You've Asked, We Answered
We want to make sure that all potential members understand what their participation will involve when submitting an application to the Guardians of Justice. Below, find the answers to our most frequently asked questions. Use this resource, but always feel free to ask more!
I don't have a costume. Can I still be a Guardian?
Yes! Handlers (we refer to them as Smile Makers) are vitally important to assist in smooth events. Our Smile Makers help with line formation, take photos and assist characters with movement and breaks.
I don't have any mainstream comic book characters. Can I still join as a costumed character?
Absolutely! We’re welcoming of any character that is popular or interesting to a child, however we ask for all costumes to be family-friendly and child appropriate. Our costume criteria is outlined here: Code of Conduct.
Any character? So I could be a Princess? A Space Pirate?
Yes! Any child appropriate, family-friendly character. We have characters in our arsenal from movies, tv series, cartoons, comic books, literature…you name it!
What happens when I submit a costume?
Costume approvals for new and current members will be completed at each Council Meeting (held monthly). After the Council approves a costume, you’ll receive an e-mail notifying you the costumes have been added to your roster. If, for any reason, a costume is not accepted (say, the files were corrupted or we couldn’t determine some aspect of a character) – you will receive an e-mail detailing why or asking for follow-up photos. Each costume approval e-mail will also come with a blanket statement about costume basics for males and females.
What if I know the costume I'm submitting is child appropriate but obscure?
Go ahead and send us a reference photo and/or description of the character! Should we ever receive a costume we aren’t able to source, we’ll send a follow-up email. In the event that you know it’s an obscure character, feel free to fill us in!
Do you accept original costumes?
The short answer is: No. However, more about that can be found in our costuming guidelines here. We ask that all costumes be based on an existing character and be easily recognized.
Do you accept gender-bent costumes?
No. However, we do accept crossplay! Females may portray male characters (binding and/or use of contouring, shading, and stage makeup for facial hair) and males may portray female characters (use of makeup/contouring, wigs, brassieres, etc). We do ask that our members who choose to portray other genders do their best to act in their role as that character as believable as possible.
Do members have to pay dues?
No. Guardians of Justice only asks for your costuming skills and your time. Our membership is free and each member receives a GOJ t-shirt after completing their first event!
Are members required to attend meetings?
No. Only council members have to meet up montlhy. We do ask that our members have some online presence and join our members only Facebook Group, this way we can share upcoming events and receive member RSVPS. However, in the event you are unable to use Social Media let us know in your application. Upon approval we will do our very best to work with you.
What can I expect from a typical event?
Smiles! At any event we attend, our main goal is to become the characters we portray for the children present. We’ll talk, play, make crafts with them, and give hugs or high-fives.
Are children ever afraid of us?
Sadly, yes. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming to see your favorite character suddenly there and larger than life. We suggest each volunteer to be aware of the children around them and back away from any who seem frightened or upset. We don’t ever suggest pushing an interaction. Let the child come to you when/if she or he wants to.
Will we have to attend sad events?
Some of our events like hospital visits can be difficult. However, these events truly highlight why we do this. We do not require any members to attend specific events and our members are always allowed to take breaks if something becomes too emotional for them. Each new member will receive access to our Costuming Guidelines and tips as well as be able to speak with the council members prior to events. There is nothing more precious than erasing the circumstances surrounding a sick child, even for just a little visit.
Do I have to make my own costume to be a member?
Absolutely not! While we encourage all of our members to pursue their hobbies and interests when it comes to costuming, we do not require the costumes to be handmade. With that said, we do have costume guidelines and standards to uphold. You may commission costumes or piece them from other places, but we don’t recommend buying ready-made halloween type bundles. If a member needs costuming help, the council is always able to assist!
How many events do Guardians have each month?
The answer truly varies. While we aim for at least two events each month, there are some when can have as many as five or six events! We do not expect our members to attend every event and ask that each member participate as they are able. We do require that new members complete one event out of the first six that come up after they are approved.
You already have someone who dresses up as my character. Will I be able to wear that character anyway?
Yes! Guardians is a little different in this regard from other costume groups. Rather than have members “claim” a character upon marking that they can attend, Mike (our Chief of Logistics), will assign characters a few days prior to the event. Each member will be tagged in our private group which will list which character from our personal roster is assigned to them.
What if one of my costumes no longer fits/broke/I don't want to wear it anymore?
Just message Mike or post in the private facebook group and we’ll remove it from your album.
I'm already a member, do I have to submit photos for approval for new costumes?
Yes. Since we want to make sure we hold everyone, new member or veteran alike, to the same standards we ask that a front and back photo of yourself in the costume be submitted each time you add a new costume to your roster.
What are costume approval photos used for?
Just for the Council to view and ensure the costume meets guidelines. Then the front-facing photo is added to a private photo album of all available costumes each character has. This helps the Chief of Logistics when he’s assigning characters.
I'm short/tall/plus-sized/skinny/physically disabled can I join?
Guardians does not discriminate against creed, religion, body type, race or sex. As long as you are willing to attend events in a quality costume and interact with the general public… we want you as a member! Our group was founded on the belief that anyone could be a smile maker.
I'm nervous about attending my first event. Help?
Of course! We understand the first event jitters! If we’re honest, even the seasoned pros get nervous every now and then! Post in the member-only Facebook group and ask questions and/or message one of the council members. We are here for you. Our goal is to make Guardians of Justice a group that everyone loves to be a part of!