By Emily Roberts Jones
Utah County Battleguard held its last meeting of the season Tuesday night in the rain. The majority of their meetings involve LARPing, or Live Action Role Playing, a popular hobby where people dress up and become someone else for a couple of hours.
For Utah County Battleguard, it means giving families an opportunity to pummel each other in the name of practicing their melee skills.
“The goal is to have a family oriented group, so parents and kids. You don’t hear profanity here,” Battleguard community leader Jarom Rush said. Rush also uses the title of Warlord for game purposes.
“Basically, just a bunch of people come and he has a bunch of foam weapons ready and then there’s rules so people don’t get hurt and stuff and so you can kill people,” Battleguard warrior Peter Nelson said as he wielded a sword two times his height.
The weapons are artificial, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get bruises. Fifteen-year-old Ivy Nelson attends BattleGuard and her weapon was made by her father out of carbon fiber tube, pipe insulation, hockey tape and a little bit of camp foam pad on the tip.
“I like that it’s a way you can meet awesome people and get a lot of physical activity, and it’s just really fun to tell your friends, ‘I spear fight’,” Ivy Nelson said.
A lot of people dress for the occasion. “We make most of (the clothes) and so we get together, we have a crafting club and we make our weapons and shields, we make our clothing, or you can buy it, either way,” Rush said.
For the participants, it’s a great way to blow off steam and meet new friends, sometimes with a turnout of up to 100 people.
The fan favorite game of last night was “Warlord”, where you can smack anyone at any time.
Battleguard won’t meet again until next March, so the participants will spend the winter sparring with their families and getting their weapons ready.