind Adventures teaches ten- to eighteen-year-olds about disaster prep, DNA mutations, lock-picking, first aid and, in general, how not to die in the zombie apocalypse.

What if kids could act out a zombie scenario and learn cool skills at the same time? There'd be fewer parents with bite marks on their arms, that's for sure.

On Saturday, February 13, Mastermind Adventures hosts "Love Bites," an apocalypse-themed educational role playing event for kids ages ten to eighteen.

The event is held at Education in Action's Exchange City, an indoor mill space that's set up like a real city.

Kids choose two of nine classes  disaster preparation with a FEMA coordinator; DNA mutations with a local medical scientist; the art of lock picking; foam weapon engineering; physics and archeology classes; the psychology of teambuilding; and first aid with a Red Cross director  then apply their skills as members of a survival bunker in the zombie apocalypse.

Here's the premise:

Day 43: We're being moved to a new military bunker in Providence that needs reinforcements. It must be pretty bad since they're taking civilian volunteers. They say they will train us when we get there. The truth is I've never been more afraid, but it may be our best chance to find out why the dead are walking the earth. There are whispers among the refugees that those in power know more than they're willing to tell us. With the research facilities in the Providence bunker, I think that's the best place to look for answers…if I live that long.

Krysten Callina, who founded Mastermind Adventures with her husband, Jason, says she developed the programs to provide alternative activities for her two boys, both teenagers.

"They weren’t interested in sports and they're also homeschoolers, so we're always looking for ways to incorporate education into the activities we do," she says.

The company hosted its first educational role play event last May based on the Percy Jackson books. "I was expecting maybe thirty kids, and we ended up with 150," says Callina. "It was kind of an 'aha moment' for me, that it appeals to more than our small circle."

They continued with two Harry Potter-themed events last fall.

"All of the role playing events have a similar format," she says. "While we have the kids' attention, we offer classes that are useful to them. We think game theory is a great way to get kids engaged and involved in the process. If a kid takes the Red Cross class, they'll have a healing skill. If they take the engineering class, they will have the ability to pick up extra items to build things. That’s how we try to combine it: It's something they want to pay attention to and it encourages team building."

Callina says Mastermind Adventures is planning a Star Wars event at Battleship Cove in Fall River, Mass., as well as another Percy Jackson event in May, a Hunger Games event in the summer and a Harry Potter-themed event in the fall.


"Love Bites" Details: Feb. 13. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $35. Education in Action, 35 Swiss St., Providence, Tickets available here.