A Day in the Life
Here we turn the focus to our day to day at camp and try to give our readers an idea of what we have going on each week throughout the summer.
A Day in the Life: Survival Camp August 21st-27th
We ended our summer season with an exciting new program: Survival Camp. This camp featured a close knit group of participants who soaked up a good deal of knowledge about and appreciation for the outdoors. The camp focused on teaching a variety of survival skills with workshops in fire building, shelter construction, knife safety and carving, camouflage, stealth and more. It was amazing to see the focus and dedication our participants brought to these new skills.
Holmes is a beautiful land, and for many of our participants it is the first place they went to an overnight camp. For these participants the week was a homecoming, having spent the past two summers away from the land. Along with survival skills the camp featured some wilderness appreciation in the forms of hiking and nature inspired art.
Both of the Adventure Games had a survival theme as well. The first Adventure, The Year King by new staff member Devon Brinner, was the tale of a small Yorkshire town in the 1700s in the midst of a famine. At the yearly harvest festival, a group of fairies arrived in town and entreated the townsfolk to help them in their quest to bring back the health of the land, ending the blight. The townsfolk provided this help but the cost was great.
The second Adventure, Nevena Loop by the Sets & Props master Ruby Lavin, took place in a not so distant apocalyptic future, in which the survivors made new lives for themselves out of the rubble. With water being scarce, gangs formed and fought each other over control of the precious resource. Little did these groups of ruffians, scientists, and survivalists know that they would take the creation of this world into their own hands and end the existence of gods once and for all.
Even with two epic Adventures and time set aside for learning new survival skills we still managed to fit in a good deal of fun. Each morning the bunking groups would have a goofy team base survivor challenge pitting them against each other. From scavenger hunts to making wacky human obstacle courses to complete, these morning challenges were the highlight of my day. We also had time for some Wayfinder classics such as Mask Workshop, where we saw some amazing examples of “go with the flow,” and Ninja the Flag, where we used our new camouflage skills to make that game even more intense.
It was a great end to our summer of adventures.
A Day in the Life: Advanced Camp August 14th-20th
Advanced camp came and went with a flourish. We played three Adventure Games in six days, and while everyone was a little tired out, we had a great time doing it all. The games kept the camp living up to its name, with every game putting us into a unique world and new magic system. Mike Jones game, Faith and Fire, was first. The game imagined a fantasy world that had begun to pour its magic into technology and gave a fresh spin on a common fantasy conflict with elves facing off against humans in a WWIesque scenario. Humanity (with the help of your dear blog writer) prevailed. Next we played Silence Blooming by Jay Dragon and Jeremy Gleick. The game starts with the introduction of an interdimensional spore, which feeds on sound, into our world. All magic encountered by players is foreign and, to be frank, terrifying. Players worked their way through this eerily silent Adventure Game finding new ways to express character arcs and roleplay intrigue. Finally we played Aurora Rising by Jack Warren. This game featured robots pushing the boundaries of what it means to be alive (and starting a potentially staff sanctioned robot revolution). Players got to experience first hand some of the great questions which have plagued those who read or envision things within the realm of science fiction, in particular at what point does artificial consciousness demand freedom? (If you see any of our production staff be sure to thank and appreciate them as they did an amazing job bring these worlds to life.)
Outside of the Adventure Games camp was an all-around great time. We were able to get deep into the communal aspects of camp (something only aided by the experience of playing other personas) with three trust workshop blocks, and we managed to have a little old fashioned fun playing both Bloodrush and British Bulldog (classic Wayfinder camp activities). This camp managed to capture, for me, the real essence of what it was like when I was a participant, with everybody putting their all into every aspect of camp. Community experiences only really work with that level of engagement, and we had it top to bottom. We even managed to pull off some super late night shenanigans with a roaring Bardic Circle and a impromptu participant written Adventure Game (a sequel to the one written at Immersion, naturally). As an added personal bonus there was a friendly popularity contest featured at the camp. An SIT, who shall remain unnamed (Django Shizzard) challenged yours truly in an attempt to take the reins. All told the challenger was unsuccessful but as a consolation received some public outpourings of love from members of the community.
Thanks as always for making the community what it is, hope to see you all soon.
Day in the Life:
Immersion Camp and High Meadow 2 Aug 7th-13th
The first week of overnights for the summer was a blast! An amazing, and immersive game and plenty of time together in community.
Legendary Mafia runner, Brennan Lee Mulligan, was back in action. Each round of Mafia takes place in a different town which has been plagued by mafia members. Participants in the game must decide based upon their suspicions on who to vote to eliminate (only learning the truth of their identities once they are out). Brennan set this round in Rome and telling beautiful stories for each round of this game. The citizen did win, but it was a close one! Camp also featured a community night which hosted a combo dance party/ninja the flag game that was a rousing success.
Settlers Keep, Immersion’s Adventure Game by Eliot O’Clair and Mike Phillips was epic! It started in the temple of Mona, one of this world’s gods whose heart was broken when she had to send her dog away. On this night in the temple, players attended the funeral of the greatest monster hunter of all time. Manvera, the second in command for the monster hunters gave a heart wrenching eulogy and lead everyone on a monster hunt in honor of the fallen. While the hunt was in full swing the other players realized there was a new wolf pack in town. Players ended the first night realizing that these wolves were not mere wolves, but werewolves.
The day game was an epic hunt for these wolf dens. However at the end of the game Manvera and her gang revealed that they were in fact werewolves and that everyone should join them. In the third and final installment the townspeople holed up in the woods as they retrieved all the silver in the town to make weapons that could slay the ferocious beasts. In the final stand everyone fell to the beasts except one, the person who Mona’s broken heart had fallen into.
One reason the game was so amazing for all the participants was the amount of world building that the campers got to do. Mike and Elliot gave participants the opportunity to create sections of the world that they were playing in such as the names of cities and towns, and the world’s creation myths making the game an openly collaborative experience.
It was an epic week at our other camp as well, as it was the third and final installment of the War Gate trilogy. This was years in the making and the Swarm (the alien bug race) was out to take over the galaxy once again. This time our heroes (both the human and elven races) discovered a way to get rid of them once and for all, ring peace throughout the galaxy, and save existence as we know it! With such a combat heavy game our staff became curious as to how many times each of the participants died and went to RE (the location where you receive a new character after dying). They asked how many people went once, over half the circle raised their hands, two? Still almost half. Three? Three kids with hands up Four? Only 2 kids with hands up. Five? One kid. Six? Same kid. Seven?! Still one kid. Eight? She finally puts her hand down. An epic game and week indeed.