My Mask: How To Lead A Socially Distanced Mythic Quest

The sounds of Texas.

By Shelly Brisbin & Laura RiceJuly 29, 2020 6:53 am, , ,

In his role as assistant to the regional “monstrologist” for Camp Half-Blood in Austin, Moisés Chiullán spends his time leading daily quests for 9- to 18-year-old demigods. The camp is based in mythological world familiar to fans of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson books. In addition to the quests, there’s Roman hand-to-hand combat training, arts and crafts, music and more. All activities are entirely online, but Chiullán works in the field, protected by a mask that keeps him cool in the summer heat, while disguising, or sometimes enhancing, his role in whatever quests he and his colleagues have in store for the campers. The last session of Camp Half-Blood for this summer begins Aug. 3, with places still available.

“The quests can vary in intensity. Sometimes they’re very scary. Sometimes we find ourselves completely in the dark. … When we encounter a gorgon, we have to have the kids direct us, using a mirror, so we aren’t turned to stone.”

Ah-Puch, Mayan God of the Underworld. Photo courtesy Moiseés Chiullán

“When I am on location, I tend to use balaclavas that are made of something called ‘ice silk.’ So when you’re out in the heat, you have the benefit of breathable masking … and also the cooling benefit of having dunked it in ice-cold water.”

“We’ve mandated that ‘good guys’ wear masks and ‘bad guys’ don’t.”

“Hopefully, if we have enough young demigods, enough young heroes out there to help us, we may be able to push back the efforts of the Mayan god of the underworld.”

If you found the reporting above valuable, please consider making a donation to support it here. Your gift helps pay for everything you find on and Thanks for donating today.